Closed on Holidays
Polk County Health Department
100 Polk County Plaza
Balsam Lake, WI 54810
After Hours Emergency Phone Number:
Call 715-485-8300 or 911 in an Emergency to report:
Why does the Polk County Health Department (PCHD) need this information? The Polk County Health Department is required by law to report and investigate events that may affect the public's health. This is why it is important for us to hear from you when you suspect an uncommon illness or event. To learn more about the health department's requirements, please click here.
The Omaha System is a research based electronic health record documentation system being used by the Polk County Health Department. Every two years the Omaha System International conference recognizes individuals who have provided meaningful and continued contributions to the Omaha System in Practice, Education, and Research. Awards were presented at the April 2017 Omaha System International Conference.
An Excellence in Practice award was presented to Gail Peterson, RN, BSN, Public Health Nurse, Polk County Health Department (PCHD), Balsam Lake, WI.
Gail has provided training and mentorship on the use of the Omaha System to all incoming public health nursing staff for the past 30 years. In 2011, the PCHD selected Nightingale Notes by CHAMP software as its new electronic health record (EHR) with a goal of having one record for all client-based programs. Prior to this, each program had its own charting system. While the public health nursing staff had previously used an EHR, none of the other programs had. Gail took on the responsibility of training staff in the Reproductive Health Services Program, WIC Program, and Birth to 3 Program in Omaha System basics and creating program-specific client pathways so that all Maternal Child Health programs are able to utilize the same EHR for PCHD clients. Gail’s latest accomplishment has been the creation of a crosswalk between the Omaha System and a Wisconsin maternal-child health data base (SPHERE) that had been converted into a documentation system for the Wisconsin Medical Assistance Prenatal Care Coordination Program (PNCC). Gail took the SPHERE language and translated it into the language of the Omaha System, using it to align with the state program for assessment, care planning, health information and education, and case management. The changes Gail has made will make PCHD more able to receive full reimbursement for PNCC services. Gail’s skill set in understanding the application of the Omaha System to public health work is remarkable and her commitment to the implementation of the Omaha System in local public health nursing practice is indeed exemplary.
An Excellence in Education award was presented to Madeleine Kerr, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN.
An Excellence in Research award was presented to Frances Kam Yuet Wong, PhD, RN, FAAN, FHKAN, Associate Dean, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Professor, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
The Polk County Health Department (PCHD) is pleased to announce that it has been accredited for five years by the Public Health Accreditation Board!
This milestone accomplishment is an official recognition that PCHD meets or exceeds the rigorous standards established by the non-profit, non-governmental Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation's state, local, Tribal and territorial public health departments. Accreditation means that the PCHD is committed to continuous quality improvement so that we can meet our community's needs as effectively as possible. PHAB accreditation demonstrates our accountability and credibility to everyone with whom we work.
PCHD is proud to be recognized by PHAB as a high-performance public health department. The achievement of national accreditation will help guide our work to better protect, promote and preserve the health of the people in our community.