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TRIAD

TRIAD

A major purpose of TRIAD is to develop and implement useful crime prevention and education programs for senior citizen community members, which includes combating unwarranted fear of crime and instilling good crime prevention practices. Activities focus on pre-victimization (crime prevention) and post-victimization (victim/witness assistance) programs.

What is TRIAD?

A TRIAD consists of a sheriff, one or more chiefs of police and older/retired leadership in a community who agree to work together to reduce the criminal victimization of older persons and enhance the delivery of law enforcement services to older citizens. TRIAD works to encourage a coordinated and cooperative approach to crime-related problems of older persons.

When are the meetings?

Usually TRIAD meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Rusk Haven Apartments in the meeting room at 1:30 p.m. At times, the meeting time may vary, so if you are interested in attending a meeting, please call the TRIAD secretary, Nancy Hahn at (715) 532-2189 to find out the next meeting date.

Safety issues that TRIAD addresses

  • Telemarketing and mail fraud
  • Sweepstakes scams
  • Neighborhood/Senior Watch
  • Telephone reassurance (HCPS)
  • Safe driving classes
  • Nursing home crime prevention
  • Elder abuse recognition and reporting
  • Victim assistance
  • Senior volunteer opportunities

What are expected results of TRIAD?

  • Reduce victimization of older persons
  • Enhanced delivery of law enforcement services
  • Expanded knowledge of senior services needed/provided
  • Improved quality of life for older persons
  • Improved communication between seniors and law enforcement personnel
  • Increased training for seniors/law enforcement officers

How can I get involved?

If you wish to be involved in TRIAD, please contact Rusk County Sheriff David Kaminski at (715) 532-2189 or Ladysmith Police Chief Dean C. Meyer at (715) 532-2186 to find out the date and time of the next TRIAD meeting.

If you wish to donate to the local TRIAD organization, please feel free to contact the Rusk County Sheriff's Department.

If you would like to make a presentation to TRIAD or would like to volunteer some of your time to assist with this program and related services, please contact the sheriff or chief of police.

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Adult Services and Behavioral Health

Adult Services

Rusk County Adult Services serves individuals who are:

  • Elderly
  • Physically disabled
  • Developmentally disabled
  • Chronically Mentally Ill
  • Individuals that have alcohol and other drug abuse issues

Program Areas:

Adult Protective Services

(APS), under Wis. Stat. § 55.02, refers to any services that, when provided to an individual with developmental disabilities, degenerative brain disorder, serious and persistent mental illness, or other like incapacity, keep the individual safe from abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property or prevent the individual from experiencing deterioration or from inflicting harm on himself or herself or another person.

Rusk County Health & Human Services is the agency assigned under Wis. Stat. § 55.02 for planning and carrying out the county's protective services responsibility in Rusk County.

Under Wis. Stat. § 55.02(6r), protective services include any of the following:

  • Outreach.
  • Identification of individuals in need of services.
  • Counseling and referral for services.
  • Coordination of services for individuals.
  • Tracking and follow-up.
  • Social services.
  • Case management.
  • Legal counseling or referral.
  • Guardianship referral.
  • Diagnostic evaluation.
  • Other

If have a concern for someone in the community who:

Adult at Risk, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 55.043(1e), means any adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs and who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation.

Elder Adult at Risk, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 46.90(br), means any person age 60 or older who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation.

Abuse, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 46.90(1)(a), means any of the following:

  1. Physical abuse: intentional or reckless infliction of physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
  2. Emotional abuse: language or behavior that serves no legitimate purpose and is intended to be intimidating, humiliating, threatening, frightening, or otherwise harassing, and that does or reasonably could intimidate, humiliate, threaten, frighten, or otherwise harass the individual to whom the conduct or language is directed.
  3. Sexual abuse: a violation of criminal assault law, s. 940.225 (1), (2), (3), or (3m).
  4. Treatment without consent: the administration of medication to an individual who has not provided informed consent, or the performance of psychosurgery, electro-convulsive therapy, or experimental research on an individual who has not provided informed consent, with the knowledge that no lawful authority exists for the administration or performance.
  5. Unreasonable confinement or restraint: the intentional and unreasonable confinement of an individual in a locked room, involuntary separation of an individual from his or her living area, use on an individual of physical restraining devices, or the provision of unnecessary or excessive medication to an individual, but does not include the use of these methods or devices in entities regulated by the department if the methods or devices are employed in conformance with state and federal standards governing confinement and restraint.

Financial exploitation, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 46.90 (1) (ed), means any of the following: 1. Obtaining an individual's money or property by deceiving or enticing the individual, or by forcing, compelling, or coercing the individual to give, sell at less than fair market value, or in other ways convey money or property against his or her will without his or her informed consent. 2. Theft, as prohibited in s. 943.20. 3. The substantial failure or neglect of a fiscal agent to fulfill his or her responsibilities. 4. Unauthorized use of an individual's personal identifying information or documents, as prohibited in s. 943.201. 5. Unauthorized use of an entity's identifying information or documents, as prohibited in s. 943.203. 6. Forgery, as prohibited in s. 943.38. 7. Financial transaction card crimes, as prohibited in s.943.41.

Neglect, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 46.90(1)(f), means the failure of a caregiver, as evidenced by an act, omission, or course of conduct, to endeavor to secure or maintain adequate care, services, or supervision for an individual, including food, clothing, shelter, or physical or mental health care, and creating significant risk or danger to the individual's physical or mental health. "Neglect" does not include a decision that is made to not seek medical care for an individual, if that decision is consistent with the individual's previously executed declaration or do-not-resuscitate order under Chapter 154, a power of attorney for health care under Chapter 155, or as otherwise authorized by law.


