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City of Racine Public Health Department
The City of Racine Public Health Department has compiled data regarding current health status and other factors that impact the well being of Racine residents and visitors:
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
City of Racine Public Health Department provides many valuable services to the
citizens of the City. Protecting the health of individuals, the community, and
the environment leads to a better quality of life for residents and a cleaner
region that is attractive to employers and visitors. The Public Health
Department strives to maintain a high level of service and diverse range of
programs within budgetary constraints. This section contains information on the
Department’s staffing levels, revenue, expenditures, and program statistics.
The core Public Health Department includes Administration, Community Health, and Environmental Health Divisions. While the total number of full-time personnel changed slightly in 2015, it has remained stable since 2016. At current full time staffing levels (not including seasonal/interns), there is one employee for every 3,250 residents in the Public Health Department's jurisdiction, which includes the City of Racine and the Villages of Elmwood Park and Wind Point.
Grant funding awarded to both the City of Racine Public Health Department core divisions (Administration, Community Health, and Environmental Health) and Laboratory varies widely by year. Overall, grant funds are on a decreasing trend for the Laboratory and increasing for the core divisions; however, grant amounts are based on current projects and grant availability which fluctuate each year.
The majority of the core Public Health Department Divisions' budget (Administration, Community Health, and Environmental Health) comes from city tax levy. The remainder of the revenue is due to grant funds (state and federal), fees for services, and other revenue.
The core Divisions' budgets are expended on all programs that the Public Health Department provides. Aside from operating costs for Administration/Health Education, Community Health, and Environmental Health, the largest expenditures in 2018 were for Restaurant and Retail Food Inspections, the Wisconsin Humane Society Animal Control Contract, and STD/HIV services.
Over 40% of the funding for the Public Health Department Laboratory is secured through grants from state, federal, and foundation sources. The remainder of the Laboratory budget is sourced from City tax levy and fees for services.
Expenditures for the Public Health Department Laboratory are divided among all projects and programs. These include projects within the City of Racine, Racine County, Kenosha, Oak Creek, northeastern Illinois, and elsewhere throughout the
Enrollments for the Wisconsin Well Woman Program have increased increased significantly in 2017. There was a slight decrease for 2018.
Program changes and reductions in funding have caused the number of clients annually served through the Community Health Division's programs to fluctuate from year to year. Changes to federal immunization guidelines have decreased the
number of individuals who are eligible to receive immunizations at the Public Health Department. However, 2018 saw increases over 2017 in the number of clients served within all program areas.
Despite a decline in 2016, animal bite cases have been fairly steady over time. Animal nuisance investigations during 2018 were at the lowest level in the most recent five-year period.
Pet licensing has been slowly increasing since 2015, although it is estimated that licensed animals are a fraction of the total pet population living within Racine's
city limits. Efforts to boost licensing by sending reminders to pet owners and enforcing the licensing law may be a contributing factor in the higher number of licenses issued in 2017. However, 2018 saw the lowest total number of pet licenses issued since 2014.
Restaurant and food establishment inspections increased slightly over 2017, but remain fairly steady over time due to a stable number of establishments. Housing inspections were significantly lower in 2018. The number of risk assessments for lead has increased every year since 2015.
Many factors contribute to the number of closings and advisories issued for Racine's beaches. For example, strong storms or excessive numbers of seagulls roosting on the sand can lead to high E. coli levels and trigger closings or advisories. In 2018, there was a high number of rain events that may have contributed to the increased beach closings and advisories at both North Beach and Zoo Beach.
The Robert Johnson Wood Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's (UW) Population Health Institute releases annual health rankings for counties across the United States. The chart above shows changes in specific health indicators for Racine County as compared to the prior year. Racine County saw improvements in 22 areas, including number of uninsured adults, physical inactivity, teen births, and children in poverty. Twenty-four categories were unchanged, and 24 areas saw changes for the worse.
The County Health Rankings from the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation and the UW Population Health Institute ranks Wisconsin counties in several categories. Racine's rankings are shown in the table above. The lower the number, the better the county's ranking. For example, Racine County's Overall Health ranking means that it ranks 65th out of 72 counties in the state, and that 64 counties in Wisconsin have better overall health. Racine County ranks low in Quality of Life, Social & Economic Factors, and Physical Environment, but fares better in the Clinical Care and Length of Life measures.
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