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Local advice used to help develop county health improvement plan

RIVER FALLS, Wis. 01/31/2014

Local health leaders have developed a plan to improve the health of our county and they need your help.

Throughout 2013, Pierce County Public Health and River Falls Area Hospital, part of Allina Health, completed a health needs assessment for Pierce County. The process engaged a wide range of community members to identify and prioritize local health needs.

Physical activity and healthy foods were identified as the top priorities for Pierce County. When developing a three-year plan to address these priorities, stakeholders reviewed national research on "what works," ultimately choosing evidence-based strategies to improve health.

"It used to be believed that most health problems could be fixed if people would only make different choices or if there was better access to care," explained Sue Galoff, Director of Pierce County Public Health. "While these are related to health, today we know that health is determined by more than just those factors."

"By focusing on environmental strategies to improve health, we hope to make it easier for individuals in Pierce County to make healthy choices," said Heather Logelin, Foundation and Community Engagement director at River Falls Area Hospital.

The 2014-2016 Pierce County Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan is available online at www.co.pierce.wi.us and www.allinahealth.org. Moving forward, the Pierce County Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Coalition will provide oversight of the plan's implementation. To get involved, or to learn more about the action plan, contact Amy Hess, RD, Pierce County Public Health at amy.hess@co.pierce.wi.us.

About River Falls Area Hospital

River Falls Area Hospital, part of Allina Health, is a not-for-profit regional medical center committed to providing quality, comprehensive care to patients in western Wisconsin - from disease prevention to innovative diagnostic and treatment services for simple to complex medical conditions. The hospital provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient, cancer care and emergency care services.

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services

For more information, visit us at allinahealth.org, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Healthy Set Go.