SHIP - Statewide Health Improvement Program

SHIP: The Statewide Health Improvement Program
The goal of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier, better lives by preventing risk factors that lead to chronic disease. SHIP is an integral component of an overall health care reform initiative passed during the 2008 Legislative session. Minnesota’s health reforms aim to simultaneously improve the health of Minnesotans, enhance the patient experience and contain the spiraling costs of health care in our state.

What makes SHIP different from other prevention programs?

Some prevention programs focus on individual behavior change. Behavior change from programmatic efforts can be difficult to sustain beyond the life of the program or the individual’s involvement in the program. But behavior change can be maintained if the environment supports it. SHIP aims to create sustainable, systemic changes that make it easier for Minnesotans to choose healthy behaviors.

As a part of SHIP, MMS is working on policy, systems and environmental changes in select communities, schools and worksites on the following SHIP strategies:

School Setting


Implement Farm to School policies and environmental change practices including school gardens, orchards and harvest bars, including:

  • cafeteria menu changes with local sourcing 
  • harvest bar implementation 
  • school gardens and/or orchards 
  • on-site greenhouses or hoop houses 
  • incorporation into FACS or FFA curriculum


Implement policies and practices that create active schools by increasing opportunities for non-motorized transportation (walking and biking to- and from- school).


Implement policies and practices that support healthy eating in early care and education settings.

Community Setting

HEALTHY FOOD ENVIRONMENT : Community Healthy Food Environment

Implement policies and practices that create a community healthy food environment by building on existing local and/or regional partnerships and connections between institutions, businesses, and local growers to convene a council (named “Community Food Partnership”) designed to assess the community’s need for improved food literacy and access to healthier food choices (through farm to fork, healthier food outlets and nutrition labeling).

A Community Food Partnership (CFP) will provide a framework for communities to develop priorities, identify target audiences, and create strategic plans to address the most pressing issues in their area.

CFPs will concentrate on reducing access to sodium, added sugar, and fat, while increasing access to fruits and vegetables by improving policies, systems, and environmental changes in farm to fork, healthier food outlets, and nutrition labeling practices.

TOBACCO FREE ENVIRONMENT: Smoke-free Multi-unit Housing

Implement voluntary smoke-free housing policies in multi-unit housing.

Worksite Setting


Worksites addressing comprehensive worksite wellness will address all three risk factors.

  1. Healthy Food Environment (includes vending, cafeteria, catering, breastfeeding support) 
  2. Physical Activity Environment (includes active transportation such as walking, biking, transit; access to facilities such as on-site facilities, connect to area facilities, flexible scheduling) 
  3. Tobacco-free Worksite Policies (includes access to cessation services and comprehensive cessation benefits)