The Northern Wisconsin Health Network, Essentia Health, and the Northland College Center for Rural Communities were awarded $162,754 in June to support the first of an eight-year project designed to improve behavioral health outcomes in a four-county region. The eight-year initiative is funded by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and will total approximately $1.5 million.

The first phase of the project was launched in July, and will support planning efforts for a five-year implementation phase. The Center will lead the evaluation of project activities, work with the Medical College of Wisconsin to ensure fidelity to the broader evaluation model, and support partners’ efforts to meet project goals.

The Northern Wisconsin Health Network consists of two critical access hospitals, Memorial Medical Center and Hayward Area Memorial Hospital, four County Health and Human Services Departments in Ashland, Bayfield, Sawyer and Washburn counties, and NorthLakes Community Clinic.

The Endowment recently announced funding for ten community coalitions to support community-based improvements in behavioral health. The overall goals of the initiative include: statewide improvement in behavioral health, improved physical health among those with behavioral health conditions, and improved prevention and healthcare resources.

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