Eau Claire (WQOW) — Improvements in our health as a community has earned Eau Claire some gold.
Wisconsin Healthy Communities has awarded Eau Claire with a ‘Gold County Designation‘ for addressing community needs in a variety of ways. Eau Claire was one of four communities across the state to be recognized so highly. This award is meant to guide communities as they work toward better health as a whole. However, the term ‘health’ is not just focused on the medical side of things, something Eau Claire exceeded at.
“We see health issues in different ways every day, but a lot of the root causes are the same,” said Sarah Driever, of Eau Claire Healthy Communities. “So, is there a lack of behavioral health professionals in the area, there is a lack of access to healthy food. Those are the issues that we see kind of upstream that we’re able to address in a more preventative way.”
Earning this recognition may feel good, but the Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director, Lieske Giese told News 18 there is still plenty of work to be done.
“We have significant health issues. The top three health priorities identified for the upcoming number of years for Eau Claire healthy communities includes substance abuse, alcohol misuse and chronic disease,” said Giese. “We know we have challenges to work on, and we need to keep doing that.”
Both Giese and Driever said the community health assessment is an important factor in how officials are able to know and address health issues within our area.