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Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department Achieves Level III Designation
Shared Health Department Offers Residents a Higher Level of Service

This August, the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department officially achieved a Level III Designation from the State of Wisconsin - something that was never achieved by the previous Washington County Health Department or Ozaukee County Health Department independently. Level III is the highest designation of infrastructure and program capacity that demonstrates the level of service being provided by the department.

"I appreciate the support of the Joint Washington Ozaukee Board of Health for maintaining a strong public health department," said State Health Officer and Administrator Karen McKeown. "I am sure that with ongoing support, the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department will continue to protect and promote the health of the people."

In addition to providing all six basic public health services to the community, a Level III department provides at least 14 programs and services that address at least 7 health priorities in Healthiest Wisconsin 2020, the current state health plan. The department's consolidation allowed for expanded programming in the form of more robust county health coalitions, the licensing and inspection program and specialized services for the clients.

"This achievement by the department is the culmination of our two county's vision," said Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann. "It serves as concrete evidence that you can successfully deliver services across county borders while improving service levels, and that county 'borders' are self-imposed."

When Washington and Ozaukee consolidated departments in 2016 saving taxpayers at least $300,000 by reducing overhead costs and sharing operational excellence, demonstrating the ability to deliver services at an overall lower cost to residents at the same or better service level was a continually stated goal.

"Our staff's commitment and dedication to continuously improving the department has made us successful at providing excellent comprehensive services," stated Interim Health Officer Amanda Wisth. "We are honored to see this work recognized by the state and the community through this designation."

The Health Department provides a variety of services that include communicable disease control, emergency preparedness, environmental health, food safety and recreational licensing, immunizations, community health and promotion and general public health services including services for women, infants and children.

Contact Amanda Wisth, Interim Health Officer at Amanda.wisth@washozwi.gov for more information.