Annual Safe Sleep Sabbath in partnership with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and area churches including the Church of God in Christ of the Northwest Jurisdiction, Common Ground and Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope, to help bring the message of infant safe sleep practices where it is needed most.
The focus of this year’s Safe Sleep Sabbath is the topic of secondhand smoke and its link to infant deaths. In 2011, secondhand smoke was a significant factor in the deaths of 31 infants in Milwaukee.
According to the City of Milwaukee Health Department, 48 Milwaukee infants died of SIDS or accidental suffocation between 2009 and 2011. Of those 48 deaths:
• 32 were sharing a bed with parents, other children or a caregiver.
• 31 were exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.
• 41 were sleeping on or near adult pillows or were put to sleep with blankets, quilts or stuffed animals.
• 18 had been placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep.
• 11 were sleeping on a couch, chair, car seat or swing.
• 13 caregivers were using drugs or alcohol.
(Note: many infants had multiple risk factors. 2011 data is preliminary.) “Based on preliminary information, infant deaths due to unsafe sleep practices have not declined in Milwaukee since last year,” said Bill Solberg, Director of Community Services for Columbia St. Mary’s. “These deaths are not only devastating, but they were preventable.”
According to Solberg though, there does seem to be a positive trend. “As our parish nurses and community health workers speak to people in the community, it is clear that more people are aware of the basic safe sleep recommendations and are changing their behavior,” he said.
Solberg added that requests to the Milwaukee Health Department and area hospitals for Pack-n-Play cribs have increased markedly in the past year. Pack-n-Play cribs help create a safe environment for infants.
Solberg and other community leaders feel strongly that area churches are key in helping to communicate the importance of safe sleep practices to help prevent needless infant deaths in our community. “In many communities in Milwaukee, the church plays a pivotal role,” said Solberg.
“It is a trusted gathering spot, a source of spiritual fulfillment as well as practical instruction.
“It is the perfect venue in which to raise awareness about safe sleep practices and therefore, the Safe Sleep Sabbath helps keep this important health issue top of mind.”
The Safe Sleep Sabbath program has two phases. The first occurs on September 12th, when area clergy will attend a luncheon at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee to learn about safe sleep practices.
Next, on October 14th, the participating clergy will spread these lifesaving lessons to their congregations during a city-wide Safe Sleep Sabbath.
In 2011, the program’s first year, more than 80 pastors participated in the Safe Sleep Sabbath, representing churches and faiths throughout the Milwaukee area.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced new grants that will improve the quality of care at community health centers and ensure more women are screened for cervical cancer. The grants will help 810 community health centers become patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) and increase their rates of cervical cancer screening.
“Our health centers are committed to providing high quality health care services and today’s awards help continue these efforts,” said Secretary Sebelius.
The patient-centered medical home is a care delivery model designed to improve quality of care through better coordination, treating the many needs of the patient at once, increasing access, and empowering the patient to be a partner in their own care.
Today’s awards will provide assistance to 810 health centers as they make the practice changes, such as improved care coordination and management, that are necessary to become patient-centered medical homes. The awards will also support health centers’ efforts to increase the percentage of women screened for cervical cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths will occur across the United States in 2012 as a result of this preventable disease. Patients who receive their health care in a patient-centered practice have been shown to receive a higher rate of preventive services, including cervical cancer screening.
MADISON—Beginning October 1, families with health insurance will need to schedule their children’s vaccination appointments with their health care
provider rather than at local health departments, state health officials confirmed this week. A recent change in federal policy requires
state-supplied vaccines to be targeted to children not covered by insurance.
Due to the state’s widespread pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak, state-supplied pertussis vaccines will still be provided to any child visiting a local health department, regardless of whether they have insurance coverage, and state-supplied seasonal influenza vaccine will also be available to all children during the 2012-2013 flu season.
“All families will still be able to access these essential services,” said Karen McKeown, Wisconsin Division of Public Health administrator. “Families with insurance that covers vaccinations should schedule appointments with their family physician, and those without insurance, or whose insurance does not cover immunizations, can still visit their local health departments to immunize their children.”
Parents are encouraged to contact their insurance company if they are uncertain whether their insurance covers vaccinations.
Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides publicly-purchased vaccines to children enrolled in or eligible for Medicaid and BadgerCare, and Native Americans and Alaskans aged 18 and younger, can continue to receive immunizations from participating public and private healthcare providers.
McKeown noted that immunization is the best way to protect children from many diseases that are potentially harmful and sometimes deadly, and encouraged parents to make sure children are up-to-date on their immunizations. Families can visit the Wisconsin Immunization Registry to find out which immunizations their child needs: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/publicaccess.htm
For information on the Wisconsin Immunization Program: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/immunization/index.htm
The Brentwood Health Organization (BHO) will be hosting a free Community Health Fair on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 2:00-6:00 pm. BHO is a ministry outreach of the Brentwood Church of Christ, the health fair will be held in the church’s fellowship hall, 6425 N. 60th Street.
At a time when underserved populations are faced with stark health disparities, this event is being offered to fill a void. Attendees will gain tools to improve their health by obtaining information from an array of health and social service providers. Screenings will be provided as well. This event is open to the general public. For information, please call Phyllis Mills, at 414-899-0235 or [email protected]
BHO is a community organization committed to improving the health status of underserved populations. This mission was established in the ethical and cultural practices of the fatih-based tradition which inspires dedication, commitment and assurance through service and healing.
Health Fair attendees are welcome to attend Brentwood’s musical program immediately following the event at 6 pm!
