Oneida County Health Department

Natalie Jablonski

Oneida County's Public Health Department is ranked among the elite few following an accreditation process.

In an annual report to the county board, Assistant Director Carl Meyer said the health department is only one of 31 agencies to get this type of national accreditation. He says the department had to meet rigorous standards to achieve the designation, something that is rare...

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Oneida County Health Department celebrated earning national accreditation Wednesday. 

Only five health departments in the state have successfully gone through the process…that shows a department is adhering to high public health standards.

Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon says a lot of it was documentation.  The application filled ten three-inch binders.  But she says it also involved improving actual services. 

Health departments are promoting an online training program for tobacco retailers, designed to reduce illegal sales of tobacco to minors.

Marta Koelling is Community Health Specialist for the Oneida County Health Department.  She says the online program called smokecheck.org is free and educational. 

“It offers information and study guides on Wisconsin’s tobacco laws, checking ids, and communicating with customers.” 

Participants can choose to take an exam at the end of the training and receive a state-approved certificate. 

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An easy to take vitamin supplement can dramatically lower the chances that a child is born with health problems. Every four minutes a baby is born in the U.S. with birth defects.

Oneida County and other health departments were involved during January with National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

 

Brenda Husing, Registered Dietitian and Lactation specialist says there are ways for pregnant women to cut the risk of birth defects...

 

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 January is National Radon Action Month. Exposure to radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Smokers have an even larger threat of developing lung cancer if radon is present in their surroundings.

Charlotte Ahrens from the Oneida County Health Department describes radon...

 

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The Oneida and Vilas Public Health and Emergency Management Departments have released a list of facilities open 24 hours that people could go to if they need to warm up in the extreme cold.

In Oneida county, Trig's Riverwalk Centre and Wal-Mart...both in Rhinelander... are facilities that are open 24 hours. In Minocqua, Trig's and WalMart along Highway 70 are open 24 hours, as is Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff..

en.wikipedia.org

A bill in the Wisconsin Senate would update the language in Wisconsin's statewide smoking ban to make electronic cigarettes legal in public places. An e-cigarette is a device operated by a battery where the user inhales a water vapor. The user also inhales nicotine in the draw. The devices don't have the restrictions of tobacco cigarettes, which are banned in public places.

Oneida County Public Health Tobacco Coordinator Niki Kostrova says the feds have not yet approved them as a smoking cessation device....

 

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Rhinelander School District's Pelican and Crescent elementary schools are closed today after large numbers of students went home sick this week. The school district closed the schools on the recommendation of the county health department.

The high absenteeism is attributed to gastrointestinal and upper respiratory problems.

National Cancer Institute

It’s National Radon Week.  Health officials are reminding people to get their homes tested for the dangerous gas to prevent long term exposure.

Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens says the problem with radon is that it’s colorless and odorless.

“People have no indicators they they’re being exposed to this gas.  The gas is produced by a breakdown of uranium in soil, and in rock and in water.”

healingtalks.com

Violations for selling tobacco to minors in the Northwoods has taken a marked decrease.

The Oneida County Health Department administers tobacco law compliance checks in a six county northern region.

Tobacco Coordinator Niki Kostrova says the downward trend from 2012 shows education is working...

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