Health Matters

Working today for a better tomorrow


April 7th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

This week, in celebration of National Public Health Week 2014, we will offer tips on where to start when considering the role of public health at home on our Facebook page. Today’s tip: Be healthy from the start. The first steps in creating a healthier community take place at home through nutrition, maternal health, and emergency preparedness.  Learn more and participate in National Public Health Week at  Check out the Pierce County Public Health Facebook page for daily tips all week.

Did you know?

  • Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child’s life, and exclusively for the first 6 months. Longer lifetime durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of maternal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions in offspring such as obesity, Type 1 diabetes, and leukemia.
  • Prenatal care can help keep mothers and their babies healthy. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care.
  • Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children were overweight or obese in 2010, a 60 percent increase since 1990. And children’s early-life experiences, such as lack of breast feeding, too-little sleep and too-much television can increase the risk of obesity later in life. That’s why early child care providers have such a crucial role to play in turning around the obesity epidemic.
  • Nearly one-third of all students in the United States do not graduate from high school on time. It’s a destructive cycle: Students who don’t graduate face lifelong health risks and high medical costs, and they are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors. They are less likely to be employed and insured, and they earn less — all of which continues the cycle of poverty and disparities.

Let’s Do Lunch

March 21st, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

What are you doing for lunch today?  Why not use your lunch break to do something that moves you, too?  An active midday work break is not only good for your body; it’s good for your head and may even boost your productivity.

Fit more active time into your workday.

  • Walk to lunch.  Pick an eating spot that’s a 10 to 15 minute walk from work.
  • Keep walking shoes handy in your car or desk.  Now, no excuses to sit out your lunch break!
  • Hold walking  meetings—if you need to work through lunch.
  • Join a fitness center near work.  Schedule time on your business calendar to work out before or after work, or during your lunch break.
  • Remember to have lunch—even if you must eat desk-side occasionally!

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Make better beverage choices

March 3rd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

What you drink is as important as what you eat.  Many beverages contain added sugars and offer little or no nutrients but too much fat and too many calories.  Here are some tips to help you make better beverage choices.


1-    Drink water

Drink water instead of sugary drinks when you’re thirsty.  Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which provides more calories than needed.  To maintain a healthy weight, sip water or other drinks with few or no calories.

2-    How much water is enough? 

Let your thirst be your guide.  Water is an important nutrient for the body, but everyone’s needs are different.

3-    A thrifty option

Water is usually easy on the wallet.  You can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or when eating out.

4-    Manage your calories

Drink water with and between your meals.
Adults and children take in about 400 calories per day as beverages—drinking water can help you manage your calories.

5-    Kid-Friendly drink zone

Make water, low-fat milk or fat-free milk, or 100% juice an easy option in your home.  Have ready-to-go containers filled with water or healthy drinks available in the refrigerator.

6-    Don’t forget your dairy

When you choose milk or milk alternatives, select low-fat or fat-free milk or fortified soymilk.  Each type of milk offers the same key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, but the number of calories are very different.

7-    Enjoy your beverage

When water just won’t do—enjoy the beverage of your choice, but just cut back.

8-    Water on the go

Water is always convenient.  Fill a clean, reusable water bottle and toss it in your bag to quench your thirst throughout the day.

9-    Check the facts

Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose beverages at the grocery store

10- Compare what you drink

Food-A-Pedia, an online feature available at, can help you compare calories, added sugars, and fats in your favorite beverages.


Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  www.ChooseMyPlate DG TipSheet No. 19 May 2012

WIC Turns 40!

February 24th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Motherhood is one big job. Choosing healthy foods while pregnant, learning how to breastfeed, finding the right doctors for yourself and your children, and getting those kids ready to learn in school really does take a village. For the last 40 years, WIC has provided all that support and more to mothers and families.  Call Pierce County WIC to learn more!  715-273-6758

Child Care

February 3rd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Many times parents often struggle to find an affordable, yet quality child care service while working full-time just to make ends meet. Does this sound familiar? The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has a child care subsidy program, Wisconsin Shares. This program provides financial assistance to qualifying parents/guardians and ensures quality child care through the YoungStar rating system. All qualifying child care organizations must participate in this rating system in order to qualify for additional reimbursements.

