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Citizens’ input sparks recommendations

On May 15, Citizen Solutions came to Bemidji to engage local residents in a different conversation about health care — a conversation that moved away from argument and instead focused on personal experiences and consensus building.

The focus of the outreach was to hear directly from Minnesotans their values and priorities related to the health care system and how to make that system work better, especially when it comes to increasing opportunities to maintain and improve health.

The meeting was one of 40 held across the state of Minnesota. On Aug. 6, the findings from Bemidji were coupled with the findings from the other meetings and submitted in a report to the bipartisan Minnesota Health Care Reform Task Force, which is responsible for making policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature.

Based on the input from Minnesotans across the state, three action steps were recommended to the task force: empower Minnesotans to be better co-creators and co-managers of their health, equip Minnesotans to overcome existing barriers such as access and affordability in order to make better choices in health care and encourage the redesign of institutions and creation of environments that help make available and reinforce healthy daily choices.

We encourage the citizens of Bemidji and surrounding areas to read the Citizen Solutions report by going to It is your health care system and it should work as effectively and efficiently as possible for you.

C. Scott Cooper

Director of Engagement and Communication

Bush Foundation

St. Paul