Self-neglect, as defined in Wis. Stat. § 46.90(1)(g), means a significant danger to an individual's physical or mental health because the individual is responsible for his or her own care but fails to obtain adequate care, including food, shelter, clothing, or medical or dental care.

That a referral be made to us to investigate.

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Phone Number: 715-532-2299 Fax Number: 715-532-2126

After Hours:

Phone Number: 715-532-2200 (Rusk County Sheriff Department)

Behavioral Health Services

Mission Statement

The mission of Behavioral Health Services is to serve the citizens of Rusk County suffering from mental illness or substance abuse and dependence.
To provide emergency and short-term services focused on the primary treatment need of the client that will assist in their stabilization within the community.
 

Definitions:

Stabilize

To stabilize means the emotional and psychological health of the individual is restored to a point, where the individual is able to function within the community with existing support services.

Support Services

Support services are identified as a continuum of community resources, which include but not limited to; faith based providers, historical community groups i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, Short-term contracted Behavioral Health/AODA services, and agencies located within the community that provide a host of behavioral health/AODA services.
 

 EXCEPTIONS

In using the information contained on this web site, there are a few prefacing remarks that should be kept in mind:

This information is not all-inclusive reflection of statutes related to issues with individuals suffering from AODA or Mental Health Illness. Most policies and procedures related to jurisdiction over individuals suffering from AODA or Mental Health Illness are contained in the statutes and HFS Administrative Codes.
Policies may not be adopted that are in contradiction to statute. Therefore, in cases in which either through error or oversight, policies not consistent with statute/administrative code, the statutory or administrative code language is governing.

Within statute and policy, in those cases in which the Court feels that an exception to the general policy is necessary, the Court may make exceptions consistent with the best interest of the individual, and the goals and principles of the Rusk County Circuit Court. By their nature, the lives and situations of individuals presented to the Court are unique and require the thoughtful consideration of individual factors.
 

 Definitions:


Behavioral Health - Emergency Services

As put forth in Wisconsin State Statutes, the Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services is responsible to provide for emergency services for the citizens of the County.

Emergency services are identified as follows;

Emergency Detention: action taken through local law enforcement agencies, which ensures the safety of the individual and the community.

Rusk County Health and Human Services will maintain a contractual relationship with the provider for the services articulated under Wisconsin chapter 51.15.

Drug\Alcohol Detox: action taken through local law enforcement agencies, which addresses the physical safety of the individual impaired by the consumption of alcohol and or other mind-altering substances.

Rusk County Health and Human Services will maintain a contractual relationship with the provider for the services articulated under Wisconsin chapter 51.45(11)(d)

Behavioral Health - Inpatient / Residential

 Inpatient:
Those who are a danger to themselves or others (involuntary)

Those who are experiencing extreme symptoms and are in need of psychiatric stabilization to avoid potential risk. (County funded, approval for placement shall be authorized through the Rusk County Behavioral Health Coordinator or their designee.)

Those who are in need of further in-depth evaluation, outpatient means have been exhausted, and behavior/symptoms are escalating and interfering significantly in a multiple of life areas. (County funded approval for placement shall be authorized through the Rusk County Behavioral Health Coordinator or their designee.)

Residential
Those for whom this level of care is viewed by the Rusk County Behavioral Health Coordinator (through consultation) as being the least restrictive setting recommended to ensuring that basic needs of the individual are met. There may be a need for a Chapter 55 involvement with guardianship/protective placement.

Behavioral Health - Community Base Services

(Note: This section does not apply to the Intoxicated Driver Program.)

Community Based Services
Although not mandated by statutory language, the Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services can provide community-based services to the citizens of Rusk County upon the determination of need and financial eligibility.

Procedure:
The agency contracted to provide behavioral health/AODA services for the County of Rusk is permitted to see a client once, prior to receiving authorization from the Behavioral Health Coordinator for the County of Rusk.

  • Request\authorization for an assessment
  • Development of the treatment plan
  • The treatment plan shall clearly articulate the primary diagnosis, and addresses services that will lead to the stabilization of the client in the community.
  • Coordination with providers to fulfill the goals of the treatment plan.
  • A client can receive up to a maximum of 10 sessions (This could be individual or group participation, including AODA & Behavioral Health. The twelve sessions reflects the sum total of all sessions) in a twelve-month period of time. This does not include time spent with a psychiatrist for the purpose the monitoring the mental health and or the medication the client is taking.
  • The client shall participate in a financial assessment to determine cost share for services if they are a County funded client.
  • If it is determined that the client has needs that exceed the services allowable under this level of services the client can be referred to the Intensive Services Assessment (hereafter ISA)

Behavioral Health - Intensive Services Assessment

Although not mandated by State Statute, and available based on financial resources the Intensive Services Program allows for the utilization of concentrated/long term services developed through a treatment plan that focuses on the stabilization of the client.

These criteria are meant to be a guideline for making a decision to serve a client under the ISA Program. Most of the following should be present to warrant a referral and further screening for appropriateness.

  1. Diagnosis of a Behavioral Health/AODA illness that severely impacts the daily life of the individual.
  2. Client must demonstrate an inability to function without significant support; i.e., history or risk of multiple hospitalizations, history or risk of committing criminal acts/serving jail time as a result of mental/AODA illness.
  3. Low functioning with regard to managing finances, decision making, living independently.
  4. Limited or no support systems to accommodate immediate emotional, physical and psychological needs.
  5. Failure to function well, even with lower intensity mental health/AODA case management, psychiatry and/or outpatient therapy.

Procedure:

  • A referral would be submitted in writing to the Behavioral Health Coordinator by a local service provider on be half of the client. (An exception to the rule would be a self referral on the part of a client to Rusk County Health & Human Services)
  • The Rusk County Health and Human Services will contract with independent consultant(s) for the purpose of conducting the assessment. Included in the assessment will be but not limited to:
    • Hospitalization(s)(History of the client, recommendations, response to past hospitalizations)
    • Treatment Plans/Provider(s)(History of the client, recommendations, response to past treatment plans)
    • Diagnosis
    • Medical Complications(Associated with the diagnosis)
    • Daily Living Situation

Based on the independent assessment a treatment plan will be developed that will identify services/providers that will assist the client in their stabilization in the least restrictive living environment. 