Madison – Americans have saved an estimated $2.1 billion on health insurance premiums as a result of two important provisions of Obamacare – officially called the Affordable Care Act – that protect citizens from excessive premiums. This includes 288,984 Wisconsin residents who have saved a total of $14,551,793.
In every state, insurance companies must submit a justification for public review if they want to raise premiums by 10 percent or more. This protects citizens from excessive – and unjustified – rate increases. Rate reviews have helped save an estimated $1 billion for American citizens, including $4,182,000 for 6,172 Wisconsin residents.
The 80/20 rule ensures that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care. Those companies that do not meet those spending requirements must write checks back to their customers for the difference. Americans have received rebate checks for $1.1 billion thanks to the 80/20 rule, including $10,369,793 in savings for 282,812 Wisconsin residents.
“Rate review and requiring insurance to spend 80% of premiums on patient care have brought transparency and accountability to health insurance companies,” said Doug Hill, director of Know Your Care Wisconsin. “Because of Obamacare, Wisconsinites are saving millions of dollars on insurance premiums. And for the first time ever, many are getting money back from their insurance companies.”
UnitedHealthcare and Care Improvement Plus – with the support of AARP, Ameriprise Financial and the National Family Caregivers Association – are hosting hands-on educational events in Milwaukee as part of National Medicare Education Week (Sept. 15 – 22, 2012). The events are designed to help baby boomers, Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers learn more about Medicare and how to find the coverage that’s best for them. Attendees can also participate in a hands-on computer workshop to learn about online resources and popular social media sites that can help them connect with family and friends and improve their understanding of Medicare. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. More information is available at NMEW.com.
DATE: September 21, 2012
TIMES: 1:00 – 3:00 PM
LOCATION: UW Waukesha Library, Room L108 – 1500 N. University Drive – Waukesha, WI 53188
DATE: September 19, 2012
TIMES: 2:00 – 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Oak Creek Community Center – 8580 South Howell Avenue – Oak Creek, WI 53154
Local organizations urge patients and providers to take advantage of new plan options and services available beginning October 15th
The Medicare Rx Access Network has re-energized its local partners to help prepare Wisconsin seniors for the upcoming October 15th through December 7th Open Enrollment opportunity for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans.
More than 918,344 Wisconsinites are currently covered by Medicare. While there are still a few weeks until seniors can make changes to their benefits, Medicare Rx Access Network members are urging Wisconsin seniors to prepare now.
“The Medicare Rx Access Network will be out in the community making sure that seniors are aware not only of the open enrollment period but of all the new options available,” explained Gary Ross, President and CEO of Community Health Charities of Wisconsin. “Seniors should compare their current plan with new coverage options in their area. People change and so do their medical needs. Patients can now make their benefits work for them.”
Seniors wanting to compare their plans should visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE. These resources will allow them to easily compare their current coverage to their medical and financial needs to determine the most suitable option available to them in their area. In Wisconsin, those with questions on Medicare and Medicare Part D can also call the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources 1-877-333-0202.
The Medicare Rx Access Network will spend the next few weeks and months working with local health providers and community organizations to spread the word about the open enrollment opportunity.
Eighty-eight percent of Part D enrollees report satisfaction with their coverage, according to the KRC Survey for Medicare Today, done in October of 2011.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network – Wisconsin, American Liver Foundation, Wisconsin Chapter, American Lung Association of Wisconsin, Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest Region-Wisconsin, BioForward, Community Health Charities of Wisconsin, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Wisconsin Chapter, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Network, Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin, Epilepsy Foundation, Heart of Wisconsin, Lupus Foundation of America, Wisconsin Chapter, National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians,
Wisconsin Nurses Association, and the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Research Institute received a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The study will investigate ear infections and explore potential new treatments.
Joseph E. Kerschner, M.D., professor of otolaryngology and communication sciences, dean of the medical school and executive vice president of the Medical College, otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital, and researcher at the Research Institute, principal investigator for the grant.
Infections of the middle ear are the most frequent diagnosis in pediatric patients in the U.S., affecting more than 90% of all children by age five. They are also the most common cause of hearing loss in young children, which can lead to speech, language, educational and other developmental delays. Treatment in the United States consumes more than 30 million clinical visits each year and more than $5 billion in health care expenditures.
This study will investigate mucins, which are fluids that build up behind the eardrums in some children following ear infections and cause hearing loss. Using clinical specimens, animal models and cellular models, molecular techniques will be used to better understand how mucins form in children with chronic ear infections.
Dr. Kerschner is collaborating with the Center for Genomic Sciences in Pittsburgh, Pa., on this project. Additional collaborators in Dr. Kerschner’s laboratory at MCW include Wenzhou Hong, Ph.D., D.V.M., assistant professor of otolaryngology; Pippa Simpson, Ph.D., professor and director of quantitative health sciences; Kristina Keppel, MSN, APNP in pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital; P.J. Khampang, research associate; and Christy Erbe, lab manager.
This research will advance knowledge of this disease toward the long-term goal of developing new therapies to treat ear infections and prevent them from causing hearing loss and other serious complications.
About the Medical College of Wisconsin
The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state’s only private medical school and health sciences graduate school. Founded in 1893, it is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and service. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in the Medical College’s medical school and graduate school programs. A major national research center, it is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY 2010 – 11, faculty received more than $175 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes, of which more than $161 million is for research. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, College faculty direct or collaborate on more than 2,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,350 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 400,000 patients annually.
About Children’s Hospital of WisconsinChildren’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis. is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. Children’s Hospital provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2010, Children’s Hospital invested more than $105 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children’s Hospital achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.