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Upcoming classes in Hudson; tobacco still a problem in St. Croix County: Health briefs

Knights of Columbus donate for ultrasound machine

Knights of Columbus St. John Paul II Council 5647, which meets monthly at the Church of St. Rita in Cottage Grove, raised $17,191 over the past two years through local fundraising efforts to donate to the Woodbury Life Resource Center for the purchase a new ultrasound machine. The Knights of Columbus have an Ultrasound Initiative to equip medically certified nonprofit, pro-life pregnancy centers with ultrasound machines to monitor the health of babies in utero and to provide mothers who can't afford to pay for ultrasound imaging a way to watch their baby's development. When a state or local council raises half the cost of an ultrasound machine, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus donates the remainder of the cost.

The local council and other representatives of the Knights of Columbus will gather Sept. 9 with Catholic priests that serve the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and other local dignitaries to hand representatives of Woodbury Life Resource Center a check in the amount of $34,382.

Upcoming classes in Hudson

The following classes and support groups are offered in partnership between Hudson Hospital & Clinic and various community organizations. For schedule, location and other information, visit or call the numbers listed.

• Senior Safety Program — Stepping On Balance Course, 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 11-Oct. 23. To register, contact Tara Murdzek, caregiver support coordinator, at or call 715-381- 4366.

• Car Seat Safety Clinic at Hudson Hospital, 4-7 p.m., Sept. 19. A limited number of 30-minute appointments are available; call 715-531-6543 for an appointment and further directions.

• Infant and Child Massage Class, 6-8 p.m. Sept. 19. Class fee is $25 per couple or individual. Register online at or contact Paige Lewis at 715-531-6029.

• Baby Sign Language, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Sept. 18. Cost is $25 per couple or individual. Register online at or contact Paige Lewis at 715-531-6029.

• Big Brother, Big Sister Class, 6-7:30 p.m., Sept. 25. Cost is $25 per couple or individual. Register online at or contact Paige Lewis at 715-531-6029.

WW Health teams with Baldwin-Woodville district for behavioral health services

Western Wisconsin Health announced it will be partnering with the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District this fall to offer school-based mental health services for students. Through this program, students will have access to a qualified, licensed clinical mental health provider during the school day. There will be a provider at each building on Wednesdays during the school year starting Sept. 27. The school district provides a space for the services to be provided.

"I couldn't be happier about our collaboration with the Baldwin-Woodville School District," said Dr. Christopher Babbitt, clinical psychologist and director of Behavioral Health services at WW Health. "The School Based Mental Health Initiative is a great example of how far we've come in recognizing and then addressing the mental health needs of our community. This kind of collaboration is ideal in that it brings to bear the resources of two systems who can work together to meet a clear need." Parents interested in their child receiving services can contact the school counselor at each building in order to obtain a referral form. To learn more about behavioral health services at WW Health, visit or call 715-684-1111.

Immunization clinic offered in River Falls

Pierce County Public Health will hold an immunization clinic 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 1234 South Wasson Lane, Suite A, River Falls.

The clinic is for children through 18 years of age who are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, American Indian or Alaska Native or have insurance without vaccine coverage. Some adult vaccinations also are available for a fee. For more information or to make an appointment, call 715-273-6755.

Grant cycle open for New Richmond area charities

Westfields Hospital & Clinic Foundation announced it has opened its 2017/2018 grant cycle for non-profit organizations in the New Richmond area. Any charitable 501c3 organization, located in the geographic service area of Westfields Hospital & Clinic, may apply one time per year. Grants are open to local charities for community activities and programs that advance the mission of Westfields Hospital & Clinic — to improve health and well-being in partnership with its board members, patients, and community. Grants are available for amounts up to $5,000. Grants must be used for the purpose requested.

A grant application may be obtained by contacting the foundation at Mail completed written applications to Jo Wrich, foundation director, 535 Hospital Rd., New Richmond, WI 54017 by Oct. 2, 2017.

Report: tobacco still a deadly problem in St. Croix County

A report released by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Urban Population Health provides new details on the number of Wisconsin lives taken by tobacco use — including numbers for St. Croix County. The report shows that an average of 74 people in St. Croix County died annually from tobacco use during 2011-15. The report also shows that 12.3 percent of St. Croix County residents were current cigarette smokers between 2011-15, and that 9.2 percent of pregnant women smoked during their pregnancy. "Our smoking rate of 12.3 percent compares favorably to the state rate of 17 percent, which tells us we're on the right track," said Elizabeth Hagen, a public health specialist and member of Western Wisconsin Working for Tobacco Free Living Coalition, or W3TFL. "However, tobacco still takes far too many St. Croix County lives for us to stop now."

The coalition is committed to reducing tobacco's burden in Barron, Burnett, Pierce, Polk, Rusk and St. Croix counties. Currently W3TFL is working to help interested apartment owners, schools and businesses update their tobacco policies to include e-cigarettes. The group also is implementing youth prevention programs, like FACT and WI Wins, to help keep tobacco out of the hands of youths. In addition to the local work of W3TFL, Wisconsin's First Breath program is available to help pregnant women quit tobacco use. Wisconsin men and women who are ready to quit can call 800-QUIT-NOW to receive free help and quit tobacco medications from the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line. Since it was established in 2001, the Quit Line has helped more than 200,000 callers.

Department of Children and Families launches Twitter account

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families recently expanded its communication channels to include a new Twitter account. "By providing this additional communication resource, we hope that families will have better knowledge of the services offered by the department and our partners," DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson said. "We aim to equip families with tools to assist them in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to help children thrive. Every family faces unique challenges, but by informing families of DCF's mission and the tools and services available, we hope to put them in the best position to be successful."