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Marshfield Clinic Health System, Security Health Plan award behavioral health grants to 50 Wisconsin school districts

​​May 24, 2023

MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan have announced b.e.s.t. grant recipients for the 2023-24 school year.

b.e.s.t. ® (Behavioral Emotional Social Traits) is an online screening tool that helps educators build and support the emotional health of all school children while identifying students who may need additional positive behavioral support. Developed by school psychologist Eric P. Hartwig, Ph.D., the tool provides educators with simple, positive actions to take in the classroom to help students be successful in school life.

“School life for many children is inherently difficult," said Hartwig. “Children continuously struggle to fulfill their needs of personal recognition while developing a sense of self and personal identity. Some children need extra support learning how to belong or learning skills to help them manage stress at school. I developed b.e.s.t. to help schools help children in this way."

Since 2013, Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan have supported the implementation of b.e.s.t. Universal Screening in 79 school districts, touching the lives of over 200,000 students and more than 8,000 educators and school staff.

“b.e.s.t. continues to be one of the most widely used and impactful child behavioral health programs that we support," said Jay Shrader, vice president of community health for the health system. “Cultivating positive behavioral health in students can have many benefits over the lifetime of the student including higher academic achievement and better social connectedness at school."

In the 2023-24 school year, 131 schools in 37 counties will benefit from the grant, which provides technical support, bi-annual screenings for students, training, consultation and support. Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan are supporting the implementation of b.e.s.t. during the 2023-24 school year in the following districts:

Unified School District of Antigo

School District of Altoona

School District of Auburndale

Augusta Area School District

Bayfield School District

Beaver Dam Unified School District

Bruce School District

Butternut School District

Chequamegon School District

Chilton School District

Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District

Columbus Catholic High School

School District of Crandon

D.C. Everest School District

Unified School District of De Pere

Durand-Arkansaw School District

Edgar School District

School District of Flambeau

School District of Gilman

Hayward Community School District

Hustisford School District

Lac Du Flambeau Public School

Lake Holcombe School District

Marathon County Child Development Agency Inc.

Marathon School District

Mayville School District

Mellen School District

Mercer School District

Mondovi School District

New Auburn School District

Osseo-Fairchild School District

Trinity Merrill Lutheran School

Port Edwards School District

Randolph School District

Regis Catholic Schools

Rib Lake School District

Rio Community School District

Rosholt School District

Shell Lake School District

Spencer School District

Stanley-Boyd School District

School District of Tomahawk

School District of Turtle Lake

Waupaca School District

Waupun Area School District

Wausau School District

Webster School District

Wild Rose School District

Wisconsin Heights School District

Woodruff J1 School District



 Media Relations

John Gardner
Marshfield Clinic Health System Director of Communications
715 221-8659

Jeff Starck
Senior Media Relations Specialist - Marshfield, Eau Claire, Ladysmith, Minocqua, Neillsville, Park Falls, & Rice Lake
715 389-4978

Dan Baulch
Senior Communications
Specialist -
Beaver Dam
920 887-4152

Jim Korth
Communications Specialist – Wausau/Weston

Joe Rizzo
Director of Public Relations and Business Development –
Marshfield Medical