Archives for December 2011
Monte Mabra the CEO/Fonder of Voice of the Fatherless Child Inc., along with sponsor Home Depot at the Port Washington location and Diana Robertson, Regional Rep for United States Senator Ron Johnson, joined forces to decorate the home of one of 10 the families who received the Voice of the Fatherless Child (Single Parent Christmas Package). The package includes going into the homes of single parents putting up decoration, a live tree, supplying the children with gifts, the parent with a gift card, and decoration for the outside of home. Darnisha Barbee 36, mother of (6) was a grateful recipient of VOTFC Single Parent Christmas. Home Depot was also present Dec 3rd at the new stage play “I Want A Father For Christmas” where they along side of VOTFC Inc., passed out over 400 gifts to children and 300 pair of gloves to adults and seniors who attended the play. (photo by Yvonne Kemp)
The Medical College of Wisconsin and BloodCenter of Wisconsin have received a three-year, $486,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to study a new treatment for sickle cell disease.
Joshua J. Field, M.D., associate investigator at the Blood Research Institute at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at Medical College of Wisconsin, will collaborate with Jonathan Lindner, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University, as principal investigators of the grant.
With this grant, Dr. Field will investigate a sensitive imaging technique called contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) in order to determine the efficacy of an investigational anti-inflammatory drug, regadenoson, and the standard of care drug, hydroxyurea, in patients with sickle cell disease.
Dr. Field specializes in the treatment of sickle cell disease and other benign hematological disorders at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital. “It is apparent that new therapies are necessary to advance patient care and management of sickle cell disease. We hope to utilize CEU measurements to provide evidence that regadenoson increases blood flow to the muscles, thereby lessening intensity and frequency of sickle cell crises,” he said.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder affecting hemoglobin, which are the protein molecules in red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the bloodstream. In sickle cell disease, healthy blood cells become deformed and rigid, leading to blockages in the blood vessels. Sickle cell affects one in 400 African-American newborns in the United States. The disease can be managed with preventive and supportive therapies, but there are few objective measures to determine if treatments are working.
“Research has always been a vital part of our mission, so we are extremely proud of the contributions being made by Dr. Field,” says BloodCenter of Wisconsin president and CEO, Jackie Fredrick. “We are dedicated to the discovery efforts that will lead to speedier diagnoses, improved treatments, and ultimately, cures to help people in our community, across the nation and around the world.”
This study is one of nine being funded this year by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Medical Research Program. The grants are the product of the 2011 competition for the Doris Duke Innovations in Clinical Research Award, which invited proposals for cutting edge, clinical research focused on making advancements in sickle cell anemia.
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 2,000 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,250 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 400,000 patients annually.
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin is a private, not-for-profit organization that specializes in blood collection, organ and tissue recovery, marrow donation and education, diagnostic testing, medical services and leading-edge research. BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the only provider of blood to hospitals in 29 Wisconsin counties including all community hospitals in Southeastern Wisconsin. BloodCenter of Wisconsin advances patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. For more information, visit www.bcw.edu.
Milwaukee, WI— It is illegal to sell cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (OTPs) to minors. By state law, retailers are required to post signs warning patrons that only adults can purchase tobacco and to ask for a photo I.D.—such as a driver’s license or state I.D.—before selling tobacco. This year, 36 of 353 vendors across seven police districts sold to minors, totaling 10.2% of tobacco sells to minors in the City of Milwaukee compliance check sample. Milwaukee’s 2011 youth access percentage more than doubles the 2010 statewide reported percentage of tobacco sells to minors, which was 4.7%.
In Wisconsin, 11.3 % of surveyed youth said they, at one point, smoked cigarettes daily (at least one cigarette every day for 30 days), according to the 2009 Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). In addition, among students who were current smokers, 6.2% smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day on the days they smoked during the past 30 days, and 8.5% of the surveyed youth used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on one or more of the past 30 days, according to YRBS.
