National Health Week

National Public Health Week, April 4-10, is a celebration to recognize the contributions of public health over the past year and to highlight ways to improve health at the local, state, and national levels. This year’s theme is “Public Health is Where You Are”, recognizing the direct influence public health has on all aspects of life. 

“Public health touches the lives of everyone in Wisconsin”, says Wisconsin Department of  Health Services State Health Officer Paula Tran. “State and local partnerships are critical for us to make sure every Wisconsinite has the opportunity to thrive. We can work together to do  things like improving access to food and foster safe places to be active and to age, to make health  possible for everyone in our state.” 

Every day, public health professionals help communities prevent, prepare for, withstand, and recover from the impact of a full range of health threats and opportunities, including disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and refugee crises. They also provide key vaccinations and child  

health programs, cancer screenings, lead paint remediation for landlords and homeowners, and surveillance for chronic diseases, while supporting communities by ensuring access to the conditions needed for good health. From mental wellness to climate and health, accessibility to community resilience, from transportation to jobs, housing, and education, these societal factors all play a role in a person’s overall health. 

As our community faced a communicable disease outbreak most of us had never experienced in our lifetime, we faced many challenges and changes in our everyday lives. Local healthcare and community partners came together to provide testing, vaccines, and guidance for our community as we faced this new illness. Even today, as we learn more about the COVID-19  virus, we continue to change and modify our response to protect our community the best way we know how. We are proud to serve our community moving into the future and are thankful to all who have walked with us on this journey towards a healthier future.  

A “Thank You Tour: Moving Forward Together” with Governor Tony Evers, kicked off on March  14, 2022, two years after the start of the pandemic to thank communities for their COVID-19  response efforts. A new DHS webpage allows Wisconsinites to post online notes of appreciation thanking public health and health care heroes for their service and leadership in support of the  COVID-19 response.

Evers provided the Vernon County Health  Department a “Certificate of  Commendation” honoring our staff’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic response.  

Pictured from front left to right: Amy Kleiber, RN, BAN Health Officer/Director, Megan Rahr, Contact Tracer and Public Health  Assistant, Margie Brownell, WIC Outreach, Melina Milleman, Interpreter Spanish Breastfeeding Peer, Sandy Favor, Health  Department Administrative Assistant. From back left to right: Sara Hewitt, RN, BSN Public Health Nurse, Amy DuCharme, WIC  Director, Shari Jacobson, Contact Tracing Specialist, Ashley Schlicht, RN, Staff Nurse. 

Vernon County Health Department wishes to extend a most heartfelt “Thank You” to all public health professionals in our community, neighboring professionals in La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Sauk, Richland, Crawford Counties, and across the entire state of Wisconsin. Your valued work contributes to the overall health of our entire community.