- Healthiest Manitowoc County (HMC) was established to provide support to coalitions addressing the health of Manitowoc County residents. Members represent government, health care, education, not-for-profit community service organizations, law enforcement, religious organizations and private citizens.
- Hosted the first countywide, Lakeshore’s Health Challenge. In the first year, there were 275 participants and 1,543.2 pounds were lost. Today the Lean on the Lakeshore community health challenge is led by Joni Shavlik and Gretchen Joubert and sponsored by Holy Family Memorial.
- Substance Abuse Prevention efforts have helped reduce youth substance use. In the last six years, 31% less students tried smoking, 10% less students drank alcohol and of those who drank, 10% less students admitted to binge drinking. The coalition has also been successful in obtaining two federally funded grants to assist with implementation of best practices. Some of these strategies have been replicated in the rest of state such as the Social Host ordinance, Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign, and Life of an Athlete.
- Most injury deaths in Manitowoc County are due to falls. The Injury/Falls prevention coalition worked to change organizational policies regarding provider reaction to falls and have distributed information and provided strength training classes such as Stepping On and Tai Chi. This work resulted in decreasing the rate of deaths from falls rates to from a high of 48/100,000 to 28/100,000 in 2015.
- In 2016, the Early Literacy workgroup of the Investing Early Coalition applied and received a grant from United Way. Early Literacy then coordinated with the local clinics and physicians to provide 8,180 books along with a prescription for parents/caregivers to read to their child daily.
- Health Literacy was awarded a grant for a pilot program to administer two programs: Navigating the Healthcare System and Let’s Talk about Medications.
- The Mental Wellness Coalition was officially formed in 2013. There are workgroups to address education and awareness, advocacy and access to services.
- Developed the “Healthy Teeth Healthy Kids” dental program, a school-based mobile dental clinic that served low-income children initially at 8 schools. The program grew to serve all public schools in the county, and added a fixed site dental clinic that served low-income adults. Medical primary care was added to the fixed site clinic, at which point the assets of Healthy Teeth were turned over to the Lakeshore Community Health Center (now called Lakeshore Community Health Care). Lakeshore Community Health Care provides comprehensive primary medical, dental and behavioral health care services www.lakeshorechc.org
- A restructuring of Healthiest Manitowoc County went underway to change focus from programs to system-level changes and to coordinate efforts already existing in the community
- A Community Health Assessment (CHA) was conducted to prioritize health issues and to lay the groundwork for establishing new community coalitions
- Held a series of three planning sessions with nearly 80 community members to prioritize the important issues that came from the CHA
- The HMC Steering Committee developed a document listing the strategies HMC will focus their work on for the next 5 years based on evidence-based strategies already existing around us, and new strategies recognized as important by the community.
- 6 Community Coalitions were formed to break the work up into smaller chunks including: Physical Activity and Nutrition; Substance Abuse Prevention & Mental Health; Investing Early; Access to Health Services; Youth Engagement; Worksite Wellness. Co-chairs were identified to lead each coalition and the new structure was finalized.
- New coalitions started their work in early-mid 2019. However, due to COVID-19 Pandemic, in 2020 much of that work was forced to pause. Currently, HMC is working on a Revitalization plan to bring the community back together and start work again.