Communities: Let’s Do This!

At Fort HealthCare, we’re committed to greater engagement in the overall health of the community and are actively encouraging other individuals to join us. Our partnerships are the foundation for our mutual success. It’s our goal to provide information, education, programs and tools that our communities can put in place to help individuals and families enjoy good health for now and in years to come.

Obesity is related to the onset of chronic diseases; it increases the cost of health insurance to the individual, the provider, and employers; and it can lead to a shortened life span. To conquer this epidemic, our communities are working together to create change through a variety of strategies.

As our partnerships grow, Jefferson County will improve economically and in the physical well being of its residents. The strategies for addressing these issues include keeping area residents active and physically fit, engaged with primary care, out of the hospital, safe in their community and well in their workplace.

Fort HealthCare Wellness Summit

Healthy Community Summit Focuses on Reducing Obesity

“Building a Healthy Community Together” was the focus of the first Healthy Community Summit held June 19, 2012. Seventy-five participants from seven communities in Jefferson and Walworth Counties spent the day at Fort Atkinson High School networking and learning more about the epidemic of obesity and how partnering together can help change the behaviors of our community members.

Fort HealthCare president and CEO, Mike Wallace, opened the morning session, sharing the vision of Fort HealthCare and the focus on population/community health, improving the experience of care and reducing per capita costs of healthcare. Tara LaRowe, PhD, an assistant scientist with the UW- Department of Family Medicine, gave an overview of the costs and health consequences of obesity at a national and state level and provided examples of local programs focusing on engaging young children to become more active in the school setting. Catherine Kolkmeier, Director of the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium shared the accomplishments in the La Crosse-area in becoming the Healthiest Community in Wisconsin by 2015. The efforts taking place in La Crosse are good examples of what we can achieve in Jefferson County by engaging partners.

Stacy Sherman, marketing specialist at Fort HealthCare, gave an overview of how through the development of a strong communication plan, residents will be more likely to become involved in community programs. The final afternoon session was a case study presented by Rich Jazdzewski, PhD, Executive Director UW-Whitewater, University Health and Counseling Center and Brandi Niemeier, PhD UW-Whitewater on the Working for Whitewater Wellness (W3) program. Whitewater has spent the last two years focusing on creating a healthier community and the two presenters shared success stories and lessons learned.

In addition, participants were asked to meet in small groups to prioritize strategies that include:

  • Making water more available
  • Point-of-decision prompts
  • Teaching food preparation
  • Labeling foods in public eating outlets to show serving size and nutritional content, and
  • Providing incentives for physical activity at workplace facilities

The Fort HealthCare Community Health and Wellness Department is assisting in building local coalitions to address these strategies and design multi-level strategies that are evidence-based and sustainable.

The day concluded with the reminder that while the day’s discussions were only the beginning of the process. As Margaret J. Wheatley eloquently said, “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

For more information or if you are interested in becoming involved please contact Bridget Monahan at (920) 568-5403 or via email at


Fort Atkinson

Fort Atkinson is home base for Fort HealthCare, a progressive organization that provides quality healthcare to the residents of an eight-community area, and supports the only hospital in Jefferson County. Fort Memorial Hospital is a modern, fully accredited, acute care facility with 82 beds. In addition to comprehensive inpatient services and short-term Medicare certified skilled nursing care, Fort HealthCare offers ambulatory surgery and specialty clinics, birthing center, cardiac rehabilitation, emergency services including the Urgent Care Program for after-hours treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, occupational medicine and more. Fort Medical Group is a multi-specialty group practice with satellite clinics offering primary and specialty care in Fort Atkinson, Cambridge, Edgerton, Elkhorn, Jefferson, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills, Palmyra and Whitewater.

Physicians from Fort Medical Group are joined by those of UW Health, Dean/St. Mary’s Regional Clinics and independent practitioners that bring additional big city medicine to our small town lifestyle. In addition to those primary care physicians at Fort Atkinson Family Practice and UW Health-Fort Atkinson, regional experts in many fields of medicine visit Fort Memorial Hospital Specialty Clinic on a regular basis. Our partnerships with these physicians and their organizations are an essential component of our ability to deliver the most comprehensive care in the most convenient setting.

The service area of our local United Way is comprised of the communities of Fort Atkinson, Hellenville, Jefferson, Lake Mills, Palmyra, Sullivan and Whitewater where over 55,000 individuals reside. Furthermore, our United Way works with over thirty partner agencies which provide various health and human services to over 15,000 individuals in our community.

Start! American Heart Association Heart Walk is the premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s number one and number three killers — heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.