Behavioral Health - Mental Health AODA Clinical Records

Policy: All mental health and AODA clinical records of clients serviced by the county or county designated provider will be assigned to a "Keeper of the Record." Formal releases of information will be required for any unauthorized individual to access the information in the record. Records kept by the county will be stored for 10 years from the date of case closure, unless otherwise specified by WI administrative codes and statutes.

Purpose: Ownership, storage, handling, disposal and release of information from the behavioral health record shall be in accordance with WI Stat. 51.30, HFS 92, and HFS 61.97

Procedure: All mental health and AODA open clinical records are records of individuals who are actively being treated for their diagnosable illness. The agency that is providing the primary care for the individual shall be designated the keeper of the clinical record, whether that agency is Rusk County Health and Human Services or a contracted agency of the department.

Clients who choose to access services with a county contracted agency or agency of their choosing will be asked to sign an informed consent releasing information to that agency, entitling that agency to be keeper of their clinical record. (See attached form) If an agency becomes the keeper of the record, Rusk County Health and Human Services will issue a statement to be signed by a designee of the agency, indicating this agency's new responsibility, at the request of the client, to be keeper of the record. (See attached form)

Clients may choose to transfer their clinical records to another provider who will be providing care for them if their relationship with the agency that is keeping their record is terminated. In this case, the agency keeping the record will maintain custody of the original record, now closed, and the new provider may receive photocopies of the necessary clinical information at the written request of the client. The procedure will be in accordance with the agency's policy and procedure manual with regard to clinical records.

Closed records maintained by Rusk County Health and Human Services will be stored in a locked, metal file cabinet within a locked room and will be kept for a minimum of 10 years from the date of closure. Records for minors will be kept for 10 years or until the person turns 19 years of age, whichever is longer. Records relating to legal actions shall be maintained until completion of the legal action.

Behavioral Health - Psychotropic Medication funding for indigent consumers

Objective: The objective of the psychotropic medication funding policy is to establish a consistent and objective set of criteria to determine eligibility for financial assistance for medications that are recommended by a psychiatrist.

Policy: It is the policy of Rusk County Health and Human Services that mentally ill consumers of behavioral health services be offered limited and temporary financial assistance with medications that are prescribed by a psychiatrist if they meet both financial and clinical criteria. Assistance will be in the form of pre-payment and consumers will be responsible for repayment of total cost to the County.

Criteria for determining eligibility:

  • Consumer must be a resident of Rusk County
  • Consumer must be an open case of Rusk County Health and Human Services through our contracted outpatient provider
  • Consumer must have no medication coverage, and no eligibility to be covered by insurance, WI MA, Family Health Center or any other 3rd party pay source.
  • Consumer must demonstrate there are no other financial resources available to pay for the medication
  • Consumer will stop taking the medication if not provided by the program and this will have a severe negative clinical impact on the consumer (as established by a written statement from the psychiatrist's office and the MD's signature)
  • Medications covered will only include medications designed to treat psychiatric disorders and related side effects, and the treatment of acute withdrawal and will not include medications that are either designed to address other physical symptoms/illness.

Procedure:

  • Individuals who receive the financial assistance benefit for psychotropic medications will be responsible for repayment of the total cost of the medication to Rusk County Health & Human Services. Reference should be made to the Behavioral Health Uniform Fee Policy and Procedures in terms of financial application/eligibility, billing, collections, hardship determination and administrative review.
  • A new referral will be considered for authorization when the outpatient provider submits a request for authorization form, and an accurately completed HSRS form, and the consumer completes appropriate financial eligibility forms. Health and Human Services will review these items and determine authorization for services. Cases that are authorized will be opened.
  • Once a case is opened, a referral for psychiatry must be requested by a counselor, therapist or Behavioral Health case manager. This request must be documented in the outpatient treatment plan or in the Behavioral Health care plan.
  • At the psychiatric appointment, the psychiatrist will document a decision regarding the negative clinical impact on the consumer if the consumer did not take the recommended psychotropic medication. See attached authorization form.
  • Wherever possible, RCHHS will look to our contracted provider to provide samples of medications to consumers, particularly for an emergency or trial basis, or while awaiting approval from an indigent medication program. The provider will also be responsible for assisting consumers in applying for pharmaceutical patient assistant programs. Any financial eligibility information that the County possesses will be available to the provider in this process. These expectations will be referenced in our provider contract for services.
  • RCHHS will receive a request from our outpatient provider for medication advance payment assistance when the above steps have been taken and County financial assistance is still necessary. Included in the request will be the authorization form including documentation from the psychiatrist of negative clinical impact, and a copy of a completed indigent medication program application, where available.
  • If RCHHS approves the request for advance payment assistance for medications, a Behavioral Health Services representative will phone or fax in the authorization to one of the pre-selected pharmacies.
  • When the bill is received for the medications, it will be paid and copied to the consumers billing file for reimbursement by the consumer. See Behavioral Health Uniform Fee Policy for details.
  • The time frame for County advance payment assistance with medications will be limited to 30 days, with exceptions possible at the discretion of RCHHS.

Behavioral Health - Rusk County Jail MH/AODA Services

Mental Health/AODA Services in the Rusk County Jail

This policy is developed under compliance with Wisconsin statute 302.365 jail and house of correction program standards. Subsection; policies and procedures for screening prisoners for medical illness or disabilities, mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and alcohol or other drug abuse problems

Wisconsin statute 302.365 section 1, a, 3,b

"Crisis intervention services; that the share for other keeper of the jail warehouse of corrections insure that the jail or the house of correction has available emergency services for crisis intervention for business of medical illness or disabilities, mental illness, developmental disabilities, or alcohol or other drug abuse problems."

