Minnesota’s Number 3 in US State Ranking

Minnesota welcomes you sign at the state border

mnlyme.org

ST. PAUL, MN – Citing economic opportunities, great educations, and quality health care in Minnesota, U.S. News and World Report today released a study ranking Minnesota the 3rd-best state in the nation. The study also ranked Minnesota as the best state in the region, when compared to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri.

“This ranking affirms what we already know: we live in one of the very best states in the country,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “But we still have more work to do to ensure that Minnesota is a state that works for everyone. I urge the Legislature to join me in making the investments necessary to ensure that our state remains a national leader in education, health care, modern infrastructure, and other essential elements of economic opportunity for all our citizens.”
 
Among the categories considered in the study, Minnesota scored top rankings in opportunity, health care, infrastructure, education, and the economy. In every category scored, Minnesota beats the average of all states in the nation. The study notes that Minnesota has “the third-best health care and some of the best infrastructure and opportunity in the nation.”
 
“This study underscores that investments in education and infrastructure drive opportunities for all Minnesotans, everywhere in our state,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Governor Dayton’s Opportunity Agenda will continue this progress.”
 
Since Governor Dayton took office, the state has turned a $6 billion deficit into consistent budget surpluses, paid back $2.8 billion in debt to our schools, and added more than 255,400 jobs. Under the Governor’s leadership, the state has made investments in education every year – no excuses, no exceptions – to grow greater opportunity for all Minnesota families. Governor Dayton is now calling for An Opportunity Agenda for a Better Minnesota, to continue that progress and make Minnesota a state that works for everyone, everywhere in our state.
 
Minnesota’s Number 3 Best State Ranking
In addition to Minnesota’s national number 3 best state ranking, the study also ranked Minnesota as the number 1 state in the region, which also includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. Below, see Minnesota’s rankings in the different categories studied.
 
Category
National Ranking
Regional Ranking
Opportunity
2
1
Education
3
1
Infrastructure
5
1
Health Care
3
1
Economy
12
2
Crime and Corrections
17
3
Government Administration
24
5
 
In the study, Minnesota also ranked #1 nationally for Labor Force Participation, #4 for Educational Attainment, and #5 for Medicare Quality. Additional information is available on the U.S. News and World Report website.
 
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This Month in Japan | November

November in Japan is a popular time for people to visit parks, shrines, and gardens to witness the changing colors of the leaves. Also, it is a great time to travel to Japan due to the mild and cool weather. There are various events going on in Japan in which people can participate and have a fun time.

Some events being held in Japan during this month is:

Crowds wait their turn to offer prayers at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, on the second day of the new year Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

Crowds wait their turn to offer prayers at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, on the second day of the new year Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

The Japan Times

  • Meiji Shrine Autumn Festival is held at Meiji Shrine in the distrit of Harajuku from Nov 1-3, 2016. It includes a variety of art and sport performances.
  • Kaki Season – “Kaki are an orange Japanese fruit that come into season in November. They are extremely bitter before they ripen. When ripe, they are sweet with a unique citrus-like taste. Kaki and kaki flavored desserts are widely available in Japan in late autumn.” – http://www.japan-talk.com

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The Japan Times

  • Sumo Kyushu Basho is a sumo wrestling tournament that is being held from Nov 13-27, 2016. Click here for more info on the year schedule.
  • Viewing of autumn leaves in public spaces, and a popular time for people to visit cities with wonderful views such as Kyoto, Sapporo, Tokyo, and more.
  • Shrine, temples, and castle visits are also popular during this time of the year, usually from the fall into the winter and January of the next year for ceremonies, holidays, and receiving/giving blessings.

This Month in Japan | April

Uzuki, the traditional name for April based on the lunar calendar, means “hare month.” It has been speculated that the name uzuki corresponds to the year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac.

For many years, the only national holiday this month was Greenery Day, on April 29. The 29th was the birthday of the late Emperor Showa so in 2007 Greenery Day was moved to May 4, and April 29 was renamed Showa no hi, or Showa Day.

