Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP): BE WELL

What is BE WELL?

BE WELL is Blue Earth County's local initiative of the Minnesota Department of Health's Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). Our goal is to create good health for the whole community as well as save health care dollars by decreasing obesity and reducing the number of people who use tobacco or are exposed to it.
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"The choices we make are shaped by the choices we have...

Individual behaviors - smoking, diet, drinking, and exercise - matter for health. But making healthy choices is not just about self-discipline. Some neighborhoods have easy access to fresh, affordable produce; others have only fast food joints and liquor and convenience stores. Some have nice homes; clean parks; safe places to walk, jog, bike or play; and well-financed schools offering gym, art, music, and after-school programs; and some do not."
                                                 ~ Unnatural Causes, Ten Things to Know About Health
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Why BE WELL matters

Three out of every five Minnesotans are overweight or obese - caused by insufficient physical activity and unhealthy eating - increasing risk for heart disease and diabetes, among other chronic illnesses. Meanwhile, while more than one in seven Minnesotans still smoke, approximately half of us are exposed to tobacco smoke on a regular basis. Both the smoking and the exposure lead to various cancers and heart disease.

Obesity and tobacco use/exposure are the two leading causes of death. For all our sakes, we can and must do better.

Prevention pays off

Preventing illness saves money. In Minnesota, insured residents who have one or more chronic diseases spent an average of $12,800 a year on health care services in 2012. That is nearly eight times the $1,600 average spending associated with an insured resident without a chronic condition. In 2014, tobacco use and exposure cost Minnesotans $2.5 billion in health care dollars.  MN Dept of Health SHIP Fact Sheet (Feb 2016)

For more information

To learn more about what BE WELL is doing in Blue Earth County, including how to partner with us in making our communities healthier places to live, feel free to contact us.
Gretchen Mauerman 
(507) 304-4450
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To learn more about what SHIP is doing in the rest of Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Department of Health SHIP webpage.