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Gov. Dayton's mid-term checklist continues with health achievements

Gov. Mark Dayton says that improvements have been made in state health care policies in his first two years in office.

He's been providing information on his mid-term progress this week; previous updates included the economy and education.

The governor's office says the goal is to improve health in the state, and by "increasing access to high quality, affordable health insurance and promoting strong community health programs, we can improve our quality of life and help lower the cost of health care for all Minnesotans."

Things accomplished so far:

  • Expanding Health Coverage for Children and Adults. Provided coverage for 86,000 low-income Minnesotans and 16,000 children.
  • Providing Quality, Affordable Coverage. Secured $70 million in federal funds to design a new online marketplace for health insurance that will help 1.2 million Minnesotans save $1 billion on health insurance.
  • Changing the Way We Pay for Health Care. Began a new Health Care Delivery System model for 150,000 Minnesotans that pay providers to keep people healthy, not just treat them when they are sick.
  • Giving Kids Healthy Foods. Ensured that more than 570,000 students will enjoy more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in their school lunches each year, reducing obesity and health care costs.
  • Providing Free Cancer Screenings for Women. Screened 35,977 women for cervical and breast cancer, of whom 65% were uninsured; 331 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 12 with cervical cancer.
  • Keeping Minnesotans Healthy with High Quality, Preventive Care. Certified 200 health care homes (a new preventive model that improves quality of care and reduces costs) serving 2 million Minnesotans.
  • Helping Minnesotans Adopt Healthy Lifestyles. Worked to stem the leading causes of chronic illness — unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and tobacco use; 870 employers started worksite wellness programs serving 138,000 employees, provided healthier foods for 26% of K-12 kids, improved the safety of walking and biking routes for 14% of all K-8 schools.
  • Feeding Hungry Minnesotans. Provided nutritious food to 111,000 more Minnesotans and expanded the use of food support to farmers markets. Every $1 spent on food support generates $1.73 in economic activity.
  • Keeping Our Food Safe. Received a $600,000 federal grant to help the state more quickly trace contaminated foods to grocery stores and ensure that all recalled products are quickly and fully removed from the shelves.
  • Preventing Military Suicides. Knowing any suicide is a tragedy, worked to support and build resiliency among Minnesota soldiers and airmen, reducing the incidence of suicide to two in 2012, down from six in 2011.

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