In that the responsibility of the jail is to provide "Crisis Intervention Services", the Rusk County Health and Human Services will only provide behavioral health services to inmates when a crisis situation arises or when a client is under the care of a psychiatrist and routine care in compliance with the established treatment plan will prevent crisis situations.

The Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services in compliance with the policies developed by the Rusk County Sheriff Department, sets forth the following procedure/policy for crisis intervention services in the Rusk County jail.

Crisis Intervention Services

All inmates of the Rusk County jail are entitled to crisis intervention services. The following procedure has been developed to insure that timely and adequate services are provided.

1. The staff of the Rusk County jail will follow the written policy developed by the Rusk County Sheriff Department for the referral of inmates to the Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services for behavioral health services.

2. If it is determined that an inmate is in need of emergency detention, based on an immediate threat of physical harm to themselves or others, the Rusk County sheriff department will be the agency responsible for taking the inmate into protective custody under Wisconsin statute 51.15. In this situation notification of the emergency detention will be given to the Rusk County behavioral health coordinator as soon as allowable under the given situation.

Once notified of the emergency detention the Rusk County behavioral health coordinator, will be responsible for the monitoring of the emergency detention, assisting in the coordination of court hearings, and establishing a follow-up treatment plan for the inmate in cooperation with the Rusk County jail.

3. The Rusk County sheriff department, under the procedures established by their department can access the emergency crisis line and or the Rusk County behavioral health coordinator for assistance in the determination of the need for emergency detention.

In the event there is a request for a consult, the mental health provider shall coordinate with the Rusk County jail supervisor or their designee the time and location for meeting with the inmate.

After the initial interview with the client, the mental health provider shall speak to the Rusk County jail supervisor or their designee as to the immediate concerns regarding the mental health needs of the inmate interviewed. Within 24 hours of seeing an inmate the mental health provider shall submit a written summary identifying the content of interview, summary of concerns/impression and recommendations to the Jail Supervisor.

Behavioral Health - Financial Determination/Cost Share

Financial Determination/Cost Share

Under Wisconsin Statues any client, the spouse of a married client, or the parents of a minor client are responsible to pay the full cost of counseling (if a minor seeks services under the Wisconsin Statues Chapter 51.47 for alcohol or drug treatment without parental authority, the minor will be assessed for payment).

  • A person in need of counseling who has insurance benefits, Medicare, or medical assistance should inform the service provider of those benefits and permit the provider to bill to this source. If the person does not have any benefits, but has income to cover the cost of services, that person will be billed directly by the service provider.
  • If a person does not have the ability to pay for counseling expenses, and is a Rusk County resident, he/she may apply for financial assistance from Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services. This financial program is a privilege offered by Rusk County and the customer is expected by Wisconsin Law to make payments based on ability.
  • The Clerk in Behavioral Health Services at Rusk County Health and Human Services will review proof of residence, health insurance, income and assets to determine ability to pay for counseling services. The customer will sign a financial agreement authorizing release of information and understanding of the agreement.
  • Rusk County Human Services will pay the counseling expense and will bill the customer for the determined part of the cost.
Type of Service
Client Pays Rusk County Pays
AODA Inpatient Entire amount reimbursed by Rusk County at contracted rate Initial balance due at contracted rate-then collects amount paid from client.
MH Inpatient Entire amount reimbursed by Rusk County at contracted rate
 
Initial balance due at contracted rate-then collects amount paid from client
AODA Outpatient **Co-pay as financially determined Contracted amount
MH Outpatient **Co-pay as financially determined Contracted amount
AODA Residential Cost share determined Difference between contracted rate and client cost share
MH Residential Cost share determined Difference between contracted rate and client cost share
Medications Entire amount reimbursed by Rusk County Initial balance due then collect amount paid from the client.
Inpatient
Physician charges-psych
Entire amount reimbursed by Rusk County. Initial balance due then collect amount paid from the client.
Physician charges-ER Entire amount due None
Transportation **Co-pay as financially determined Total balance due
Psychological testing **Co-pay as financially determined Total balance due
OWI Assessment Entire amount due None
Court ordered assessments Entire amount due None

** Co-pay the lowest amount on the co-pay scale is $5 per unit of service with a maximum of $25 per month. If the determined co-pay is more than $5, the client pays the co-pay amount for the first unit of service per month and Rusk County pays the remaining monthly balance.

Behavioral Health - Intoxicated Driver Program

Assessment of Drivers with Alcohol or Controlled Substance Problems

(Intoxicated Driver Program)

The Department of Health & Family Services developed the guidelines for IDP. (HFS 62)

This policy is written in compliance with HFS 62.

Policy
Rusk County Department of Health & Human Services will provide a "treatment program" as identified under HFS 75, within limits of available funding (HFS 62.02)

