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Improving the health of the community

OCONTO FALLS - HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls and its partners were recognized by the state of Wisconsin for successfully improving the health and wellness of the local community. Oconto Falls was one of only 31 communities in the state to receive a Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation.

The Healthy Communities initiative is offered through the UW Population Health Institute and recognizes and encourages achievements in health improvement. Oconto Falls achieved the bronze designation, confirming the community’s efforts to address specific areas identified in the 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 Henne, Community Benefits Facilitator, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “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 (OFATSO) is working to develop and maintain trails in the city. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital encourages these efforts, offering financial assistance and community support. Through the work of OFATSO, Oconto Falls is filling in gaps where sidewalks don’t exist and developing/maintaining trails in the area.

The Donate a Healthy Plate Toolkit is an educational program that teaches community members about healthy food pantry donations and helps organizations conduct healthy food drives.

The trails initiative and Healthy Plate Toolkit are just two examples of how the community is working to improve health overall. The Wisconsin Healthy Communities application also highlighted the Health and Safety Fair co-sponsored by HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital and the Stepping On fall prevention program offered at various locations in the county.

When applying for the designation, St. Clare representatives collaborated with personnel from the city, school district, chamber of commerce, public health department and community organizations.

“So much great work is happening throughout Oconto Falls,” said Gail Yatso, Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce President. “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.”

Media Contacts

Angela Deja
Public Relations Coordinator
(920) 272-3360

Dana Jermstad
Senior Communications and Public Relations Manager
(920) 429-1752
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