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Another Great Year for Heart-Health Policy in Minnesota

Thanks to the hard work of advocates like YOU, Minnesota had another great year in moving heart-health policies forward. Together, we have worked to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke and we have much to celebrate this year!

Below is a brief summary of the bills we helped passed this year:

Safe Routes to School Funding
We secured $1 million for SRTS infrastructure (sidewalks and safer crossings) and another $250,000 for non-infrastructure uses (training and SRTS planning). That’s a grand total of $1.25 million in new resources to make it safer for Minnesota kids to walk and bike to school!

AED Registry
All AEDS intended for public use in Minnesota will be required, as of Aug. 1, 2014, to be registered in a maintenance program that alerts owners to expired batteries or pads to ensure that these devices are always ready to deliver a life-saving shock if needed.

Stroke Registry
A statewide stroke registry is how we measure what we are doing for acute stroke care in Minnesota. This session we strengthened participation in the Minnesota Stroke Registry Program. 

STEMI Registry
For the first time, the Minnesota Department of Health will be participating in coordinated, statewide surveillance and reporting of STEMI heart attack care. Utilizing data from Mission: Lifeline hospitals and the Action Registry, the Minnesota Department of Health will now report on STEMI care in Minnesota the way they do for Stroke and Trauma.

Physical Education Study
The Minnesota Dept. of Education will be required to conduct a study to determine the current status of PE in Minnesota schools. Their report will be due to the legislature Jan. 15, 2015 and will help shape our policy direction next year as we seek to strengthen PE in Minnesota.

Thank you for your ongoing support and action this year!

We can’t spell CURE without U!

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Remembering Congressman Jim Oberstar

See how Congressman Jim Oberstar impacted Safe Routes To School, as he is remembered in an article posted today on

(photo credits: left -, bottom right -

Childhood obesity advocates are joining lawmakers in mourning former Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), who championed Safe Routes to School and a variety of cycling, hiking and walking programs during his 17 terms in Congress. Oberstar died in his sleep on May 3.

Known as the "Father of Safe Routes to School," Oberstar spent decades supporting efforts to make it easier and safer for people, especially children, to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. In 1991, he played a critical role in ensuring that a federal transportation bill included funding for walking and bicycling. In 2005, he authored and cosponsored the SAFETEA-LU Act, a $295 billion transportation infrastructure measure that included funding to launch Safe Routes to School on a national scale.

"There are now more than 14,000 schools in all 50 states nationwide benefitting from the federal Safe Routes to School program, and we have the late Congressman Oberstar to thank and honor," wrote Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in a blog post remembering the congressman. "In speeches in recent years Mr. Oberstar talked about Safe Routes to School as one of the most important programs he authorized in Congress and one of the programs he is proudest of. We will all miss Congressman Oberstar terribly; the Safe Routes to School National Partnership is dedicated to ensuring that his legacy for Safe Routes to School, healthy transportation and healthy kids will live on." Continue reading here

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Veterans Push for Safe Routes to School

It’s crunch time in the Minnesota legislature as there is only a week left in this year’s session.  We need all the support we can get to push for Safe Routes to School funding and are pleased to share the article from the Public News Service below with you, showcasing the support of this important health initiative by the Mission Readiness group. (Photo courtesy of Public News Service (Joe Goldberg/Flickr))

(05/12/14) ST. PAUL, Minn. - The 2014 legislature is quickly coming to a close, and one of the last big tasks is the passage of a bonding bill. It includes a measure that is finding an ally among the armed forces.

Retired Brig. Gen. Denny Shulstad, Edina, is a member of "Mission: Readiness," a group of hundreds of retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders calling for policies to help young people be healthy and successful. He says that includes the Minnesota Safe Routes to School bill.

"Today only 13 percent of the young people either ride their bike or walk to school. We would very much like to see that number increase because that is a very easy way to encourage kids to get outside, to walk, to run, to ride their bicycles," Shulstad says. "And to do that, you need to have safe routes."  Click here to continue reading

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Retired Generals From Minnesota Urge State Legislators To Increase Funding For Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School Program

On April 24th Mission: Readiness staff and a Minnesota volunteer met with Gov. Dayton and legislators to make the case for $6M for Safe Routes to School infrastructure.  The childhood obesity problem has been identified by the group as a national security issues.  Mission: Readiness also distributed a recent report showing how Safe Routes to School programs strengthen the future of national security by helping youth become more physically active. Read the report here

Additionally Rep. Dettmer asked House members to welcome and recognize Gen. Schulstad for his 34 years of service in the Air Force and his work with Mission Readiness to fight childhood obesity through initiatives like Safe Routes to School.

From Left: Kimberly Espinosa, Steve Doster, Gov. Dayton, Gen. Dennis Schulstad (retired), MDH Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, and Rachel Callanan (American Heart Association)

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