Advocating for a Healthier Southwest Wisconsin

by Julie Stephenson Community Development Director, Southwest Health

Before any organization can make meaningful changes or create programs that benefit their community, they must first understand the needs of the people they serve. To understand the current well-being of our community, Southwest Health must first identify and prioritize any future funding and planning by looking at the existing strengths and weaknesses in the surrounding area to build upon, including further collaboration among the organization and other institutions and community groups.

That’s how you can help and be an advocate for your community.

The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is part of a larger goal of making meaningful improvements to the health and well-being of area residents. Every three years, the Community Health Needs Assessment is conducted in compliance with IRS 501(r) guidelines. The purpose is to understand better the specific health needs of the communities we serve and then develop meaningful, measurable responses. The CHNA identifies:

  • top health conditions in our community
  • the root causes of unmet community health needs
  • barriers to healthcare services

The best way we can improve the health of the local residents is to bring those interested individuals and organizations together to jointly understand the issues impacting health and decide on how best to address those issues. Honest input from this area is valuable in the community health assessment and community health improvement planning efforts because who better understands the needs of this area than the people living and working here?

Southwest Health is looking for your input to help inform the following Community Health Improvement Plan and fully assess our communities’ health status. We ask the public to participate by taking a simple survey and answering it using honest feedback as a community member. You know where there are gaps in care and what areas this community excels in. Southwest Health wants to hear it all. An online survey is available, and paper copies will be handed out at Southwest Health in both the Platteville and Cuba City Clinic front desks.

You can access the online survey by visiting the following link: We ask for you to give us honest feedback to help us develop our future planning and programming.

The survey is anonymous, only takes about 15 minutes to complete, and focuses on the person’s health taking it. If you are under 18 years old, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parent(s) or guardian(s).

The Community Health Needs Assessment survey includes behavioral and medical health, education, social determinants of health, and much more. The feedback gathered will help us understand local conditions, which will generate more targeted, effective community-change work, ultimately creating a real difference in your community. We appreciate your time and investment in completing Southwest Health’s CHNA. Your contribution will help us create a blueprint for local action to improve the health and well-being of community members across southwestern Wisconsin.

“We are working toward identifying community health challenges, gaps in services, and other factors that may contribute to a less than ideal health status for our community residents,” stated Julie Stephenson, Community Development Director at Southwest Health in Platteville. “The feedback from our residents will help identify community health needs, which will ultimately help us to develop a robust community action plan for the next few years.”

To be part of the survey, obtain hard copies in English and Spanish, for flyers that promote completing the survey online, or have any questions, please contact the Southwest Health team at

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