Wood County Current Events

Housing Repair Loans
Posted 3/26/2015 by jgrueneberg@co.wood.wi.us
Are you in need of funding for home repairs but unable to secure a loan?

If so, please consider applying for a Central Wisconsin Housing Region loan. The loans are available to:

  • Low-to-moderate income (LMI) Wood County residents with owner-occupied homes.
  • Owners of rental units in Wood County that rent to low-to-moderate income (LMI) tenants.
The Central Wisconsin Housing Region covers Adams, Green Lake, Juneau, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Waupaca, Waushara and Wood County. The program administrator is the Juneau County Housing Authority. This is a program that was created to ensure the community’s ability to conserve, rehabilitate and improve residential properties occupied by low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents.

Click below to download the Central Housing Region Brochure.

For more information and application materials contact:

Central Wisconsin Housing Region Program Administrator
Juneau County Housing Authority
717 E. State Street
Mauston, WI 53948
(608) 847-7309
Counseling, Substance Abuse, and Community Resources
Posted 3/24/2015 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
The purpose of this resource list is to provide a list of treatment facilities, recovery groups and other resources in Central Wisconsin for those needing counseling or assistance recovering from substance abuse.
The information provided may not be inclusive of all resources, but can support those in need.
Foster Care Program
Posted 3/19/2015 by dschmutzer@co.wood.wi.us

The Wood County Foster Care program is looking for individuals or families who are willing to be a Receiving Home for children who are placed in Foster Care.

A receiving home is a general licensed foster home that signs a contract agreeing to be available 24/7 on an on-call basis to receive emergency placements of children and youth.

Placements are generally short term (1-30 days).

Monthly stipend and additional monthly reimbursement is provided for actual placements.

If you have an interest in learning more, please contact Jean Rader at 715-421-8643 or Grace Bauer at 715-389-0238. 

Or click on the link to direct you to the Wood County Human Services Foster Care web page.

Distinguished Public Health Employee
Posted 3/16/2015 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Congratulations Leah Meidl, Wood County Distinguished Public Health Employee!

We recognize Leah for her outstanding work and achievements. She is a great team member, leader, and expert. She is always willing to learn new things and then teach others. We are so proud of her for recently passing her IBCLC exam!

Through coalition work, Leah strives to improve the lives of Wood County residents. Community members and professionals look to her as she works to achieve the missions and visions of the breastfeeding coalitions, Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team, and Healthy Growth & Development Team.

Creative, innovative, thoughtful, uplifting, caring and inspiring- the list goes on. Leah goes above and beyond to make sure others feel welcomed and cared about.

Her positive attitude, ambition and motivation is contagious and her passion for public health is evident through her daily work and work ethic. Fulfilling the mission of the Health Department is a part of Leah's work every day and we are lucky to have her on our team.
Positive Alternative logo
New Group Home
Posted 3/5/2015 by dschmutzer@co.wood.wi.us
The Wood County Human Services Department (WCHSD), in collaboration with Positive Alternatives, Inc., is scheduled to open an 8-bed resident group home in March 2015. 
The group home will be used only for Wood County adolescents aged 13 – 17. Six beds will be available for traditional long term placements with the other two for brief respite or crisis diversion placements. This group home will allow youth the opportunity to stabilize their behavior or address mental health issues in a structured and safe setting. The home will be staffed with awake staff members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Youth will remain in their home school district and will be provided the opportunity to participate in individual, group and family therapy services in their home community. Group therapy services facilitated by the group home staff will address issues related, but not limited to, anger management, healthy choices, interpersonal relationships, independent living skills, AODA issues, and social skill development. Goals of this collaborative effort between the WCHSD and Positive Alternative, Inc. include: minimizing the traumatic impact of placing youth outside their family home; reducing the length of out-of-home placements; and ensuring youth remain connected with their families, their schools and their community; and promote return to the youth’s home and family as quickly as possible.
Communities in Action to Prevent Suicide
Posted 3/4/2015 by dschmutzer@co.wood.wi.us
5th Annual Communities in Action to Prevent Suicide Conference
Wednesday April 29, 2015
Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center Stevens Point, WI
7:30 am – 4:30 pm

A conference for School Professionals, Emergency Services, Law Enforcement,Mental Health Professionals, AODA Professionals, Veteran Groups, Clergy,Healthcare Providers, Community Coalitions – Existing and Starting, and Anyone Interested in Suicide Prevention on the Local and State Level.

