Aspirus Supports Medford School District Phone Free Initiative

(MEDFORD, WI) – Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics Community Health Improvement Grant Program recently provided $40,000 in funding to the Medford Area Public School District to purchase Yondr Pouches, a key tool to help implement a phone free policy that will go into effect next school year for all Middle and High School students.

Yondr pouches are a tool that is being implemented to maximize educational time and support mental health. Students will be required to place their smart devices into the special protective bags that will be locked as they enter the building and unlocked at the end of the day. Upon implementation, most Yondr partner districts saw improvements in academic performance, student behavior, and student engagement.

The Medford School District hopes to see similar results. By limiting distractions during the school day, the district hopes to limit the negative effects of social media and reduce vaping, bullying, and fighting.

"We are deeply grateful to Aspirus for their generous grant supporting our initiative to become a no cell phone school," said Jill Lybert, Principal, Medford Area Senior High School. "We believe this will have a direct and positive impact on improving our students' academics, behavior, and mental health and create a better learning environment for our students."

The Aspirus Health Community Health Improvement Grant Program works to advance the Aspirus vision by being a catalyst for building healthy thriving communities.

“There is a growing body of research supporting the positive effects of going cell phone free during the school day that has shown improvements in students’ academic performance, behavior, mental health and engagement,” said Amanda Lange, Community Health and Foundation Specialist, Aspirus Medford Hospital.

Framework for community health work is identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment. This report looks at community data and collects input from the community to identify health priorities that impact the health and quality of life for each community. Working alongside community partners, strategies are identified to address the top health priorities.

For more information on Community Health Improvement efforts specific to Aspirus Medford Hospital and Clinics, please contact Lange at 715.748.7507.

About Aspirus: Aspirus Health is a nonprofit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin, serving northeastern Minnesota, northern and central Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The health system operates 18 hospitals and 130 outpatient locations with nearly 14,000 team members, including 1,300 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians. Learn more at

Pictured: L to R: Amanda Lange, Kirsten Bucki, Krista Meier: Aspirus Health. Andy Guden, Jill Lybert, Beth van der Berg, Alexa Vaughn: Medford Area Public School District.