Vilas County Public Health - Child Family Health


Breast milk gives baby nearly all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy. It also has many things that help baby’s immune system, like antibodies, enzymes and white blood cells. These protect baby against many diseases and illnesses not only while he is breastfeeding but after baby is weaned, such as:

  • Ear infections,
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Pneumonia,
  • Urinary tract infections, or
  • Certain types of spinal meningitis.

Formula cannot offer this protection.

Breastfeeding provides moms with feelings of fulfillment and connection with baby. Moms also recover from child birth more quickly and easily. Breastfeeding can also lower the chance of breast and ovarian cancer later in life. For more information, visit


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Learn the ABCs of safe sleep for babies:

  • A – alone: Babies always should sleep alone, without siblings or other people. Nothing should be in the crib, including blankets, bumper pads or toys.
  • B – on the back: Babies should sleep on their backs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this is the safest position for babies to sleep in.
  • C – in a crib: Babies should sleep in a crib or Pack 'n Play.

An unsafe sleep environment for babies means:

  • Sleeping in a bed or crib with others (adults and siblings).
  • Sleeping on a sofa, recliner chair or soft bedding alone or with others.
  • Using crib bumpers, blankets, pillows or toys in the crib.
  • Smoking in the house or car.



Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

Through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, the Vilas County Public Health Department provides health and nutrition risk assessment and counseling to income eligible pregnant, breast feeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5. Benefits for WIC approved foods and formula are distributed for use at participating stores statewide.

WIC Serves:

  • Women who are pregnant or a new mother
  • Women who are breastfeeding
  • Teenage mothers
  • Infants and children up to 5 years of age
  • Live in Wisconsin
  • Household gross income is less than or equal to the WIC Income Guidelines and/or you qualify for other programs such as Badgercare, Medicaid, Healthy Start, Free and Reduced Lunch, etc.
  • Nondiscrimation Statement

WIC Provides:

  • Free healthy foods
  • Practical nutritional tips
  • Information about community resources
  • Breastfeeding information and support
  • Iron screenings
  • Childhood lead testing
  • Vaccine information and immunizations

What Happens at a WIC Appointment?

  • You will find out if you or your children can participate in WIC.
  • A nurse or health aide will weigh, measure and do a simple blood test. You may bring this information from your doctor to the WIC Clinic.
  • You will talk with WIC nutrition staff about food, eating habits and your family's health.

Once You Are a WIC Participant...

  • You receive an eWIC card.
  • You will be scheduled for appointments to return to the WIC Clinic for eWIC card updates.
  • Your eWIC card will contain the WIC benefits that you will redeem for healthy foods and beverages at your local grocery stores.
  • You can learn more about nurtrition and health.

WIC Hours

Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm by appointments only:

  • 2nd Tuesday of each month - Nutrition Education/Benefit Issuance appointments
  • Wednesday - Certification appointments

Vilas County WIC no longer offers recertification appointments in Arbor Vitae. Please call if you cannot make your appointment as these appointments fill quickly and can be offered to another participant.

WIC Locations

Eagle River 

Vilas County Public Health Department
330 Court Street 
Eagle River, WI 54521

2nd Tuesday of the Month- eWIC card updates from 8:00 - 4:00

Wednesday - WIC Appointments 8:00 - 4:00


Important eWIC Information:

  • Keep your pin safe.
  • To check your pin or eWIC balance, go to or call 1-877-231-3452.

When to call the WIC office:

  • You have questions about WIC foods or amounts.
  • You were not able to buy a food that you think is WIC approved.
  • Your card is lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • You need to unlock your pin.
  • If you think your receipt doesn't match what you bought.

Contact Information:

  • WIC Office: 715-479-3782
  • WIC Cell: 715-891-0815
  • Laurel Dreger Email:
  • Health Department: 715-479-3656
  • Toll-Free: 866-845-2726
  • Fax: 715-479-3741

Nutrition Education & Resources:


Prenatal Care Coordination (PNCC)

Prenatal Care Coordination (PNCC) is a program that helps pregnant women and their families receive medical, social, educational, and other services related to pregnancy, with the goal of improving the birth outcome. Services are available to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women who are at risk for poor birth outcomes such as a premature or low birth weight baby.

Women receive an initial assessment to determine needs, strengths, and eligibility for the PNCC program. Services are available during pregnancy and up to 90 days following delivery. PNCC services are available in all Wisconsin counties and are provided by local public health departments, clinics, and community-based agencies.

The goal of the PNCC program is to help eligible pregnant women have a healthy birth. To achieve this goal, women are identified as early as possible in their pregnancy and receive support services, health and nutrition education, and referrals to appropriate community resources. Services may include information related to pregnancy and parenting, support for positive behavior changes, or help with concerns such as housing, violence or depression.

Early and continuous prenatal care services are encouraged. Through participation in the program, women will also be able to access and obtain other needed health and social services available to them.

Services Provided:

  • Education to high-risk pregnant women on: self-care, fetal growth and development, smoking cessation, nutrition, preparation for labor and delivery, and substance abuse.
  • Referral for financial counseling, housing, nutrition, and school completion.
  • Postpartum education and referral on self care and recovery, infant care and feeding, family planning, well child care, immunizations, and parenting.


All pregnant women are eligible for this program. If the participant is covered by Medicaid, Medicaid will be billed for the services. Otherwise, the public health department assumes the cost. There is no cost to the participant.

For more information on PNCC, please contact the Vilas County Public Health Department (715-479-3656 or by email), or Katie Gillespie, Maternal and Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (608-266-1538 or by email).


Lead Screenings

The Vilas County Lead Program promotes and provides blood lead screening of children six months to six years of age. We help identify primary sources of lead exposure in the environment and provide education on reducing lead exposure.

Primary sources of lead in our community include:

  • Deteriorating lead paint
  • Lead contaminated soil
  • Lead in imported toys/materials

When exposed to lead, children do not show obvious signs of illness unless the amount of lead in their body becomes very high. However, even low levels of lead may cause delays in mental and physical development which will affect the child's future. A public health nurse will provide in-depth follow-up service for any child that is found to have an elevated level.

Please call 715-479-3656 to speak to a public health nurse about reducing lead hazards in your home or to have your child tested for lead.

More information is also available on the Wisconsin Department of Health Service's Lead-Safe Wisconsin page.