The YRBS shows that youth are smoking and using tobacco products, but by law youth should not even have access to cigarettes or OTPs.To comply with federal regulations, Wisconsin implements the Wisconsin Wins (WI Wins) program, which is a science-based, statewide initiative purposed to reduce youth access to tobacco. To sustain a federally funded block grant, Wisconsin must maintain a youth access percentage below 20%. Failure to stay below the federal standard could result in a 40 percent cut to the grant for substance abuse prevention and treatment (roughly 10 million). Counties conduct compliance checks and share their county specific youth access data with the WI Wins Program to achieve the statewide percentage. Preliminary analysis of the 2011 data indicates that within the City of Milwaukee, youth access percentages vary. At a whopping 34.4 percent, Police District 5 has a youth access percentage that far exceeds the federally regulated 20 percent maximum and the 2010 statewide percentage (4.7%). District 5 is on the Northeast side of Milwaukee. The police station serving District 5 is located on Locust and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
“Implementing the WI Wins program is an important part of the work we do,” said Officer Tyshynsky, Milwaukee Police Department. “I’ve been doing WI Wins for about 15 years now, and each time we do it, the need for the program is validated by compliance checks results. I wish we could do more checks and do them more often because when retailers sell tobacco to minors, it affects our whole community.”
To conduct a compliance check, two minors enter a store and try to buy cigarettes and/or OTPs. A Milwaukee Police Department officer and an adult chaperone/driver are assigned to each pair of youth, but they remain behind the scenes until each check has been completed. Once the youth leave the store, one of two things happens; the team will either praise the vendor and reward him with a WI Wins sticker for not selling tobacco to a minor, or if he did, the officer will ticket him up to $500.00. Violators also risk a tobacco license suspension for up to 30 days.
“Youth access to tobacco is a community issue that affects everyone,” said Robert Cherry, coordinator,” City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance. “Most regular smokers became addicted before turning 18, so when retailers comply with state law, it contributes to reducing long-term public health issues within our communities and within our state.”
WI Wins uses positive reinforcement to reduce illegal tobacco sales to minors. It congratulates local clerks who do not sell tobacco to youth while educating those who would. This approach creates community pride by reducing youth access to tobacco products and by providing youth a chance to make a difference in their community.
“WI Wins is not about punishing tobacco retailers; it’s about educating businesses to help keep them in compliance with state law,” said Michael Campbell, project manger, WAATPN. “Tobacco use costs our state $4.5 billion dollars in healthcare and lost productivity costs each year; by not selling to youth, store owners are doing their part to prevent future generations, and our state, from experiencing the many harmful affects of tobacco use.”
In the City of Milwaukee, the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN) and the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance have partnered to implement WI Wins compliance checks.
Twenty-one youth, nine police officers and 16 adults participated in WI Wins for the City of Milwaukee in 2011. Everyone can support efforts to reduce youth access by reporting suspicious sells to police. Residents who suspect a violation can report it to their local police stations.
For more information on WI Wins visit www.wiwins.org.
These ladies were the lucky recipients of goodies from Santa…and The Salvation Army during the organization’s annual Christmas Luncheon for area seniors held recently at the Italian Conference Center, 631 E. Chicago St. Last year, the Salvation Army provided gifts and hosted more than 600 seniors at the luncheon. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Complied By MCJ Staff
The images of violent attacks on city buses have bombarded local news. Story after story, recent tales of violence erupting on buses – from passengers being attacked to bus drivers being assaulted – are told.
What has ensued is a debate between city officials over public safety on Milwaukee buses.
In the midst of the debate,Milwaukee Common Council PresidentWillie
Hines has proposed a cooperative city-county effort to improve security on county buses.
Hines is encouraging County Board Chairman Lee Holloway to immediately end the contract the county currently has with a private firm to provide security on county buses.
In a letter to Holloway, Hines suggests a city-county memorandum of understanding whereby Milwaukee police officers could help ensure security on county buses.
“When it comes to ensuring the safety and security of our residents, I believe jurisdictional and municipal boundaries are irrelevant,” Hines said.
“In my opinion, I do not believe that taxpayers are necessarily concerned about where funding for bus security comes from, only that those funds be spent wisely and with the best outcome in mind.”
The recent rash of assaults on bus riders and violent incidents toward drivers in recent years has prompted Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn to assign police officers to ride county buses.
The incidents have also exposed the ineffective work of the private firm hired by the county to provide security on buses.
Mikel Holt, president of Malik Communications and associate publisher of the Milwaukee Community Journal, and EarnestineWillis,MD,MPH, Kellner Professor in Pediatrics and Director of the College’s Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children were chosen as the first two recipients of the Medical College of Wisconsin President’s Diversity Award.
Holt and Dr. Willis were recently honored at a special reception held at the college’sAlumni Center. The reception was attended by key faculty, staff and members of the largest minority freshmen class in the college’s history.
The Medical College ofWisconsin’s President’s Office, in partnership with the Diversity Advisory Committee, established the President’s Diversity Award to honor individuals or groups from MCW and the community at large who have contributed
to making the college a more inclusive and diverse environment.