Process

  • Rusk County Health and Human services through the authority of the Rusk County 51.42 Board will contract with an Assessment Facility or an Independent Assessor for the purpose of conducting an assessment and establishing a driver safety plan.
  • In interest of avoiding a conflict of interest, Rusk County Health & Human Services will contract with an Assessment Facility or an Independent Assessor that does not provide the program/programs called for in the clients driver safety plan.
  • Assessments shall be completed in compliance with HFS 62.03 (Assessment Standards) & (Conflict of Interests Guidelines.)
  • The client is responsible for the full cost of the assessment, and traffic safety schools.
  • Upon completion of the assessment/driver safety plan, the client shall be shown/given all county-approved public and private program providers, by the assessor. The client shall be informed of the rates charged by the program provider's services. That they may be eligible as a board client for reduced costs according to his or her ability to pay. (Financial Determination/Cost Share Policy)
  • The client shall also be informed that they elect to receive services from other than the client's board contracted program provider, the client is responsible for the full cost of services.
  • Clients seeking financial assistance in fulfilling their Driver Safety Plan shall follow the steps articulated in the Financial Determination/Cost Share Policy.
  • Clients, who are eligible for reduced costs, will be provided assistance in the cost of the services to fulfill their driver safety plan, until which point allocations received from the Driver Improvement Surcharge (DRVIM) have been exhausted.
  • In the event that allocations have been depleted, the client will be informed through the Rusk County Behavioral Health Coordinator, that there are no funds currently available, and that their name will be place on a wait list in the order in which it is received. When funds become available clients will be notified of their ability to receive assistance, and an authorization will be given to the county contracted provider.
  • The client will be notified that although DRVIM funds are not available, they are still responsible for the fulfillment of their driver safety plan in the timeline established through their individualized treatment plan.

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Public Health

Public Health

 

Rusk County Health & Human Services
Public Health Department
311 Miner Avenue East, Suite C220
Ladysmith, WI 54848

After hours phone number for:
Public Health Emergencies
Communicable Disease Outbreaks
Environmental Health Hazards
Bioterrorism Incidents
911 or (715) 532-2200

2014 Mental Health Assessment

Youth depression was identified as the top community health problem in our 2014 Community Health Assessment.  Please fill out our survey to help us further define how we are going to begin to address this important issue.

Click here for more information on the survey.

Click here to take the community survey!

Mission

The mission of the health and Human Services, Public Health Department, is to maximize the quality of life across the lifespan by promoting health, protecting the environment, and preventing disease and injury.

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The Role of Public Health:

  • Promote and encourage healthy behaviors
  • Prevent and control epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Prevent injuries, illness, and disabilities
  • Promote accessible, high quality health services
  • Promote a healthy environment and protect against the effects of environmental hazards on health
  • Respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery

Essential Public Health Services:

  • Monitor health status to identify community health problems
  • Identify, investigate, control, and prevent health problems and environmental health hazards in the community
  • Inform, educate, and empower the public about current and emerging health issues
  • Promote community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  • Link people to needed health services
  • Assure a diverse, adequate, and competent workforce to support the public health system
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  • Assure access to primary health care for all
  • Foster the understanding and promotion of social and economic conditions that support good health
  • Conduct research to seek new insights and innovative solutions to health problems
  • 2013 Annual Report.pdf

    Programs

    Birth to Three Program

    The program is for children ages birth to 36 months. Eligibility is based on a diagnosed condition or developmental delay in one or more areas of development. A team will evaluate your child’s ability to learn, move, see and hear, respond and relate to others, eat dress, and care for daily living needs. We value the family’s primary relationship with their child and work in partnership with the family. We work to enhance the child’s development and support the family’s knowledge, skills and abilities as they interact with and raise their child. Your baby’s relationship with you; the sights, sounds, smells and feelings your baby experiences affect the way your baby’s brain develops. The earlier a child’s developmental delays are discovered, the more opportunities there are for a child to increase skills and abilities. If you have any questions about your child’s development or would like a developmental screening, please call (715)-532-2299 for an appointment.

    Communicable Disease Program

    Certain communicable diseases are mandated by statute to be reported to Public Health for investigation, control, and prevention of spread among people. A public health nurse, or registered nurse investigates reported communicable diseases, including contact investigations, in an efficient yet confidential manner.

    DNR Transient Non-Community Well Program and DATCP Certified Microbiological Water Lab

    Under a contract with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Rusk County Public Health Department administers the DNR Transient Non-Community Well Program, which involves testing drinking water and evaluating systems at public facilities with Rusk County. Municipal water is also tested for coliform bacteria at the lab.

    Environmental Health Program

    A full-time Registered Sanitarian/Environmental Health Specialist is available to respond to complaints, concerns, and questions from the public on topics such as housing, food and drinking water safety, indoor and outdoor air quality, sanitation, hazardous materials, pest activity, and recreation. Abatement orders may be issued by the Health Officer or designee under Rusk County Code Chapter 10: Public Nuisances/ Human Health Hazards. Well water testing is available on a fee-exempt basis for WIC clients, and for investigative purposes. Beaches owned by Rusk County and the City of Ladysmith are sampled weekly during the summer months for the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water. The Registered Sanitarian collaborates with the Rusk County Animal Shelter to investigate animal bite reports and rabies testing. Other programs include West Nile Virus monitoring, Radon education and testing, and tobacco legislation education.

    The environmental health program covers investigation and abatement of any environmental exposures that may affect of the health of the entire population, or even a single person. The Health Officer, or designee, following Rusk County Code Chapter 10, investigates human health hazard complaints. A full-time Registered Sanitarian/Environmental Health Specialist is available to respond to concerns and questions from the public on topics such as housing, food and drinking water, indoor and outdoor air quality, sanitation, hazardous materials, pest activity, and recreation. Well water testing is available on a fee-exempt basis for WIC clients, and for investigative purposes. County owned beaches, as well as one beach owned by the City of Ladysmith, are tested weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day for the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water. The Registered Sanitarian collaborates with the Rusk County Animal Shelter to investigate animal bite reports and rabies testing. The Registered Sanitarian also participates in West Nile Virus, and radon monitoring.

    Food Safety and Recreational Licensing (FSRL) Full Agent Program

    Under the Department of Health Services FSRL Agent Contract, a Registered Sanitarian conducts inspections of restaurants, campgrounds, lodging facilities including bed and breakfasts, public swimming pools and whirlpools, body art establishments, recreational/educational camps, and vending machines. Each facility under the contract is inspected at least once per year, with additional inspections warranted by complaints or changes in ownership or capacity.  

