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Three Wisconsin Communities Presented with Rural Health Awards

All Part of National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 21st

(Madison, Wisconsin) — The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health applauds the innovation, quality of care, and dedication of health professionals and volunteers in Wisconsin’s rural communities during Rural Health Day, a state and national celebration that recognizes the efforts of those serving the health needs of over 60 million people across the nation. Today, we are proud to announce that rural health projects in 3 Wisconsin communities have won awards in honor of Rural Health Day.

Rescue Divas, an organization in Ashland, WI, was recognized by the National Organization of State Offices ofRural Health as one of 44 national Community Stars for its work sparking interest in young people in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Rescue Divas is an EMS summer camp targeting middle school girls sponsored by Northwest Wisconsin CEP, a non-profit organization in Ashland. The program began in 2013 and provides opportunities for girls to experience hands on activities, such as learning CPR and working with a search and rescue team. Evaluations from the participants reveal that the camp was “amazing” and did, in fact, spark interest in EMS and firefighting as possible careers. They especially liked learning CPR and intubation.

The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health has awarded 2 Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health Awards this month. On November 7th, Jean Mierow of Fox Lake Fire & EMS was given an award recognizing her 25 years of service as an Emergency Medical Technician and leader in the Fox Lake agency. During her tenure, she has made a practice of following up with patients after they return home from the hospital and assisting families in the community to keep their loved ones at home, and volunteering with end of life care. She has run the refreshment stand for the agency’s annual fundraiser and often donates refreshments for open house programs. An accomplished seamstress, Mierow uses her skills to repair fire department equipment on her own time and creates EMS bags for the agency.

Mierow was nominated for the award by Richard Geiger, a former colleague at Fox Lake Fire/EMS. Geiger had this to say about his former partner:

Currently at more than 70 years of age Jean continues to be an EMS leader responding to more incidents and covering more EMS service hours than anyone else on the department. . . Jean has one more quality—humility. She believes that people who are just doing the right thing don’t do it for the praise they receive, they do it because it is the right thing to do.

The Office of Rural Health also recognized Family Health La Clinica (FHLC) of Wautoma for its numerous programs that enable residents to access high quality health care. La Clinica provides primary medical, dental, behavioral health/addiction recovery services in Friendship, and dental services in Stevens Point, Mauston, and Beaver Dam. FHLC also delivers school-based dental services and delivers medical and dental services via their mobile clinic throughout the state.

In the past year, FHLC has significantly expanded access to health care by implementing several new programs. The Roche A Cri Behavioral Health & Recovery Center in Friendship provides behavioral health and addiction services to a multi-county area. Additionally, FHLC’s new mobile unit was recently put into service and will allow further access to primary medical and dental services to vulnerable populations including migrant and seasonal farmworkers. FHLC is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the state that is funded to serve migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

For more information about these awards, visit our website at, or
contact Communications Coordinator Elizabeth DiNovella at 608-261-1884 or


The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health works to improve the access to, and quality of, rural health care.


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