Oconto Falls Renews Bronze Level Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation

Oconto Falls has again received a Bronze Level Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation. Oconto Falls had previously received a designation in 2018 and this renewal is recognition of continued work and programs towards improving local health.

This program is intended to recognize and encourage achievements in health improvement in Wisconsin communities, and to promote cooperation across multiple sectors.

Through the collaborative efforts of the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, Bellin Health-Oconto Hospital, and Oconto County Public Health – programs such as the Run for the Trails 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon event; Mental Health First Aid training opportunities within schools, businesses, and organizations; Starlink Pilot Project providing broadband access; planning and financial support of Oconto County Farmers Market; and coordination of Medication Take Back events – improve the health and wellbeing of all.

Gail Yatso, Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President states, “Our community is proud to be among the 28 Wisconsin communities that received designations this year. Our city is committed to sustain community collaboration to continue to improve health, wellness, and safety in our area.”

The designation recognizes Oconto Falls and the bronze level for its commitment to improve health and the quality of life for another three years.

The Healthy Communities Designation program is designed to be accessible to communities of all shapes and sizes, both rural and urban. The definition of community is broad and can include counties, municipalities, neighborhoods and other self-defined, place-based communities in Wisconsin. The program uses a three-tiered approach – gold, silver and bronze – which are meant to provide a trajectory and serve as a guide for communities as they continue to strive toward better health.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for the collaborative efforts to improve community health, fitness, and safety. We continue to create a vibrant community for people to live, work, and explore,” says Yatso.

The Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation is an initiative offered by the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) group of the UW Population Health Institute (UWPHI), in collaboration with diverse statewide groups. The Healthy Communities Designation program, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, is designed to recognize and encourage achievements in health improvement in Wisconsin. To learn more about the program, visit the program website: www.wihealthycommunities.org

Prescription Drug Take Back Day in Oconto County

In conjunction with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital is partnering with Bellin Health, Healthy Oconto County, Oconto Falls Police Department and Oconto County Sheriff’s Department to offer drive-thru, medication drop-off locations on Saturday, Oct. 29:

  • HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Bellin Health Oconto Hospital, 820 Arbutus Ave., Oconto, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Lakewood Town Hall, 17181 Twin Pines Rd., Lakewood, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Gillett Police Department,150 N. McKenzie Ave., Gillett, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Guidelines
All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no businesses are allowed.
All sites will be drive thru only and we request persons stay in their vehicle. A volunteer will come to collect your items.
Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications. Vape pens or other e-cigarette devices (batteries removed).
Do not bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas), mercury thermometers.

  • Participants may dispose of medication(s) by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into a disposal box or into a clear sealable plastic bag. Plastic pill containers should not be collected. Blister packages without the medications being removed are acceptable.
  • Liquids will be accepted during this initiative. However, the liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging and their weight evenly distributed within the boxes of collected solid prescription medications. Liquids without the original packaging will not be accepted.
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

Community members are also reminded that many drug disposal boxes are open year-round.

Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain as water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all pharmaceuticals and trace amounts are showing up in rivers and lakes.

Abrams Troupe to Present ‘White Christmas’

Ali Carlson and Elizabeth Jolly will perform the song “Sisters” with these feathered fans in the Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. show, “White Christmas.” Tickets are on sale now for the Abrams community theater production.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. invites the community to its performance of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” Tickets are on sale now for this tale of joy and goodwill. The musical, directed by Debra Jolly, will be presented Dec. 1-4 and 8-11 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

“’White Christmas’ is a long-time tradition for those of us who remember the beloved movie televised every Christmas and remember the sacrifices made by the soldiers and those on the home front of World War II,” Jolly said. “It is about longing for home and family and love, especially when you are far away, not knowing when or if you will get home again.”

Veterans are an important part of “White Christmas,” and a generous donor gifted 50 free tickets for veterans. Veterans are encouraged to call the box office, 920-826-5852, to reserve free tickets while supplies last.

“We are proud to honor all veterans and thank them for their service as we offer all our audience members this classic story for Christmas,” Jolly said.