    For a Rusk County permit application, click here.

    For a list of approved certified food manager classes, click here.

    Immunization Program

    Immunizations are provided free of charge to children ages eighteen and under via the State of Wisconsin Vaccine for Children program. Immunizations are given by appointment. Limited immunizations are available for adults on a fee for service basis.

    Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

    Children participating in the WIC program receive blood lead screenings at ages one and two years. Home inspections may be provided to children whose confirmatory blood lead level is indicative of poisoning.

    Maternal Child Health (MCH) Program

    This program has, as its general purpose the improvement of the health of all mothers and children. Current program activities include home safety assessments, postpartum assessments, and a child passenger safety (car seat) program.

    Oral Health Program

    School based fluoride mouth-rinsing programs are evidence-based prevention strategies that prevent dental caries. Students in the Bruce School District, grades 1 through 6, are given the opportunity to participate in a weekly fluoride mouth-rinsing program at no cost to them.

    Prenatal Care Coordination (PNCC)

    PNCC services are available to Medicaid-eligible women with a high risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. High-risk pregnancies require additional prenatal care services, coordination of services, and follow-up because of medical or non-medical factors that may include psychosocial, behavioral, environmental, or nutritional concerns.

    Prevention Program

    “Cribs for Kids,” is an evidenced-based safe sleep education program to help reduce the risk of injury and death of infants due to unsafe sleep environments. New, safe, portable cribs are provided when necessary.

    Public Health Preparedness Program

    Grant funds support activities that strengthen the program’s ability to plan for, and respond to, public health emergencies. The activities stress cooperation between county, regional, and state partners.

    Reproductive Health Program

    Provides services to individuals (female and male) and couples such as: education, counseling, referrals and financial assistance enabling them to:

  • Make informed choices and decisions
  • Develop pregnancy plans
  • Achieve family planning goals
  • Prepare for desired future pregnancies and parenthood

School Health Program

Public health currently provides school nursing services to the Bruce School District on a contract basis. These services contribute to the improvement of health outcomes by focusing on health services, health education, and a healthy environment.

Tobacco Control and Prevention Program

The goals of this program are to prevent youth initiation of the use of tobacco products, promote tobacco use cessation, promote statewide smoke-free worksites, implement strategies in support of other tobacco products local policies, and cooperate with compliance investigations at licensed tobacco retail establishments.

Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP)

Provides preventive health screening services to women with little or no health insurance coverage. Well Woman pays for mammograms, Pap tests, certain other health screenings and multiple sclerosis testing for women with high risk signs if multiple sclerosis. To qualify you must be a woman age 45 through 64 with income at or below 250% of federal poverty level.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

This special supplemental nutrition program serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants, and children under the age of five who are at nutritional risk. The Rusk County WIC Registered Dietitian provides breastfeeding education and support, and is a Certified Lactation Specialist. The state WIC program provides the Rusk County WIC Program with manual and electric breast pumps to loan to breastfeeding mothers.  Click here for more information on food assistance in Rusk County.

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Intensive Services Assessment

Although not mandated by State Statute, and available based on financial resources the Intensive Services Program allows for the utilization of concentrated/long term services developed through a treatment plan that focuses on the stabilization of the client.

These criteria are meant to be a guideline for making a decision to serve a client under the ISA Program. Most of the following should be present to warrant a referral and further screening for appropriateness.

  1. Diagnosis of a Behavioral Health/AODA illness that severely impacts the daily life of the individual.
  2. Client must demonstrate an inability to function without significant support; i.e., history or risk of multiple hospitalizations, history or risk of committing criminal acts/serving jail time as a result of mental/AODA illness.
  3. Low functioning with regard to managing finances, decision making, living independently.
  4. Limited or no support systems to accommodate immediate emotional, physical and psychological needs.
  5. Failure to function well, even with lower intensity mental health/AODA case management, psychiatry and/or outpatient therapy.

Procedure:

  • A referral would be submitted in writing to the Behavioral Health Coordinator by a local service provider on be half of the client. (An exception to the rule would be a self referral on the part of a client to the Rusk County Health & Human Services)
  • The Rusk County Health and Human Services will contract with independent consultant(s) for the purpose of conducting the assessment. Included in the assessment will be but not limited to:
  1. Hospitalization(s)(History of the client, recommendations, response to past hospitalizations)
  2. Treatment Plans/Provider(s)(History of the client, recommendations, response to past treatment plans)
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Medical Complications(Associated with the diagnosis)
  5. Daily Living Situation

Based on the independent assessment a treatment plan will be developed that will identify services/providers that will assist the client in their stabilization in the least restrictive living environment.
 

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Children and Family Services

Children and Family Services

Children and Family Services, a Division of Rusk County Health and Human Services, provides direct assistance to families experiencing problems with either child abuse or child neglect issues, or juvenile justice concerns. Referrals are made through the Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services Juvenile Intake or Children Abuse and Neglect Intake.

Services provided can include:

  • Juvenile Court Intake
  • Child Protection
  • On-going case management
  • Children's Waiver Services
  • Foster Care Coordination and Licensing
  • Kinship Care/Relative Care
  • Independent Living
  • Parenting

PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

In responding to reports of maltreatment by parents, Child Protective Services represents a community concern regarding that family's ability to adequately meet the needs of its children.

At Investigation, the CPS purpose is to:

  • Assess the safety of children in the home;
  • Identify the present or absence of conditions in the home and behaviors, perception, and attitudes of family members related to the risk of maltreatment;
  • Assess whether the family needs services in order to change conditions related to the risk of maltreatment;
  • Introduce the agency as a provider of help;
  • Respond to the immediate needs of the family; and
  • If warranted, take action to control circumstances jeopardizing child safety.

What is Child Abuse and Neglect?

