We have a new success story about our partner in Wisconsin that serves as a good example of the importance of collecting data about the retail environment, having cross-sector collaboration in efforts, and increasing access to healthy products for the betterment of population health.
Counter Tools has partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI-DHS) since 2016 to assist with data collection, provide understanding of data/trends, and support change related to tobacco, alcohol and food products in the retail environment.
WI-DHS implemented the Wisconsin Retail Assessment Project (WRAP) annually, from 2016-2019, to document the advertising for and availability of tobacco, alcohol and food products in the state. Some goals of WRAP were to increase knowledge about the retail environment, identify disparities, foster community awareness, and build public support towards interventions.
Coalitions participating in WRAP were tasked with assessing stores/retailers through completing store assessments. Hundreds of licensed stores/retailers were assessed across the state from 2017 – 2019 as part of the data collection process for food and alcohol. Counter Tools worked with Wisconsin to develop a new survey form and program it into an online data collection tool, and helped create a comprehensive and accurate retailer list.
In addition to providing technical assistance throughout the data collection process, Counter Tools analyzed the assessment data at both the county and state-level and created infographics and factsheets for food and alcohol.
A local collaborative worked with each store manager to develop personalized strategies for improvement, such as purchasing fruit baskets and shelf signage, offering training on stocking healthy options, and helping advertise successes with media outreach.
Wisconsin found that better understanding the retail environment, using the assessment data collected to identify specific areas for change, increasing community awareness, and starting conversations with stores were effective strategies in moving things forward.
Our partners have achieved great successes in public health. We recognize their hard work and leadership in creating healthier communities. We hope these stories inspire your work around place-based public health. View more Success Stories on Our Impact page.
Do you have a success story to share? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!