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Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention is one of the Public Health Foundational Areas, aimed at improving the health of the community. Chronic diseases are common, can be costly, and are a leading cause of death and disability. Effective prevention measures can help to prevent or delay many chronic diseases.

What is a chronic disease?

Picture of Chronic Diseases in America


The Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department (SMCHD) is responsible for implementing equitable strategies that address environments, systems, and health behaviors associated with chronic disease. The department also is charged with informing and educating the community and stakeholders on prevention strategies.
In addition to information and education, the SMCHD provides resources that can help individuals access the care they need. Please see our links for: Wisconsin Well Woman Program and Information on Healthy Smiles. The SMCHD will also share other stakeholder initiatives for health screening and immunization initiatives.


The SMCHD monitors chronic disease data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC uses several surveillance systems to collect and analyze data to:
  • Better understand the extent of health risk behaviors, preventive care practices, and the burden of chronic diseases
  • Monitor the progress of prevention efforts
  • Help public health professionals and policymakers make more timely and effective decisions
The SMCHD also collects additional local data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), other partners, and the community, and reports this data through a Community Health Assessment. This data is relevant to the community and helps the SMCHD collaborate with partners to develop, implement, and evaluate chronic disease prevention strategies through a Community Health Improvement Plan.
Picture of obesity percentages in Shawano and Menominee County picture of diabetes precentages in Shawano and Menominee County
Picture of Food desert Picture of Shawano Menominee Counties food desert

Finally, the SMCHD tracks policies, to ensure the policies that are in place are making an impact on chronic diseases and prevention. For example:
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk of breast cancer get a mammogram every 2 years. According to the CDC, this policy has been shown to:
  • REDUCE Deaths- Compared to no screening, screening every 2 years for women aged 50 to 74 reduces breast cancer deaths by 26% or 7 deaths averted for every 1,000 women screened.
  • REDUCE Health Care Spending- Breast cancers diagnosed at an early stage are much less expensive to treat than those diagnosed at a late stage.
Health and Economic Benefits of Breast Cancer Interventions | Power of Prevention (

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) review of a nationwide smoke free policy indicated such a policy would:
  • REDUCE Costs- A nationwide smoke-free policy could save $700 to $1,297 for each person not currently covered by a smoke-free policy by preventing illness and reducing deaths from secondhand smoke exposure.
Additional Health and Economic Benefits of Chronic Disease Interventions (CDC)

What Can Cause Chronic Diseases?

According to the CDC, many chronic diseases are caused by a short list of risk behaviors:

How Can I Prevent Chronic Diseases? 



February 15, 2024

DHS Awards Grants from JUUL Settlement Funds to Prevent and Treat Vaping by Youth and Young Adults | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

January 4, 2024 

Wisconsin Implements 12-Month Continuous Health Insurance Coverage for Children | Wisconsin Department of Health Services

January 3, 2024 

DHS Encourages Homeowners, Property Owners, and Child Care Centers to Test for Radon | Wisconsin Department of Health Services


The SMCHD is a member of the Shawano-Menominee Healthy Communities and partners with other community stakeholders and members of the Chronic Disease Action Team.