Individuals and organizations interested in advancing health in Dunn County are invited to attend a Health Coalition Design Day Conference on Monday, Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is hosted by the Community Foundation of Dunn County and is free to anyone who would like to attend including direct health providers and others who want to support a healthier community and advance health equity in Dunn County. The conference will be held at UW-Stout’s Memorial Student Center (302 10th Ave. E., Menomonie).

The goal of the day is to create a community coalition of government and nonprofit agencies, parents, teachers, law enforcement, businesses, religious leaders, legislators, schools, health providers and other community activists who are mobilizing at the local level to make our community safer, healthier and more vibrant. “We hope anyone interested in the health of our community will join us,” said Georgina Tegart, executive director of the Community Foundation.

The Foundation is trying to form a coalition/umbrella organization because it is not enough to have policies, initiatives, and reforms created and led by experts in health and health care. Data continues to suggest that education, housing, and income may be just as important, if not more important, than determinants that are usually associated with health outcomes.

One of the clearest determinants of health disparities turns out to be geography — where people live, and the resulting social consequences that create barriers to high-quality care. Because such disparities are local in nature, they must be tackled at the community level — in our homes, schools, neighborhoods, and faith-based communities.

To register for the Design Day Conference, go to http://cfdunncounty.org/healthcoalition/ or by calling 715-232-8019

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.