our story

a new brand


Healthfirst is a non-profit community health provider in central Wisconsin.  Incorporated in 1973, Healthfirst set forward to develop a quality facility that offered confidential reproductive health and WIC services in Marathon County.  Since 1973, Healthfirst has expanded its geographical footprint and now offers WIC services in three counties and health services in nine counties.

We are taking appointments at our clinics in nine Wisconsin counties



The purpose of Healthfirst is to improve the reproductive and nutritional health within our communities.


Healthfirst is dedicated to providing quality, confidential reproductive health care, education and nutrition counseling that is affordable and accessible through direct care and strategic partnerships.


Healthfirst fulfills its purpose and mission through:

  • Providing confidential services;
  • Treating all with respect and dignity;
  • Empowering through education;
  • Maintaining honesty and integrity;
  • Being kind, caring & empathetic; and
  • Committing to innovative, high quality, evidence-based services.



Jessica Scharfenberg

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, Jessica began her career as a registered nurse in the emergency room of a critical access hospital in central South Dakota.  This is where her passion for public health began. 

Jessica transitioned into public health while working for the South Dakota Department of Health as a Public Health Regional Manager, before moving back home to Wisconsin.  She obtained her master’s in Public Health from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, with an emphasis in policy and administration. 

Jessica brings a variety of hands-on, public health experience to her leadership at Healthfirst and believes prevention is the best medicine.  “When we focus on the health of our community, together as a community we reap great success.”

In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her husband and two sons.  From hunting to fishing and hiking, she is always on the go with her boys.


LeeAnn Isham-Her

Service Line Manager
Reproductive Health

LeeAnn started her education at Northcentral Technical College where she obtained her associate degree Nursing. She then pursued her bachelor’s degree in nursing from UW-Oshkosh and ultimately went on to complete her Masters in Nursing Leadership and Management through Capella University. Throughout her educational and professional journey, she has worked in many different settings such as clinic, hospital, home health, and academia. LeeAnn has a worked in healthcare for her entire life and loves to combine her passion of healthcare with education.

LeeAnn and her husband, Josh, live in Wausau with their three children. In her free time, LeeAnn enjoys spending as much time with her family as possible while doing things like camping, fishing, and traveling.


Jerry Lyon

Chief Operating Officer

Jerry is an energetic and proactive leader with extensive non-profit management experience.  Through his previous work with Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters, his leadership has been on the forefront of strategic planning, program growth, implementation of new programming, special events, communications, and staff and volunteer management, on a local, statewide, and national level.  Jerry received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  He is also a graduate of the Leadership Excellence program through the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce and the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point at Wausau’s Non-Profit Management Institute.

Jerry and his wife live in Merrill with their children.  In his free time, Jerry enjoys his role as Chief Transportation Officer for his children in their many ventures, coaching, playing golf, and he is an avid muskie fisherman.


Suzanne Polacek

Service Line Manager

Suzanne graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a BS in Human Biology and a Nutritional Science emphasis.  Upon completion of her dietetic internship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, she became a Registered Dietitian in 2011.  After graduation, Suzanne moved back to her hometown in central Wisconsin and worked in both clinical and long term care settings before finding her place in public health nutrition within the WIC program at Healthfirst Network.  She became a Certified Lactation Specialist in 2018 after joining the Healthfirst Network team.  Suzanne is dedicated to providing quality nutrition education and breastfeeding support to the Healthfirst Network community. 

In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys camping with her husband and two young children, being active outdoors, baking, and spending time with family and friends.