North Central Wisconsin Behavioral Health System Planning

Enhancing behavioral health care in three Wisconsin counties

Working with Wisconsin nonprofit North Central Health Care, and conducting extensive community research, we’re assessing the level of need for behavioral health services in Marathon, Lincoln, and Langlade Counties. We’re also examining the assets and limitations of the current system with the goal of ensuring the region has the necessary components for a full continuum of care and high-quality behavioral health crisis services.


The study, which we’re conducting with our partner TAC, will provide rich insights as well as recommendations and implementation strategies to inform a tri-county strategic planning effort.

  • Evaluation
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Systems Change

Enhancing a person-centered, outcome-focused system

North Central Health Care (NCHC), a well-established nonprofit, provides a full continuum of person-centered, outcome-focused behavioral health services to three Wisconsin counties. In 2018, its 24 programs served over 16,000 people. NCHC is constantly evolving to respond to community need and address unmet needs. Maintaining a constant focus on improving the experience and health of its service population, the organization also looks for ways to be more efficient and respond to changing fiscal and policy environments so it can serve even more people. HSRI is assisting NCHC with its latest assessment of existing services and community needs, helping the organization strategically plan its next steps.

Conducting needs assessments and system enhancement

HSRI takes a four-component approach to needs assessment based on best practices in the field.  For the first component, we interviewed key informants, reviewed documents, and analyzed data to produce a comprehensive inventory and overview of the existing system including assets, operations, capacity, and challenges. For the second component, we developed a shared understanding of what is desired and would be optimal, based on stakeholder input and comparison of what currently exists with a model comprehensive system of care.  The third component entailed defining and quantifying the gaps between the existing and a model system, and for the fourth component, providing actionable, prioritized recommendations for addressing gaps with strategies for accomplishing them based on implementation science. 


North Central Health Care

Project Partner(s):

Technical Assistance Collaborative

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