Public Health Promotion

By promoting healthy behaviors and environments for all Hennepin County residents, Public Health Promotion works to reduce chronic diseases and associated health-care costs.

Active living, healthy eating and a tobacco-free lifestyle are the cornerstones of healthy living. Lack of physical activity, a poor diet, and tobacco use or exposure are the leading causes of preventable death and disease in the United States. By focusing on places where people live, learn, work, and play, Public Health Promotion works to make it easier for residents to choose and maintain healthy lifestyles. 

Specific areas of focus include increasing access to and opportunities for physical activity, increasing access to and availability of healthy foods, reducing tobacco use and exposure, promoting mental well-being and strengthening clinic care practices and support for high-risk patients.

Expand all information


Advancing Worksite Wellness in Hennepin County

Health@Work offers a wide array of low- and no-cost services and resources to help employers in Hennepin County promote healthy worksites and employees.

Read more

The Importance of Public Health Work Site Initiatives (PDF) 

Watch this space for a Worksite Public Health Upcoming Events Calendar 

Health@Work campaign overviews (PDF)

Networking and Consultations

  • Active@Work Consultations — Active@Work staff will come to your worksite and conduct a worksite physical activity support assessment, create an action plan to increase employee physical activity, map a walking route for employees and provide additional technical assistance. The service is free. Email
  • Food@Work Consultations — Our staff will assesses the nutrition environment at your organization, provide recommendations to support healthy eating among employees and offer healthy nutrition resources and technical assistance. The service is free. Email
  • Networking Breakfasts — Attend these free events to hear from worksites that have made healthy changes, including health topics such as tobacco, nutrition, physical activity, employee benefits and work-life balance. There is also will be time for networking, asking questions and sharing ideas. A light breakfast is served. Email
  • The Worksite Advisory Council (PDF) was established to provide input and direction in making Health@Work health promotion activities relevant and helpful to worksite health promotion coordinators. Health@Work provides resources that promote healthier lifestyles for employees in organizations located in Hennepin County. Email

Improving vending machine choices

Food choices, environment and lifestyle all impact our health. Our environment strongly influences what we eat by determining what is available and affordable. Vending machines may be the only source of food or snacks in some situations. Increasing healthy options in vending machines can make a big difference in health. The following resources can help you get healthier choices in your vending machines.

Available resources

Ask us about these challenges for your worksite.

For general information, email or call 612-348-6728.

News and events

2014 Worksite Health Promotion Events:

Wellness by Design 

Congratulations to 76 organizations that have been named Wellness by Design Award recipients in 2013 for excellence in promoting healthy work environments. Read about their efforts to help employees stay strong and well. 

2013 Wellness by Design Award winners (PDF)

Email for more information about Wellness by Design.

Health@Work's help mentioned during KARE 11 feature with DQ

A segment on KARE 11 TV on International Dairy Queen's use of workstation treadmills includes a mention of Hennepin County's help in creating a healthier workplace. See DQ on KARE 11 TV. The corporation is also one of this year's Hennepin County Wellness By Design Worksite Award winners for their work in creating a healthier work environment.

Monthly E-Tips Newsletter

At the beginning of each month, Hennepin County Health@Work distributes an email containing tips for health promotion coordinators and others interested in learning how to create a healthier workforce.

See the most recent issues of the combined coordinator and employee e-tips newsletters below, and sign up to receive Health@Work monthly E-Tips emails.

August 2013

Making Good Health Fun (DOC)

Employee E-Tips Start Seeing Healthy Options (DOC)

July 2013 

The Kindness Movement (DOC)

Employee E-Tips Payment in Kind (DOC)

June 2013

Help Employees Take Advantage of Their Financial Benefits (DOC) 

Employee E-Tips Take Advantage of Your Benefits (DOC)

May 2013 

Work Social Events and Avoid the All Work and No Play Syndrome (DOC)

Employee E-Tips Workplace Friendships Matter (DOC)

April 2013 

April is National Cancer Control Month (DOC)

Employee Attachment Commit to Prevention

March 2013

The Multitasking Myth (DOC)

Employee Attachment Are You a Multitasker? (DOC)

February 2013

What's the Buzz?

