In 2016, we asked all ambulance services in Wisconsin about their patient care policies and practices for the treatment of time critical diagnosis patients. Then, in 2018, we issued resources on best practices for EMS agencies based on that initial assessment. Our office plans to complete another such assessment in 2019.
The Healthy Aging in Rural Towns (HeART) project seeks to support older adults to thrive in their rural communities as they age in place. The project is a collaboration between our office, the UW-School of Nursing, and stakeholders in three communities: Iowa County, Langlade County, and the City of Waupun.
The Clark County Public Health Department received a grant from our office to promote healthy lifestyles and personal well-being in Clark County. One outcome of that committee was the creation of a county-wide guide to increase options for healthy eating and physical activity across Clark County.
Rescue Divas is a hands-on residential camp designed for middle school girls interested in exploring careers in emergency medicine.
Each year the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health collaborates with the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative to plan the annual Rural Hospital Finance Workshop. The workshop consistently receives rave reviews each year, and has grown to be a valuable resource for finance professionals in Wisconsin's rural hospitals.
Since 2003, the Office of Rural Health has funded over 60 Rural Community Grant projects, providing resources to rural coalitions working to address health challenges in their community. One of these successful projects was Langlade Hospital's Medication Safety Red Bag Program, developed to address medication safety and reduce accidents related to medication misuse.
The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, in partnership with the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC), provides an opportunity for Critical Access Hospitals in Wisconsin to adopt and implement web-based event reporting. Through this project hospitals have gained a better understanding of systems issues related to patient safety.
To assist local EMS leaders, our office sponsors an EMS Leadership Academy — a 60-hour leadership development and training program specifically designed to build the abilities and skills of those operating local EMS agencies.
Wisconsin is fortunate to have a well-funded Health Professions Loan Assistance Program, which leverages federal funds to provide education debt repayment awards to providers who agree to work in these rural and urban underserved areas. These awards are a provider recruitment and retention tool.
In 2011 the Office of Rural Health began hosting training opportunities targeted at rural hospital foundations. Topics have included engaging physicians and staff in philanthropy efforts, building board engagement, planned giving and designing appropriate metrics to measure success.