Wisconsin covers 54,310 square miles, with an estimated 2014 population of 5,757,564 people – 26% of whom live in rural Wisconsin (USDA-ERS).
The state has 58 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 11/2014). There are 67 Rural Health Clinics in Wisconsin (CMS, 2015) and 16 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 96 sites in the state.
In 2004, Dr. Brad Garber and three other health care providers from rural Wisconsin attended a CALS class in Two Harbors, MN. They all agreed that they faced the same rural health issues in Wisconsin that Minnesota did. They knew they had to bring CALS to Wisconsin. The next step was to get enough Wisconsin CALS instructors trained to start teaching CALS courses. In March 2005, they were ready and launched the first class in Eau Claire, WI.
With the help of the Wisconsin Office Of Rural Health, they have continued to teach CALS courses every year and have now taught 27 courses with 604 participants being trained. In 2011, they began teaching the CALS Trauma Module and have now taught 10 trauma modules and trained 153 participants. Additional classes are being conducted in the spring of 2015 in Hayward and St. Croix.
Wisconsin also has three CALS-certified hospitals:
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