Marshfield Clinic and Family Health Center of Marshfield recognized that improving the health of an entire community goes beyond doctor-patient visits when it created the Center for Community Outreach (CCO) in 1998.

CCO partners with coalitions, businesses and other organizations to promote quality of life and reduce the incidence of lifestyle related disease. Focus is placed on evidence-based strategies that address health priorities identified by the state plan, “Healthiest Wisconsin 2020: Everyone Living Better, Longer.”

The Center for Community Outreach provides education, training, technical assistance and other resources through the following programs:

AmeriCorps

This national service program engages Americans in service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. The Center for Community Outreach provides 95 AmeriCorps members for health care agencies, coalitions, after-school programs, tribal nations and nonprofit organizations to help build capacity to promote volunteerism, positive youth development and to prevent and reduce substance abuse and other health-risk behaviors across Wisconsin.

Substance abuse prevention

Formed in 1995, Northwoods Coalition is the largest and oldest coalition dedicated to substance abuse prevention in Wisconsin. Over 50 coalitions in northwest Wisconsin, including coalitions from all 11 tribal nations, come together to address public health issues related to the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

The Marshfield Area Coalition for Youth, a core member of Northwoods Coalition, works to prevent and reduce the use of alcohol, prescription drugs, heroin and marijuana and reduce mental health disparities of Marshfield youth.

The Center for Community Outreach was a founding member of each coalition and provides education, training, technical assistance and other resources to both coalitions. Marshfield Clinic AmeriCorps members placed with these coalitions provide the capacity for more services in local communities.

Substance abuse treatment

Family Health Center of Marshfield and the Center for Community Outreach provide oversight to the Hope Consortium, a partnership of 11 organizations in northcentral Wisconsin that have come together to address growing problems associated with opioid addiction. Focus is placed on detoxification, treatment and recovery oriented systems of care in efforts to improve quality of life and reduce the number of deaths associated with opioid addiction.

Those served include men, women and affected family members, with a priority for women of child-bearing age from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Price and Iron counties and Forest County Potawatomi, Lac du Flambeau Chippewa and Sokaogon Chippewa tribal nations.

After-school programming

The Center for Community Outreach operates Marshfield Clinic Youth Net, which serves over 300 Marshfield youth, ages 8-18, on an annual basis. As part of a comprehensive case management process, personal learning plans are developed for each child to promote academic success, personal/social development and healthy active living. With the assistance of Marshfield Clinic AmeriCorps members, the Youth Net case management process is replicated each year in approximately 15 afterschool programs across northwest Wisconsin.

CCO provides leadership to the Wisconsin Afterschool Network, which consists of representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Family, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and local, regional and statewide organizations that support the development of high quality afterschool programs, practices and policies.

Healthy lifestyles

The Center for Community Outreach provides technical assistance, education and other resources to the Marshfield Clinic Healthy Lifestyles Network, a group of 16 coalitions dedicated to improving quality of life and reducing incidence of lifestyle-related disease. CCO staffs healthy eating, active living programs, practices and policy approaches developed by the Healthy Lifestyles-Marshfield Area Coalition shared through this venue.

Registry for Effectively Communicating Immunization Needs (RECIN)

RECIN is an immunization registry that allows public and private immunization providers access to accurate, up-to-date information on patient vaccinations. These records help health care providers, schools and daycares to determine when immunizations are due so they can take the steps necessary to protect both adults and children from preventable diseases. The Center for Community Outreach monitors and supports the registry and works to improve immunization rates of Marshfield Clinic patients.

Volunteerism

The Center for Community Outreach provides an array of volunteer opportunities to support community health improvement. Leadership is provided to Volunteer Wisconsin, a statewide office funded by the Corporation for National Community Service that works with non-profit organizations across Wisconsin to promote and strengthen volunteerism.

Marshfield Clinic members recruit, mobilize and track the time and effort of thousands of volunteers that support coalition prevention efforts, afterschool programs and other organizations. Nearly 40 Marshfield Clinic volunteers help meet the needs of the children in the Youth Net program.

Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center, CCO and the Lincoln County Falls Coalition created the Independent and Upright Falls Prevention program, which dispatches Marshfield Clinic volunteers to complete assessments of patient homes in an effort to prevent falls. Efforts are being made to expand this program to other Marshfield Clinic locations.

Community Connections Team

Family Health Center of Marshfield, Marshfield Clinic and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire developed a program to engage rigorously prepared students and community volunteers to be patient advocates. Volunteers are housed within Marshfield Clinic to connect patients with community resources with the goal of improving health and quality of life. During the medical visit, patients are screened for social needs and referred directly to the volunteers for assistance. Volunteers provide the means for Marshfield Clinic health care providers to look beyond the usual scope of health care and offer remedies to social needs like food, shelter, transportation, afterschool care, etc.

Future of medicine/physicians as community health improvement experts

Marshfield Clinic is committed to engaging physicians in medicine and public health, and relies on the Center for Community Outreach to provide community outreach experiences for pediatric residents and medical students in the WARM (Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine) program. Pediatric residents implement an obesity intervention program for children and families participating in Youth Net. The WARM students choose from a menu of CCO opportunities to develop and implement a community project each year, gaining an appreciation and understanding of evidence-based community practices that can improve the lives of patients.

Marshfield Child Advocacy Center and Foster Care Medical Home

Marshfield Child Advocacy Center (MCAC) provides comprehensive services to child victims of abuse or neglect. MCAC uses a collaborative approach to investigating cases and providing services the children and families. A multidisciplinary team including representatives from law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, victim advocacy and medical and behavioral health work jointly to ensure timely and effective services are provided to children and families.

The Marshfield Clinic Foster Care Medical home provides comprehensive medical, social work, behavioral health and educational services to children who are in foster care. Using a team approach, services that are timely and effective are provided to children, guardians, foster families and biological parents. In addition, trauma informed services are provided to local school districts.

Mental health initiatives

In June 2015, the Center for Community Outreach expanded programming to promote quality of life and reduce the incidence of lifestyle-related disease associated with mental health concerns. This expansion was in direct response to compelling needs assessment data. Efforts were made possible through the generous support of the Mike's Run committee in Marshfield.

More recent efforts were made possible thanks to the generous support of Security Health Plan, including development of a Mental Health Workgroup to engage community leaders from law enforcement, health care, human services, city administration, school districts and other non-profit organizations in conversations about mental health needs in the Marshfield community.

Most recently, Marshfield Clinic’s Youth Net Program has introduced a number of new initiatives focusing on mental health of its participants. Some of those initiatives are programming focusing on mindfulness, trauma informed care and on-site support groups through a partnership with the Marshfield Clinic Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Department.