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EDITORIAL (March 15, 2017): Can we talk? Healthier Together cannot be ignored

Let’s talk about mental health, obesity and alcohol abuse.

Here? Now? These are three subjects we only talk about behind closed doors, correct? That’s in the process of changing.

Getting these sensitive stigmas out of the dark corners of St. Croix and Pierce counties is long overdue and from what I can see will not simply be a passing fancy.

It is also the mission of Healthier Together – St. Croix and Pierce Counties. The statistics speak for themselves.

Did you know 39.4 percent of Wisconsin adults are considered obese?

Some form of mental illness impacts 33 percent of people in our country.

Liquor law-related arrests in Pierce and St. Croix counties outpaces the Wisconsin average. These three major topics are just the tip of the iceberg.

Unfortunately, each includes more sub-issues and far reaching impact than we’d like to believe. Now is the time for each of us to better understand, educate ourselves and get involved. No more being coy.

Healthier Together – Pierce and St. Croix Counties is a community coalition working to create and maintain healthy communities and provide a strategic framework for local health improvement activities. Initiatives have focused on bringing people together from across these counties to identify and address a variety of health priorities. More than 200 partners from 60 organizations support Healthier Together. We encourage you to get involved, because together we can transform our community into a place where healthy choices are easier.

Who is behind it? Hudson Hospital & Clinic, River Falls Area Hospital, Western Wisconsin Health, Westfields Hospital & Clinic, Pierce County Public Health, and St. Croix County Public Health lead the partnership to plan and implement an organized, two-county, community-based approach for creating and maintaining healthy communities.

Somewhere in this edition you will find the first in a series of ads outlining what Healthier Together Pierce – St. Croix Counties is, the statistics behind the three priorities and the mission to address each moving forward. This is not a public service ad campaign. This is us looking at ourselves in the mirror. It is our reflection at this point in time. Healthier Together means just that.

Take a moment and learn more at You can also keep an eye on your newspaper for additional information on this community-wide effort and the ways you can lend a hand to Healthier Together. Go ahead, commit to it now. You’ll be glad you did.

This editorial was written by Rivertown Multimedia Publisher Steve Gall.