Better Health Takes the Whole Team

The Green Bay Packers played on a cold, rainy night in October at Lambeau Field. The Packer team was in sync and won the game by pounding the Minnesota Vikings in a 42-10 victory.That very morning a crowd of persons interested in the health of Sheboygan County met at LTC. The crowd gathered to develop a “new game plan” designed to improve the health of Sheboygan County residents.That meeting served as a “kick-off” to create a new community health plan assisting Sheboygan County residents to “Live Better, Longer.”

That “team roster” at that meeting included over 100 community members. They listened as team players from several organizations shared results of a recent community health assessment.

The 2014 Community Health Assessment provided an example of a new level of cooperation andteamwork between Aurora Health Care, Lakeshore Community Health Center, Sheboygan County Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health, Healthy Sheboygan County 2020, St. Nicholas Hospital, United Way of Sheboygan County and UW-Extension – Sheboygan County.

This was the first time a single, coordinated community health assessment reflecting the health of our community was gathered. Data was collected in three ways; a community health survey of residents, interviews with community leaders and a review of secondary data of health data from numerous data sources.

The assessment was filled with “stats” ranging from local birth rates, leading causes of death and hospital stays, to areas that impact health like air quality, diet and exercise, alcohol and tobacco use, attitudes and behaviors and access to health services. Those at the meeting discussed the findings and agreed that a game plan is needed which will lead to a change in local “culture” to one of prevention.

So what next?

The Healthy Sheboygan County Steering Committee has taken the feedback of those who attended the October “Call to Action” and are in the process of engaging community organizations to develop a coordinated “game plan” to address substance abuse, mental health, obesity rates andhealth care access.This plan will build on the successful collaboration efforts experienced during the Community Health Assessment process with an emphasis on prevention and individual engagement and understanding of their health. Additional players committed to this effort arewelcome.As the late Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, acivilization work.”Together, through the broad commitment of many, we can gain significant yardage toward a community vision of “Everyone Living Longer, Better” in SheboyganCounty.

Jean Beinemann is the chairwoman of the Steering Committee of Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 and a program supervisor at the Sheboygan County Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health. For more information, visit or call the Division of Public Health at (920) 459-4382.