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Results of Clark County Health Department's Community Forums
Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 -- 11:17 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

-The Clark County Health Department recently held some community forums to hear from the public on regarding their health priorities.

I spoke with Rebecca Rosandick, the Health Educator/Public Health Specialist of the Clark County Health Department, and she explained why these forums were held.

"First, I'll remind listeners on why we were conducting community forums. Every three years, any hospital that is nonprofit is required to conduct and complete a Community Health Assessment and also a Community Health Improvement Plan. So, the assessment part would be a survey and the Community Health Improvement Plan would be an actual document. So, there's two components that a hospital has to do. So, that's every three years for them. For us, the health department, we are required to do that same thing every five years."

"So, rather than each organization replicating the same process, we decided to combine our resources and to get on the same three year plan. Again, the partners involved in sponsoring the community forums were Ascension Our Lady of Victory Hospital, Memorial Medical Center, the Clark County Health Department, Family Health Center Dental Clinic and Marshfield Clinic Health System. I should also add that Nancy Vance from the Clark County UW-Extension Office played a really big role during these community forums by presenting health related data."

"So, at these forums, we had invited community members as well as professionals to come. And, during the forums, we just went through different health findings from the health assessments, the youth data and also the adult data."

They heard from resident regarding what they felt were health priorities for Clark County.

"From the forum, again, we through all this data that we had. I should also add that the community health assessment that we did prior, we had over 400 Clark County residents complete those and they listed their top priorities or areas of concern as drug abuse, mental health and obesity. So, the people who attended the forum portion, they heard all that. They also heard the youth data that we get from the high schools and the middle schools and they heard State of Wisconsin data and how we compare to the State of Wisconsin. After they heard all this, we went through almost like a strategic round robin and we landed on mental health, alcohol and other drug abuse and then chronic disease as their top priorities. And for chronic disease, we kept it as a general category, so this can include skin cancer, obesity, diabetes or anything else that's long term. So, that's what the community members felt needed the most improvement in Clark County."

Rebecca explained how they’ll use that information moving forward.

"So, going forward, we do have another partner meeting coming up about mid-month. Again, that would be like the hospitals, the health department and the people who organize the forums getting together. So, during this meeting, we'll actually review and discuss how the assessment process went and then attempt to finalize the priority areas and then figure out the next steps from there. So, first we just have to get the partners back together and then it's moving forward form there."

Rebecca ended our interview by thanking those that came to the forums.

"I think it's really great that community members did come out and participate. We always want to hear what concerns community members have and how we can improve things. So, it's always nice to have community members attend these kind of things."

If you have any questions regarding the results of the health forum or concerns/questions regarding health priorities in the county, you can contact the Clark County Health Department.

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