Cook County Public Health Releases Draft of 2023-2027 Health Assessment

The State of Minnesota requires community health boards to determine public health priorities and focus local resources on the greatest community and organizational needs using an assessment and planning process that engages the community. The five year cycle is to follow a circular process of assessment, prioritization, planning and implementation. 

Cook County Public Health staff is tasked with facilitating this process to assess the health and well-being of the Cook County community while engaging the community in determining priority areas of health to improve over the next five years. 

The health department presented a draft of its 2023-2027 Community Health Assessment (CHA) at a meeting last Wednesday at the Community Center. The meeting was intended to discuss the draft Assessment and give the public opportunities to engage with local health data more deeply. You may access the draft CHA at the Cook County Public Health and Human Services website.

Another meeting is planned for July 13 with an in-person component at the Community Center from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This meeting will focus on moving from the community health data to developing shared goals and priority health areas for the next five years. 

Grace Grinager, Public Health Supervisor for the county looks to build broad representation and participation in this important process. She may be contacted by phone at 218-387-3605 and email at

The 2017 health assessment  process highlighted a few priority health area goals for attention. That plan is posted on the county website. Specifically, goals were:

People can access behavioral health services when they need them

People who have experienced substance abuse have support to move toward recovery

All community members have safe and stable housing

Community members of all ages and abilities can access specialty services

Elders experience support to age in our community

Families with Young Children Experience community support

With a population estimated at 5,600 residents, Cook County ranks 81st of Minnesota’s 87 counties. It ranks 12th largest in land area with more than 1400 square miles. 

According to a survey recently conducted by Wilder Research, a nonprofit research and evaluation group based in St. Paul,  when compared with the State of Minnesota, Cook County has a higher percentage of people between 55 and 64 years of age (17.9%) and those aged 65 and older (28.5%).