Health & Wellness

Infant Health
The Fox Cities region sees a lower percentage of births paid for by Medicaid or BadgerCare than the state Medicaid average and a higher percentage of births with prenatal care in the first trimester. Beyond the biological risk of low birthweight that is connected with the age of the mother, there are several socioeconomic risks with teen pregnancy, including lower education levels, higher rates of poverty, and poorer quality of life for children of teenage mothers. The percentage of live births paid for by Medicaid or BadgerCare Plus is another indicator of socioeconomic risk. Where the percentage of babies born with a low birth weight decreased in Outagamie and Winnebago, Calumet saw a small rise from 2009 to 2013. The percentage of children without health insurance in Winnebago decreased from 2012 to 2014, alongside state and national trends, however, Outagamie saw a contrasting rise in uninsured children between 2013 and 2014. Despite these small increases, the overall health outcome ranking increased in Outagamie between 2013 and 2015.

Diabetes and Obesity 
Both Calumet and Outagamie saw an increase in adult obesity between 2007 and 2011(1), as the prevalence of type 1 and 2 diabetes also increased, falling slightly in 2015. Alongside this, the mortality rate for diabetes-related deaths increased between 2011 and 2013 in Outagamie and in Calumet for that same period but decreased in Winnebago. An estimated 27.8% of people living with diabetes in the United States are currently undiagnosed(2). It may be that increased coverage will improve access to preventive health screening, earlier diagnosis and ultimately better health outcomes for diseases like diabetes. In the Fox Cities region, there is a small decrease in the percentage of adults without health insurance and a fairly constant percentage of the population receiving Medicaid from 2012 to 2014. Encouragingly, the percentage of adults having blood pressure and cholesterol checks has increased across the Fox Cities region since 2011. 

Youth Health
In terms of youth health behaviors, the Fox Cities region saw a reduction in alcohol consumption and binge drinking among high schoolers between 2009 and 2015. The percentage of Fox Cities high schoolers who smoke every day dropped by 10% from 2009 to 2015. While substance abuse is falling among youth in the Fox Cities region, the percentage of high schoolers who have attempted suicide (12%) compared to those who have seriously considered suicide (15.3%) seems high when viewed alongside the 2013 state and national averages. In 2013, 13.2% of Wisconsin high schoolers considered suicide, with 6% attempting suicide and nationally, 17% high schoolers considered suicide while 8% attempted suicide.

In comparison to the state and national rates, local data also show higher rates of suicide attempting across all racial and ethnic categories and is highest among Native Peoples (i.e., American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian or Pacific Islander). The rates of Fox Cities high schoolers who have considered or attempted suicide, when analyzed by sexual preference, shows that almost half of gay or lesbian students (45.2%), and bisexual students (49.4%) have considered suicide, compared with 13.1% of heterosexual youth. This may highlight a need for more targeted intervention programs and supportive services for all youth, and especially for students who may be at higher risk. An increased suicide rate in Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago and rate from 2005 to 2013 also highlights a need for mental health wellness support for transitional age youth. 

(1) 2007 adult obesity data not available for Winnebago 
(2) 2012 CDC estimate, see here for full report: