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Why is Minnesota so healthy?

by Tony Chen

I previously posted this same question on my own blog, but I want to pose it to this group - why is Minnesota so healthy? And what can we learn from them? They consistently rank among the healthiest states in the country.

While Minnesota may be known for its the health care businesses and organizations (Medtronic, Mayo, and MinuteClinic), I think the real difference is a strong, persistent culture of wellness and health. Sure, the government has done its part with a good state-run safety-net program. And yes, maybe there are a higher proportion of good jobs with good insurance (though many other states have higher income and poor health). There’s also a lot of lakes and a great outdoorsy mindset. Whatever it is - for some reason, living healthy is just ingrained into many Minnesota residents. Just google “healthy Minnesota” and compare those results with any other “healthy [pick your state]”. Very quickly, you’ll see that there is an usual amount of energy, out-of-the-box collaboration, and emphasis on staying healthy.

So, as we continue to debate health care reform, maybe we have too many conversations about policy & insurance & who’s going to pay for it. More thoughtful dialog is needed around how we can shift a national culture that is wired for over consumption.


1 Comment »

  Pat wrote @ October 16th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Point taken but is this a bit simplistic? Socio-economic factors are also weighing heavily on the healthcare system.

A multi-tiered approach that focuses on individual accountability for health makes sense.

The important thing is transparency of the issues we are dealign with, demographics, socio-economic, insurance industry, etc.

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