Employee Attachment Are You a Multitasker? (DOC)

January 2013

Purposeful Goal Setting (DOC)

Employee Attachment New Year's Resolutions That Matter (DOC)

December 2012

Why Sleep Matters (DOC)

Employee Attachment Things go Better With Sleep (DOC)


Creating safe, positive environments for learning

Hennepin County's partnerships within the schools and the community are helping create healthy school environments that reduce chronic disease, increase student attendance and achievement, and increase student and staff wellness.

Read more

The Importance of Public Health Initiatives in Schools (PDF)


Health@School staff are available to provide no-cost consultations on the following topics:

  • Active recess and other physical activity initiatives
  • Healthy cafeteria assessments and other healthy eating initiatives
  • Safe Routes to School
  • School climate initiatives
  • Tobacco-free K-12 schools
  • Tobacco-free post-secondary schools

Available resources

  • Coaches kit
  • Eat to Compete: A Coach's Playbook for a Winning Team
  • Health@School Online Health Resource Links
  • School climate toolkit

For information, email or call 612-596-7467.

News and events

Hopkins schools to partner in healthy beverage campaign

The Hopkins schools are working with Public Health Promotion in developing a social marketing campaign for students, their parents, and school staff to promote the drinking of water and discourage drinking sweetened beverages. The campaign, which is scheduled to launch in October 2013, is being funded through a CDC Community Transformation Grant.

Clinical systems improvement

Hennepin County partners with clinics and clinic systems to create and implement new clinical delivery systems to reduce and prevent the incidence of chronic disease. Coordinated care models and community care teams are examples of work being done in area clinics. Health coach training is being offered by Hennepin County staff to health care providers working in primary care clinics.

News and events

Health coaching techniques embraced by several local clinics

Hennepin County is partnering with several Hennepin County Medical Center and North Memorial Medical Center clinics to train medical personnel on health coaching techniques that allow patients to self-manage their health care and treatment.

Clinical Systems Improvement initiatives are funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Health (Statewide Health Improvement Program), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Community Transformation Grant) and the University of Minnesota.

Areas of focus

  • Community Care Team — The Hennepin County Medical Center Community Care Team is a collaboration of the medical center's staff and community partners. They work to address the health needs of residents living in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. The goal is to connect residents with Hennepin County Medical Center clinics and with resources in the community to improve the health and wellness of residents. Email
  • Coordinated Care Team — Hennepin County provides assistance to clinics to develop care teams focused on improving patient outcomes, patient education and lifestyle change, and clinical data tracking. Email
  • Health Coaching — Hennepin County staff members provide health coach training for medical staff in primary care clinics. The goals are to enhance the patient experience in primary care, improve clinical outcomes and quality of life, increase patient self-management skills, and off-load some work from the primary provider. Email

For general information, email or call 612-348-5618.

Wellness for Every Body nutrition and physical activity training

Wellness for Every Body is a physical activity and nutrition initiative to help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead healthier lives. Poor diets and inactivity are related to obesity, heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and people with disabilities have a higher rate of these chronic health conditions. Improved nutrition and increased physical activity can help control or prevent these conditions, resulting in an improved quality of life. This approach shifts the whole system in a healthier direction. By offering instruction to the people who work most closely with adults who have disabilities, this program aims to ensure that home and work environments provide opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

Take the first step. Complete an assessment to determine your needs.

Handouts - Sample model policy/guideline statement (PDF)Action plan template (DOC)

Nutrition Training

As any staff member providing support to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities knows, meal and snack times can be challenging. People’s food preferences, special diets, food budgets, staff time and staff knowledge all influence what is put on the table. This educational series developed by Hennepin County will help you better understand healthy eating and how it relates to the health of the people you support.

The series consists of an introduction to the series and five nutrition video sessions and four cooking demonstrations. Each video is designed to build on the information from the one before it. Start with Nutrition 1 and work your way through the series, ending with the cooking demonstrations. After viewing each video, download and complete each quiz. Give all completed quizzes to your manager. After viewing all of the videos, practice what you’ve learned with the e-learning activity provided.

