A section of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System being constructed in South Dakota
Governor Mark Dayton traveled to Luverne last week to meet with local officials and area legislators to discuss next steps in advancing the construction of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System. Governor Dayton listened, asked questions, and offered his continued support to ensure the project continues on course toward completion. The Governor stressed that the project is essential to maintaining a high quality of life in southwestern Minnesota, and in supporting the continued economic growth of the entire region.
“This project is critically important to the people and businesses of southwestern Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Without it, business growth would be stifled, new jobs would be lost, and residents would continue being forced to buy bottled water. I will continue doing everything possible to see this project through to completion.”
A shortage of water in communities across southwestern Minnesota is stifling economic growth in the region, and diminishing the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens. Luverne’s isobutanol plant has expressed wishes to expand, but that expansion has been hampered due to a lack of available water in the area. The quality of aquifer water in many communities is so poor that residents have been forced to drink bottled water.
This week, Minnesota again demonstrated why our state is a national leader in health care. New Dayton Administration reforms launched in 2013 to provide better care at lower costs have saved more than $10.5 million in just one year. And today, Mayo Clinic was named the best hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
This news comes after Minnesota saw a more than 41 percent decline in our uninsured rate – giving our state the second-lowest uninsured rate in the nation. And last month, Minnesota ranked first in the nation on AARP’s long-term care scorecard, demonstrating our state’s commitment to providing high-quality care to disabled and older Minnesotans.
Read more below:
NATION-LEADING REFORMS SAVE $10.5 MILLION IN FIRST YEAR
Minnesota’s new, nation-leading approach to delivering better quality health care at lower costs is paying off. In the first year of a pilot program announced by the Department of Human Services and Governor Mark Dayton in 2013, six health care providers serving 100,000 Minnesotans spent $10.5 million less than projected – cost savings that will benefit Minnesota taxpayers.
What Governor Dayton is saying:
“Some people talk about reform. We do it. Minnesota is the first state in the nation to implement these cost-saving reforms – and we have proven that this new approach delivers results. I thank the health providers who have partnered with us on this initiative, making it possible to deliver better care to over 100,000 Minnesotans.”
MAYO CLINIC RANKED BEST HOSPITAL IN THE NATION
Today, Mayo Clinic achieved the highest honor in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of top hospitals, making it the best hospital in the country. Mayo Clinic earned more number one rankings than any other provider, ranking number one or number two in 11 of the 12 specialties based on reputation, services and volumes, safety and clinical outcomes.
What Governor Dayton is saying:
“These rankings reaffirm what millions of patients and doctors around the world already know: Mayo Clinic offers the best medical care in the world. Thanks to the wise investment made by our State Legislature in the development of a Destination Medical Center, I am confident Mayo will continue its tradition of excellence into the future. Congratulations, Mayo!”
Watch what Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy is saying:
Governor Dayton signs the Women's Economic Security Act, one of several laws now taking effect.
Governor Dayton is committed to improving state government – from investing in education and improving the state's infrastructure to taking steps to ensure high-quality health care. Through the work done in the 2014 legislative session, many great strides were made in keeping this promise. Here are ten of the laws and reforms signed by the Governor that are going into effect today:
Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon talks with kids at Pillsbury Elementary School in Minneapolis
Today, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon served breakfast at Pillsbury Elementary in Minneapolis to raise awareness of child hunger and its impact on education. She explained that more than 200,000 Minnesota children experience hunger every year. And research shows, that poor nutrition among school age children directly relates to poorer class performance, more days of missed school, and declining academic achievement.
To increase access to free and reduced price breakfast, the State of Minnesota is partnering with Hunger Free Minnesota, the Midwest Dairy Council, and the Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota to create the first-ever Minnesota School Breakfast Challenge. The challenge will reward the top 30 Minnesota schools with $0.10 for every new breakfast served beyond what was served last year.
You can find more Pink Tank Project videos on the Minnesota National Guard's YouTube page here
To build breast cancer awareness for all women, the Minnesota National Guard has launching the Pink Tank Project this month for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"Improving wellness in our service members aligns with our priorities and the Pink Tank Project assists in keeping us a competent and ready force," said Army Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, Minnesota National Guard's Adjutant General.
"This project is to build breast cancer awareness for all women whether they wear the uniform or not," said Army Maj. Kristen L. Auge, Minnesota National Guard's Deputy Director of Public Affairs. "The Pink Tank Project is a promise - a promise to yourself to conduct monthly self-breast exams and have mammograms as recommended by your health care provider."
"Three women with ties to the Minnesota National Guard and whose lives have been forever changed by breast cancer are featured in this project," said Aug?. "Throughout the month, their stories and a special breast cancer awareness video will launch on the Minnesota National Guard's Pink Tank Project webpage."
Minnesota ranked number one for senior health and the Twin Cities ranked top for fit metro areas.
Photo Credit: Flickr user, Michael Hicks
Minnesotans have yet another thing to be proud of--their good health. Reports released last week named Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for seniors, and Minneapolis-St. Paul the fittest metro area in the United States.The report, released by the United Health Foundation, ranks Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for seniors. This ranking recognizes Minnesota’s longstanding commitment to health care services and long-term care for the state’s older citizens. Minnesota topped the list based on a variety of factors which lead to good health including prescription drug coverage, availability of home health care workers, and rate of annual dental visits. Minnesota also scored well with a high percentage of seniors reporting very good or excellent health, a low rate of premature death, and a low rate of hospitalizations for hip fractures.
The American College of Sports Medicine’s annual American Fitness Index ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul the fittest metro area in the country for the third time in a row. The ranking takes into account health factors including smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health issues, and access to healthcare. It also considers environmental factors such as parks, trails, recreational facilities and farmers’ markets. The cities’ large per-capita investment in parks and high rate of physical activity were also factors in the first place ranking.
While these reports provide good news for the state, they also show that Minnesota still has room for improvement in the area of health. The United Health Foundation found that Minnesota has a low rate of seniors with a dedicated health care provider and low community support expenditures for low income seniors. The American College of Sports Medicine found that many Minneapolis-St. Paul residents should increase their fruit intake, to ensure that they are getting the five recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. More Twin Cities residents also need to quit smoking, according to the American College of Sports Medicine's findings.
These rankings are a promising illustration of Minnesota’s commitment to good health and fitness. With poor health at an all-time high nationwide, Minnesota is making strides in the right direction.
View the United Health Foundation report here.
View the American College of Sports Medicine's American Fitness Index here.