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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Assessing and Improving Community Health in Wisconsin

Oak Creek Health Department

Implementation Approaches

What is our overall Reduce Alcohol & Drug Abuse objective?

By December 31, 2019, the Oak Creek Health Department aims to increase drug and alcohol education among parents of school age children (elementary through high school), educating 15% of all parents (~677 households with persons under age 18).

Ideas and strategies to reduce alcohol use among Oak Creek residents: 

-What can we do as organizations and institutions?

  • Provide access to drinking cessation and drug abuse resources and programs.
  • Educate about Wisconsin laws for supplying minors with alcohol.
  • Change reader-boards before events such as prom to raise reminders throughout the city.

-What can we do as a community-wide system?

  • Offer a variety of alcohol reduction and drug abuse activities and support as well as alcohol-free events.
  • Create school curriculum that addresses the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Conduct a community-wide media campaign to raise awareness about alcohol and drug abuse and misuse.
  • Localize printed materials for distribution through a variety of methods and locations.
  • Improve awareness and education related to chronic health conditions, including the effects of alcohol and drugs.
  • Mobilize youth to educate their peers about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Regulate alcohol advertising. Place signs of alcohol education and awareness in liquor stores.
  • Consider undercover patrols in schools.
  • Distribute letters to parents indicating their responsibility and punishment for providing alcohol to minors.
  • Host tables with literature at sporting events, parent/teacher conferences, open houses, etc.

What is our overall Improved Nutrition objective?

By December 31, 2019, the Oak Creek Health Department will aid to increase the percentage of Oak Creek adults who eat the daily recommended number of 3+ vegetables by 10% (from 30% to 40%).

Ideas and strategies to improve nutrition among Oak Creek residents:

-What can we do as organizations and institutions?

  • Assist with providing education to staff through food preparation and nutrition classes.
  • Bring local fruits and vegetables into work. Use a food co-op as an employee benefit.
  • Offer only healthy foods at meetings and community events.
  • Encourage the sale of healthy and nutritious food for school fund-raising activities.
  • Encourage a culture of healthy eating for employees through an incentive-based wellness program.
  • Participate in healthy eating community-wide programs.
  • Offer cooking classes and cultural meals.

-What can we do as a community-wide system?

  • Encourage grocery stores to do more education.
  • Educate parents of school-age children regarding school breakfast and lunch requirements.
  • Promote Farmers Markets and the sale of local produce (winter and summer). Offer free cholesterol checks, raffles, and other incentives to boost attendance at Oak Creek Farmer’s Market.
  • Create payroll stuffers that businesses can use.
  • Establish school and community gardens.
  • Encourage local dining establishments to offer healthier menus and do menu labeling.
  • Work with local food retailers to highlight healthier food choices.
  • Send monthly recipes and nutrition information to daycares, schools and senior housing.
  • Promote nutrition at National Night Out.
  • Work with chefs and/or registered dietitians to educate residents on how to prepare healthier meals.
  • Compile a list of healthy dining options in the city.
  • Increase number of vending machines in schools and businesses that contain a higher percent of healthier food items.
  • Create a community healthy eating cookbook.

What is our overall Physical Activity objective?

By December 31, 2019, the Oak Creek Health Department will aid to increase the number of adults who engage in moderate or vigorous physical activity per the CDC recommended guidelines by 10% (from 53% to 63%)

Ideas and strategies to increase physical activity among Oak Creek residents:

-What can we do as organizations and institutions?

  • Implement after-school or after-work physical activity programs.
  • Bring in physical activity experts for lunch programs or education/presentation sessions.
  • Host health fairs with health screenings for staff and families. Consider inviting the public.
  • Track physical activity related-data and distribute among staff and partners to better measure and evaluate progress of programs.
  • Incorporate and encourage use of the trail into a wellness program.
  • Adopt policies that exceed national and state requirements regarding physical activity.
  • Get involved in youth leadership and sports opportunities.
  • Participate in community coalitions or partnerships with other organizations.

-What can we do as a community-wide system?

  • Encourage physical activity education, programs, and classes such as: Mayor’s Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge, Walk the Halls program at Oak Creek High School and other indoor areas during inclement weather, Recreation Department Activities, Exercise programs at senior housing, Community-wide classes at library
  • Organize a Fun Run, Moonlight Walking event, or Bender Park activities.
  • Continue community-wide campaign to raise the number of people participating in physical activities.
  • Encourage local businesses to adopt policies toward physical activity.
  • Establish additional safe walking and biking routes (including sidewalks). Enhance traffic safety in these areas with additional signage.
  • Ensure access to recreational opportunities.
  • Participate or lead community coalitions or partnerships.
  • Promote Open Swim.
  • Distribute monthly printed and website information to schools, daycares and senior housing regarding physical activity and its importance. Include locations of walking/biking areas.

What is our overall Inattentive Driving objective?

By December 31, 2019, the Oak Creek Health Department will increase awareness of the dangers of inattentive driving, with a focus on texting while driving, among Oak Creek residents over the age of 16 by 5%.

Ideas and strategies to decrease inattentive driving among Oak Creek residents:

-What can we do as organizations and institutions?

  • Develop business phone policies and signed contracts that prohibit use of business phones while driving. Enforce consequences.
  • Educate on the dangers of inattentive driving to all employees annually. Utilize a simulator such as the one at http://www.itcanwaitsimulator.org/.
  • Place No Texting reminders in employee parking lots and near exits.
  • Host a documentary viewing: The Last Text, which tells true stories of lives altered or ended by texting while driving
  • Video messages such as Eyes on the Road video
  • Show messaging at National Night Out
  • Billboard advertising
  • Celebrate National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April

-What can we do as a community-wide system?

  • Create school curriculum that addresses the dangers of distracted driving.
  • Conduct a community-wide media campaign to raise awareness about distracted driving including various websites and social media.
  • Localize printed materials for distribution through a variety of methods including school and business locations.
  • Improve awareness and education related to texting while driving including police, fire, and local business involvement and partnerships.
  • Mobilize youth to educate their peers about the dangers of texting while driving.
  • Offer texting while driving simulation activities and support.
  • Encourage retailers to placard their parking lots and exits with No Texting While Driving signs.
  • Stronger enforcement of the Wisconsin law that prohibits sending e-mails or texts while driving and carry a fine of up to $400.
  • Ensure consistent enforcement and standards with surrounding communities.
  • Code inattentive driving in police logs with more detail to separate out texting from eating or putting on make-up, etc.