Healthy Wisconsin Initiative to Focus Statewide Efforts on Key Health Issues

New state health priorities align with hospitals’ community health needs assessment

May 26, 2017

Building on a year of collaboration with organizations from around the state, health officials launched Healthy Wisconsin this week aimed at improving the health of Wisconsin residents by 2020. The plan highlights five priority areas for improving health: Alcohol, nutrition and physical activity, opioids, suicide and tobacco.

Healthy Wisconsin includes a state health assessment and improvement plan to help communities identify strategies to make Wisconsin healthier.

Healthy Wisconsin builds on the great work already underway in Wisconsin to address these five priority health issues,” said Department of Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “The goal of this effort is to improve the health of those who live here in the next three to five years by collaborating with partners throughout the state to address issues that are having a real impact on our communities.”

Hospitals and health systems are working with community partners to develop and implement programs aimed at improving population health. According to WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding, the Healthy Wisconsin initiative will leverage those local efforts and help build statewide support for improving the health of our citizens. 

“When everyone in the state is pulling together toward the goal of keeping our citizens healthier so they can enjoy a higher quality of life, we have a much greater opportunity to make real improvements in our overall health status,” Borgerding said. “We are excited about the opportunities this new health initiative opens for hospitals and health systems across the state to support the overall goal of creating a healthier Wisconsin.”

WHA participated on a statewide steering committee that included representatives from community organizations, which helped in the development of the plan by reviewing health data and information on evidence-based practices. The committee then selected the five priority health issues. The plan also incorporates the concept of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience and how these can affect health.

A new Healthy Wisconsin website highlights goals, data and strategies to encourage public involvement in making progress on the five priority health areas. The website will also highlight local and statewide success stories that show communities working to make a difference in each focus area.

“We know that improving health in Wisconsin will take all of us working together,” said State Health Officer Karen McKeown. “We are excited about the opportunity Healthy Wisconsin offers to energize people and communities around these shared goals.”

Learn more about Healthy Wisconsin and the priority health issues at Access additional information about the Wisconsin Health Improvement Planning Process (WI-HIPP), the process used to develop Healthy Wisconsin.

This story originally appeared in the May 26, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter