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Proud of Brown County’s health rankings

To the editor:

We were so pleased to read the Feb. 12 article in The Journal, “Brown County ranks among the healthiest counties in Minnesota” and we hope everyone in Brown County was, too. According to a study by SmartAsset that considered length of life, health behaviors and health care access, Brown County ranked as the 10th healthiest county out of the 87 counties in Minnesota. The latest article prompted us to review another ranking source — the 2019 MN County Health Rankings — and we were thrilled to see that Brown County now ranks 9th place in health factors, 12th in health behaviors and 2nd in clinical care. Congratulations, Brown County!

These rankings are fantastic news for our entire community and we should all be very proud of the progress we have made and the tremendous work our community members continue to do. Particularly here in New Ulm, everyone has joined together and worked very hard over the last decade to help encourage people to live healthier lives. That work is definitely paying off!

Since the Heart of New Ulm started in 2009, we have seen people become more physically active, eat more fruits and vegetables, and lower their blood pressure and cholesterol. We’ve also witnessed the fostering of a community culture that values health and well-being by providing supportive, healthy environments in our community’s homes, schools, workplaces, health care facilities and businesses.

Now operating as a community-owned health initiative, the Heart of New Ulm continues to promote healthy lifestyles across the lifespan, and is also working to address the challenges in our community around mental health and addiction and risky use of substances. Thank you to all the individuals and organizations who continue to embrace the mission and support the work. Success is due to the work of so many enthusiastic partners!

The Heart of New Ulm Leadership Team: Les Schultz, Brown County; Karen Moritz, Brown County; Michael Looft, Chamber of Commerce; Chris Dalton, City of New Ulm; Jeff Bertrang, ISD #88; Dr. Nate Groebner, New Ulm Medical Center; Carisa Buegler, New Ulm Medical Center; Dr. John Brownfield, New Ulm Foundation Board; Jessica Weisbrich, Oak Hills Living Center; Lydia Drexler, Firmenich; Kelsey Horn, Martin Luther College; Sarah Leslie, community member; facilitators Cindy Winters and Jen Maurer

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