“The Medical College of Wisconsin is committed to building a diverse, inclusive and equitable community that understands and celebrates individual differences and fosters appreciation and respect for all individuals,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, President and CEO. “This is essential to our mission, and we are thankful to everyone internally and throughout the broader community who helps to bring us closer to our goal.”
Dr.Willis received the award for her efforts and dedication to improve the health of under-served populations. Holt received the award for his efforts to helpMCWconnect with important communitybased organizations, which has led to strong academic/community partnerships and the advancement of critical partnerships between MCW and underrepresented populations.
The Diversity Awards Selection Committee selects up to two award recipients each year – one in a Student/Resident/Faculty category and one in a Staff/Community Partner category.
Other nominees for the award included: • Piero Antuono, MD, Professor of Neurology • Dawn Bragg, PhD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity• Jeffrey Kelly, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and Director of the Center for AIDS Intervention Research • Michael Olivier, PhD, Professor of Physiology • Paulette Pecard, Director of Business Services, MCW• David Peterson, MBA, Administrator of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, MCW • Andrew E. Petroll, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in the Center for AIDS Intervention Research
“We were pleased to see such excellent nominations, and were awed and humbled by the various efforts made by these individuals towards diversity and inclusion at MCW,” said Judy E. Kim, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Past Chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee.
“The letters of recommendation for these individuals made us proud to know that they are a part of the MCW family and are making a wonderful difference here and beyond. All of them should be congratulated. I would like to thank President Raymond for initiating this award to recognize and further the efforts to make MCW more diverse and inclusive at every level. We hope to see more great nominations next year.”
One of the ongoing priorities of the Medical College of Wisconsin is to increase the diversity among our medical students, graduate student and residents and to provide support for their educational success as a foundation for a promising career.
Each year, the MCW community comes together to celebrate this important initiative at the President’s Diversity Reception, planned in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs/Diversity.
This year’s reception was an opportunity for students to meet the faculty, staff and community mentors who support them in their training, as well as for our community physician partners to be recognized for their powerful impact on our students’ lives.
“A diverse student body promotes the understanding and value of differences and allows students to achieve greater insights into medical conditions and treatment as they share viewpoints and experiences from differing perspectives,” said Dawn Bragg, PhD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs/Diversity.
“The Medical College of Wisconsin is committed to building diversity throughout our organization, celebrates individual differences and fosters appreciation and respect for all individuals.” This reception allowed us to publicly thank Dr. Willis, Mikel Holt and the many other internal and external contributors who help us move closer to that goal every day.”
The economic decline and elevated infant mortality rate in the 53210 ZIP code
Editorʼs Note: This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It is being reprinted as part of a partnership between the Community Journal and Journal Sentinel to help address a critical issue in our community.
By John Schmid – Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Reprinted November 13, 2011
he southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has mastered many of the trades Milwaukee championed in the last century: machinery, motors, metalworking. Guangzhou’s boom has coincided with the sunset of manufacturing in Milwaukee, which in mere decades lost one of the nation’s densest concentrations of mass production.
The two cities crisscross in another way: Babies in China’s industrial heartland now have a far better chance of reaching their first birthday.
In Milwaukee, one baby under the age of 12 months dies for every 95 who live, making it one of America’s most fatal cities for infants. A generation ago, Milwaukee was one of the safest.
Among registered residents of Guangzhou, one baby dies for every 210 who live. The Chinese data, vetted by the World Bank and United Nations, often miss migrant workers in factories, but their infant survival rates are improving markedly as well.
Infant survival and economic competitiveness tend to move on the same communities and nations with rising wealth and stability – just as young life is threatened by economic crisis and upheaval.
The issue is especially acute in Milwaukee, a once-muscular manufacturing city where the infant mortality rate in some neighborhoods now rivals that of Third World nations. As civic leaders embark on just-announced efforts to eliminate racial disparities and cut deaths to historic lows, the central city fallout from 30 years of industrial downsizing underscores the biggest challenge in turning the tide.
“Wealth leaves the city and infant mortality rates rise,” said Thomas LaVeist, a professor of public health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Within the city, the most fatal of all districts is an eerily quiet ZIP code called 53210. About four miles from downtown and the lakefront, 53210 idles on the city’s north side.
In its heart is an economic vacuum. Rows of factory buildings stretch for miles – an industrial graveyard that creates a canyon of concrete and barbed wire. The sheer size and number of empty factories testify to the highdecibel, high-employment economy that flourished when shifts ran around the clock, between World War II and the 1980s, before global competition increased dramatically.
