Black River Falls, WI - A national foundation recently requested four national meetings in rural areas to answer the question, “How do rural communities work on rural health needs, and how can we best engage with them?” Wisconsin was asked to serve as one of these four meeting sites.
John Eich, director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health said, “We asked Jackson in Action (JIA), a coalition working to improve the health of Jackson County residents, to start off the conversation as a panel. The audience, made up of agencies and organizations from Wisconsin and Minnesota, took part in large-group conversations after the initial presentations by JIA. The conclusions and ideas from this meeting will be carried back by national researchers for their report to a major national foundation (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
Jackson in Action is chaired by Nicole Schweitzer, rehabilitation services director at Black River Memorial Hospital. Schweitzer and JIA members discussed the county health rankings, which Jackson County first appeared at 71 out of 72 counties in 2010 and the initiatives they have implemented which have helped improve the ranking to 32nd in 2017. Schweitzer shared the many efforts by Jackson in Action to improve the health of Jackson County residents, like the Pace and Pedal Duathlon and Jackson County Fitness Day, Laces to Leaders, Nutrition Education with local youth and more.
Chris Hovell, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the initiatives at the county level that tie to the efforts Jackson in Action is making in the community.
An audience made up of agencies and organizations from Wisconsin and Minnesota, took part in large-group conversations about health improvement efforts which will be carried back by national researchers for their report to a major national foundation (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).