The City of Racine Public Health Department has compiled data regarding the current status of health indicators 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 the Administration, Community Health, and Environmental Health Divisions. While the total number of full-time personnel has changed slightly year to year, overall it has remained relatively stable. At current staffing levels, there is one employee for every 2,907 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.
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 split between grant funds (state and federal) and fees and other revenues from
The core divisions' budgets are expended on all programs that the Public Health Department provides (see above). Aside from administrative costs for Administration/Health Education, Community Health, and Environmental Health, the largest expenditures in 2017 were for the Wisconsin Humane Society Animal Control Contract, Restaurant and Retail Food Inspections, and Communicable Diseases.
Just 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 rendered.
Expenditures for the Public Health Department Laboratory are divided among all projects and programs that Laboratory staff are contracted for and committed to fulfill. These include projects within the City of Racine, Racine County, Kenosha, Oak Creek, northeastern Illinois, and elsewhere throughout the
Enrollment numbers for the Wisconsin Well Woman Program have increased each year since 2014. Participation in the City of Racine Employee Wellness Program has also increased since 2014. There was a significant increase in individual participants in 2016, which include current employees and their spouses, as
well as retirees and spouses who carry City health insurance.
Program changes and reductions in funding have caused the number of clients annually served through the Department's Community Health Programs to fluctuate from year to year. Specifically, changes to federal immunization guidelines have decreased the
number of individuals who are eligible to receive immunizations from the Public Health Department. The number of clients using the STD clinic and being tested for HIV has been increasing since 2016.
The number of animal bite cases handled by Environmental Health Division personnel reached the highest total in 2014, with the second-highest total occurring in 2015. The number of nuisance animal investigations completed has fluctuated from year to year with no clear trend,
though 2015 recorded the lowest number since 2013.
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.
The number of inspections completed by Environmental Health Division personnel varies greatly depending on the type of inspection. Housing inspections, initiated by complaints, have been increasing despite a decline in 2016. While lead inspections dramatically decreased in 2015, they have steadily increased in 2016 and 2017. Restaurant inspections vary from year to year depending upon the number of licensed establishments in Racine, as does the number that require re-inspections beyond their normal, annual visit.
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. Although Zoo Beach consistently experiences more closings and advisories than North Beach, the overall number has been on the decline since 2015.
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 last year. Racine County saw improvements in 26 areas, including number of uninsured adults, adult smoking, teen births, and drug overdose deaths. Twenty-eight categories were unchanged, and 26 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 61st out of 72 counties in the state, and that 60 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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