The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wick sees 'great progress' in Iron County's public health


Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

ZONA WICK, health officer from the Iron County Health Department, speaks at the annual Community Health Improvement Plan review in Hurley Thursday.

HURLEY — Local health care and community leaders took part in the annual Community Health Improvement Plan review through the Iron County Health Department at the Iron County Courthouse, Thursday.

CHIP is required by the state of Wisconsin, and each health department must perform a review of the plan every five years.

Representatives from the health department, Iron County Human Services Department, Mercer Health and Wellness Program, Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, Highline Corporation, Aging Unit of Iron County, Aspirus Grand View and the Iron County Board of Supervisors attended the event, and shared ideas about programs currently available through the health department in the county.

“I am really pleased to see different partners coming to the table for input,” health officer Zona Wick said. “It shows that despite the fact that our county has a population less than 6,000 people, we have great progress.”

The review discussed a variety of topics including promoting physical activities, mental health awareness and support, nutrition programs and chronic disease management and prevention.

“Despite our successes, we also have deficits and needs and we’re here to address that and talk about it,” Wick said. “Because we’re working with such intelligent people and policy makers in our county, our needs can be met and things can happen.”

Attendees discussed a variety of options to help improve the success of programs, creating programs where needed and expanding already successful programs.

Many of the ideas took strengths from successful programs and tried to implement strengths into areas of improvement.

“For example, one of the strength-based ideas was how successful (Iron County Summer) Youth Camp was, and taking those teen leaders and expanding it towards them leading senior citizen activities,” Wick said. “We often don’t think of these ideas, so having the community come together helps us share ideas that could help.”

Future programs

Wick said that within the next three months, the health department is focusing on diabetes outreach with three programs and activities.

In August, the health department is hosting free diabetes screenings and educational demonstrations about diabetes through a grant from the Relic Riders. In September, people can participate the Dining with Diabetes classes and in October, Lucia Patritto, from the Michigan State University Extension office, will be hosting a national diabetes prevention program.

“We hope to see a lot of people utilizing these resources and helping us spread the word of management and prevention of diabetes,” Wick said.

For more information about the review, the health department or future events, call 715-561-2191.


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