May 2, 2014

“Healthy Burnett” Awarded $10,000 Security Health Plan Grant
BURNETT COUNTY – The community group “Healthy Burnett” was recently awarded a nearly $10,000 Healthy Communities Mini-Grant from Security Health Plan, a health maintenance organization sponsored by Marshfield Clinic. The funds will be utilized to address the top health need in Burnett County identified through a recent community health assessment.

“Healthy Burnett”, which brings together key stakeholders to align activities and resources to enhance how the community addresses identified health needs, was created in early summer of 2013 as a response to the community health assessment and improvement process Burnett Medical Center, Burnett County Department of Health and Human Services-Public Health, and the St. Croix Tribal Health Clinic started in 2012. Through the assessment, behavioral health was determined to be the top health need in Burnett County. The need became evident when statistics showed that Burnett County ranks among the highest in the number of suicide deaths among its residents compared to the rest of Wisconsin and the United States. Furthermore, Burnett County is designated as a Mental Health Care Professional Shortage Area, which limits access to behavioral healthcare services for residents.
To help address this identified need, Burnett Medical Center, in partnership with Burnett County DHHS-Public Health and Northwest Passage, a non-profit children’s mental health treatment organization with facilities throughout Northwest Wisconsin, applied for the Security Health Plan grant on behalf of Healthy Burnett.
“The grants have been presented to non-profit organizations focusing on three health areas that need greater attention – children’s health, behavioral health and health literacy,” said Jason Shrader, community benefits and prevention program manager for Security Health Plan. “We’re really excited about the programs that we are supporting.”
Healthy Burnett will be using the $10,000 to complete three projects: (1) provide QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Gatekeeper trainings for suicide prevention to various community audiences, (2) Bring the “I am STRONGER than you think” public awareness campaign message designed and trademarked by Northwest Passage into local school districts in an effort to break through the stigma preventing people from getting help with behavioral health concerns, and (3) develop a website for Healthy Burnett to improve communication and awareness about county behavioral health initiatives and services. The website will also serve as a central point of information sharing about Healthy Burnett, the top health needs, and other related resources and initiatives in the county.
“These organizations are embarking on projects that will touch communities in a variety of ways,” said Steve Youso, Chief Administrative Officer for Security Health Plan. “We are looking forward to seeing the fruits of this partnership.”
“This grant and partnership will help our community in focusing on healthcare needs identified during our community health needs assessment,” said Gordy Lewis, Burnett Medical Center CEO. “I am confident that together we can improve the health and wellness of those we serve.”
Healthy Burnett has been meeting monthly since June 2013 and has developed a strategic action plan which outlines a community-wide response to improving the county’s status on behavioral health. The group currently has representatives from 14 different organizations that regularly attend meetings and that will be helping complete the grant projects. For more information about Healthy Burnett, or to become a member and join in these efforts, please contact Alyssa Ryan, Marketing Director at Burnett Medical Center, at 715-463-7285, or Sarah Miller, Burnett County WIC Director and Public Health Nutritionist, at 715-349-7600, ext. 1265.
Healthy Burnett Group Photo

Healthy Burnett members recently participated in a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Training for Suicide Prevention at Burnett Medical Center—one initiative funded by the Security Health Plan Healthy Communities Mini-Grant. Pictured above (L to R): Back row: Beth Johnson, Kate Peterson, Curtis Emerson, Ashley Goffin, Debra Eichman, Lil Pinero. Middle: Leah Lade, Carol Ahlquist, Michelle Bailey, Sarah Miller, Tracey Vaillancourt, Carrie Jurek. Front: Brent Blomberg, Mark Hayman, Alyssa Ryan, Gretchen Thomson.