Wisconsin Wins Cracks Down on Illegal Tobacco Sales

May 18, 2016

  A state wide program is cracking down on illegal tobacco sales.  

The Wisconsin Wins Tobacco Compliance Check Program works to keep tobacco out of the hands of youth and lower illegal tobacco sales in Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Florence, Lincoln and Price counties.  Program Coordinator and Oneida County Community Health Specialist Maria Otterholt outlines the program…

A recent study done by AAA finds fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug. AAA spokesperson Nick Jarmusz says the recent numbers are concerning...

"......they went from an 8 percent(fatal crash level) to 17 percent, that's about one in six drivers in Washington state that are involved in fatal crashes that has marijuana in their system...."

  This week is National Women’s Health Week and the Wisconsin Well Woman Program is encouraging women to make their health a priority. The program serves the northern nine county region of Wisconsin, and offers breast and cervical cancer screenings at no cost to uninsured or underinsured women between the ages of 45 and 64. Program coordinator Nichole Paplinski says this week is about improving women’s mental and physical health. She says women should engage in a physical activity 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day, eat healthy and keep up with preventative screenings…

Police officers from central and northern Wisconsin recently trained in techniques to handle people who are having a mental health crisis.

  Tomahawk and Rhinelander Chiefs of Police Al Elvins and Michael Steffes were presenters,along with mental health professionals in what's known as Crisis Intervention Training. The model brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and others to improve responses to people in crisis.

Wednesday is Bike and Walk To School Day and students in the Northwoods will be participating. This year, Northwoods LEAN, or (Linking Education, Activity and Nutrition) are encouraging young people to be more active. Here's Maria Otterholt from Northwoods LEAN....

" we really celebrate physical activity during the month of May. Northwoods LEAN is encouraging that on May 4 by asking all schools in Vilas or Oneida counties and have their students bike or walk to school that morning...."

Next we hear from Dr. Kurt Landauer, a physician in Urgent Care at Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua. Tick season is back and he talked to WXPR's Ken Krall about ticks, prevention of disease, treatments and other topics. Dr. Landauer was asked to describe just what is a tick-born illness...

Dr.Kurt Landauer of Marshfield Clinic's Minocqua Urgent Care department.

Next we hear from Sheila Weix, Director of Substance Abuse Services For Family Health Center of Marshfield Clinic.

12 organizations in north central Wisconsin have formed what is called the Hope Consortium, designed to help battle the growing opioid addiction problem in this region. The Hope Consortium has a new website and toll-free telephone number designed to get people to help with opioid addiction problems.

WXPR's Ken Krall talked with Weix about the effort...


  Results from the Community Needs Assessment from Forest, Oneida and Vilas Counties show alcohol and drug use, mental health and chronic disease prevention as the top three health concerns facing the Northwoods. The Division of Public Health, UW-Extension and Ministry Health Care from the three counties are working to establish a health care plan for the Northwoods, but Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon says public input is needed.

The incidents of Vilas county retailers selling tobacco products to underage persons has risen, according a local health professional.

Vilas County is part of the Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition and Tammi Boers from Vilas County Health Department says spot checks of retailers found the illegal sales rising...

" 2015, Vilas county had 22.86 percent of our retailers sell to minors. That increased from 2014 which was at 13.5 percent..."

She says they work to educate retailers about how to do proper ID checks...

National Public Health Week Looks At State Of Our Health

Apr 6, 2016

We are in the middle of National Public Health Week, an initiative to recognize health departments across the country for their efforts to improve the safety and well-being of their communities.

Marta Koelling is the Assistant Director of the Oneida County Health Department and she says the department is educating citizens on their initives through posts on their social media throughout the week.

PTSD Not a "Veterans Only" Concern

Apr 1, 2016
Dave Melancon

Educators and area employers learned that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not a “veterans’ only” affliction and helping avert a suicide attempt is a skill that can be learned during Nicolet Area Technical College’s second “Hire Up” presentation Friday.

“PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal event,” said Jessica Schiek, Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital mental health therapist. It tells the individual that the world is a scary place and dangerous place and they are ill equipped to deal with it.”

Northwoods Counties Among Least Healthy

Mar 24, 2016

Wisconsin News Connection 

A new report indicates rural counties in Wisconsin and across the nation tend to have higher rates of premature death, smoking, obesity, child poverty and teen births. Large urban counties have lower smoking and obesity rates, and large suburban counties have the lowest rates of child poverty and teen births.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released the annual County Health Rankings, showing how counties compare on more than 30 factors that influence health.

The legend of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs appears to have been brought to the United States by settlers from southwestern Germany. A health official hopes the Easter Bunny only brings healthy eggs this weekend and not a food-borne illness.

Oneida County Registered Sanitarian Todd Troskey says a few simple tips can keep everyone from a food-borne illness. Troskey says start out with making sure the eggs are in good shape from the store...

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Ministry Health Care will be participating in the first wave of a nationwide effort by Ascension Health to provide care through the Veterans Choice Program, that officials say gives veterans the choice to receive care at all Ministry Health Care locations throughout the Northwoods.

Kendra Glebke is the Veterans Choice navigator for Ministry Health Care. She says qualified veterans can get care closer to home through the Veterans Choice program...

  A 3 year, nearly $300,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will help expand and encourage breastfeeding among Wisconsin tribes. The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council says the money will be used to train tribal health care workers and other maternal child health staff. Nutritionist and Breastfeeding Coordinator Cheri Nemec says 83% of infants initiate breastfeeding, but by 6 months only 55% are still breastfeeding. She says they’ll invest in programs encouraging and normalizing breastfeeding by developing support groups and community education events.