• By Heather Carlson Kehren

Olmsted County residents will help determine winner of 2018 Shared Value Award

July 23, 2018

hands on top of each other

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Three finalists are vying for a grant of up to $50,000 to address health needs in Olmsted County. It’s now up to community members, including Mayo Clinic staff, to determine the winner of the 2018 Shared Value Award.

Mayo Clinic created the award in 2016 to encourage shared efforts to address communitywide health priorities. According to the 2016 Olmsted County Community Health Needs Assessment, those priorities are injury prevention from distracted driving, immunizations, obesity, mental health and financial stress.

The 2018 Shared Value Award finalists are:

Eviction Prevention
This project helps increase housing stability and reduce financial stress for residents.

Healthy Families Thrive
This project is an effort to reduce anxiety around immunizations for children and immunize more children.

Students Speak
This project consists of a series of forums for students and the community to destigmatize mental health disorders and increase awareness about resources.

For the first time, community members can vote along with Mayo Clinic staff for their favorite finalist. Cast votes on Mayo Clinic’s Community Engagement website through Aug. 31. Mayo Clinic will announce the winner on Sept. 4.

“There are many reasons why we wanted to open up the voting to the community,” explains Erin Sexton, community relations director for Mayo Clinic. “The most important reason is we want to make this decision with our community. The community came together to identify the communitywide health priorities, and it makes great sense that we should come together again in support of a collaborative project that helps to address those priorities. We also hope to inspire more people and organizations to get involved in these kinds of collaborative efforts to address complex issues.”

According to Beth Sherden, executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Museum in Rochester and spokesperson for the 2017 Shared Value Award-winning project “Eat, Play, Grow,” the experience has created many benefits for their work. In addition to the program inspiring local children and their families to eat healthier foods and exercise more in response to obesity, “Eat, Play Grow” has opened new pathways for communication and partnership among organizations serving children.

“The Shared Value Award inspired new relationships with other nonprofits, businesses and community members. This helps better serve children and families now and into the future,” says Sherden.

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