Child Abuse is the physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment of a child (ages 0-18) by a parent, family member, other caregiver, or non-caregiver. Physical Abuse is defined as physical injury to a child by other than accidental means. Physical injury includes, but is not limited to, lacerations, fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, severe or frequent bruising, or great bodily harm. Sexual Abuse involves sexual intercourse, other sexual contact, forced viewing of sexual activity, exposing genitals to a child, permitting or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution, or exploitation. Emotional Abuse means harm to a childs psychological or intellectual functioning which in exhibited by anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or outward aggressive behavior, or a combination of behaviors, which are caused by the childs guardian, legal custodian, or other person exercising temporary or permanent control over the child and for which the child's guardian or legal custodian has failed to obtain the treatment necessary to remedy the harm. Emotional damage may be demonstrated by substantial and observable change in behavior which is incompatible with the childs age or stage of development. Neglect is defined as the failure, refusal, or inability on the part of a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person exercising temporary or permanent control over a child, for reasons other than poverty, to provide necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care, or shelter so as to seriously endanger the physical health of a child.

How to report concerns

If you believe a child has been abused, neglected, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, you should report your concerns to the Children and Family Services Unit at 715-532-2299. You should ask to speak to the worker on call. If your call is after hours, please contact the Rusk County Sheriffs Department at 715-532-2200 and ask to speak with the Children and Family Worker on call. Please provide as much information as you can. State law protects reporter confidentiality. We will not disclose your name to the individuals whom you report.

Ongoing case management:

including coordination of services and dispositional services to the court in cases of a child in need of protection and/or services (CHIPS).

Dispositional services include but are not limited to: supervision, case planning, family assessments, and referrals for other services as deemed appropriate.

Kinship Care:

This program is for care of minors who are living with a relative due to abuse or neglect, or the risk of abuse or neglect, from their biological home. A payment is provided for the child. Caretaker relatives who wish to apply for benefits should contact our Kinship Care Coordinator at 715-532-2299. The agency will conduct an assessment to determine that there is a need for the child to be placed, conduct a criminal background check of the relative, any persons over the age of 12 living in the home, and any employees or prospective employees, who have or would have contact with the child. Additionally, the relative is expected to cooperate with referring the case to Child Support to establish and enforce a child support order. The Kinship Care Coordinator will assist caretaker relatives with filling out the appropriate paperwork. Finally, a brief home study is conducted of the caretakers home. Once eligibility is approved, the caretakers name will be placed on a wait list, if applicable, or will begin to receive a benefit of $220.00 per month. Yearly reviews are required by the Kinship Care Program guidelines.

When it is not possible to keep children with their birth parents, placing children with relatives is considered a responsible alternative. This program keeps children out of Foster Care and supports family connections.

Foster Care:

Foster Care is needed when children cannot remain with biological families for a variety of reasons. These include: physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; medical or physical disability of the child; or, the biological parents emotional or physical needs. Foster parents are licensed through the Department of Health and Human Services. Please contact our Foster Care Coordinator at 715-532-2299 for further information. We are always in need of foster homes to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment in cases where children need to be removed from their natural homes. We will gladly answer your questions and give you the necessary information so your household can make the right decision on whether or not to become a foster family. The Foster Care Coordinator will answer your questions and send you an information packet. All Foster Parents are screened through law enforcement records, criminal background checks as well as fingerprinted, need to obtain a health screen, and have personal references checked. Homes also need to meet some basic safety and space requirements.

Juvenile Court Intake:

A process of assessing referrals from law enforcement or school personnel for further action through the juvenile court process or social services system. These referrals are for actions that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult as well as truancy, runaway, and uncontrollable behavior. These referrals are assigned to a worker in the juvenile court intake unit. The worker is responsible for meeting with the child and parent to gather information in order to make a recommendation to the district attorneys office. Information regarding the family, child, school, and community will be asked during this meeting.

Programs included in Juvenile Court Intake:

  • Mentors
  • Community Service
  • Underage Alcohol Violators Program
  • Home Detention
  • Electronic Monitoring
  • JIPS (Juvenile in Need of Protection and/or Services

Independent Living Program:

The Independent Living Program teaches daily living skills to youth who are currently in foster care for youth ages 15-21. Individual training is also available. For further information please contact our Independent Living Coordinator at 715-532-2299.

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Utilities – Highway Policy

Utilities – Highway Policy

A utility’s request to use and occupy the right-of-way cannot be considered until adequate information is provided regarding its proposed work. The amount of detail will vary with the complexity of the installation and the highway involved, but must include the appropriate permit form, dimensioned drawings or sketches, and installation information so that the effect of the highway operation, traffic safety, and visual qualities can be evaluated.

A utility shall obtain a permit from the Rusk County Highway Department before any use or occupancy of Department highways is allowed. This includes utilities that want to occupy an existing pole line or duct system (e.g. CATV attaching to another utility company’s existing poles.)

By issuance of a permit, the Department formally indicates that, subject to all applicable permit conditions, a specified use and/or occupancy of right-of-way is not adverse to the highway interests at the time of the permit approval.

The Highway Department does not warrant that public title to the right-of-way is free and clear, does not certify that it has sole ownership, and does not indicate any intention to defend the utility in its peaceful use and occupancy of said lands.

The permit does not transfer any land, nor give, grant, or convey and land right, right inland or easement subject to applicable statutes.

Written authorization from the Highway Department does not relieve the utility from compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and codes, and local laws and ordinances which affect the design, construction, materials, or performance of its work. The Highway Department’s authorization shall not be construed as superseding any other governmental agency’s more restrictive requirements.

The utility should retain a copy of the permit in its files during the entire time the facility is located on, over, or under the Highway Department’s right-of-way and shall have a copy available at the job site during construction.

All utility permits issued by the Department are revocable for cause as provided herein per Policy 96.07.

