Only 31 communities in Wisconsin receive designations
Oconto Falls has been recognized for its work to improve local health by receiving a Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation. Oconto Falls received bronze designation from the initiative through the UW Population Health Institute. Oconto Falls is one of only thirteen communities throughout the state to receive the bronze level designation.
The Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program, is designed to celebrate and encourage achievements in health improvement in Wisconsin, and to serve as a guide for communities to expand and enhance their health improvement efforts.
Through the collaborative efforts of the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, Oconto Falls School District and Oconto County Public Health – programs such as the Oconto Falls Area Trail System, the annual Health and Safety Fair, the Donate a Healthy Plate Toolkit, and Stepping On improve the health and well-being of all.
Kathy Henne, RN, and Community Benefits Facilitator at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, referenced the recently completed Oconto County Community Health Needs Assessment. “Two areas identified in the assessment include the need to increase physical activity and to educate and promote healthy food choices,” said Kathy. “The development of the Oconto Falls Area Trail System and the Donate a Healthy Plate Toolkit addresses these identified needs.”
The Oconto Falls Area Trail System Organization has created and maintains fitness trails throughout the city. Additional sections of the trail will be completed through fundraising efforts and community support, as well as the proceeds from the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon Run for the Trails event.
The Donate a Healthy Plate Toolkit educates the community on healthy food pantry donations and conducting healthy food drives. More information on the toolkit can be found on the Oconto County website at: www.co.oconto.wi.us.
The annual Health and Safety Fair is a fun-filled day of hands-on learning for young and old alike. Each year the event is held at the Oconto Falls Elementary School. More than 30 vendors come together to educate on a variety of health and safety topics.
Stepping On is a nationally recognized fall prevention program for the elderly population. Carol Luebeck, RN, with Quality Living by Choice, offers this program in various locations throughout the county including HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital.
“So much great work is happening throughout Oconto Falls,” said Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President, Gail Yatso. “This is not happening because of one business, organization, or person – it’s a community working together to create a healthier environment through education, awareness, and action!”