Health Notes: Walking campaign urges shoppers to park in the back of the lotThis might seem counterintuitive, but the people at Blue Cross and Blue Shield want you to park far away from the doors when you go to the mall.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
This might seem counterintuitive, but the people at Blue Cross and Blue Shield want you to park far away from the doors when you go to the mall.
Miller Hill Mall now has brightly colored parking spots in the north section of its lot with the message: “Today is the day we burn calories by parking here.” The spaces “challenge drivers to change their definition of what a ‘good parking spot’ can be,” Blue Cross said in a news release.
It’s all part of a new marketing effort from the people who gave us the “Do” campaign. The new campaign features a TV commercial with a health-related take on the song “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie.”
The health insurance agency’s hope is to inspire small lifestyle changes that, over time, can have an impact on an individual’s health, the news release said.
“Our studies show that 61 percent of Minnesotans are overweight or obese, and 66 percent of Minnesotans have sedentary jobs,” said Dr. Marc Manley, Blue Cross vice president and chief prevention officer. “People who make small, incremental changes to their behavior, such as parking further out from their destination and walking more, are taking important steps toward a healthier and longer life.”
Katie Altrichter, general manager of the mall, said people have been parking in the spaces in spite of the “unwritten rule” that “you have to park in the closest space.”
The promotion began last week and continues for three weeks, although Altrichter said she wouldn’t mind having it much longer.
“I couldn’t think of a better partnership than having them choose the mall,” she said. “It’s just a nice promotion.”
The colorful parking spaces are getting attention, she said. “They’re beautiful and they’re bright and they’re very attractive.”
Help with mental illness
A free family course for people who have a family member living with mental illness is being sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota.
The course is designed to help families better understand mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support, the organization said in a news release.
The course will meet for 12 consecutive Sundays starting Sept. 16 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1108 E. Eighth St. Registration is required. Call Nancy at (715) 398-6471 or Ann at (218) 269-0780.
There’s no place like homes
The Minnesota Department of Health has certified 13 new health-care homes, including five in the Northland. All five are part of the Essentia Health system.
Health-care homes are being developed as part of Minnesota health reform legislation passed in 2008. They seek to treat patients afflicted with chronic illnesses and disabilities in innovative ways, such as contacting patients via phone and/or e-mail between appointments.
The newly certified clinics in the Northland are Aurora Clinic, Deer River Clinic, Ely Clinic, Duluth Clinic Internal Medicine and St. Mary’s Superior Clinic.
Out-of-state clinics can be certified in Minnesota if they serve Minnesota patients and bill Minnesota health plans, said Scott Smith, a health department spokesman. That’s why the Superior Clinic was certified.
This brings the total of certified health-care homes in Minnesota to 184, the health department said in a news release.
Previously certified in the Northland were Essentia Health Duluth Clinic Pediatrics, Kundel Pediatric Associates and St. Luke’s Pediatric Associates, all in Duluth.
There’s a problem with summer, from the perspective of the American Red Cross: People need blood as much as ever, but less blood is donated.
Hence the “Live Life. Give Life” campaign, designed to provide a little extra incentive to take the time to give blood.
Here’s the deal: Show up to give blood any time between now and Sept. 5, and you’ll have a chance to win a prize certificate package redeemable at GiftCertificates.com.
One opportunity will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Northland Chapter of the Red Cross, 2524 Maple Grove Road. Judy Hanne Gonzalez, the chapter’s executive director, said she’ll be one of the first donors that day. She’s hoping for a total of 30 donors, she said, and type O blood is especially needed.
For an appointment, prospective donors can call (800) 733-2767 or go to www.redcrossblood.org.