Ready? Get started by viewing this: Introduction to the Nutrition Video Series.

Nutrition 1 - Getting started: The basics of healthy eating

Plan a healthy diet using different food groups.

Handouts - Handy Portion Chart (PDF)Making a Healthier Pizza (PDF)Eat Well Plate chart (PDF)Fruits and Vegetables by Season (PDF)

Nutrition 2 - Choosing foods that are good tasting and good for you

Explore the difference between nutrient-rich and nutrient poor foods.

Handouts - Fruits and Vegetables by Color (PDF),  Tips to increase calorie and protein intake (PDF)

Nutrition 3 - Understanding nutrition labels: It’s not as hard as you think

Use the nutrition label to make better food choices.

Handouts -  Food and Drug Administration nutrition facts label (PDF)

Nutrition 4 - The skinny on fats, sugar and sodium

Recognize food sources of fats, sugar and sodium.

Handout - Nonfood rewards (PDF)

Nutrition 5 - Menu planning, budgeting and grocery shopping: Doing it right for less

Get more nutrient-rich foods for less.

Handouts - Menu planning basics for regular diets (PDF)menu plan template (PDF), sample weekly menus (PDF)

Healthy cooking demonstration videos

Learn healthy cooking techniques and methods to prepare quick, tasty recipes demonstrated by Chef Ross with the University of Minnesota Extension Service Simply Good Eating Program.

Healthy Cooking Demonstrations

Healthy skillet lasagna

Corn and bean salad

Stir fry

Garden salad


Practice what you’ve learned.

Wellness for Every Body nutrition e-Learning module

More recipes

Physical Activity Training

This training was developed in partnership with the Courage Center to help staff improve the physical activity environment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For best results, watch each of the three videos in order. Watch each video, then print and take the corresponding quiz. Give all completed quizzes to your manager. After viewing all of the videos, practice what you’ve learned with the e-learning activity provided.

Physical Activity 1 – Improving balance, range of motion and function

Build fitness routines for all ability levels.

Handout - Physical activity basics (PDF)

Physical Activity 2 – Bringing activity into daily routines

Add physical activity into everyday life.

Handout - Bringing activities into daily routines (PDF)

Physical Activity 3 – Creative and inexpensive physical activity options

Find low-cost/free physical activity options every day.

Handout - Creative and inexpensive physical activity options (PDF)Reviewed fitness video/DVD handout (PDF)

Action plan sample


Practice what you’ve learned.

Wellness for Every Body physical activity e-Learning module

Program funders

Public Health Promotion funding through Hennepin County is augmented by local, state and federal dollars that help bring about long-term, sustainable changes in the health of Hennepin County residents. They promote community partnerships and drive initiatives that improve health policies, systems and environments to reduce chronic disease, health disparities and health-care costs.

Community Transformation Grant

Funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this five-year grant focuses on four key contributors to good health and quality of life:

  • Active living
  • Healthy eating
  • Clinical systems improvement
  • Tobacco-free living

See our success stories:

Smoke-free Rental Housing is on a Major Roll in Hennepin County (PDF)

Healthy Concession Stands (PDF)

2013 Agendas

May agenda (DOC)

March agenda (DOC)

February agenda (DOC)

2013 Meeting Minutes

March minutes (DOC)

February minutes (DOC)


Read more: 

Minnesota Department of Health Community Transformation Grant Fact Sheet (PDF)

Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP)

Since 2009, this grant from the Minnesota Department of Health has been a springboard for innovative initiatives that focus on areas such as:

  • Active recess and other physical activity initiatives in schools
  • Healthy eating in schools
  • Health-care clinic systems improvements
  • Increasing access to fresh produce in low-income communities
  • Smoke-free, multi-unit housing initiatives
  • Worksite wellness

See Location Map of Current SHIP Initiatives (PDF).


News and events


Active Living Strategies (PDF) - February 2012

Municipal Healthy Food Access survey report (PDF) - November 2012

Healthy Hospital Assessment Report (PDF)

For more information, email or call 612-348-5618.

Collapse all information