Wood County Health Department

Sue Kunferman, Director
Sue Kunferman, Director
Wood County Health Department
Wisconsin Rapids Office
Wood County Health Department (Map)
Riverview Clinic Building - 4th floor
420 Dewey St
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm Mon-Fri
Phone: (715) 421-8911
Fax: (715) 421-8962

Wood County Health Department
Marshfield Office
Marshfield City Hall (Map)
3rd Floor, Suite 303
Hours: Call for appointment & clinic dates
Phone: (715) 387-8646

If you need to report a communicable
disease or public health emergency
after hours, please contact the
Wood County Dispatch Center at
(715) 421-8700.

Current Events

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.
Erica Sherman
Distinguished Public Health Employee
Posted 12/17/2013 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
Congratulations to Erica Sherman, Wood County's Distinguished Public Health Employee!

We recognize Erica for her positive attitude and outstanding work performance. Erica consistently displays an up-beat disposition by encouraging, supporting and educating co-workers. She is always willing to help and her attitude is uplifting and motivating, serving as an exceptional role model. Erica is committed to providing the best possible care and information to her clients. She strives to improve services and techniques through learning new information and sharing ideas. This is evident by her participation in quality improvement initiatives. Erica displays a high level of expertise with clients as well as community members. Her punctuality and professional demeanor is always appreciated.

In addition, Erica is a wonderful Family Health Injury Prevention team leader. She advocates for the team members and their programs. Erica is extremely well organized, which keeps the team running smoothly. She excels in promoting health through the individual services provided as well as with the coalition work she does. She truly cares about the overall health of the entire population, which is evident through her passion for acquiring knowledge and understanding of the ever changing needs of the people in Wood County. Erica’s work truly helps to fulfill the mission of the Health Department and contributes to achieving the goals in our Strategic Plan. She is a wonderful nurse and co-worker and definitely an asset to our department.

We thank you for Erica for her inspiration, extraordinary job performance, and outstanding contributions to the department! It is with great pride and honor that we commend Erica for her accomplishments.
Posted 12/13/2013 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
December 13, 2013

Since November 1, 2013, Marathon County Health Department, Portage County Health and Human Services, and Wood County Health Department have seen a significant rise in positive cases of laboratory confirmed pertussis (whooping cough) in students attending several different schools and organized activities within Central Wisconsin.

As a part of the follow-up procedure, Public Health staff within the health departments and agencies throughout Central Wisconsin continues to identify close contacts of positive cases of pertussis, impacting classrooms, organizations, and school sport activities. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease. It is important for suspect cases to be evaluated by health care providers.

It is equally important for identified close contacts of pertussis to contact their health care providers for a preventive antibiotic prophylaxis if they have no symptoms, and for testing and treatment if they are symptomatic. It is very important that any person for whom pertussis is suspected to be tested and remain isolated until the results of the test are known. State Division of Health suggests the following guidelines in identifying, isolating, testing and treating suspect cases of pertussis:
•Symptoms in the early phase are cold-like with mild cough and progress to uncontrollable and persistent cough that may include whooping and vomiting.
•Symptoms develop about 7 to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria.
•The cough usually lasts about six weeks, but the untreated patient usually remains infectious for 2 to 3 weeks.
•The treatment of choice is usually azithromycin or clarithromycin.
•Infants and people with a weakened immune system like cancer have the highest risk of complications and may need hospitalization.
•Cough mixtures, expectorants and/or suppressants should NOT be used and help very little.
•Immunization with D-tap or T-dap is still the best defense against the disease.
•Individuals suspected of having pertussis should be isolated until the initial 5 days of antibiotic treatment are completed.
•Women in their third trimester of pregnancy should receive a Tdap immunization with each pregnancy

The outbreak of pertussis continues throughout Wisconsin. Some parents are compliant with their children’s immunizations or because their children have been treated in the past for pertussis. As a result, parents may dismiss symptoms of pertussis as a cold or respiratory ailment such as asthma or allergies. In many of the investigated confirmed positive cases of pertussis, patients have reported milder symptoms of the disease and generally not the ‘whoop’ or uncontrollable cough, especially for patients that are currently immunized against the disease.

It is important to remember, that if you suspect pertussis in yourself or a family member to contact your local health care provider. If tested, and symptomatic, avoid public congregations such as work, school and other social settings until test results are known. If treated for symptoms, you must follow the antibiotic treatment as prescribed and remain at home until treatment is completed. If not tested by your health care provider and treated as a presumed positive case for pertussis, you must remain isolated at home for 5 days – until the antibiotic treatment is completed. Pertussis is a reportable disease to local health departments and Public health staff is required to follow up with positive cases and close contacts to patients with Pertussis. Check with your health care provider or local health department to see if you and your family are up to date with DTap or Tdap vaccine doses. As a good public health measure toward prevention wash your hands often and keep coughs covered.

For additional information contact your local health department (may list specific contacts) or visit http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/pertussis.htm

Healthy Living Programs FALL 2013
Posted 8/27/2013 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
The Aging & Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin announces their fall program schedule for the Wood County area. Please see the document attached. These programs are evidence-based programs for older and/or disabled adults and provide a variety of health benefits. These include classes specific for balance, strength, flexibility, fall prevention, chronic disease management, bone health, and overall physical activity and mobility.
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.
Where we live, learn, work and play matters to our health
Posted 2/1/2012 by cmarkworth@co.wood.wi.us
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute have unveiled the second annual County Health Rankings. Nearly every county in the country is ranked on health outcomes (how healthy we are) and on health factors (how healthy we can be). This information helps counties see where they are doing well and where they are not, so they can make changes to improve health. Visit the link below for more information.
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