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https://www.gapyear.com/

Golden Week starts at the end of April in Japan (Showa Day [April 29], Constitution Day [May 3], Greenery Day [May 4], Children’s Day [May 5]). It is common for businesses to give their employees the whole week off, making it a busy time for travel among the Japanese people.” – Credits belong to rightful owner

Other fun facts:

  • The sakura season began in March and continue towards the end of April. Visitors still have time to enjoy the cherry blossoms at local parks and gardens across Japan.
  • Roppongi Art Night is a free event that allows people and tourists to view amazing art collections in the neighborhood of Roppongi. It is an event held from 10AM throughout the night.  “Galleries that will stay open throughout the night: Roppongi Hills, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo Midtown, Suntory Museum of Art, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, The National Art Center, Tokyo.” – http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/

image-of-2012-event

http://www.tokyoweekender.com/

  • Earth Day (April 23-24) is celebrated in Japan through a event hosted at Yoyogi Park. It’s an opportunity for organizations to present their causes to the public and allows people to become informed of other environmental issues. Other features of this event are foods, performances, and music.
  • The 2016 Takayama Spring Festival is held on April 14-15 and it’s located in the town of Takayama. It’s known to host antique floats that are uniquely designed and decorated with lanterns. For more detail on the event, click here!

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http://incrediblephototours.com/

Online Resources for Community Health

p1008-ebola-screening

Need a reliable search engine for topics related to health, wellness, and more? The official site of CDC has many resources that are available to the public. CDC hosts more than just health information as there are scientific data, current events, and other great topics!

“This searchable database, available to the public, is populated with practice-based resources to help you implement changes to prevent disease and promote healthy living in your community.

The resources include Webinars, model policies, toolkits, guides, fact sheets, and other practical materials which are organized by the following content areas:

  • Active Living
  • Clinical and Community Preventive Services
  • Foundational Skills
  • Healthy and Safe Physical Environments
  • Health Equity
  • Healthy Eating
  • Schools
  • Social and Emotional Wellness
  • Workplace Health

Each area has subcategories to make it easy for you to find the information you need. Start your search today!”

Access the CDC resources here!

References belong to CDC.

Korean Americans

According to the 2010 U.S. Census the eight largest Asian American populations in Minnesota are the Hmong, Asian Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, Laotian, and Cambodian communities. Specifically, 27 percent of the total population identify themselves as Hmong, 15.5 percent are Asian Indian, 11.7 percent are Chinese, 11.1 percent are Vietnamese, 4.9 percent are Laotians, and 3.9 percent are Cambodians (See Figure 2).

Minnesota is home to over 40 different Asian Pacific Minnesotan immigrant and refugee communities. Each community has its own strengths and challenges that may be unique to that ethnic community. The following is an overview of how the Korean American community is faring in Minnesota.

Korean American Community Overview chart

The Korean community in Minnesota is defined by three distinct populations: Korean immigrants who came to the state as wives of U.S. servicemen following the Korean War, Korean immigrants drawn by educational and professional opportunities, and Korean adoptees who were brought to the state by Minnesotan families after the end of the Korean War.[i] There are about 13,000 to 15,000 Korean adoptees in the state.[ii] Most members of the Koreans community in Minnesota are professionally employed with a median household income of $60,984.i   APA ComMNet REACH CORE project staff and volunteers met with Korean American community members and leaders throughout the Twin Cities to understand the community’s strengths, challenges and other social and environmental factors affecting its overall health and well being.

 korean dance

Korean American Community Strengths

In general, the Korean American community perceived its quality of life in the Twin Cities as one consisting of increasing financial wellbeing and higher educational and professional attainment. Ample activities and opportunities exist for Korean Americans to be academically, financially, and socially healthy.   Korean American members who participated in the project said they were proud of the their community’s academic and professional achievements. More than half of the Korean American population over the age of 25 years old in the state has a college or professional degree and only 6.3 percent are unemployed.i   As a guest in the Korean Radio show stated, “Many Koreans in Minnesota have professional jobs. High education standard is one of characteristics of Minnesota. A good educational environment is the most important factor too.” Korean Americans also identified having a good family relationship and relationship to the Korean community was important towards a healthy life in Minnesota. They added that maintaining a spiritual or religious practice, such as the Korean church, helps community members to be healthy.

