LCHD achieves Level III certification from DHS

By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) recently received a prestigious designation of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

During the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors meeting at the Lincoln County Service Center in Merrill on Tuesday, Dec. 19, Angela Nimsgern of DHS explained that under state law, county health departments must be reviewed by DHS at least every five years.

Nimsgern said that through the review process, DHS looks for compliance with statutes and rules while also seeking out examples of quality improvements that can be shared to bolster health department operations throughout the state.

DHS Wisconsin Department of Health Services Logo

Evaluations involve a DHS team meeting with local health departments to discuss the departments’ work and review documentation.

Since LCHD is a nationally-accredited health department, DHS was able to review the documents submitted to achieve that designation rather than request LCHD re-submit paperwork to the state, which saved time in the review process, Nimsgern noted.

Wisconsin has three levels of health departments – Levels I, II and III, Nimsgern explained. DHS compared LCHD’s national accreditation score with DHS’ Level III standards.

Nimsgern said Level III health departments are “full service” departments, and according to DHS’ website, such departments “serve as community health strategists.”

“This role requires leading data collection to guide local public health plans and decisions; providing public health expertise, data and research to the community; and a focus on impacting population health,” DHS stated.

Nimsgern said she was “happy to share” that LCHD met the requirements of a Level III health department.

“While we are responsible for conducting the review of the health department, our goal was also to be sure that you all know that you have a strong public health department here,” Nimsgern stated, adding that the certification is a testament to the board’s leadership and the work of LCHD staff.

Nimsgern presented LCHD Director and Health Officer Shelley Hersil with a certificate recognizing the certification.

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