By Order of the Rusk County Highway Commissioner

Annual Permit Fee (New Service Connections) - $250.00
Annual Permit Fee (Maintenance of New Service Connections) - $250.00
Single Permit Fee (All) - $75.00

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Tax Deed Land Sales

Tax Deed Land Sales

Rusk County will accept payment for the purchase of the following described real estate subject to the following requirements:

1.  No bid shall be considered unless it is equal to at least the minimum bid advertised for the real estate in question. 

2.  The County reserves the right to accept or reject any given bid upon the basis that in accordance with §75.69(1), Wis. Stats., it may accept the bid which it deems to be most advantageous to the County. In addition to the amount of money which is bid by the bidder for the real estate, the concept of advantage to the County may include but shall not be limited to the following criteria: prospective use, acceptance of liability for or responsibility for bringing the described real estate and its improvements into compliance with all applicable local and state regulations, if any violations exist and/or indemnification of the County against any and all direct or indirect environmental clean up costs associated with the described real estate, together with attorney fees and other costs associated with such clean up efforts or governmental orders or decisions. Should the County determine that no bid submitted is advantageous to the County, it may reject all bids submitted.

3. The potential buyer must take responsibility to maintain and use the property in compliance with all laws, zoning land use regulations, ordinances, easements and other restrictions of record, if any.

4. That the acquisition of the real estate is from the County in its “AS IS” condition, without any warranties, express or implied, as to fitness for any purpose whatsoever, nor as to its condition, including, but not limited to environmental contamination or public health nuisance violations.

5. That it has afforded the potential buyer the opportunity to inspect the real estate and that the potential buyer is satisfied and has full knowledge of the physical condition of the real estate.

6. That beyond the information communicated to it by the County in accordance with this notice, pursuant to its request, the County has no further or other information nor has it been placed on notice of any further or other environmental contamination or violations situated upon the subject real estate.

MUNICIPALITY PARCEL # AND PROPERTY DESCRIPTION PRICE LINKS
 TOWN OF ATLANTA 002-00613-0000
The East Two Hundred and One feet (201’) of the West Four Hundred and Two feet (402’) of the Southeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter (SE¼-SW¼), Section Twelve (12), Township Thirty-five (35) North, Range Eight (8) West.
$6,900.00   
 TOWN OF BIG FALLS 006-00462-0000
Lot Forty-six (46) of Certified Survey Map No. 156, as recorded in Volume 1 of Certified Survey Maps, Page 246, being a part of the Northwest Quarter of the Southeast Quarter (NW¼-SE¼) and part of the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter (NE¼-SW ¼) of Section Twenty-seven (27), Township Thirty-six (36) North, Range Five (5) West.
$4,900.00   
 TOWN OF WILLARD 046-00681-000
The Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter (SW¼-NE¼) of Section Thirty-three (33), Township Thirty-three (33) North, Range Six (6) West, except the following parcel described as: Commencing at the Southwest corner of said Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter (SW¼-NE¼) of Section Thirty-three (33), thence due East 603.00 feet to the point of beginning; thence due North 466.70 feet; thence due East 466.70 feet; thence due West 466.70 feet to the point of beginning.
$2,990.00   
 TOWN OF WILLARD 046-00682-0000
The Southeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter (SE¼-NE¼) of Section Thirty Three (33), Township Thirty-three (33) North, Range Six (6) West, except the South 520 feet of the East 420 feet.
$2,990.00   
 CITY OF LADYSMITH 246-00929-0000
Physical Address: 601 E 11th St S, Ladysmith
Lots Thirty-nine (39) and Forty (40), Block Four (4), East Park Addition to the City of Ladysmith.
$24,900.00   
 CITY OF LADYSMITH 246-01432-0000
Lots Ten (10), Eleven (11) and Twelve (12), Block Five (5), of Flambeau Town Company’s Third Addition to the City of Ladysmith.
$4,990.00   
 CITY OF LADYSMITH 246-02666-0000
Physical Address: 619 Pederson Ave W, Ladysmith
West One-half (W ½) of Lots Seven (7) and Eight (8), Block Fourteen (14), Plat of New Flambeau.
$2,495.00   

                               

                                                                 BIDDING INSTRUCTIONS

All bids must be submitted on a RUSK COUNTY LAND SALE BID SHEET.  These bid sheets are available on the county website at ruskcounty.org and from the Rusk County Clerk's office, either by requesting them by mail or in person.  All bids must be enclosed in a sealed envelope.   The sealed bid must have the following information written on the outside of the envelope.

                                                  The Parcel Computer Number

                                                  The Legal Description of the Property

DEPOSIT

 A deposit of 10% of each bid must accompany each bid.   The 10% deposit MUST be in a form of a BANK MONEY ORDER or a CERTIFIED CHECK made payable to Rusk County.  

DEED

The balance of the purchase price MUST be received by the County Clerk's office within 30 days of notification.  Payment MUST be in a form of a BANK MONEY ORDER or a CERTIFIED CHECK.  An additional fee of $30.00 for recording the deed will be assessed. A Quit Claim Deed will be issued in the name of the signer or whomever that person designates the deed be made out.

RUSK COUNTY WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCESS OR BOUNDARIES OF THESE PROPERTIES.

** Check with Municipal Clerks to verify any special assessments.**

The purchaser must comply with the following:
-Sanitary Code
-Subdivision Control Ordinance
-All applicable: Shoreland, Flood Plain, Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Rusk
County.

BIDS MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE NO LATER THAN: 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October, 10, 2014.

THE BID OPENING WILL BE:  Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. 

For additional information contact: Denise Wetzel, Rusk County Clerk, 311 Miner Avenue East Suite C150, Ladysmith WI 54848. Email: dwetzel@ruskcountywi.us. Telephone (715)532-2100.