Korean American Community Challenges

Korean American community members who participated in the project indicated that elders and newly arrived immigrants faced challenges in accessing appropriate health care services. Many stated that the lack of resources for limited English proficiency populations and affordable health insurance were among the issues that concerned Korean Americans. “Cost of private health insurance are high. Some of Koreans are still working to pay their health insurance. We have a private insurance before [turning 65 years old, when one is eligible for government subsidized health care]. We need to have solution for this,” stated one guest during the Korean radio show. APA ComMNet survey results also showed that Korean Americans were less likely to do any physical exercise or see a medical professional and were more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes and suffer a heart attack than most other AAPI groups that participated in this project (See Figure 4).

REACH CORE Radio Talk Show:

radio talk

Korean Community

Host Park: What are the three most important factors for a healthy Korean community in Minnesota?

Guest Kang: Strong family relationship, healthy life style, and religious or spiritual values are the three most important factors. Strong family relationship can improve our community in many ways like low crime rate, child education, safe neighborhoods, etc. Keeping healthy life style will be helpful for our community to become healthy. Religious values are the most important one.

Host Park: I agree with that strong family relationship is one of the three most important factors. When one’s home is happy, all goes well.

[i] Minnesota Historical Society, 2013. “Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees.” St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved January 8, 2013 (http://education.mnhs.org/immigration/)

[ii] Olson, Norma Smith, 2010. “We’re From Here: New Book Gives a Visual History of Adopted Koreans in Minnesota.” Minnesota Women’s Press (September 10, 2010).

 

Today’s Health Topic: Coronary Artery Disease

The most common type of heart disease in the U.S. is coronary artery disease where cholesterol leaves deposit of plaque and it contributes to plaque build up over a period of time. Most people don’t know that they may have this disease unless there is a heart attack or possible early signs.

atherosclerosis_2011

www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Being aware of the symptoms can give people more information on how to identify if they may have this heart disease:

  • Chest pain that could frequently occur in your upper body and back
  • Short breaths where your body is leaving lacking oxygen due to the slow or very little blood flow from your heart
  • Heart attack which means that your arteries are blocked and cause your body to be deprived of oxygen

Call for emergency help if you think that you may be experiencing some of these symptoms. So what can cause this heart disease or add more stress to the heart:

  • Lifestyle/diet is a huge factor that affects your body. If people are not active enough or/and have a bad diet, they are more likely to develop heart diseases.
  • Smoking/drugs that could another stress to the heart and affect other organs besides your heart like the lungs, stomach, liver, and more.
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure that may be genetics, kidney problems, thyroid problems

Resource: www.mayoclinic.org

 

What causes obesity?

What causes obesity?

According to www.cdc.gov, obesity and/or overweight are labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height.

So what exactly can contribute to obesity within people? Here is the quick guide about what factors that may be lead to obesity.

  1. Lifestyle

The way we live affects our body’s health and it can sometimes show through our weight, skin, eyes, hair, and more. If we tend to have little physical activities it will or may become a habit. Or it could be the choices of foods or our eating habit. It could cause a problem with our body because there is an unbalance between intake of calories and output of energy. So balance is the very key to keeping our body healthy so that our body doesn’t take in more calories than needed for our daily activities.

  1. Genes

Genetics can be a reason why some people have more difficult time maintaining their weight or was born and struggled with being over-weighted. Having a family history in obesity can be concern and often times, it could lead to other health related problems; therefore, one should consult with their doctor for any weight concerns and questions.

  1. Outside factors

Sometimes, there are things that we take in or do that may affect our body. For example, a taking a type of drug or medicine could increase or decrease your weight. If you are on a form of birth control or using a drug for something, it is required to consult with your doctor because no one knows entirely how it may affect your body.

  1. Environment

Depending on where we live, our surrounding environment is one of the main factors that affects our physical activities. For example, one person may live in a neighborhood that does not have proper walking conditions and no walking or bicycling trails nearby. It could be a possibly reason why they would avoid going outside or not being as motivated to be more active in their environment. So our environment does an impact on how we chose to be more active and interact with out surroundings.