Northland Health Officials 'Pitch the Commissioner'

By KBJR News 1

July 30, 2013 Updated Jul 30, 2013 at 10:43 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Regional health officials rolled up their sleeves to pitch ideas to the Minnesota Health Commissioner on Tuesday.

The "Pitch the Commissioner" event hosted by Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger stopped in Duluth to get area officials to join him in a friendly game of horseshoes, while discussing important public health issues.

Ehlinger, an avid horseshoes fan, says the goal of the event is to create discussion with health officials and community groups about steps they're taking to make northeast Minnesota a healthier place to live.

"Northeast Minnesota has some unique challenges, but it also has some health care systems that are really looking at health in a broader term. They've got a great community health board up here and a great SHIP program that really is a model for other places throughout the state."

SHIP, stands for the Statewide Health Improvement Program.

Ehlinger said among the challenges facing the Northland is an inadequate pedestrian and cycle path system, which he said a quality program that leads to an active lifestyle.

The event, in its second year, brought together health officials from nearly every county in northeastern Minnesota.