Hospitals that are active participants in vibrant community coalitions are in the best position to respond to community health needs during public health emergencies. Those hospitals are able to pivot from their planned community health improvement efforts to alternatives.
In rural Lincoln County, Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital and Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital are members of numerous coalitions focused on improving community members’ health – mental and physical.
One of those coalitions – the Healthy Minds Lincoln County Coalition – responded to the increased home-centric family life with creativity: Summer Fun Project Packs.
“Finding ways to connect and have fun together can help youth and families manage stress and enjoy the increased home time,” said Jane Bentz, Director of Community Outreach for Ascension Good Samaritan. “The packs are filled with youth-family educational activities that touch on mental health, nutrition and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Craft and reading activities, along with supplies to complete the activities, are also included.”
The Healthy Minds Lincoln County Coalition partnered with Kinship of Tomahawk, T.B. Scott Library, Tomahawk Library and the UW-Madison Division of Extension 4-H program to provide a pack in May. The response was so overwhelmingly positive, the group created a set of packs for each month during the summer.
Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital-Merrill and Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital-Tomahawk