Minnesota’s Number 3 in US State Ranking

Minnesota welcomes you sign at the state border

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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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Community Efforts Towards Healthier Living

“Community efforts across the country are improving the health of more people by working with groups that include public health professionals, hospitals, local community members, and more.

By Nolan Ly

A lack of access to healthy living opportunities in communities can affect obesity and other preventable chronic diseases. Learn more about community efforts to support healthy eating and active living: http://bit.ly/2knQTvl” – https://www.cdc.gov/

What are the benefits to a active community?

  • Reduce pollution and trash to the environment
  • Provide social and economic opportunities for the people of the community to collaborate and develop better relationships
  • Support social cohesion, events, and activities

What can you do to take part:

  • Going out to explore and enjoy the community by walking, biking, via other outdoor activities etc., either with yourself, friends, or family members.
  • Volunteering at a community garden to help grow veggies/fruits for the community and learning more about gardening along the way.
  • Educate your family, friends, and yourself on recycling, the benefits to it, and how it’s a little step towards making the Earth cleaner.
  • Volunteer for local parks and recreation centers to support and spread awareness for environmental concerns.

Who are the Sandwich Generation?

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https://www.psychologytoday.com

More than 1 in 8 Americans are both raising a child and caring for a parent. They are known as the sandwich generation. Seven to 10 million adults are also caring for an aging parent who lives far away.” – https://www.cdc.gov/

So why is this occurring? Possible reasons are because:

  • More people than ever are aging
  • People are living longer due to advancements in medicine and technology
  • It is taking longer and harder for children to become financially independent

(CDC) Some caregivers may need to change an employment situation to fit in their caregiving role. Caregivers may consider talking to a supervisor about work options allowing the caregiver to maintain both their employment and caregiving roles. These options could include the following:

  1. Having more flexible hours
  2. Reducing working hours
  3. Working from home
  4. Taking a leave of absence
  5. Downgrading to a less demanding job

Facts (CDC):

  • People giving care to both young and older family members report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and lower quality of life. Research has shown that 17% of these caregivers rate their health as “fair” or “poor” compared with 10% of non-caregivers.
  • Among the 44 million unpaid caregivers to older adults in the United States, 75% are employed. The average employed caregiver works about 35 hours a week.

 

Distracted Driving

What is distracted driving?

While driving, the driver is engaged in another activity that hinders their ability to drive a moving vehicle safely.

What can you do?

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Follow basic driving regulations and speeding limits.
  • As passengers, alert distracted drivers of oncoming traffic and inform them

A Message from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety:

Distracted Driving, a Deadly Choice for Teens
 Twenty percent of fatalities involving teen drivers in Minnesota are distraction-related.
Distracted-related teen driving fatalities and injuries
Year
Fatalities
Serious injuries
Other Injuries
2011
1
38
1,181
2012
3
21
1,242
2013
8
39
1,117
2014
6
24
999
2015
7
25
1,153
Total
25
147
5,592
Make the Safe Choice
  • Cell phones — Put the phone down, turn it off or place it out of reach.
  • Speak Up – Offer to be the driver’s designated texter.
  • Music and other controls — Pre-program radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and ventilation before traveling.
  • Navigation — Map out the destination and enter the GPS route in advance.
  • Eating and drinking — Avoid messy foods and secure drinks.
  • Children — Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle and model proper driving behavior.
  • Passengers — Speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior and offer to help with anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road.
 

The Unmarried and Single Americans

cb16-ff18-graphic-single-americans_crop

http://www.census.gov/

We want to highlight the contributions of people who are unmarried and/or living the “single life” in society. Let’s celebrate the idea of living and being single in the US. We are always told that we need to be with someone most of our life to be happy. But being happy starts within yourself. By being alone, you can discover what you enjoy doing, what you dislike, things that makes you happy, and so on. And best of all, the single life also means you are responsible for yourself.

Fun facts:

  • 109 million – The number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2015. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older
  • 88 – The number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States in 2015
  • 59 million – The number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2015. These households comprised 47 percent of households nationwide.

All statistics accredited to http://www.census.gov/.

Health Topic of the Day: Breastfeeding

breastfeeding_2499833g

www.thehindu.com

Today’s health topic is all about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is usually defined as a mother providing her infant with food/milk from her breast. It was commonly practiced in the past (nowadays it is more prominent poor/rural areas) in when mothers had to provide for their babies with their own milk and the availability of baby formula or food was not as common. The practice of breastfeeding gradually faded in human society as it advanced. But recent studies showed that we should get back to breastfeeding as it was proven to be more nutritious and beneficial to both the mother and child.

What are the benefits of breast feeding?

  • Breastmilk has all the nutritions and antibodies passed from the mother to the infant which can contribute to the baby’s overall health and growth
  • Builds a bond between the mother and child
  • Breastmilk is easy for the baby to digest
  • Mothers can choose on how long they want to breastfeed
  • Breastfeeding can help reduce cost for baby formula/food for a period of time
  • For more info on the benefits of breastfeeding, click here!

According to CDC:

  • 4 out of 5 (81.1%) started to breastfeed. High breastfeeding initiation rates, or the percentage of infants who start out breastfeeding, show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so.
  • In Minnesota :
    • Breastfeeding rate at 12 months increased from 35.8% to 41.0%, a total of 15% increase.
    • Exclusive breastfeeding at three months went from 48.6 to 53.9 percent, an 11-percent increase.

“These rates make Minnesota a top breastfeeding state in the nation, ranking seventh for beginning breastfeeding (initiation) and fifth for breastfeeding at six months.

Though the percentage of women initiating breastfeeding in the Minnesota WIC Program has risen from 63 percent to 80 percent since 2001, some women face more barriers to breastfeeding and are initiating at lower rates. Minnesota breastfeeding rates vary significantly by race and ethnicity. MDH and partners promote public health strategies that make it easier for all Minnesota women to breastfeed. This work includes supporting peer counseling and breastfeeding friendly policies and practices in hospitals, workplaces, childcare settings and the community.” – http://www.health.state.mn.us/

 

Trauma Resources

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http://sandyhookcolumbine.org/

With recent violent events, it can impact people in different ways. If you know someone experiencing trauma, try your best to support them and let them know about their available resources. If you or a friend is in need, remember that you can always reach out to or depend on these things:

  • Close family members and friends
  • Professionals – local clinics, hotline, therapist, etc.
  • Online support communities
  • Click here for facts/info about trauma in the state of Minnesota
  • For local helplines in Minnesota click here!

“Anyone can help someone who struggles with trauma—whether they work in the medical or mental health community, or are just a caring individual.

The National Council for Behavioral Health would like to share a few resources about trauma:

  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Signs A Person May Be Experiencing Trauma
  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Tips to Help Someone Experiencing Trauma
  • TIP SHEET: Trauma in the LGBTQ Community: What Practitioners Should Know in the Wake of the Orlando Shootings.
  • FACT SHEET: LGBTQ Mental Health: How the Orlando Shootings Can Broadly Impact This Community.” – Rightful owner