The Fort Half Marathon runs past a riverwalk, live farmer’s market and a vintage downtown like no other. All speeds are welcome to participate in this beautiful course and enjoy Fort Atkinson in the summer.

The Boys and Girls Club in Fort Atkinson host an annual run/walk to benefit the club and activities for children to keep them safe after school.

Fort Atkinson Farmers Market encourages local community members to eat healthy and buy locally.

The Fort HealthCare Faith Nurse Program provides the opportunity for spiritual care as well as physical care in a comforting environment for patients and family members. The program provides support to any patient and family member in the Fort Atkinson area who may need emotional support or questions answered. The program also lends support and provides other faith nurses and clergy in area church communities with tools to assist with health education, preventive health screenings, and information about community resources.

The city of Fort Atkinson’s motto is “Love where you live.” Set against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Koshkonong, the Rock River and the Bark River, Fort Atkinson is home to more than 12,000 residents.

As one of Wisconsin’s “Rails to Trails” communities, Fort Atkinson is poised to become a destination for cycling enthusiasts of all ages. The local Glacial River Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail features a new covered bridge and water fountain, and will eventually be linked to the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, which has over 40,000 users annually. The Fort Atkinson Parks and Recreation Department offers comprehensive programming for adults and children, and operates the Aquatic Center. In all, Fort Atkinson features 13 parks with over 175 acres of park land.

The School District of Fort Atkinson is committed to delivering the quality opportunities and services each student needs to achieve his or her academic and personal potential. The district operates four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, and is helping to encourage the younger community members and their families to participate in healthy activities and eating habits and social events. This effort will help us reach our goal of reducing the prevalence of obesity in Jefferson County.


Jefferson is served by Fort HealthCare Jefferson Family Practice. Staff works to help the entire family achieve total health through prevention, education and, if needed, medical intervention.

The city of Jefferson is located at the intersection of State Highway 26, US Highway 18, and the scenic Rock and Crawfish Rivers. Known for its historic buildings and German heritage, Jefferson is called The Gemuetlichkeit City. Jefferson citizens keep actively involved in more than 55 clubs and organizations. The City Recreation Department offers over 40 year-round programs for youth, adults and senior citizens.

The City of Jefferson owns and maintains eight parks, totaling 40 acres of developed open space. An additional 36 acres slated for development will include walking paths, lookouts, playgrounds, open green space and wetland restoration. The Glacial Drumlin Bike Trail is just north of the city, and meanders from Cottage Grove to Waukesha. The trail is open to bikers, hikers and joggers during the summer and to snowmobilers and skiers during the winter.

The School District of Jefferson is a student-centered organization that meets or exceeds the needs and expectations of its students, parents and community. The District is recognized locally, statewide, and nationally as a district where “student learning and achievement and outstanding character development are paramount”. The district operates a high school, middle school and three elementary schools.


The many residents of Cambridge are served well by Fort HealthCare Cambridge Clinic, where doctors and staff work to help the entire family achieve total health through prevention, education and, if needed, medical intervention. Our physicians believe in healthcare based on partnership and strive to involve patients and families in maintaining a lifetime of good health and are always here to listen, understand and respond to your healthcare concerns.

The village of Cambridge prides itself in offering something old and something new. Victorian storefronts and century-old buildings house shops and galleries that offer visitors pottery, furniture, crafts, folk art, antiques, coffees, candies, food and much more. While the buildings on Main Street may be old, the community has a forward thinking perspective on recreation, education and economic development.

The Cambridge area is surrounded by many parks, a bike trail and beautiful scenery. Recreational opportunities abound and many activities are organized by the Cambridge Activities Program.

With nearly 1,000 students, the Cambridge School District serves children and teens from the village of Cambridge, village of Rockdale and parts of the seven townships. The community boasts the new Cambridge Elementary School complete with Olympic size community pool and newly renovated Nikolay Middle School. Cambridge High School was also renovated and now features a completely restructured athletic field complex with new football, soccer, and track and field stadium. Students of all ages benefit from high quality education, low class sizes and a skilled, dedicated professional educational team.

Johnson Creek

Fort HealthCare has made a commitment to the health of the people of Johnson Creek with the presence of the Johnson Creek Family Practice clinic providing continuing and comprehensive healthcare for each member of the family, over the course of their lifetimes. These primary care providers are joined by other specialists in Ob/Gyn, orthopedics, psychology and urology.

The Fort HealthCare Wound & Edema Center serves those in Johnson Creek and many more, from as far away as Janesville, Beaver Dam, Waukesha and Madison. The Center provides expert care in healing problem wounds via specialized care that can speed up healing, reduce additional surgeries, and help patients avoid hospitalization.

