Minnesota has a long-standing reputation as a leader in family health and wellness. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota wants our children to come out on top.

That’s why Children’s teamed up with the University of Minnesota State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) to assemble data from a variety of sources to better understand how Minnesota is doing on a number of key indicators of children’s health. SHADAC’s collection of data, referred to as a “chart book” on “The Health of Minnesota’s Children,” is the foundation for Children’s Check-Ups, a series of in-depth reports to be released by Children’s over the next two years. The reports are designed to serve as a springboard for a statewide conversation about the health of Minnesota’s children.

Check-Up 1: Summary on the State of Children’s Health in Minnesota was the first in the series released in October 2010. This report took a high-level look at how Minnesota children stack up nationally and compared to the five-state Upper Midwest region.

View Check-Up 3 (PDF)

View obesity infographic

Check-Up 2: Check-Up 2: Vaccinations and the Challenges Confronting Minnesota Children takes a deeper look into children’s vaccination trends in Minnesota children.

Check-Up 3: Starting Early to Prevent Childhood Obesity examines how this public health threat is impacting children and families across Minnesota – and what can be done to address it.

Minnesota is a recognized leader in children’s health and well-being and consistently ranks high in nationwide reports. However, a deeper look into children’s vaccination trends has identified a worrisome trend that could pose a very real threat to the health of Minnesota children. According to this report, childhood vaccination rates in the state have peaked and are backsliding. In fact, according to the 2009 National Immunization Survey (NIS), Minnesota has dropped 13 spots in two years – from seventh place in 2007 to 20th place in 2009 – for vaccination coverage rates for the primary series of shots among all children 19 months through 35 months of age.

The report highlights several places where Minnesota has weaknesses:

  • Adolescent immunization is lagging
  • An increasing wariness of new vaccines among parents
  • Complacency about vaccine-preventable disease
  • The special case of influenza immunization

While the issues surrounding vaccinations are complex, we hope this report serves as a roadmap to outline several ways to get Minnesota back on track.

Igniting Conversation on Children’s Health in Minnesota

To keep the discussion moving, the Children’s Check-Ups series will be shared with members of the Minnesota Legislature and other top decision makers throughout the state. The series will be provided to the public through the news media and the Children’s website. We will also extend an invitation to state legislators, education and health care experts – and of course, Minnesota families – to join in the discussion through social media and special events in the coming months.

Additional Resources