Minnesota, with a population of 5.5 million residents, is the second northernmost U.S. state (after Alaska) and is informally known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Nearly 60 percent of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the "Twin Cities"), the center of transportation, business, industry, education, and government and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of western prairies, deciduous forests and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation. Minnesotans participate in high levels of outdoor physical activities. In the winter, Minnesotans embrace ice sports such as skating, hockey, curling, and broomball, and snow sports such as cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. In warmer months, Minnesota numerous lakes provide extensive activities including water sports such as water skiing, which originated in the state, boating, canoeing, biking, hiking and fishing. Minnesota is a cultural mecca, particularly in Minneapolis - St. Paul region, that includes leading fine art museums, the famed Guthrie Theater, and many world renowned orchestral and musical programs. The Minnesota Fringe Festival is an annual celebration of theatre, dance, improvisation, puppetry, kids' shows, visual art, and musicals. The summer festival consists of over 800 performances over 11 days in Minneapolis, and is the largest non-juried performing arts festival in the United States. Its standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, and the state is also among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation. NYU Lutheran Dental Medicine residents can expect to benefit from Minnesota’s strong commitment to healthcare. Medical care in the state is provided by a comprehensive network of hospitals and clinics headed by two institutions with international reputations. The University of Minnesota Medical School, a high-rated teaching institution, and The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned hospital. The Oral Health Program is part of the Center for Health Promotion at the Minnesota Department of Health. This public health program works to build the infrastructure and capacity of oral health within Minnesota. The program works with partners throughout the state to reduce the prevalence and impact of oral disease. It also works to enhance oral health care access and addresses oral health disparities in Minnesota. The focus is on essential public health functions as related to assessment, policy development and assurance.
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