Click here for more information.
March is National Social Worker Month
Posted 2/26/2015 by dschmutzer@co.wood.wi.us
There are more than 600,000 professional social workers in the United States who have committed their lives to making a difference. March is National Social Work Month. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) sets a theme for the event each year. This year the theme is Social Work Paves the Way for Change. Additional information can be found at NASW Social Work Month. Social workers blend their education and experience with a strong code of ethics. Our Code of Ethics addresses: Service, Dignity and Worth of the Person, Importance of Relationships, Integrity, Competence, and Social Justice. Every social worker values these principles because they prepare us to help people with life’s challenges. Social workers help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, and work to create societal conditions that support communities in need. Social workers help people solve problems, prevent crises and overcome or cope with some of life’s most difficult issues: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability and mental illness. One group of social workers, clinical social workers, also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral and emotional issues. Professional social workers are found in every facet of community life—in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations and in numerous public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need.
Empowered to Connect Conference
Posted 2/24/2015 by dschmutzer@co.wood.wi.us
Empowered To Connect together with Show Hope hosts the Empowered To Connect Conference — a two-day conference designed to help pre or post-adoptive families, foster parents and professionals better understand how to connect with children from hard places in order to help them heal.

This program is being offered on April 10-11, 2015. The live event will be held in San Antonio, Texas, but it will be broadcast at Immanuel Lutheran School in Wisconsin Rapids, sponsored by Catholic Charities Post Adoption Resource Center. The conference is scheduled from 9am-5pm on both Friday and Saturday.  

Registration is $15/individual or $25/couple (includes materials). Contact Jen Wilhorn 715.323.0623 or jwihorn@gmail.com.

The 2015 Empowered to Connect conferences have been approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval #886649357-2610) for 11 Social Work continuing education contact hours.

*PLEASE BE ADVISED: CE credits are for licensed professionals only and are not the same as adoptive/foster training credits.
Guiding Good Choices Flyer
Guiding Good Choices
Posted 2/10/2015 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Guiding Good Choices is a FREE program offered throughout northwestern Wisconsin for adults involved in the care and well-being of children. Parents, family members, and professionals who work with youth will gain tools needed to guide children in positive relationship building and healthy lifestyle choices.

This program is being offered in...

Nekoosa at Alexander Middle School 540 Birch Street, Nekoosa, WI 54457 for a three day event on February 10th, 17th, and 24th (Tuesdays) from 6:00-8:00PM.  *FREE-Including Snacks & Childcare for ages 2 and up*

Wisconsin Rapids at Mead Elementary School 241 17th Avenue South, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495 for a one day event on Saturday, March 14th, 2015 from 8:30am-3:30pm.  *FREE-Including Lunch and Snacks*

Wisconsin Rapids at Mead Elementary School 241 17th Avenue South, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495 for a one day event, in Hmong, on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 from 8:30am-3:30pm.  *FREE-Including Lunch and Snacks*

