Where We’ve Been
Healthy Marathon County serves as the oversight board for Marathon County’s community health improvement process (as required by State Statute). The process includes: engagement of stakeholders, assessment of community health needs, identify health priorities, implement action plan(s) to address health priorities, evaluate impacts, and celebrate successes. A community health assessment is done every five years.
The LIFE Report is a community assessment done every two years that focuses on the quality of life in Marathon County. Much of the data needed for Marathon County’s community health assessment is contained within the LIFE Report.
While planning for the upcoming community health assessment, it was determined that working in a coordinated manner with the Steering Committee of the United Way’s Life Report would maximize precious resources.
View the Life Report results here.
Report to the Community 2011
Previous Community Health Assessments WI State Statute requires local public health agencies to assess community health indicators at least once every five years. Community health assessments allow us to:
- Analyze health data to identify and prioritize health needs of Marathon County residents and monitor change over time.
- Develop coordinated and collaborative action plans to address the priorities
- Engage community leaders to commit resources towards health improvement
- Help Marathon County residents improve their health.
Background and Process
The first community health assessment was conducted in 2003. This assessment was sponsored by Aspirus Health Foundation, Foundation of Saint Clare’s Hospital, Marathon County Health Department, and Marshfield Clinic.
Three major data elements were collected:
- Quantitative data describing 11 categories–demographic characteristics; socioeconomic characteristics; health resources availability; quality of life; behavioral risk factors; environmental health; social and mental health; maternal and child health; deaths, injuries and illnesses; communicable diseases; and sentinel events
- 43 Key Informant interviews were conducted
- A community household survey was written and completed by 986 residents of Marathon County.
From these data, 17 health priorities were identified by a data expert group. These health priorities were ranked by the Community Health Assessment Steering Committee and the Healthy Marathon County Board of Directors. Criteria used in establishing priorities:
- Actionable at the local level
- Able to be impacted in 3-5 years
- Viable strategies exist to impact the issue
- Affects many people
- Has a serious impact on population health.
7 Health Priorities Identified
- Alcohol Use and Misuse
- Concerns About The Cost of Health Care
- Health Care for the Elderly
- Obesity and Related Disorders
- Suicide and Mental Health
- Tobacco Use & Exposure
- Utilization of Prenatal Care
These priorities require major changes within culture and thus required sustained action. Cultural change requires a focus on individuals, families, institutions, community, and policy. For example, the Marathon County Tobacco Free Coalition has existed for over ten years. During this time adult tobacco use has decreased from 28% of Marathon County adults to 19% of Marathon County adults. Action teams were first created in 2003-2004 to address priorities in previous community health assessment reports.