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North County Health Alliance forms Community Leadership Team

Health Alliance

The North Country Health Alliance (NCHA) announced the formation of the Community Leadership Team (CLT). The NCHA consists of grant funded projects through the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and the Community Transformation Grant (CTG). SHIP and CTG complement one another by focusing on improving the health of communities.

The CLT will work to ensure the future will be successful in making long-term sustainable changes for improving the health of Norman, Mahnomen, Polk, Beltrami, Hubbard, Clearwater and Lake of the Woods counties. The CLT consists of a mix of representatives from public, private, and nonprofit organizations from a diverse cross section of the four county region. The CLT meets quarterly and is tasked with prioritizing work activities and making critical recommendations to guide the project and staff along the way.

There are two grant funded projects the CLT will guide- SHIP and CTG. SHIP works to improve the health of all Minnesotans through long term sustainable changed to reduce obesity and tobacco use. The grants will be used by communities – in partnership with local businesses, schools, and local governments – to implement projects and programs that will promote exercise and physical activity, improve nutrition, and decrease tobacco use. The group has already seen many successes across the region such as the growth of farmer’s markets.

The Minnesota Department of Health website quoted Governor Mark Dayton. “The Statewide Health Improvement Program helps win the fight against both chronic diseases and rising health care costs,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “By supporting preventive health measures and encouraging Minnesotans to make healthy choices, our state can realize significant health care savings and help people of all ages live healthier, more fulfilling lives.”

The CTG coincides with SHIP efforts with similar community health goals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

The CDC continues its long-standing dedication to improving the health and wellness of all Americans through the Community Transformation Grant Program. CDC supports and enables awardees to design and implement community-level programs that prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The program is expected to improve the health of more than 4 out of 10 U.S. citizens – about 130 million Americans.

The CLT had been formed in 2009 when SHIP began its efforts across Minnesota. The group will continue to work with both granted funded projects as funding continues. For more information please visit

The Community Leadership Team is, front, from left Lynn Riggs, Administrative Assistant, Clearwater County Public Health; Terry Nennich, Northwest Minnesota Extension Services; Linda Kingery, The University of Minnesota's Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership;  Diane Brophy, SHIP Co-Coordinator-Clearwater, Hubbard, Beltrami, Lake of the Woods; Judi Frye, Aging Program Developer, Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging; Lori Jensen, Public Health Nurse, Beltrami County; Wendy Kvale, Minnesota Department of Health Performance Improvement; and Mary Marchel, CTG Coordinator- Clearwater, Hubbard, Beltrami, Lake of the Woods, Norman, Mahnomen, Polk counties. Back, Kurt Wayne, Planner for HRDC Bemidji; Donna Schroeder, SHIP Co-coordinator-Clearwater, Hubbard, Beltrami, Lake of the Woods; Warren Larson, Community Relations Coordinator- Sanford Health; and Josh Larson, Local SHIP staff for Active School Day, Healthy School Foods.