Healthy People Wood County Mental Health Conference 2014
Posted 2/3/2015 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Below find the presentations for the conference that was held at University of Wisconsin Marshfield/Wood County on October 3rd, 2014.
Attachment Parent Networks – Using Parents as a Powerful Tool to Make Change----- Danielle Luther, MPH Manager – Substance Abuse Prevention Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach
Attachment County Health Rankings: How Does Your County Rank?/Resources for Creating Partnerships to Grow and Support Mental Health Services----- Kristie Rauter, Community Health Planner/Health Promotion Supervisor, Wood County Health Department
Attachment Increasing Your Family Tool Box----- Lisa Kegler, MS, LPC, Therapist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Attachment Crisis Response – How the System Works in Wood County----- Katie Czys – Legal Services/Crisis Supervisor – Wood County (MAC, LPC-IT, SAC-IT, Police Officer, AEMT) & Randall Ambrosius – Treatment Services Manager (MSW, LCSW, CSAC), Wood County Human Se
Attachment Ensuring Your Worksite is Mentally Healthy----- Karen Lane, Disability Rights Wisconsin
Attachment Creating Welcoming Spaces for LGBT People in Your Community----- Brian Juchems, Program Director, GSAFE
Attachment Original Program for the Mental Health Conference on October 3rd, 2014
Attachment PTSD: From a Combat Veteran’s Perspective----- Todd Stage, LCSW, Readjustment Counselor, Veterans Association
Attachment The Ethical and Clinical Case for Tobacco Integration----- David "Mac" Macmaster, CSAC, TTS, WiNTiP Managing Consultant & Kristine Hayden, BS Senior Outreach Specialist, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health Center for Tobacco
Attachment Vulnerable People in a Complicated Society----- Ronald Diamond, M.D.,
Attachment Human Trafficking-Hidden in Plain Sight----- Morgan Young, Immigration and Poverty Attorney, End Abuse WI
Gift Ideas.....
Posted 12/5/2014 by hgehrt@co.wood.wi.us
Looking for a gift for that hard to buy for person in your life? WE have the solution for you...
How about a gift certificate for tubing/skiing at Powers Bluff Winter Sports Area or a gift certificate for camping at any of the 3 Wood County Campgrounds!
For the boaters and skiers in your life, why not give them the gift of their annual pass.
Certificates can be purchased over the phone with MasterCard or Visa, or stop by our office located at 400 Market St, Wisconsin Rapids WI with cash or check.
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
NOAA Weather Radio Program
Posted 11/5/2014 by schristensen@co.wood.wi.us
Wood County Emergency Management Agency is soliciting donations for a new program to provide National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Emergency Weather Radios to the elderly population in Wood County. Weather radios detect and disseminate emergency information which includes weather related events, floods, chemical spills and other local emergencies events that would take place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Emergency weather radios cost approximately $25, but can be viewed as a luxury item by some elderly individuals on fixed incomes. It is our goal to raise funds to provide weather radios to the elderly population in Wood County in order to make the elderly feel more comfortable in their surroundings by knowing that if an emergency were to happen they would be notified by this NOAA radio. It would also indicate when to seek shelter if needed, which could potentially save lives.

Our goal is to hand out 200 or more of the NOAA weather radios in the Spring of 2015. If you donate, you will be sponsored on our website along with a letter to the recipient, unless you wish to remain anonymous.

Any donation that you could provide would help improve the safety of the elderly population in Wood County. Please make your donation payable to the Wood County Treasurer and send it to Wood County Emergency Management, PO Box 8095, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495-8095 or drop it off during normal business hours at the office located at 400 Market Street, Room 111, Wisconsin Rapids.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this worthwhile endeavor. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Ebola Update: Information for the Public
Posted 10/22/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Wood County Is Prepared to Respond to Ebola

Wood County Health Department, health care providers, and emergency responders in Wood County have plans in place to respond in the event a case of Ebola is suspected in Wood County. An Ebola outbreak continues in West Africa; however, no one has contracted the virus in Wisconsin. We want the public to know and understand the following three points:

1. Ebola is only spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick with the virus. It cannot be transmitted through the air. The risk of contracting Ebola in this area remains low, yet local providers are taking steps to promptly identify and respond to a potential case of Ebola.

2. If someone has traveled to West Africa, and they develop a fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising, we ask that they remain home and contact the Wood County Health Department immediately at 715-421-8911 or 715-387-8646. During non-business hours, health department staff can be reached by calling 715-421-8700. Do not contact the health department for someone experiencing a medical emergency - call 9-1-1, and inform them of any recent travel to Africa so that the responders can come with appropriate protective gear.

3. If someone requires medical care with potential Ebola symptoms, FIRST contact the healthcare provider to report the recent travel to West Africa or contact with a person who was sick with Ebola and their symptoms BEFORE going to the doctor’s office or emergency room. Calling first will help staff care for the patient and protect other people.

For more information, call the Wood County Health Department or visit www.cdc.gov/ebola.

Ebola Information
Posted 10/22/2014 by schristensen@co.wood.wi.us
How do I protect myself against Ebola?

If you must travel to an area affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, protect yourself by doing the following:

Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.
Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.
Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on medical facilities.

For more information please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/qa.html
Wood County Poster and Speaking Contests
Posted 10/14/2014 by tarnold@co.wood.wi.us
The Wood County Land Conservation Department will be holding its annual
Poster and Speaking Contest on January 30, 2015.

