Category Archives: Announcements

Drug Take Back Every Day in Lincoln County

Spring has finally arrived. As you get started spring cleaning this year, consider disposing of unused or unwanted medications.

Wisconsin has seen a significant increase in opioid overdose deaths over the last several decades. In 2000, there were 111 deaths due to opioid overdose. In 2017, that number increased to 916. That’s more than a 700% increase.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, more than 70% of people who abuse prescription painkillers get them through friends or relatives. “Locking medications and taking advantage of safe disposal options are some of the most effective ways to prevent prescription drug abuse in our community,” states Kristin Bath, Public Health Educator Continue reading

Wisconsin Wins: Random Tobacco Compliance Checks in Lincoln County Throughout the Year

Wisconsin Wins (WI Wins) is a statewide program designed to decrease youth access to tobacco products. The program helps reduce tobacco’s impact on Wisconsin by keeping these products out of kids’ hands. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reports that 2,200 kids in Wisconsin under 18 become daily smokers each year.

One way the program works is through compliance checks. This is done to make sure tobacco and nicotine products are not being sold to youth under the age of 18. In 2002, before the program started, Wisconsin’s noncompliance rate was 34%. Today it is down to 5.8%!

WI Wins will be conducting random compliance checks in Lincoln County throughout the year. “Last year 16% of Lincoln County retailers sold tobacco products to youth,” said Judy Sargent, Public Health Nurse Continue reading

March 18-22 is Flood Safety Awareness Week

Residents reminded to take steps to stay safe during flooding events

During Flood Safety Awareness Week, Lincoln County Health Department is reminding residents on how to stay safe during flooding events.

“Wisconsin has seen a great deal of precipitation this winter, and we are expecting flooding this spring when it all melts,” said Kristin Bath, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Lincoln County Health Department. “It’s important for residents to prepare now before flooding starts.” Continue reading

Spring Flooding Resources

Spring is almost here!  That means that flooding season is here too. The extra snow combined with mild temperatures and rain will increase the likelihood of flooding now and into the next few months in our area.

Below are resources to help you and your family prepare for potential flooding and recover if flooding does occur in your home.

More information is available at or by contacting the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307.

Ground Water Awareness Week March 10-16

Life as we know it would be impossible without groundwater. It is the world’s most used natural resource and supports our lives. Approximately 70% of Wisconsinites use groundwater for drinking. The Lincoln County Health Department would like to use this year’s National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16, to remind well owners to test their water every year to prevent sickness caused by bad water. “This year’s theme, Think is a reminder to think about getting that leaky faucet fixed, think about the farmers that rely on groundwater to grow the food we eat, and to think about having your well checked and tested to protect your drinking water,” says Meghan Williams, Registered Environmental Health Specialist for Lincoln County Health Department. Continue reading

Free Youth Mental Health First Aid in Merrill

Healthy Minds for Lincoln County will be offering FREE Youth Mental Health First Aid this month.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

  • February 26 and 28, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Lincoln County Service Center (County Board Room)
  • 801 N. Sales Street, Merrill, WI 54452
  • Instructor: Allie Libby, LPSC, Merrill High School Counselor

* This is a two-day class. Participants should plan on attending both days. Continue reading

Join the Sugar Out Day Challenge on February 9

February is National Dental Health Month and Healthy Smiles for Lincoln County has a challenge for the community. Reduce your sugar for one day.

We are asking families and individuals to take the Sugar Out Day pledge on Saturday, February 9th to reduce the sugar you eat and drink for the day. Click here for the pledge form.

The average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year, which is equal to 3 pounds or 6 cups of sugar consumed in one week! Continue reading

Take Precautions Against Extreme Cold

Dangerously low temperatures are forecasted for much of the state over the next week, and Lincoln County Health Department wants to remind residents to take steps to be safe and stay warm.

“Freezing temperatures, wind chills, and winter storms can cause hypothermia, frostbite, and even death,” said Kristin Bath, Public Health Preparedness Coordinator for Lincoln County Health Department. “The best way to stay safe during extreme cold is to be prepared.”

Lincoln County residents can go to the following locations, during business hours, to warm up.

  • Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital – Emergency Department Lobby:  24 /7
  • Tomahawk Public Library:  Monday– Friday 9 am – 7 pm, Saturday 9 am – 1 pm
  • Tomahawk Senior Center: Monday – Friday 9 am – 3 pm
  • TB Scott Free Library:  Monday – Thursday, 9:30 am – 8 pm, Friday 9:30 am – 6pm, Saturday 9:30 am – 4pm, Sunday 12 – 4 pm
  • Merrill Enrichment Center: Monday – Thursday 8 am – 4:30 pm Continue reading

E-Cigarette Public Health Advisory

This health advisory is being issued by the State and Local Health Officers to inform the public about the alarming statistics on current e-cigarette use among youth in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, current e-cigarette use among Wisconsin high school students increased 154% between 2014 and 2018. In 2014, just under 8% of Wisconsin high school students were using e-cigarettes. In 2018, that number has skyrocketed to 20% (or one out of every five students). In Lincoln County 23% of students reporting using e-cigarettes in 2017.

According to the Surgeon General Jerome Adams, nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain, which continues to develop until around age 25, and can impact learning, memory, and attention. Continue reading

Healthy Minds for Lincoln County Donates Books to Public Libraries

(Left) Ashley Miller, Ascension Merrill, Kristin Bath, Lincoln County Health Department, Laurie Ollhoff, T.B. Scott Free Library, Haley Ellenbecker, North Central Health Care

(Left) Annette Miller, Tomahawk Public Library, Kristin Bath, Lincoln County Health Department

Healthy Minds for Lincoln County is partnering with T.B. Scott Free Library and Tomahawk Public Library to offer books on social and emotional well-being. Books focus on mindfulness, nurturing child brain development, suicide prevention, adversity and resiliency. Within each book are mental health crisis cards with local resources and hotlines.

“Continuing to work on improving the health in our county and community is crucial to our future and brain health is a vital part of that. By providing books in the library on these topics, it will offer free access to everyone. We can support every person in being the healthiest version of themselves, mind and body,” says Ashley Miller, MS, LPC, SAC, Mental Health Specialist for Ascension Merrill.

The following books were provided to libraries: “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity” by Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., “One Minute Mindfulness: 50 Simple Ways to Find Peace, Clarity and New Possibilities in a Stressed-Out World” by Donald Altman, “Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt” by Kevin Hines, Continue reading