Public Health

The mission of the health and Human Services, Public Health Department, is to maximize the quality of life across the lifespan by promoting health, protecting the environment, and preventing disease and injury.

The Role of Public Health:

  • Promote and encourage healthy behaviors
  • Prevent and control epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Prevent injuries, illness, and disabilities
  • Promote accessible, high quality health services
  • Promote a healthy environment and protect against the effects of environmental hazards on health
  • Respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery

Essential Public Health Services:

  • Monitor health status to identify community health problems
  • Identify, investigate, control, and prevent health problems and environmental health hazards in the community
  • Inform, educate, and empower the public about current and emerging health issues
  • Promote community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  • Link people to needed health services
  • Assure a diverse, adequate, and competent workforce to support the public health system
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  • Assure access to primary health care for all
  • Foster the understanding and promotion of social and economic conditions that support good health
  • Conduct research to seek new insights and innovative solutions to health problems

  Birth to Three

The program is for children ages birth to 36 months. Eligibility is based on a diagnosed condition or developmental delay in one or more areas of development. A team will evaluate your child’s ability to learn, move, see and hear, respond and relate to others, eat dress, and care for daily living needs. We value the family’s primary relationship with their child and work in partnership with the family. We work to enhance the child’s development and support the family’s knowledge, skills and abilities as they interact with and raise their child. Your baby’s relationship with you; the sights, sounds, smells and feelings your baby experiences affect the way your baby’s brain develops. The earlier a child’s developmental delays are discovered, the more opportunities there are for a child to increase skills and abilities. If you have any questions about your child’s development or would like a developmental screening, please call (715)-532-2299 for an appointment.

  Communicable Disease

Certain communicable diseases are mandated by statute to be reported to Public Health for investigation, control, and prevention of spread of the disease. A Registered Nurse or Disease Investigator will follow-up with individuals to obtain information and provide education and counseling to help control the spread of the disease in an efficient and confidential manner.

  Environmental Health

The environmental health program covers investigation and abatement of any environmental exposures that may affect of the health of the entire population, or even a single person. Rusk County is a Certified Drinking Water Lab for bacteria testing for private wells, DNR Transient Non-Community wells and area municipalities. 

  Food Safety & Recreational Licensing (FSRL) Full Agent

Under the Department of Health Services FSRL Agent Contract, a Registered Sanitarian conducts inspections of restaurants, including temporary food stands; campgrounds; lodging facilities, including bed and breakfasts and tourist rooming houses; public swimming pools and whirlpools; recreational/educational camps. Each facility under the contract is inspected at least once per year, with additional inspections warranted by complaints or changes in ownership or capacity.  


Immunizations are important in preventing illness and keeping individuals and the community healthy.  Click on the header to learn more about immunizations. 

  Lead Poisoning & Prevention

Lead is a naturally occurring metal and there are many sources of lead in the environment that can harm health. Children are most at risk for exposure to lead-based paint found in homes built before 1978. 

  Maternal Child Health (MCH)

This program helps improve the health of mothers and children. Current program activities include postpartum and newborn follow-up, perinatal mental health, and Cribs for Kids (infant safe sleep) program. 

  Public Health Preparedness

Grant funds support activities that strengthen the program’s ability to plan for, and respond to, public health emergencies. The activities stress cooperation between county, regional, and state partners. 

  Reproductive Health

Provides services to individuals (female and male) and couples such as: education, counseling, referrals and financial assistance enabling them to: Make informed choices and decisions, Develop pregnancy plans, Achieve family planning goals and Prepare for desired future pregnancies and parenthood

 WI Well Woman Program (WWWP)

Provides preventive health screening services to women with little or no health insurance coverage. Well Woman pays for mammograms, Pap tests, certain other health screenings and multiple sclerosis testing for women with high risk signs if multiple sclerosis. To qualify you must be a woman age 45 through 64 with income at or below 250% of federal poverty level.

Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) enrollment services for Rusk County are now being handled through a multi-county coordinating agency. Polk County Health Department is that agency and is now serving the counties of Barron, Burnett, Douglas, Polk, Rusk, and Washburn.

The services that WWWP provides and the eligibility requirements have not changed.

Please contact Debbie Leschisin at 715-485-8578 at Polk County Health Department for questions or enrollment.

Rusk County Health Department would like to extend appreciation to all Rusk County Well Woman Program participants. It has been a privilege to serve you throughout the years.

  Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

This special supplemental nutrition program serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants, and children under the age of five who are at nutritional risk. The Rusk County WIC Registered Dietitian provides breastfeeding education and support, and is a Certified Lactation Specialist. The state WIC program provides the Rusk County WIC Program with manual and electric breast pumps to loan to breastfeeding mothers.  


Rusk County Resource Guide