Posters are due January 30, 2015 to Wood County LCD.
The theme is “Local Heroes Your Hardworking Pollinators”.

The Speaking Contest will be held Thursday February 5, 2015, at Pittsville High School @6:00.
Entry forms are due by January 30, 2015.

For more information contact the Wood County Land Conservation Department at 715-421-8475
or email tarnold@co.wood.wi.us.
Stepping On- Upcoming Community Fall Prevention Program
Posted 10/7/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
The Aging & Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin, in partnership with the Wood County Health Department, will be offering a community fall prevention program in Wisconsin Rapids. Stepping On is an evidence-based, multi-factorial workshop designed for community dwelling older adults. The workshop meets for 2 hours, one day per week, for 7 weeks. The program begins Tuesday, October 14th from 1:30-3:30 PM and will meet every Tuesday until November 25th.

Participants learn:
•Strength and balance exercises and how to implement them into their daily routine
•Ways to improve the safety in their home
•Safe and proper footwear
•Proper medication management
•The role vision plays in keeping their balance
•Ways to stay safe when out and about in the community
•And most of all, participants learn from one another

Who can best benefit from the Stepping On workshop?
•Older adults (60+) who live in their own home or independent apartment
•Able to walk without the help of another person
•Do not use a walker, scooter or wheelchair most of the time indoors
•Cognitively intact

*A contribution of $10 is suggested, but not required.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: October 19-25, 2014
Posted 10/6/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Lead Free Kids for a Healthy Future

Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends public health actions be initiated. A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC, is committed to eliminating this burden to public health.
Infant Massage Classes Now Being Offered
Posted 9/18/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Come and learn infant massage. Classes being offered Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday October 13, 14, 15th from 11:00am-Noon.

$15.00 for all three sessions. Scholarships are available.

Benefits of Infant Massage
 Promotes bonding and attachment
 Stimulates brain Development
 Helps baby sleep better
 Improves digestion and blood circulation
 Reduces incidence of SIDS
 And many more...

To Register, fill out a registration form or call (715) 421-8911.
Training Available: The ABC's of Behavior in Early Childhood
Posted 9/18/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Understand what children are communicating
through their behaviors and how to effectively work through those challenging moments.


Tuesday, November 11
MSTC Auditorium, Wisconsin Rapids

Tuesday, November 18
Streitel Conference Center, Marshfield

To register please contact Childcaring by phone
at 715-423-4114 or 800-628-8534 or by email at: info@childcaring.org
Safe Kids Wood County Coalition Members
Child Passenger Safety Advocates Recognized
Posted 9/11/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Green Bay, WI - The 40th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety was held at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, WI August 27 & 28, 2014. Three Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Advocates were recognized during the awards luncheon.

Each year Wisconsin Information Network for Safety recognizes an outstanding CPS Technician, CPS Instructor and CPS Program of the year that have been nominated by their peers/co-workers. The awards are in honor of Beth Kindschi of Monroe, WI who is a lead instructor and pioneer in the field of child passenger safety in Wisconsin and on a national level.

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the number one cause of death and fatalities of children. Child Passenger Safety advocates promote the safe transportation of children by using child restraints and educating parent/caregivers on using car seats and boosters correctly.

CPS Technician of the year: Mary Waters, EMT/First Responder River Falls Ambulance Services has been a NHTSA certified Child Passenger Safety technician for 11 years. She was instrumental in developing the car seat safety program in West Central Regional Trauma Advisory Council and serves as an expert to many technicians who follow her lead.

CPS Instructor of the year: Patti Dickey (retired) Executive Director of Stevens Point Child Safety Center has been involved in Child Passenger safety for 32 years. She became a NHTSA CPS instructor in 2003 and provided over 500 car seat checks annually through the Portage County Child Passenger Safety Program and provided other safety initiatives.

CPS Program of the year: Safe Kids Wood County is a small coalition with programs and initiatives led by coalition members. Wood County developed one of the first diversion programs in the state of Wisconsin, which is collaboration with law enforcement of Wood County. Ticketed caregivers can attend a car seat checkup for education in lieu of paying a fine.

