Ramsey County Announces Public Health Awards

The awards recognize citizen contributions to community health.

Creating a healthy community isn’t solely the preserve of hospitals and clinics. On Tuesday, three groups received Ramsey County Public Health Awards. The awards recognized these groups’ contributions to improving county citizens’ health outside of the healthcare system.

Children’s Dental Services (CDS) Dental Team provides dental education and treatment services to more than 10,000 low-income children and pregnant women in St. Paul each year. It offers these services at schools, low-income housing sites and other accessible locations, as well as at community events such as the St. Paul Project Homeless Connect.

Results: Improved oral health resulted in reductions in missed school and work time by an average of one week per person.

Everybody’s Garden is a Mounds View Public Schools project that combines food education and community service. Mounds View Public Schools installed 11 organic gardens at all K-8 schools, with support from a Statewide Health Improvement Program grant administered by St. Paul–Ramsey County Public Health. Approximately 1,900 students, teachers and community volunteers have been involved in the construction, planting, harvesting and maintenance of the gardens.

Results: In its first year of operation, Everybody’s Garden produced nearly 1.1 tons of fresh produce for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. The project’s gardens are also being used for events to expand cultural outreach and parental connections.

Visions in Living Life–Change is Possible is a youth program focusing on education and advocacy regarding flavored tobacco in St. Paul.

Results: Along with other members of the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition, Visions in Living Life pushed successfully for a St. Paul ordinance that prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products in stores where kids can enter.

This is the second year Ramsey County has recognized individuals and groups for their work throughout the county. Online nomination forms for next year’s awards are available here.