As Public Health Week nears, it’s good time to consider the services

Article also appeared in Antigo Daily Journal, April 1, 2017

In recognition of National Public Health week, the staff at Langlade County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to share what the department does to help support the community in becoming healthier and stronger.

“We all have a role in making our communities healthier places to live, and the Langlade County Health Department is excited to lead the way,” Ron Barger, director of Health and Social Services Department, said. “Even small steps can make a big difference in the health and safety of our county.”

Toward that effort, the following are just a few examples of how your local health department is here to help:

Public health staff is ready to respond to any health emergency. This was highlighted during 2009, with the emergence of the H1N1 influenza virus. The department’s role was to educate and prepare the community for the unknown effects of H1N1.

The health department offers preventive care needed to help maintain health. Late last year and early into this year, surrounding counties suffered from a Pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak. The nursing staff monitored all test results for our county’s residents and encouraged the public to come in for vaccine protection. For 2016, the department provided a total of 2,029 immunizations to children and adults of Langlade County.

Public health staff provides information that allows people to make healthy decisions. Last year, the department put out a total of 122 articles and interviews through local media outlets and set up 60 educational displays that an estimated 4,200 community members engaged in.

The Langlade County Health Department provides services to children and families through the WIC program, Prenatal Care Coordination program and Langlade County Diaper Bank. It’s newly established diaper bank collected over 5,870 diapers last year, which allowed our department to serve over 200 children.

The health department collaborates with other community partners to improve wellness and prevent illness in Langlade County. The department works closely with the area school districts by providing support and education to students (i.e. health fairs, SADD teen peers, class presentations).

Public health staff also coordinate with Aspirus Langlade Hospital to conduct a widespread assessment of our community’s health needs and develop a Community Health Improvement Plan to address the key issues identified in the assessment.

National Public Health Week is designed to showcase the role that public health agencies play in making illness prevention possible for this generation and generations to come.

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