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Health briefs: Give blood for a shot at 'Hamilton' tickets; Journey to Freedom at Hudson YMCA

Give blood for a shot at 'Hamilton' tickets

To help support the need for blood around the Labor Day holiday, Memorial Blood Centers is offering all presenting donors from Sept.1-8 the opportunity to win "Hamilton" tickets. Visit http://MBC.org/theater for details.

The need for blood is constant, and summer can be a challenging time to collect enough blood to meet the needs of hospitals. While walk-in donors are always welcome, MBC encourages appointments be made in advance. To find nearby blood drives or register to donate, visit MBC.org.

PowerUp, state parks recieve innovation award

The PowerUp in the Parks Rx program was recognized Aug. 9 at the State Government Innovation Awards at the Minnesota History Center. The program is a partnership between the Minnesota and Wisconsin state parks and the HealthPartners PowerUp program in the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin.

Through the program, launched last fall, HealthPartners pediatricians at Stillwater Medical Group, HealthPartners Clinic — White Bear Lake, Westfields Hospital & Clinic and Amery Hospital & Clinic talked with families at well-child visits about the importance of outdoor recreation. Children ages 2-13 were given a Parks Passport, packed with fun activity suggestions, a guide to local and state parks in the region and a prescription for one hour or more of physical activity each day.

"Being active or playing — especially outside — is great for kids' physical and mental well-being," said Marna Canterbury, director of Community Health for HealthPartners in the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin. "We were delighted that the state parks wanted to partner with us for this program and this award reinforces the message that it's important for families to get outside and get active."

The State Government Innovation Award honored the Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails Division and HealthPartners for "cutting through red tape to provide opportunities and incentives for families to be physically active and enjoy the outdoors."

A copy of the PowerUp Parks Passport is available at http://powerup4kids.org/parks.

Over 480,000 accessing coverage through MNsure

Enrollment numbers show that more than 480,000 Minnesotans have found health coverage through MNsure, which helps Minnesotans access public programs like Medicaid and MinnesotaCare, as well enroll in private health plans.

"MNsure continues its role as Minnesota's one-stop shop for health insurance," MNsure Acting CEO Nate Clark said. "Check out MNsure.org to see if you are eligible for financial help and join the hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who have already found coverage."

Statewide, the average tax credit for Minnesota families is more than $7,000 per year. In greater Minnesota, the yearly tax credit is over $9,300 per year.

MNsure's 2019 open enrollment period begins Nov. 1, 2018 and runs until Jan. 13, 2019.

Journey to Freedom at Hudson YMCA

Journey to Freedom, a small-group class rooted in Christian principles, will begin Sept. 11. The women-only program meets 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 30 at Hudson YMCA.

The eight 90-minute meetings are led by two trained facilitators based on the book "Journey to Freedom: Your Start to a Lifetime of Hope, Health, and Happiness." It is designed to help participants redefine hope, transform old patterns of behavior and find vision and purpose.

The program is open to members and nonmembers age 18 and older. The course is $40 and includes a copy of the book. For more information, visit www.ymcamn.org/journeytofreedom.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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