Our partnership with UW Health brings our communities the most comprehensive tertiary care treatment available at the biggest and best hospitals in the country. UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek is one example a joint community partnership among Fort HealthCare, UW Health Regional Partners-Watertown Regional Medical Center, designed to bring patients and families local access to cutting-edge cancer treatment and research. Services include medical oncology/chemotherapy treatment, radiation oncology and access to clinical trials, and treatment, prevention and education programs are designed with patients and their families in mind.

Johnson Creek is known as “The Crossroads with a Future.” This name was adopted because of Johnson Creek’s ideal location at the intersection of Interstate 94 and State Highway 26. The Village’s park and open space system consists of 37 total acres of park land and special use areas. When combined with the School District, there are approximately 50 acres of open space available. The park system includes neighborhood parks, community parks and special uses throughout the community. Parks and trail maps are available for all.

Johnson Creek School District operates the high school, middle school and elementary school. District staff believes in the potential of all and are committed to developing life-long learners who value themselves; contribute to their community; and succeed in a changing world.


Fort HealthCare Whitewater Clinic provides primary care and other medical specialties, bringing comprehensive healthcare for each member of the family close to home. Services offered include pediatrics, internal medicine, audiology, urology, obstetrics & gynecology, orthopedics, mental health and podiatry.

At Fort HealthCare, our physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners emphasize preventive medicine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our goal is to help you and your family live healthy, happy lives through prevention and education, as well as medical intervention at times of illness.

Whitewater Family Practice, a Dean/St. Mary’s Regional Clinic, also serves this community. These physicians rely on Fort Memorial hospital for many services, including inpatient admissions. The Davis Duehr Dean clinic in Whitewater is a comprehensive eye clinic that offers ophthalmology, optometry, contact lenses and a full service optical store.

The city of Whitewater is home to first-class collegiate level education, exceptional tourist attractions, miles of ski and bike trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest and a growing community of active residents.

Fort HealthCare is proud to partner with a number of community-based organizations that are similarly interested in improving the health and well being of Whitewater. The Whitewater Aquatic Center hosts Fort HealthCare classes.

The Working for Whitewater’s Wellness (W3) coalition seeks to promote physical, mental, spiritual and social wellness within the context of connecting with one’s community by individual and community attention to proper diet, activity, purpose and social connection. Fort HealthCare is a recognized as a founding member of W3 and provides considerable assistance to the organization. Fort HealthCare encourages these community-based coalitions of concerned citizens as their actions help all of us become the healthiest community in Wisconsin.

The mission of the City of Whitewater Parks and Recreation Department is to provide exceptional park and recreation services that enhance the livability of our community.

Lake Mills

Fort HealthCare has had a clinic, urgent care and rehabilitation therapy presence in Lake Mills for many years. The physicians at Fort HealthCare Lake Mills Clinic firmly believe in healthcare based on partnership, and strive to involve patients and families in maintaining good health that lasts a lifetime. They are committed to the health of the Lake Mills community, and are always ready to listen, understand and respond to one’s concerns. Together, they work to help the entire family achieve total health through prevention, education and, if needed, medical intervention.

Lake Mills offers extensive recreational, shopping and dining opportunities. The pristine waters of the 1,371 acre Rock Lake is a paradise for swimmers, fishers and boaters and is surrounded by five parks which offer fishing, swimming, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, water-skiing and more. The 47-mile Glacial Drumlin Trail, located on the southern edge of Lake Mills, follows the old Chicago and Northwestern railway, and offers recreation for hikers and bikers. A trail pass is needed.

Just east of Lake Mills lies Aztalan State Park, one of Wisconsin’s most important archaeological sites an ancient Middle-Mississippian village that thrived between 1000 and 1300 A.D. The people who settled Aztalan built large, flat-topped pyramidal mounds and a stockade around their village. The Aztalan Museum is operated by the Lake Mills-Aztalan Historical Society. The site features two pioneer churches as well as other 19th century structures and displays, plus historic items dating back to 1000 A.D.

Downtown Lake Mills is the site of Common’s Park. Many 19th century buildings that house unique shops and restaurants line the park on all sides of the square. The Lake Mills Chamber of Commerce ( promotes the recreational and economic activities of the community.

The Rock Lake Activity Center opened its doors to the public in 2011. The facility offers all the services of a health club and community center combined, including a complete cardiovascular center with elliptical equipment, stair climbers, treadmills, exercise bikes and more, plus a fully equipped weight room with free-weights, benches and circuit equipment. RLAC has been designated a 501(c)3 non-profit agency. Fort HealthCare is a sponsor of the center, providing financial and programming support that includes Fort HealthCare staff offering educational activities for adults that focuses on fitness, nutrition, wellness and exercise.

