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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Assessing and Improving Community Health in Wisconsin

About the Project

Across our state, local health departments and non-profit hospitals are working with each other, and with other community organizations and community members, to assess local health needs and pick priorities for action. We have gathered these local priorities and placed them into a central location to highlight the health issues are most important to communities across our state. This website is organized to allow people interested in a particular health priority area to identify other communities across the state that are also working on that priority. Awareness of shared health priorities and the strategies and tactics being considered for implementation across the state and in local communities creates opportunities for shared learning and alignment of efforts.

Our Methods

The previous version of this website featured key health improvement priorities (listed below) that were featured in about half of all implementation plans.

  • Alcohol use
  • Diet & exercise
  • Drug use
  • Tobacco use
  • Access to care
  • Chronic disease
  • Mental health

We have revised and expanded the key health priorities to include more social and economic factors, as those issues are increasingly becoming a focus in communities throughout the state. The following health priority categories are new to the website as of 2017:

  • Sexual activity
  • Quality of care
  • Community safety
  • Education
  • Employment & income
  • Family & social support
  • Housing & transit
  • Other

Each community has put a great deal of effort into identifying the full range of its local priorities. Where available, we have provided links to the full health needs assessments for hospitals and local health departments so that users of this site can put the shared priority areas in their wider local context.

Please note that we copied the implementation strategies “as is” from each organization’s plan. These snapshots represent the hospital implementation plans and local health department (LHD) plans as of December 2018. Work is underway to add updated plans as they become available.

About Our Work

Assessing and Improving Community Health in Wisconsin is a product of the Making Wisconsin the Healthiest State project, which seeks to: 1. Measure, assess and report on Wisconsin’s health and health disparities; 2. Support local efforts in health improvement; and 3. Support statewide impact on policy, systems, and environmental changes for health. Support for this project is provided by the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.