Sept. 28 Program on Community-Led Healthy Living Initiatives to Feature Remarks by U.S. Surgeon General

“Healthy Minnesota: Communities in Action,” a program designed to showcase and celebrate some of the state’s best examples of community-based programs that promote healthy living, will be held Friday afternoon, Sept. 28, at the Ramada Mall of America in Bloomington.

A poster session featuring displays about programs designed to improve the health and well-being of Minnesotans will run from 3 to 6:30 p.m.

“Getting Communities Into Action,” a panel discussion led by Dr. Ed Ehlinger, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, will run from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Panelists will include representatives from:

  • Heartsbeatback, the Heart of New Ulm project.
  • Hennepin Health, Hennepin County’s integrated health network.
  •, a collaboration of Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
  • Healthy Community Partnership, sponsored by Allina Health System.

The panel discussion will be followed by comments from Dave Durenberger, former U.S. senator and now senior health policy fellow at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.

Dr. Regina Benjamin
U.S. Surgeon General

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin will give the closing remarks. Benjamin, who holds an M.B.A. from Tulane University, studied medicine at the University of Alabama and the Morehouse School of Medicine. She oversees 6,500 uniformed public health officers in the United States and around the world.

“I strongly believe in the importance of empowering individuals to make healthy choices,” Benjamin said recently. “That’s one of four strategic directions of the National Prevention Strategy that aims to transform our health care system into one that rewards prevention.”

The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For information on how to register, send an email to

“Healthy Minnesota: Communities in Action” is being organized by the Health Care MBA Program in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in conjunction with the Minnesota Public Health Association. The event is being coordinated by two students in the MBA program, Laura Templin-Howk and Tina Morey.

The program’s premier sponsors are Allina Health System; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Cardinal Health; the Midwest ENT Foundation; Prime Therapeutics; St. Francis Regional Medical Center; and UnitedHealth Group.