By providing an outstanding education, the Lake Mills Area School District inspires students to be responsible citizens with integrity and life-long learners in an ever changing world.


Palmyra lies in the heart of the Kettle Moraine and is a community of approximately 1,800 residents in the village and another 1,200 residents in the township. Recreational opportunities abound in the area. A thirty-mile segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trailand are located on Palmyra’s doorstep. The John Muir and Emma Carlin Trails along with other scenic trails are nestled within the heart of the Kettle Moraine.

The Palmyra/Eagle School District serves approximately 1,200 students from pre-school through 12th grade. The Palmyra/Eagle School District covers 80 square miles in Jefferson, Waukesha and Walworth counties and operates the high school, middle school and two elementary schools.

Jefferson County

Ten incorporated communities make up the Glacial Heritage Area (GHA) that is Jefferson County, Wisconsin. The Mission of the GHA is to connect more people to the land through recreation, conservation and tourism through parks, linking trails, maintaining wildlife areas and promoting river-based recreation. The region’s Tourism Board keeps the four-season, year-round recreational opportunities visible for area residents and visitors to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Beyond recreation, Jefferson County offers a strong economic climate with a diverse corporate presence through manufacturing, publishing, agriculture and food production, transportation, theater and entertainment, retail, hospitality and tourism industries.

To care for its residents, Jefferson County provides a number of healthcare services. Fort Atkinson is home base for Fort HealthCare, a progressive organization that provides quality healthcare to the residents of an eight-community area, and supports the only hospital in the county.

The Jefferson County Health Department assists and cares for the residents of the area, serving as a resource with a mission to prevent premature death and disability of Jefferson County residents and assuring the conditions under which people can be healthy.

The Rock River Free Clinic’s Mission is to provide access to free health services through health professionals dedicated to caring for low income and uninsured individuals. The clinic does not charge for services. There may be a fee for medications based on ability to pay. If further care is needed, such as hospitalization or surgery, a patient’s eligibility for the Community Care Program will be assessed.

Health Resources

The Jefferson County Health Department’s website lists a number of health resources for the community:

  • Home Visits
  • Information for families with newborns
  • Child health & development
  • Information for healthy lifestyles
  • Assistance for children with special healthcare needs
  • Immunizations
  • Communicable disease information
  • Oral health services for children
  • Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  • Environmental health
  • Presentations at health fairs
  • Community Health Education
  • Prenatal care coordination
  • Well Child clinics
  • Prescription discount card program
  • Referrals for Medicaid
  • WIC – Women, Infants and Children Program
  • Well Woman Program
  • Dental clinic
  • Medical clinic

Additional services are available through the Fort HealthCare Live Well Community Program, Fort HealthCare Home Health and the Faith Nurse Program.

Wellness Challenges/Events

What motivates you? If you like to compete with others to get in your 10,000 step per day, or team up to lose weight with friends and family…our challenges may be just what you need to stay on track! Each year we offer a variety of challenges that allow you to use your Cerner Health account to compete for prizes.

In the past our players have logged daily step totals in the Rock the Walk Challenge, shed pounds through the Slimdown Challenge and reduced their carbon footprint through the Human Fuel Challenge. Along the way, participants have collected prizes from gifts cards, to iPods to treadmills. If you think you would like to play along, join us! Our challenges provide education and competitions that will help you make the necessary changes to improve your health and well-being.

No challenges happening that interest you? No problem! You can always visit Health 365 Events to find community events that suit your interests. You like to walk, bike, run? Maybe you want to take a class to improve your knowledge of healthy eating or CPR. Whatever you are into, we can help you find a local event to participate in. Let’s Do This!

Community Coalitions

For several communities in Jefferson County, key leaders have been identified to represent the Healthiest Communities Coalition in their respective cities. Coalition membership includes representatives from local schools, churches, government agencies, businesses, community organizations and interested individuals. All are engaged in a concerted effort to reduce the obesity rate in Jefferson County.

Each coalition is actively developing strategies to implement in their local communities, focusing on the following priorities:

  • Increase access to healthy food options
  • Apply incentives to improve nutrition
  • Institute workplace incentives to reward increased physical activity
  • Educate and inform the public about serving sizes and nutritional content of food options available in public areas
  • Implement comprehensive programs that promote physical activity and nutrition
  • Increase access to opportunities and facilities that promote physical activity

The coalitions’ plans include strategies and tactics that address public policy, the environment and the community, as well as organizational and individual change. Using these strategies is intended to be successful in both prevention and intervention efforts.