“White Christmas” is a story about a song-and-dance team, played by Bobby Buffington and Preston Pelegrin, who put on a show in a Vermont inn and fall for a stunning sister act, played by Elizabeth Jolly and Ali Carlson. The show is full of dancing, laughter, and some of the greatest songs ever written. The score features “Blue Skies” and of course, the unforgettable title song, “White Christmas.”

“The songs are great, and the harmonies this cast produces are amazing,” Jolly said. “The dancing includes tap, jazz, ballroom and ballet – something for everyone.”

The colorful costumes ring true to the happy 1950s look.

“The number of costumes required is daunting, especially with a community theater budget and a theater building that needs a new roof, but we had a wonderfully hard-working and frugal costume crew to make it work,” Jolly said.

New at the theater for this performance is a side stage to keep the show moving seamlessly through scene changes. Also new is a winter-themed special effect.

“We will have snow for this ‘White Christmas!’” Jolly said.

“White Christmas” is based on the Paramount Pictures film and is written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank. Music and lyrics are by Irving Berlin, with book by David Ives and Paul Blake. “White Christmas” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. www.concordtheatricals.com.

To order tickets, visit abramsspotlightproductions.com or call the box office, 920-826-5852.

“Blessing of the Animals” in Green Bay, Sheboygan and Oconto Falls

In October, people all over the world celebrate the feast day (Oct. 4) of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is known as the patron saint of animals, and his life of love and service is followed by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, the founding institute of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS).

In honor of the Feast of St. Francis, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls will host “Blessing of the Animals” events – free and open to the public.
Pets of all kinds – and their people – are welcome to these outdoor, Ecumenical events. All animals in attendance must be on a leash, and pet owners must clean up after their pets. Community members are also welcomed to bring photos of their pets to be blessed.

HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, 1726 Shawano Ave., Green Bay

  • 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Event to be held in far west parking lot.
  • Parking: Far west parking lot closest to Shawano Ave., immediately to your right as you turn into the parking lot.

HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, 3100 Superior Ave., Sheboygan

  • 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Event to be held in parking lot, west of Chapel.
  • Parking: Enter through Superior Avenue entrance. Proceed and use road around the parking lot to Chapel Entrance.

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls

  • 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 9
  • Event to be held on South lawn.
  • Parking: Use Entrance 6 off County Hwy I.

New Beginnings and New Heights Training Center Ribbon Cutting

L to R: Gail Yatso, Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President; Danielle Kline, Chamber Vice President; Scott Shackelford, Director of Oconto County Health and Human Services; Will Kline, Director of New View Industries; Debbie Arndt, Chamber Treasurer; and Katie Daul, Chamber Secretary

New Beginnings Resale Store and New Heights, which fall under the umbrella of services offered by New View Industries, opened their doors June 17 with a ribbon cutting held with the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. The new 6,000 sq. ft. building, located at 228 W. Park St. in Gillett, houses the New Beginnings Store as well as program space aimed at assisting disabled youth and adults at New Heights. 

New Beginnings is currently open, but mark your calendar for their Grand Opening on Saturday, July 9 offering specials, treats, and a chance to win prizes!

This building project was made possible through funding provided by the Community Development Block Grant, a federal program focused on community development.

“Many people were instrumental in making this addition possible,” said Kline. “I’d like to thank the Oconto County Board, Health and Human Services Board, the City of Gillett, former Health and Human Services Director, Mike Reimer and former Oconto County Administrative Coordinator, Kevin Hamann.”

New View Industries is a non-profit training facility for individuals who are intellectually/physically disabled or who have other barriers. Their mission is to provide participants with outstanding vocational and skills training to help them achieve greater independence in all aspects of their lives.

Community Medication Take Back Event

Area residents will have the opportunity to safely dispose of unneeded medications at a HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 30.

Those dropping off medications should remain in their vehicle and a volunteer will come to collect.

Guidelines
All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no businesses are allowed.

Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications. Cross out identifying information on the containers.

  • Participants may dispose of medication(s) by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into a disposal box or into a clear sealable plastic bag. Plastic pill containers should not be collected. Blister packages without the medications being removed are acceptable.
  • Liquids will be accepted during this initiative. However, the liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging and their weight evenly distributed within the boxes of collected solid prescription medications. Liquids without the original packaging will not be accepted.

