Wright County Public Health celebrated Health Week

Jane Kvalheim
Last week was National Public Health Week it was an opportunity to recognize the contributions of public health, and highlighted issues that were important to improving our county.
Public health strives to move our health system upstream so we are dealing with prevention as a primary thought versus fixing things after they break.
Be Healthy From the Start
Did you know?
-Longer lifetime durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of maternal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
-It is also associated with decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions in offspring such as obesity, type 1 diabetes and leukemia.
-Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mother who does get care.
-Nearly 1/3 of all students in the United States don’t graduate from high school on time. This is a destructive cycle: Students who don’t graduate face lifelong health risks and high medical costs, and they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.   They are less likely to be employed and insured, and they earn less.
 Wright County Public Health offers:
-Home visiting programs: Growing Great Kids and Nurse Family Partnership which promote the health and well-being of pregnant and parenting families.
-Breastfeeding support and education also available. Call (763)682-7468
-In the fall of 2014, trainings for childcare providers in the area of healthy eating, physical activity, and supporting breastfeeding families.
-The Co-Location Program offers confidential services to students, plus resources and education to staff in all school districts. Call (763)682-7468.
Get Out Ahead
Did you know?
-Today 7 in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.
-Another striking fact is that 75% of our health care dollars are spent treating such diseases. However, only 3 % of our health care dollars go toward prevention.
-Average medical expenses are more than twice as high for a person with diabetes as they are for a person without diabetes.
-More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right keeping active and getting recommended screening test.
- 9 out of 10 childhood poison exposures occur at home, with medications being the top cause.
-Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. 1 in 3 Minnesota homes has an elevated radon level.
Wright County Public Health offers:
-Home Safety Checklists to ensure your home is the safest it can be.
-Radon Tests are sold at the Human Services Center or the WOW Van. Short term kits are $6 and long term kits are $12.
-Resources for low-cost and free cancer screenings.
-Blood sugar/glucose tests available on the WOW Van for $5.
Eat Well
Did you Know?
-Under the Affordable Care Act restaurants are required to list caloric content of each standard menu item, additional nutritional information must be available, and numbers of calories per serving must be visible of self-service food.
-The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act reformed school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the nutrition of nearly 32 million school lunches and 12 million breakfasts consumed each day.
-In total, we are now eating 31% more calories than we were 40 years ago, and the average American now eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than 1970.
-The national average retail price for fresh vegetables and fruits recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet (4.5 cup equivalent) is $2.18/day.
-Food borne contaminants cause an average of 5,000 death and 325,000 hospitalizations each year.  This costs the U.S. economy more than $44 billion each year in medical costs and lost productivity.
Wright County Public Health offers:
-Under the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant, up to $3,500 will be available to each school that completes the School Garden 101 workshop and works with Wright County to create their school garden.
-Food shelf resources, including Ruby’s Pantry and Fare for All, are available on the WOW Van.
-Information on 8 Community Supported Agricultures (CSA), 5 Farmer’s Markets, 5 Community Gardens and 2 Food Coops.
-WOW Van has resources on how you can prevent food borne illnesses.
Don’t Panic
Did you know?
-Public Health professionals help communities withstand the impact of natural or man-made disasters by planning ahead, acting as a source of information during the crisis and helping to mitigate the long and short-term effects.
-Emergency preparedness is not only for Californians, and Gulf Coast residents.
-Every year, thousands of people are affected by severe weather threats such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorm.
-Preliminary data for 2012 shows there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries.
-Over a period of 30 years, between 1976-2006, estimates of flu-associate deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of 49,000 people.
-Nearly half of Americans do not have a family or household emergency plan.
Wright County Public Health Offers:
-Wright County has a multi-disciplinary team of individual from all over the county that participate in continual planning, training and drills in preparations for potential disasters and emergencies.
-Emergency Prepared-ness Guides are available on the WOW Van.
-Flu shots.  We can bill most insurance for flu and if you don’t have insurance flu shots and flu mist are $10.
Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation
Did you know?
-Vaccines can protect both the people who receive them and those they come in contact with.  It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it.
-Investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts could save the nation more than $16 billion within five years.
-Helping community members identify the resources and information available is an effective way to keep everyone healthy and safe.  
Wright County Public Health offers:
-Numerous community resources freely available at the Human Service Center or on the WOW Van.
-Discounted/Free dental services for those who qualify on the Ronald McDonald Dental Van. Call (763)682-7456 for more information.
-WOW Van provides immunizations, dental fluoride, cholesterol screening, and blood sugar, lead and hemoglobin checks, and free blood pressures reading.  Call (763)682-7717.
-Child & Teen Check-Up exams done by trained Public Health Nurses; covered by MA or for a fee based on sliding scale.  Call (763)682-7717
In recognition of National Public Health Week we gave away a Ronco Showtime Chicken Rotisserie to one lucky winner who “Liked Us” on our Wright County Public Health’s Facebook page.
For a schedule of our locations and hours please visit the Wright County Public Health Website at www.co.wright.mn.us  and look for the “WOW Van Schedule” icon on the right hand side of the page or call 763-682-7717.


OFFICER JOSH PESTA is the newest member of Big Lake’s police department. He hails from Long Prairie and started on the job last week. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

TOM GEROLD of Alive! Lutheran Church of Monticello met with the Big Lake Twp. Board Wednesday to outline plans for moving their church to a Co. Rd. 11 site, just west of the former River Inn. Looking over the plans were Supervisors Bruce Aubol, Norm Leslie, Larry Alfords and Steve Pfleghaar. (Photo by Gary W. Meyer)

DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES Gordy Vosberg is excited about the expanding role of paramedics in keeping people at home in the community through the Healthy At Home follow-up care program and offering the best emergency services to those in need. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Construction of the Oak Savannah Learning Center started March 25, 2015. The new learning center is located up the hill from the Old School House site, south of Co. Rd. 9. (Submitted Photo)

WH served 2,295 meals at its 78th Annual Meeting.