HONU Leadership Team and Action Teams

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU) is a community-driven initiative that is led by a team of 12 community members representing organizations throughout the community. The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, which will complete the 10-year research phase of the project in 2018, conducts evaluation of the project and provides technical assistance.

The HONU Leadership Team meets the fourth Thursday of each month at noon. There are 11 action teams doing The Heart of New Ulm’s work in partnership with various organizations and community residents throughout New Ulm. Each team has a HONU Leadership Team member on the team that keeps the HONU Leadership Team updated on what is happening with the action team. For more information on the Leadership Team, contact cindy.winters@allina.com or jennifer.maurer@allina.com.

Action Teams

 Coalition for Active, Safe and Healthy Streets (CASHS) – This team meets every other month and works to improve the safety of New Ulm’s streets by incorporating traffic calming measures (slowing traffic) so that more people will feel safe using walking and bicycling as a form of transportation. This includes piloting curb extensions at intersections that residents have identified as problematic to cross; narrowing lanes to the minimum allowed to help slow traffic, expanding the walking and bicycling networks throughout New Ulm, and creating more public spaces for people to gather and connect. Research has shown that when community design puts a focus on residents first, it creates a healthier, safer community. For more information on this team, contact cindy.winters@allina.com.

 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) – This team addresses the barriers that parents have identified as reasons for not allowing their children to walk or ride their bicycle to school. The top three barriers are the speed of traffic, the amount of traffic and uncontrolled intersections. The Safe Routes to School plan guides the work of the team in working to make it safer for children to walk and bike to school. The team sends any recommended changes regarding streets to the CASHS action team (see above) before they are sent to the New Ulm City Council for approval. The team also sponsors Walk to School Days and other events to promote walking and biking to school. For more information on this team, contact cindy.winters@allina.com.

 New Ulm Bike Group – This team spearheaded the successful application process that helped New Ulm achieve the Bicycle Friendly Community Award at the Bronze level from the League of American Bicyclists in 2017. The team works to improve bicycling in New Ulm for people who choose to bicycle for transportation and/or recreation and uses information that the League provided in a report card as part of the award. The team also sponsors New Ulm’s annual Bike Expo and provides bicycle safety training to community members. For more information on this team, contact cindy.winters@allina.com.

 Worksite Wellness – This team plans, schedules and conducts quarterly networking and training sessions for New Ulm worksite wellness leaders. The team chooses topics based on needs identified by New Ulm companies during focus groups held in 2015 and a survey in 2017. For more information on this team, contact jennifer.maurer@allina.com.

 Improving Health for All – This team works in specific geographic areas of the community that have been identified as having residents at higher risk for diabetes, asthma and depression. For more information on this team, contact jennifer.maurer@allina.com.

 Community Health Challenge – This team plans and conducts the eight-week Holiday Trimmings program offered every year between Thanksgiving and the first week of January. The program is designed to help people maintain their weight over the holidays, a time when people typically gain weight. For more information on this team, contact DHersch@mhif.org

 NU-HOME Study – This team plans and implements New Ulm-Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (NU-HOME), which is a research program being conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Schools of Nursing, Public Health, and Kinesiology in collaboration with The Heart of New Ulm Project and New Ulm Medical Center. The purpose of the study is to determine whether preparing family meals together and being active with children before they hit puberty can help the entire family live a healthier lifestyle. For more information on this team, contact jbeaudette@mhif.org.

 Food Environment – This team works to improve access, availability and affordability of healthier food choices in a variety of different venues throughout New Ulm. The team works with local restaurants that are partners in the Heart of New Ulm Project’s restaurant program, which aims to make it easier to eat well when dining out. The team also works with schools and service groups to provide healthier choices at sporting events and fundraisers, helps promote the community garden and local farmers market, and works to identify other opportunities related to healthier food options in New Ulm. For more information on this team, contact jennifer.maurer@allina.com.

 Minnesota Main Street Action Team – This team is working to revitalize the downtown New Ulm area and enhance shoppers’ and customers’ experiences by increasing seating and green space, enhancing the area’s aesthetic appeal and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety.  This team works in partnership with the Minnesota Main Street Program, which is sponsored by the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on this team, contact cindy.winters@allina.com

 Mental Health – This team works throughout Brown County to reduce the stigma of mental health, improve resiliency and improve access to mental health treatment and services. For more information on this team, contact jennifer.maurer@allina.com.

 Communications – This team is working to maintain the Heart of New Ulm’s communication efforts to keep residents and key stakeholders informed about the project and the work of the action teams. For more information on this team, contact jennifer.maurer@allina.com. Please also visit our HONU Facebook page.