Do not bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas), mercury thermometers.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

This community event is being held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which aims to rid homes of unused medications that create a public health and safety concern because they can be stolen, abused, accidentally ingested or improperly disposed of.

Abrams Theater to Hold Auditions for Summer Comedy

Everyone enjoys a good laugh, and the community theater in Abrams will be rocking with laugher this summer. Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. is looking for actors who enjoy making people laugh – without cracking up themselves!

Mike Eserkaln, the artistic director of Comedy City in De Pere, will direct the ASPI summer comedy, “The Foreigner.” “The Foreigner” is a funny, two-act comedy by American playwright Larry Shue, who also wrote “The Nerd.”

The show will be presented June 16-19 and 23-26 at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams. Eserkaln was last seen on the ASPI stage in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He understands comedy, and he’s looking for men and women, ages 15 and older, who love to make people laugh.

Actors will have two opportunities to auditions: anytime from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, or Wednesday, April 27, at the Nancy Byng Community Theater. Everyone auditioning will be asked to do a short reading from the play. No prep is necessary.

Virtual auditions are available for those unable to audition in person. To schedule a virtual audition, contact ASPI at 920-826-5852 or theater.aspi@gmail.com.

The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia where two Englishmen, Froggy and Charlie, arrive as guests. When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent and claims to not understand English. Taking the explanation that he’s a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge’s guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge.

The comedy received two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production.

For more information about auditions, visit abramsspotlightproductions.com or call 920-826-5852.

2022 Golf Social

Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Logo

August 4th, 2022

River Island Golf Course, Oconto Falls

9-hole shotgun start at 2:00 p.m.

$50 per person (includes golf, cart, and meal)

Please register by July 25, 2022.

A meal (hamburger, chips, pickle) and social to follow golf

Hole events sponsored by River Island Golf Course!

Come out and have a great afternoon on the course!

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S.

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls has been recognized as a 2022 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This recognition as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country is a testament to the tremendous work and dedication shown by our colleagues, medical providers and leaders at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital every day,” said Chris Brabant, CEO, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “We take great pride in the care and service we provide to our patients, and the peace of mind we provide to our rural communities in making high-quality health care accessible and close to home.”

The Chartis Center for Rural Health is part of the nation’s largest independent health care advisory firm, The Chartis Group. To compile the list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals by state, The Chartis Group used the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX™ which assesses hospital performance in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost and financial efficiency.

“Despite unprecedented adversity, rural providers continue to display resiliency and a steadfast commitment to their communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Honoring the Top 100 is one of the highpoints of our year. We are delighted to recognize the exceptional performance and innovation of this year’s recipients, particularly in light of the extraordinary challenges facing America’s rural health safety net.”

Founded as Oconto Falls City Hospital in 1921, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital has been providing care for northern Wisconsin communities for more than 100 years. It is a federally designated critical access hospital offering 24-hour emergency care, urgent care and a variety of other services at 855 S. Main St. in Oconto Falls.

Preparing for Upcoming Marathons: Prevea Pints & Pointers

Prevea Health will host four virtual events to help runners prepare for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon and the Eau Claire Marathon.

The virtual events are part of an educational series known as Prevea Pints & Pointers, which features experts to offer tips and answer questions about running and preparing for the marathons which are scheduled for this May.

Runners are encouraged to grab their beverage of choice and log on to the virtual events to learn strategies, not just for training, but also for competing on race day as well. Presenters will share their perspectives on how to mentally prepare for marathon training, how to eat like an elite runner and how to recover like a champion. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to join an active session of yoga which aims to help prepare athlete’s bodies and their minds as we inch closer to Wisconsin’s marathon season.

Prevea Pints & Pointers Schedule

  • Wednesday, Jan. 19, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Mentally Preparing for Training – Discuss mental skills and training strategies for running
  • Wednesday, Feb. 2, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Eat Like an Elite Runner – Learn how to fuel your body like an elite runner
  • Wednesday, March 2, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Recover Like a Champion – Learn ways to recover quicker from training and races
  • Wednesday, April 6, 6 to 7 p.m.
    Yoga and Pints – Prepare for the remainder of your training through a physical and mental workout

Participation in all four Prevea Pints & Pointers events is open to all and free of charge, but registration is required. For more information, please visit. www.prevea.com/pints-pointers