Additionally, a team of individuals are participating in a year-long commitment with the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute, which is a program funded through the Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW-Madison School of Public Health. Their participation will help them develop tools and skills for engaging their own community members and build efforts to improve public health.

Interested community members are encouraged to contact a coalition member and discuss ways to participate; Most coalitions hold regular monthly meetings.


CAMBRIDGE Bridgette Hermanson 608-423-8108
Stephanie Nischik 920-568-5464

Kristin Wallace 920-563-8880

Tiffany Frohmader 920-568-5475
Lesa Radloff 920-568-5141

JEFFERSON Lynn Zaspel 920-723-7749
Karen Woodland 608-295-6787

JEFFERSON COUNTY Kathy Cheek 920-674-7231

LAKE MILLS Laurel Runte 920-648-8393
Deb van Ommeren 920-674-7231

PALMYRA Kevin Setnes 262-495-6410
Lee Clay

WHITEWATER Richard Jazdzewski 262-472-1305
Brandi Niemeier 262-472-1442



Creating Healthy Communities Powerpoint (Download PDF)
Fort HealthCare Assessment Matrix for Communities (Download PDF)
Community Health Assessment-Dodge Jefferson Healthier Community Partnership (Download PDF)


Communications ToolKit

Fort HealthCare is dedicated to the health of all who reside in our region. This is evident in the Mission of the organization: Improve the health and well-being of our community.  And, by partnering with community organizations, churches, employers and municipalities, we strive to achieve our Vision: Be the healthiest community in Wisconsin.

The goal to create Wisconsin’s Healthiest Community is bold, daring, challenging and incredibly important. Fort HealthCare believes a wide-reaching health and wellness campaign — directed to the public as well as to partners — should be undertaken to positively affect the likelihood this goal can be attained.  Most important, however, is that we reach out to organizations like yours that share a similar mission or vision.

The Let’s Do This! ToolKit will help every community-based organization and employers promote their wellness related messages. In the ToolKit, you will find useful information and resources, communication planning tools, social media guidelines, media contacts and a design style guide so that you can incorporate the Let’s Do This! message into your organization’s communications. With your assistance, the following goals for the promotional campaign will be achieved:

  • Adopt the Let’s Do This! brand as representative of the entire region’s wellness activities
  • Educate area residents as to the benefits of becoming the healthiest community in Wisconsin
  • Help each community be ready to embrace and act upon health-related messages
  • Encourage individual responsibility and accountability
  • Help area residents to see the benefits of healthy eating, health screenings and lifestyle improvements.

It is Fort HealthCare’s goal to help each partner share their health and wellness messages, and with your assistance, our similar message can be shared with your audiences. We believe that if we do this, we will create the healthiest community in Wisconsin.


 Get to Know Jefferson County Download PDF

 Get to Know Walworth County Download PDF

An Introduction to Your ToolKit Download PDF

Our Mission and Vision is Based on Partnerships Download PDF

County Health Rankings Download PDF

Your Communications Planning Tool Download PDF

Overview — Fort HealthCare Community Health & Wellness Department Download PDF

Community Coalitions: Public Health Change Planning Tool Download PDF

Community Coalitions: Wisconsin Department of Health — CHANGE Grant Download PDF

How to Write an Effective Communications Plan Download PDF

How to Write a Press Release Download PDF

Fort HealthCare’s Download PDF

Fort HealthCare Sponsorships Download PDF

Social Media Overview Download PDF

Media Overview — Local Contact Listing Download PDF

 Graphic Standards Download PDF


The following is a list of presentations that Fort HealthCare’s Community Health and Wellness Department has recently shared with other community coalition members. The information may be helpful to you. We encourage you to check back here often for updates.

  • Fort HealthCare Community Health Summit (June 2012) Introductory Powerpoint (Download PDF)
  • Take Action Schematic Powerpoint (Download PDF)


The following is a collection of research that Fort HealthCare’s Community Health and Wellness Department has recently shared with other community coalition members. As you engage with your membership in developing plans and programs to improve the health and wellness of your community, the following collection of tools and information may be helpful to you.

  • Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute Community Health Improvement Toolkit (Download PDF)
  • Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute Community Teams Program Orientation Webinar (Download PDF)
  • Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute Rethinking Health: The Social Ecological Model- Orientation Webinar II (Download PDF)
  • How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012 (Download PDF)
  • Institute of Medicine-Obesity Prevention Brief (Download PDF)
  • Institute of Medicine-Obesity Prevention Workshop Summary (Download PDF)
  • Institute of Medicine-Obesity Prevention (Download PDF)
  • Public Relations Student Society of America Style Guide 2012-13 (Download PDF)