Each recipient was presented with a plaque at the luncheon.
Food Safety Class
Posted 8/20/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
A food safety education class is being offered on the first week day of each month in Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield. Interested persons must contact the Wood County Health Department prior to the class 715-421-8911.
Spray Manure Irrigation
Posted 7/31/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
At the July 28, 2014 Health and Human Services Committee meeting at the Wood County Annex and Health Center in Marshfield, Nancy Eggleston, Environmental Health Supervisor gave a presentation on spray manure irrigation. The intent of the presentation was to provide Committee members with information about this agricultural practice-- what spray manure irrigation looks like, advantages and disadvantages, risk reduction methods, regulations, public concerns, and the State and local Health Department roles. To view this presentation, please see the link provided.
Courthouse Parking
Posted 4/16/2014 by webmaster@co.wood.wi.us
In April 2014, road construction began near the Courthouse at the intersection of Baker Street and Market Street.

As a result, access to the Baker Street parking lot has changed. Please refer to the attached map for details.
Posted 4/7/2014 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
National Public Health Week 2014: Overview

Since 1995, communities from across the country have participated in National Public Health Week. Every April, we come together to celebrate public health and renew our commitment to promoting a healthier nation using a unique theme to center the conversation. NPHW 2014 will focus on ways to guide the community through the evolving public health system with the theme: “Public Health: Start Here.”

As we invite communities to join NPHW 2014, let’s work to help them understand how public health affects their lives and offer guidance on how to navigate the changing system. Whether it’s through research, data collection, health education, policy change or direct services, public health lays the foundation and creates the conditions
that put healthy choices within reach. Let’s help our communities figure out where to start and how to access the variety of options made possible by public health.

A recent change that will impact the public health system is the enactment of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taking two U.S. health systems — public health and health care — and bringing them into each other’s world, the ACA envisions more collaboration between the health workforces to save lives and money. The ACA signals a shift in our nation’s health system from one that focuses on treatment of the sick to one that is committed to proactively keeping people and communities healthy and safe. Included in the historic law are comprehensive prevention provisions consistent with those called for by APHA in its health reform agenda and supported by other leading experts in population health.

National Public Health Week 2014 will fall at a critical time in the ACA process — just after the first Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014. This will be an important opportunity to rally stakeholders and members of our communities together around the value of public health. We need you to participate, and to remind your communities that public health professionals can help them navigate these changing times.
Wood County Outdoors!
Posted 8/1/2013 by hgehrt@co.wood.wi.us
Are you interested in Wildlife and what happens to it in our area? Do you want a way to voice your opinion on how it should be managed?
If so, then WE WANT YOU.....to join the Wood County Wildlife Area Advisory Committee.
This Committee currently has (1) opening for a 3 year term. This Committee meets 4 times a year in January, April, July, and October on a Tuesday evening at the Sandhill Wildlife Area.
If you are interested, please fill out the attached form and mail it back to the Wood County Park & Forestry Department.
Powers Bluff Long Range Plan
Posted 10/19/2012 by hgehrt@co.wood.wi.us
This is a .pdf file and is very large. It may take a few moments to download.
Pets In The Parks
Posted 6/28/2012 by hgehrt@co.wood.wi.us
Per our ordinance 600.08 (1) Pets.
-It shall be unlawful for any person to allow pets to enter any public building, bathing beach, picnic grounds, or playgrounds within any County Park, or to run at large at any time on County Park grounds.
-In other County Park areas and campgrounds pets are permitted provided they shall at all times be kept on a leash not more than 10 feet long. All pets shall be effectively restrained or under the owner's control at all times. No person shall allow his pet to deprive or disrupt the enjoyment or use of any area by others.
-Pet owners are required to immediately clean up after their pets.
Community Health Improvement Planning Process
Posted 5/4/2012 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
The Wood County Health Department, in partnership with Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital and Riverview Medical Center, is in the process of completing a Community Health Improvement Plan.

This process includes examining local county health data, identify local priority health areas, and identify community assets and resources.

Once our local priorities have been selected, community members will be asked to join implementation teams to assist in developing goals and objectives around these identified local health priority areas.

They will identify and develop evidenced-based strategies for the local health priorities, promote and implement these strategies, and evaluate the success of the strategies. Resources will be identified to mobilize the community to improve the health of Wood County residents.

We would like you to identify the Health Focus Areas that should be the priorities for the community for the next few years.

Considering the information (data) available on the Wood County Health Department website, the typed discussion points made by the Community Assessment Team, as well as your personal experience and insight, please complete the following survey.