BARRON, Wis. ⎯  Area clinics, hospitals, and public health are asking community members to share their health concerns and help identify the top health issues facing Barron County through a community health needs assessment survey.

“We are asking community members to take an active role in identifying our top health issues,” comments Deb Dietrich, public affairs senior specialist, Mayo Clinic Health System – Northland. “This is one piece of a larger community health assessment.”

A community-wide health improvement plan is based on data such as illness, injury and death rates, community opinions and community resources. Public health departments and non-profit hospitals in every county, throughout the country, are required by law to complete health improvement plans every 3-5 years using community input.

“The past two assessments identified alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; mental health, and chronic disease as the top three issues in Barron County,” states Barron County’s health officer, Laura Sauve.  “Community groups, coalitions and health care providers have been working over the past several years to obtain funding and address these identified community needs.”

“Community input helps public health and area medical providers determine what health issues are the most important to improve. Once opinions and data are compiled, community members will be asked to come to a one day meeting to help create the actual health improvement plan.” Lisa Laatsch, marketing and community relations manager, Lakeview Medical Center, reports.

“We hope that by working together we will not only improve the quality of the assessment but also the impact on the health of these communities,” adds Kelly Quick-Hanson, executive coordinator of administration and marketing, Cumberland Healthcare.

The community health improvement survey consists of 16 questions and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. The survey is available online or in paper form until the end of April. To complete the online survey, go to: and click on the “What’s New?” section. Paper surveys are available at Barron County Public Libraries, the Prairie Farm High School, Mayo Clinic Health System locations, Marshfield Clinics, Cumberland Healthcare locations, Turtle Lake Medical Clinic, Barron County Department of Health and Human Services, or by contacting Barron County Department of Health & Human Services at 715-537-5691, press 1.

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