Interested? To be eligible for the Wisconsin Shares program parent/guardian(s) must participate in one of the following activities: unsubsidized work (you do not receive any child care benefits through your employer), current attend high school (if under age 20), W-2 employment program, employment skills training and continue being in unsubsidized employment, Food Stamp employment and training work search or work experience programs, are a W-2 applicant participating in up-front job search, training, or orientation activities. Participants must also have a family income level less than 185% of the federal poverty level (FPL). To apply or to see about eligibility contact Pierce County Economic Support at 715-273-6788 or visit for more information.

Parent for Smart Eating

January 16th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

Do you eat your broccoli and carrots or do you push them to the side of your plate?  Do you drink milk with a meal, or a soft drink instead?

Do you mindlessly nibble while you watch TV?

Chances are, your child will do what you do—if not now, then probably later.  In mimicking you, a child tries grown-up behavior and hopes to please you.  Your most powerful parenting technique is being a good role model.

Help you child eat smart!

  • Do what you say.  The next time you order a fast-food drink or eat when you’re stressed or bored, think about the messages you send.
  • Give your child and family enough table time.  Rushing through a meal is stressful and doesn’t give a child time to learn body signals for fullness.  Slow eating helps avoid overeating.
  • Reward with attention, kind words, and hugs, not with desserts, candy, or other food.  Food rewards such as candy, for your child or you, make them seem better than other foods.

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

January is National Radon Action Month

December 27th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized

Pierce County Public Health Wants County Residents

To Be Aware Of The Health Risks From Radon.

  • Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil.
  • Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is associated with 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
  • Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels.

Radon can be a problem in homes of all types:  old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, and homes without basements.  Radon levels can vary greatly from home to home in the same neighborhood.

Testing homes for radon is easy and the best time to test is now, while the house is closed up for the winter.

Radon test kits are available at Pierce County Public Health Department, 412 West Kinne Street in Ellsworth or call (715) 273-6755 for more information.

November is National Home Care Month

November 15th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized

November is National Home Care Month, a time when the home care community joins together to celebrate the practice of home care and their dedicated caregivers.

Here at Pierce County Home Care we take pride in our home care services. Many benefit from the services of skilled nurses to help treat chronic medical conditions; patients receiving wound care following surgery; or individuals with disabilities who may be home bound and require assistive services to meet activities of daily living, such as feeding, bathing or other forms of self care.

If you or your loved one would like more information about Pierce County Home Care please call our office at 715-273-6756.

Thank You to all those who put the “CARE” in Home Care!

Tis the Season

November 14th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized

Be jolly and enjoy party food!  But with all the eating and drinking that goes with entertaining, how can you avoid what may seem inevitable—seasonal weight gain?

Extra weight comes from more than partying.  Fewer daylight hours and busy social schedules often make fitness routines low priority.  Cookies, candy, dips, and nog—many holiday foods are calorie laden with fat and sugar.  And they’re everywhere!

If you do add a pound or so of girth this holiday season, take steps to cut back in January.  Otherwise, the seasons add up:  five Decembers, five pounds—consider how that adds up over a lifetime!

Before you party, decide how you’ll keep party calories in control. 

  • Count drink calories.  They sneak up.  Another option:  Toast the season with sparkling water with a citrus twist.
  • Enjoy calorie-free party talk.  Socialize away from the party buffet.
  • Take off the hunger edge.  Before the party, nibble a low-calorie snack to quell your appetite at the buffet.
  • Take one trip to the table.  Survey it first.  Then choose just what you really want.  Just a little taste may satisfy your curiosity. 
  • Dance if there’s party music.  You’ll burn calories!

Brought to you by the Healthy Eating and Active Living Coalition of Pierce County Source:  365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association (Wiley 2004), Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS