News Room
As Prescribed

Jefferson County and our surrounding communities can be healthier and live healthier. Our current health status, according to CountyHealthRankings.org, isn’t so good. Of the 72 counties in Wisconsin, Jefferson County ranks 33rd for overall health outcomes, 39th for morbidity (overall health, physical health, mental health and babies born with a low birth weight) and 44th for health behaviors (alcohol and tobacco use, sexual activity, diet and exercise). Walworth County has a more favorable rank of 22nd in the health behaviors category, but fares worse in two indicators: 38th for overall health outcomes and 57th for morbidity.

Our goals
Fort HealthCare’s vision is “Be the healthiest community in Wisconsin.” How do we make this a reality? As the leading healthcare provider in our region, Fort HealthCare has determined that a wide-reaching health and wellness campaign—directed to the public as well as our partners—can positively affect change. Our strategies for making significant changes in health outcomes, health behaviors and morbidity focus on health and  wellness education, awareness of critical health issues and encouraging healthful behaviors.

We believe the goal to create Wisconsin’s healthiest community is a bold, daring, challenging and incredibly important undertaking. To make this happen, we need to:

  • Educate area residents on the benefits of becoming the healthiest community in Wisconsin help each community be ready to embrace and act upon health-related messages.
  • Help area residents to see the benefits of healthy eating, health screenings and lifestyle improvements.
  • Encourage individual responsibility and accountability.

If we accomplish our goals, we’ll improve our status in the county health rankings and, ultimately, create the healthiest community in Wisconsin. Your role is quite specific. We want you to exercise regularly and follow a diet that provides you and your family with healthy, nutritious foods. Also, we’ll remind you to have regular health screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, and encourage you to maintain or establish an ongoing relationship with a Fort HealthCare primary care physician.

Rather than focusing on one individual at a time, we hope to motivate all individuals to see how their health affects the overall population. Our messages will encourage everyone to work toward a shared goal. The call to action and campaign brand is: Let’s Do This! Our theme is a literal call to action. It’s positive, motivating and, hopefully, appeals to all audiences, from individuals to employers to community coalitions. You’ll see this mark
throughout all our print, outdoor and social media. And, you’ll hear this message in our radio advertisements. Are you in? Let’s Do This!

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Well Woman exam important in early detectionThe purpose of an annual Well Woman exam is to detect and treat any new or ongoing health problems, as well as to help prevent future ones from developing. Even if you’re not due for a Pap test, it’s still important to visit your doctor yearly for a comprehensive Well Woman exam. The standard components of a Well Woman exam include assessments of:

 

  • Current health status
  • Nutrition practices
  • Physical activity
  • Sexual practices
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use

Across age groups, the exam also includes height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. Annual breast and abdominal exams begin at age 19.

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology currently recommends Pap screenings starting at age 21, every two years for most women under age 30, and every three years for women 30 and older who have three negative prior screenings and cessation of cervical cancer screening at age 65 or 70, depending on a woman’s screening history.

Women may be worried that less frequent screening is detrimental to their overall healthcare needs, but this isn’t the case. Over-screening can lead to unnecessary
treatment and could contribute to negative outcomes, such as preterm birth or having
low-birth-weight infants in the future.

Some women may have certain high-risk factors or conditions that may require additional or more frequent tests and interventions. For instance, it is recommend that women
have their first mammogram at age 40 and yearly beginning at 50, but a woman and
her doctor may decide to have a baseline mammogram before age 40 if there is a
family history of breast cancer.

Schedule your Well Woman exam today
Well Woman exams are a routine part of a woman’s health care and are covered buy nearly every insurance provider. We offer these exams at any of our family medicine or internal medicine clinics, and the Fort HealthCare Center for Women’s Health. Visit FortHealthCare.com/FindADoctor to find a physician that’s right for you.

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School and sniffles: What's a parent to do?The leaves are falling and the crisp, fall breezes are upon us. While this time of year brings us relief from a hot summer, it also signals the return of “sniffle season.” Keeping kids well calls for more than good luck, and you can take steps to bolster your child’s resistance. Are you prepared?

Has your child had a physical? An annual well-child exam gives your pediatrician the chance to thoroughly assess your child’s health and development. The doctor will review your child’s medical history, perform a complete physical exam, take weight and height measurements and check blood pressure. Other tests may include a scoliosis screening, blood and urine tests and vision and hearing screenings. If the doctor prescribes treatment changes, be sure to inform the school nurse and give her a supply of your child’s medication. If your child plays sports, don’t forget to bring any appropriate forms for the doctor to sign.

Are you up to date on shots? Children need as many as 27 shots by the time they reach 18 months of age—are you sure your child received them all? Ask the doctor to check your
child’s immunization record
and administer any missing doses.

Has your child seen the dentist? Even if your child seems healthy, tooth decay is a bacterial disease that can affect overall  health and lead to problems eating, speaking and paying attention in class. American children miss 750,000 school days each year because of dental problems. Children should see a dentist twice a year starting at age 1 or within six months of the first tooth’s appearance.

Does your child eat breakfast? Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast do better academically and socially and  are less likely to overeat later. Good choices include high-fiber cereals with milk; pancakes or waffles topped with yogurt or fruit; and eggs and whole-grain toast.

Have you taught your child well? The more you enforce good hygiene habits at
home, the more likely your child will continue the practice. Insist on hand washing before every meal and snack and after visiting the bathroom or touching the class pet. Teach your child to lather for 15 to 20 seconds—or for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Show how to cover a cough or a sneeze with a tissue, the crook of an elbow or, as a last resort, the hands and then wash up. Remind your child not to share hats, combs, brushes or makeup.

Does your child get enough sleep? Sleep is as important to health as are nutrition and exercise. School-age children generally need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night, with younger ones needing the most.

If it’s been a while since you’ve come in for a well-child exam or you are seeing symptoms of something brewing, make an appointment today. The Fort HealthCare Integrated Family Care clinic is open in its temporary location (426 McMillen St., Fort Atkinson) and our providers are excited to treat your entire family with a comprehensive wellness approach.

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