Radon: Leading Cause of Lung Cancer among Non- Smokers

Winter HomeDid you know that radon gas causes more than 20,000 deaths a year? It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. You cannot see, smell, or taste it, so it is easy to forget that radon may be a problem. Help protect you and your family by testing your home for radon during January- National Radon Action Month.

Radon is a natural, odorless gas. It enters buildings through cracks within the basement, walls, and gaps around pipes. “The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test for it,” stated Meghan Williams, Environmental Health Specialist Continue Reading > >

Number of WI Retailers Selling Tobacco to Minors Inching Closer to 10%

teen-smoking-e-cigaretteMore Wisconsin kids are being sold tobacco products illegally, according to new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The data comes from the 2016 Synar survey, which examines the number of retailers that sell tobacco to minors. The 2016 rate of 7.2% is up from 6.8% in 2015 and 6.4% in 2014.

While Wisconsin remains below the national average of 10%, local health advocates say there’s reason for concern. “The fact is that a number of the tobacco products being sold in stores are highly appealing to youth,” says Judy Sargent, Public Health Nurse, Lincoln County Health Department. “Preventing these sales is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting kids and improving the health of our community.” Continue Reading > >

Lincoln County Releases Results of 2016 WI WINS Compliance Checks

wis_wins_logoThis past summer the Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition (NWTFC) conducted tobacco compliance checks throughout Lincoln County. A total of 30 random checks were completed for any retailer in the county that had a tobacco license; 3 of these establishments sold tobacco to a minor. The current illegal sale rate of 10% is down from last year’s illegal sale rate of 13.8%. Although this is an improvement from the previous year, it is unfortunate that several convenience store sales clerks did not properly check purchaser’s IDs and sold to minors. Continue Reading > >

Mental Health Coalition Offers Free Youth Mental Health First Aid in January

mental-health-logoThe Lincoln County Mental Health Coalition is excited to announce that they will be offering FREE Youth Mental Health First Aid. County residents and individuals that work for agencies that serve Lincoln County are encouraged to sign up for this two day training. The training will be held on Monday, January 9 and Wednesday January 11 from 4:00 -8:00 pm at the Merrill High School, Room 113. Dinner will be provided. Participants must commit to attending both days. Space is limited to 30 participants. Must be at least 18 years old to attend.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for community members to learn how to help youth who are experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis,” says Kristin Bath, Public Health Educator Continue Reading > >

Do Patient Reminders Assist in Increasing Immunization Rates?

Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) participated in two performance management objectives in 2016 focusing on improving immunization rates for two year olds and avaccinationdolescents ages 13-18 residing in Lincoln County.

Performance Management Goal 1: 76% of  children will complete 4 DTaP, 3 Polio, 1 MMR, 3 Hib, 3 Hepatitis B, 1 Varicella and 4 PCV13 vaccinations by their second birthday. Immunization rates for 2 year olds have decreased since 2013; however, they are on the rise in our county. The increase in rates from last year’s 72% to 76% maybe due to increased parents/guardians’ awareness of the importance of receiving vaccines. You can read the full LCHD report:  2016 Report on improve vaccine rates by second birthday

Performance Management Goal 2: 44% of 13-18 years of age will have received 3 doses of the HPV vaccine. Quality Improvement Project assisted with increasing those who have completed the series. 51%  of those who were eligible for dose 3 received it after they received a reminder letter from LCHD. Although we did not meet our Objective for the year, we were able to still increase HPV vaccine rates in adolescents.  You can read the full report:  2016 Report QI Study Shows Vaccine Reminders Increase HPV Rates