Study outlines problems in Portage County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Study outlines problems in Portage County


A new report shows what people in Portage County think are the biggest problems in the community. The report follows a survey of business leaders and others who live in that county.

But it's about more than just problems.

"It's a call to action to the community to respond to these topics," Portage County United Way Executive Director Sue Wilcox said.

The United Way surveyed more than 700 community members and business leaders—as part of a study that hasn't been done since 2007.

"Ultimately, the whole idea around this is to identify calls to action and priorities to the community," Wilcox said.

The five biggest problems according to the study—unemployment, alcohol abuse, the gap in academic achievement, taking care of the aging population and obesity.

"Each one of them is an area that suggests we need to pay greater attention to that particular topic," Wilcox said.

Specifically, leaders at Saint Michael's say this study helps them identify medical issues they can address—like obesity.

"As healthcare providers, clearly we have a responsibility and are a natural partner to be a resource for those suffering with that issue," Saint Michael's Foundation Director Angie Heuck said.

This is the first year the study has outlined calls to action. A new study is scheduled to be released every three years.

"It's an opportunity for us to see whether or not we've moved the needle on these calls to action and is our work being effective," Wilcox said.

Studies similar to this have been done in Marathon and Wood counties.


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