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Area counties receive share of $47M in SHIP money

Area counties have received a share of $47 million in state grants to help fight chronic disease.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced the inaugural Statewide Health Improvement Program grant awards this afternoon. The money was appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature in 2008 as part of its health care reform initiative.

The Statewide Health Improvement Program takes aim at tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor nutrition, which are considered among the top three causes of preventable illness and death in the United States.

Among the grant recipients are:

- Countryside Community Health Board, $498,000 for planning and assessment. Countryside Community Health includes the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine.

- Kandiyohi County Community Health Board, $427,000 to implement several prevention initiatives at schools, day care sites, work sites and the community.

- Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Community Health Board, $659,000 for planning and assessment.

- Redwood-Renville Community Health Board, $705,000 for planning and assessment in partnership with the Cottonwood-Jackson Community Health Board.

- Stearns County Human Services Board, $917,000 for planning and assessment.

- Upper Sioux Community, $153,000 for planning and assessment.