In the Community
OCPHS has a long history of working with members of the community through maternal/child health programs, disease prevention programs and clinics, environmental health assessments and licensing for food, beverage and lodging facilities, and health promotion and protection opportunities. Public Health has been and continues to be an integral part of many community coalitions and advisory boards to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors.
Through the extensive work of the Smoke-Free Olmsted Coalition, Olmsted County was the first county to pass a [county-wide smoke-free ordinance] for restaurants in 2001 and strengthened that ordinance in 2008 to include all worksites. The Freedom to Breathe Act passed a few months later extending the protections afforded to Olmsted County residents and visitors to the entire state. Public Health was instrumental in providing the information and education about the serious health effects of secondhand smoke to our citizens and policy makers.
SE MN Beacon Project
OCPHS recently partnered with Mayo Clinic on improving health and health care delivery, and in the spring of 2010 was awarded federal funding as a Beacon Community. Beacon funding seeks to:
- Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
- Engage patients and their families in their health care
- Improve health care coordination
- Improve public health and the health of the community's population
- Ensure privacy and security protections for personal health information
The Southeast Minnesota Beacon Community consists of eleven counties, their public health departments, many health care providers, community partners and individual school districts. Principal collaborating medical institutions include Austin Medical Center, Mayo Health System, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, and Winona Health Services. Beacon will focus on two health conditions: childhood asthma and adult type II diabetes. Both are highly prevalent conditions that are on the rise and that are associated with increased health care costs, restricted lives, downstream illnesses and complications, and loss of time at work or school.