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Health Department





Top 3 Health Priorities

The Community Health Assessment (CHA) uses many sources of information to learn about the health priorities of our community. In 2021, local residents shared insights about our community’s health through interviews, surveys, and community forums. We chose the Top 3 Health Priorities using community input along with local, statewide, and national data.  
The Top 3 Health Priorities for La Crosse County are

  • Behavioral Health including mental health, substance use, and suicide
  • Healthy Environment for Safe Housing, Food, and Physical Activity
  • Access to Care

Work will focus on these three priorities to improve health outcomes in La Crosse County with a focus on impacting health equity. Health equity means increasing opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible. How someone experiences health can depend on factors that influence health equity in positive or negative ways. Health equity factors include education, racism, safe neighborhoods, access to healthcare, transportation, access to food, and clean air and water. When we recognize and understand the impact of health equity, we can make better plans to improve health for everyone in our community.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health includes mental health, substance use, and suicide. Our community culture creates the social norms linked to substance use and mental health.

hands"During the pandemic, mental health cases increased. People weren’t getting the mental health services they needed. This also caused people to turn to substance use in order to cope. Depression and anxiety have gotten really bad."
- La Crosse County Resident


"You really have to look at how do we help prevent behavioral health struggles—through better mental health, substance use treatment, more jobs for people, and having affordable and safe housing for people to live in."
- La Crosse County Residentpeople


Get involved with coalitions focused on Behavioral Health in La Crosse County here.


Healthy Environment

The Healthy Environment priority area includes safe housing, food, and physical activity. Our community will work to increase access to healthy foods, connections for active transportation, and homes that are affordable and safe.
"When the majority of a paycheck goes toward the rent or mortgage, it makes it hard to afford doctor visits, healthy foods, utility bills, and reliable transportation to work or school. This can lead to increased stress levels and emotional strain."
- County Health Rankings


“A focus on family and children's health can have a great impact. If we can create strong, healthy families, we can increase positive health outcomes.”
-La Crosse County Residentfruit


Get involved with coalitions focused on Healthy Environments in La Crosse County here.


Access to Care

Access to care includes medical, dental, mental health, and substance use treatment and healthcare. Our community is striving to build relationships, improve health literacy, and provide services to community members where they live, learn, work, and play.

medicalBilling"Getting healthcare shouldn't make someone wonder if they will go into debt. The cost can make people wait until things get more serious. Many people have health issues, but they don't have the money and need more affordable options. Some feel that getting the bill is worse than being sick."
- La Crosse Resident


We have heard from many La Crosse County residents that access to care is an issue due to affordability, mistrust, and lack of representation in the healthcare system.nurse


Get involved with coalitions focused on Access to Care in La Crosse County here.


Reports: CHA & CHIP

Every 3 years, the La Crosse County Health Department works with local partners to complete a Community Health Assessment.
The 2021 Community Health Assessment uses health data and input from residents to understand health in La Crosse County. This data comes from many sources at the local, state, and national level.
Health assessment data includes:

  • Chronic and communicable diseases
  • Health risk factors
  • Protective factors
  • Comparisons to state and national health data

Community Health Assessment (CHA)

In the 2021 Community Health Assessment, we found the most pressing health concerns in La Crosse County by looking at data and listening to our residents. To improve overall health, we must remove the obstacles to good health and pay attention to the discrimination, disparities, and diversity that exist in our community.

CHA Executive Summary  CHA


Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

The Community Health Improvement Plan puts together action steps to address the three health priority areas for La Crosse County.


CHIP Quarterly Reports:


Get Involved

There are many groups and coalitions in our community working to improve health in La Crosse County. Check out what our local coalitions are working on: Top 3 Health Priority Action Teams.



Health Department Office Location
2nd Floor, 300 4th St. N.
La Crosse, WI 54601

Main Business Phone: 608-785-9872
Main Fax: 608-785-9846
[email protected]
In a public health emergency call 911
WI Relay Service and Interpretation Services Available

Office Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday; some service hours may vary

Collaboratively promoting a healthful community for all people.