The strip was home to global manufacturing leaders such as A.O. Smith Corp., which welded the undercarriages for nearly every American-made passenger car, and Briggs & Stratton Corp., which built the small engines powering virtually every lawn mower. These days, the signs on the buildings are different. “Guard Dogs on Duty,” is all that’s posted on one. “This building is illegally occupied or unfit for human habitation,” is stapled to the door of another. “We buy junk cars” is hand-lettered on the fence of a sleepy gravel lot.
Trees grow through cracks in the pavement. The surviving companies no longer offer entry-level factory jobs, the kind that once offered a first step into the middle class. Master Lock Co., the last remaining big company in 53210, has gone from 1, 300 to 380 employees at its flagship plant. But the maker of padlocks requires education and technical skills to operate its automated production lines. Manually intensive unskilled work is carried out at plants in Mexico and China.
In 53210, one baby dies for every 59 who make it. Research underlines how economic change affects infant mortality.
“It’s not just a black thing,” said Franklin Goza, a sociology professor who specializes in population demographics at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “If you are a poor white person, your baby is more than twice as likely to die during its first year of life than it would be if it was a wealthy baby.”
Goza studied all the urban census tracts in Ohio, another Midwestern manufacturing state. Using four decades of data, Goza was struck by an increase over time in the number of white babies who die in poor census tracts, calling it a “strong and consistent inverse association.” A Duke University study in 2008 found increased odds of preterm birth for non-Hispanic white women in tracts “with high unemployment, low education, poor housing, low proportion of managerial or professional occupation, and high poverty.” In Milwaukee and the U.S., infant mortality is most acute in African American communities.
Even black mothers in professional occupations have higher infant mortality rates than poor whites. Researchers who have looked at the internal biological triggers of premature birth, such as genes and chemistry, argue stress is often a key factor in prematurity.
So what happens outside the womb – an eviction notice; the anxiety of an unsafe environment; struggling without a job – can affect what happens inside it.
In 1970, the city’s black poverty rate was 22% lower than the U.S. black average; today, Milwaukee’s black poverty rate is 49% higher than the national rate. In 1970, the city’s median family income for African Americans was 19% higher than the U.S. median income for black families. Today, it’s 30% lower.
During that time frame, the overall rates of poverty and unemployment in 53210 tripled. When the housing sector collapsed under the weight of subprime debt, the area felt the impact with particular force.
“Nearly every block in the ZIP code has problem properties reaching the sheriff sale stage,” according to a study of 53210 by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Infant mortality is the ultimate misery index. Frequent infant deaths nearly always coincide with lower life spans, hypertension, high blood pressure, respiratory issues and diabetes.
“The infants are like the canary,” said Geoffrey Swain, medical director of the Milwaukee Health Department and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. “They are the most vulnerable. They are the first to drop off when conditions are bad.” The U.S. infant mortality rate is 7 deaths per 1, 000 live births – far outpacing 3 in post-unification Germany and 2 in Japan.
Milwaukee’s overall rate was 11.9 in 2006 and has since improved to 10.4, but it remains the nation’s seventh worst big city. The black rate stands at 14.1. In 53210, the overall rate is 17.
By 1981 in Wisconsin – when four of every five African-Americans lived in Milwaukee – the state had the third best black rate of infant survival in the nation. White mortality rates in Milwaukee were falling as well and better than the national average.
The city sent a Department of Health nurse to visit every mother for every birth. Today, Swain said, city nurses visit less than a tenth of all at-risk mothers in just the city’s worst ZIP codes. Now, the area’s economic landscape is changing.
A.O. Smith exited the auto business in the 1990s and reinvented itself as a water-technology company. It sold the plant in 1997 to Tower Automotive Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and closed the Milwaukee factories. The city is tearing down the old factories and hopes to create an industrial park. Next door was the sprawling Koehring Machine Co., which employed over 1, 000; today Koehring is a scrap metal yard.
Farther south was a campus of six factories that belonged to Briggs & Stratton, which called itself the world’s largest maker of small air-cooled engines. Briggs employed more than 700 factory workers in the factories – not including the on-site headquarters of its electrical products division. Today the buildings are vacant.
The Journal Sentinel canvassed 60 of the old industrial properties in the stretch that slices through 53210. Some made shoes, brewing equipment, potato chips, embroidered vestments for priests. But the biggest among them stamped, forged, welded, plated and fabricated metal.
Nine of the 60 have been torn down and exist as empty lots. Another 18, including A.O. Smith and Briggs, are empty or partially
used as storage space.