Programs and Services

Communicable Disease Prevention and Control

A communicable disease, also known as an infectious disease, is an illness transmitted through direct contact with an infected individual or animal – or indirectly through contact with a vector such as a mosquito, tick or plant, with blood or bodily fluids, or by breathing in an airborne virus or bacteria. As part of Wisconsin State Statute, 252 – Communicable Diseases, the NSHD is required to follow up and respond to all Category I and II diseases and conditions considered to have significant public health impact. 

  • Disease Investigations: In an outbreak investigation, the NSHD is responsible for identifying the source of the illness and working with facilities to implement control measures to prevent further spread of the infectious agent. 
  • Tuberculosis Program: The NSHD provides case management to residents with latent and active TB. This includes assurance that residents adhere to their treatment regimen by providing directly observed therapy (DOT) and conducting contact investigations to protect the public.
  • Immunization Program: The NSHD maintains an immunization program to prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases. Under this program, the NSHD provides immunizations to residents without medical insurance, to those with Medicare and to private payers.

Chronic Disease Prevention and Control

Chronic diseases are illnesses that last three months or longer, are rarely cured and are often progressive.

  • Clinical Services: We provide free blood pressure screenings at both of our offices and at locations out in the community.
  • Elder Referral Program: NSHD staff follow up on referrals we receive regarding health issues of older adults. The NSHD works in partnership with the Milwaukee County Department on Aging and/or North Shore Fire/Rescue to conduct home visits. These referrals often result in linking older adult residents to other resources in the area to maximize their independence and protect their health and safety.
  • Farmers’ Markets: The NSHD supports and promotes the various farmers’ markets in the North Shore.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

MCH focuses on improving the health and well-being of mothers, infants, children, and youth. 

  • Breastfeeding: The North Shore Health Department employs two Certified Lactation Counselors.  Newborn home visits and phone consultations are available. The Health Department also has a Workplace and Child Care Provider Recognition Program.
  • Newborn Home Visits: The NSHD provides a newborn home visit by a Public Health nurse. The visit includes breastfeeding support services offered by a Certified Lactation Counselor. During this visit a nurse discusses topics such as home safety, immunizations, nutrition, and healthy growth and development. Home visits provide the chance for new parents to ask questions and discuss newborn health and development.
  • Breastfeeding Friendly Recognition Program: The NSHD offers a training and recognition program for workplaces and child care providers who would like to create a supportive environment for breastfeeding moms.

Information regarding our Workplace and Child Care Recognition programs can be found on our Family Health page.

Environmental Health

The NSHD’s environmental health program focuses on the assessment, management, control and prevention of environmental factors that may adversely affect the health, comfort, safety or well-being of our residents. The NSHD provides these services as part of Wisconsin State Statute, Chapter 254- Environmental Health.

  • Food Safety and Recreational LicensingThe NSHD oversees the North Shore Environmental Health Consortium (NSEHC), which serves as an agent of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The NSEHC protects the public’s health through enforcement of sanitary regulations and fostering sanitary practices in certain public establishments. The NSEHC provides licensing and inspection services for restaurants, pools and hotels in the communities of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, River Hills, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay. The NSEHC also responds to consumer complaints for licensed food establishments, hotels and pools.
Toxic Substances
  • Lead Hazard Control: The NSHD’s lead hazard control program prevents and reduces the impact of lead poisoning among children in the North Shore.
  • Radon Outreach and Testing Program: The NSHD’s radon outreach program educates North Shore residents on the impact of radon exposure through display boards at the libraries, in newsletters, at farmers’ markets and through outreach to local real estate companies. Short-term radon test kits are available at both offices.
  • Animal Bite and Rabies Control: The NSHD works with police departments in the North Shore to promptly investigate animal bites for potential rabies exposure. The Health Department is responsible for ensuring that the biting animal is appropriately and legally observed and tested for rabies. Visit the DHS website for more information about rabies. Dog Bite Prevention
  • Human Health Hazard and Public Health Nuisance Investigations: Per Wisconsin State Statute, Chapter 254.59, local health departments are required to respond to the presence of human health hazards. Human health hazards are substances, activities, or conditions that are known to have the potential to cause acute or chronic illness, injury or death if exposure is not stopped. Local municipal ordinances also give the NSHD authority to investigate and respond to public health nuisance complaints.
  • Beach Testing and MonitoringThe NSHD assures safe water conditions for wading or swimming at Atwater, Klode and Doctors Park beaches by routinely testing water for harmful levels of bacteria and posting signs to communicate water safety to the public during the summer swimming season.

Injury Prevention

Unintentional and intentional injuries are a leading cause of emergency department visits, hospital inpatient admissions, and fatalities in Wisconsin and the North Shore.

  • Childhood Injury Prevention: The NSHD has an active partnership with Safe Kids of Southeast Wisconsin and North Shore Fire Rescue to prevent childhood injuries. The NSHD has two certified child passenger safety technicians. We work with North Shore Fire/Rescue to respond to requests from residents to have their car seats checked to ensure they are installed correctly. Schedule a Car Seat Installation on the NSFR Website.
  • Older Adult Fall Prevention: The NSHD partners with North Shore Fire/Rescue (NSFR) on several fall prevention initiatives. Both agencies jointly offer the Remembering When program for senior groups around the North Shore. Visit the Milwaukee County Falls Prevention Coalition website for fall prevention resources.
  • Mental Health and Resiliency: The NSHD is an active member in REDgen, a North Shore coalition dedicated to promoting balance and resiliency for kids and teenagers. Visit the REDgen website for more information.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Health threats from infectious disease outbreaks, bioterrorism events and natural disaster events require a coordinated response from multiple government agencies to save lives. Local health departments, including the NSHD, are recognized as essential partners in emergency response situations because of our capacity to identify, communicate and respond to everyday public health threats such as communicable diseases and human health hazards. The NSHD, as part of the Milwaukee/Waukesha County Consortium is recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials as meeting the standards for possessing and updating a written all-hazards response plan based on the principles of the Incident Command System.