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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Assessing and Improving Community Health in Wisconsin

Polk County Health Department

Implementation Approaches


  • Decrease the number of alcohol impaired drivers

  • Delay youth initiation of alcohol use

  • Reduce binge drinking


  • Increase community awareness around DWI

  • Promote initiatives to reduce underage alcohol use

  • Reduce access to alcohol by minors at a minimum of 2 community celebrations/events

  • Increase access to counseling services to adolescents with underage drinking violations and to adolescents whose parents are concerned about underage drinking behaviors

  • Expand Alateen presence in Polk County to at least one additional site

  • Increase community awareness around binge drinking

  • Increase screening for alcohol use in primary health care settings


  • To improve the nutritional quality of meals and snacks in the schools and community

  • To create opportunities for active living

  • To strengthen worksite wellness policies

  • To strengthen best practice in healthcare settings around overweight and obesity prevention

  • To increase breastfeeding rates


  • At least 50% of Polk County Schools Districts are implementing best practice school wellness programs
  • Two initiatives targeting increased fruit and vegetable consumption will be implemented
  • A promotional campaign to promote county wide recreational resources and clubs will be conducted
  • Support implementation of best practice programs to increase physical activity at school and in the community
  • Identify, support and pursue policies that will help worksites strengthen their wellness programs
  • Work with primary healthcare settings to increase the proportion of providers screening and intervening to address overweight and obesity
  • Assist worksites to be breastfeeding friendly, with at least 1 worksite establishing a breastfeeding policy
  • Assist Daycares to be breastfeeding friendly with at least 3 daycares earning the title of Breastfeeding Friendly by completing the 10 steps established by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Provide Baby Behaviors education to WIC mothers
  • Increase local breastfeeding support with establishment of Polk County Breastfeeding Coalition website and Facebook page


  • To improve the mental health status of Polk County citizens
  • To reduce the suicide rate in Polk County
  • To reduce youth harassment and bullying


  • Polk County residents will have knowledge of and easy access to an annually updated countywide Mental Health Services Directory
  • An assessment, referral and follow up protocol will be developed for Polk County schools for students that are high risk for suicide
  • A public information campaign will be conducted to promote awareness of suicide as a preventable public health problem
  • The proportion of healthcare providers who screen patients for depression will increase
  • There will be increased awareness in schools and the community about the importance of protective behaviors to combat bullying