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Category: Health

‘Some come every single day’: Wisconsin college students’ use of campus food pantries soars this year

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A ribbon-cutting event for a former storage room marked a milestone for Milwaukee Area Technical College.

MATC converted the small space at its Walker’s Square campus into a food pantry that opened Tuesday. It’s the last of MATC’s five campuses to open a food pantry for students, all of which launched within the last year.

The pantries couldn’t have come at a better time.

Soaring food costs have college students feeling the pinch. The need is especially great at Walker’s Square, which is on the near south side in the heart of Milwaukee’s Latino community. Many students at the campus are enrolled in the GED or English as a Second Language programs while working minimum wage jobs that don’t provide enough to cover rent, gas, groceries and other expenses.

UW Health expert says testing most kids for RSV may be unnecessary


Dr. Gregory DeMuri, who specializes in Pediatric Infectious Disease at UW Health Kids compared it to having a bad cold, “I think the biggest thing is most kids have already had RSV and they haven’t been tested. We didn’t do this before COVID, for most children, and that’s because most kids get over it on their own and it’s mainly going to be just a bad cold.”

Confused about health insurance during open enrollment? A navigator can help.

Wisconsin Watch

Health insurance can be confusing.

Meet Quentella Perry, who helps people plow through the complexities while working for Covering Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that educates people about health insurance and helps them choose a plan.

Just as accountants are busy during tax time, Perry and her colleagues have their hands full helping people navigate the choices offered during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15.

Rash of illnesses among Wisconsin kids keeping caregivers home from work

Quoted: Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS, a University of Wisconsin-Madison think-tank, said there’s also been a fundamental change in how employers and employees navigate illness.

“There is this thing that’s changed about what we do when we’re sick, when our kids are sick, what our child cares will accept or tolerate when our kids are sick,” Dresser said. “I think people send their kids or themselves to school or work sick less often than we used to.”

She expects people having more access to sick time hasn’t had a major impact in their decision to take time off.

“The fact that more workers get paid now when they’re sick than used to makes it slightly more likely that they’ll stay home,” Dresser said. “But even in the olden days, they stayed home when their kid was sick, they just didn’t get paid.”

RSV surge raises questions about repeat cases: Can you or child get it again?

Fox News

But these patients only account for a third of hospitalizations, said Dr. James H. Conway, pediatric infectious disease physician and medical director of the immunization program at UW Health Kids in Madison, Wisconsin.”About two-thirds of the kids who get admitted with RSV are actually healthy, normal kids,” said Conway, who’s also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Factors That Contribute to Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer’s


Research on the causes and treatments of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is ongoing. Among those committed to prevention is the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Our internationally recognized research program, the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, known more familiarly as WRAP, holds tremendous promise for demystifying the biologic origins of Alzheimer’s,” the site explains. “The WRAP study is the first and crucial step toward prevention and early intervention. Started in 2001, WRAP is the largest study of its kind enrolling more than 1,500 adult children of parents with Alzheimer’s representing diverse communities and populations.”

Wisconsin had 1,427 opioid overdose deaths last year, 16% higher than previous record

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison in October installed naloxone kits in dorms and dining areas, in an effort to reverse overdoses. The kits, known as Nalox-ZONE boxes, contain nasal spray naloxone, instructions on how to administer it and a breathing mask.

Other campuses, starting last year with UW-Oshkosh, have installed the kits in an effort organized by Wisconsin Voices for Recovery. The parents of Cade Reddington, 18, of Waunakee, and Logan Rachwal, 19, of Pewaukee, UW-Milwaukee students who died from overdoses involving fentanyl last year, urged campus officials to make the kits widely available.

UW Health celebrates 12,000th kidney transplant


“There may not be more than one other center that has done more, and as I like to say we kind of punch above our weight,” Dr. Kaufman said. “Madison is not the largest city in the country and the other centers that do a lot are in California and big cities so, we have pulled together a wonderful team for many many years and have kind of been leaders in the field and we feel so good that we’re able to help so many people.”

Wisconsin-based company under investigation for allegedly using child labor

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Laura Dresser, associate director of the COWS economic think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the labor shortage may make some companies more likely to violate protections for minors.

“It is probably the case that tight labor markets mean that there may be more sorts of violations like this because firms are desperate to fill jobs and may cut corners in order to do so,” she said.

Child labor laws help to ensure that minors are able to gain an education and receive a high school diploma, Dresser said.

“If we’re going to prioritize and require that students be enrolled in school and do everything we can to encourage them to graduate, then kids shouldn’t be working on overnight shifts (and) they shouldn’t be working excessive numbers of hours,” she said.

In post-Roe Wisconsin, what’s the role of crisis pregnancy centers? Critics say they mislead, pressure women.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison estimated in an August report that patients in 42 of the state’s 72 counties would see the distance they have to travel to get an abortion increase by an average of 82 miles, one-way. In Milwaukee and Dane counties, which accounted for 56% of the state’s abortions before the Dobbs decision, residents would have to travel 70 and 120 more miles to reach an abortion clinic, respectively. In the state’s 30 other counties, the distance to an abortion clinic didn’t change because they were already closest to an out-of-state clinic.

Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is growing quickly, fostering innovation

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: In fact, the state’s higher education system is a major reason the industry is thriving, according to Dr. Zachary Morris, a researcher and associate professor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

He said colleges and universities throughout Wisconsin are producing the highly-skilled workers that the biohealth sector needs, and research being done at those institutions also is helping to strengthen the industry.

“The universities, through the faculty, are in many cases steering or developing innovative technologies that these companies are then helping to spin out and commercialize,” he said.

Meat cultivated at UW-Madison offers glimpse into possible food future

PBS Wisconsin

An unconventional yet burgeoning project looming on the horizon of the grow-your-own movement is the development of cultivated, or cultured meat. It is real animal meat and seafood that is produced by cultivating animal cells, according to the Good Food Institute (GFI). Backers say it reduces the land and water pollution caused by large-scale meat agriculture.

Masatoshi Suzuki is a researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In recent years, Suzuki’s lab has worked in collaboration with GFI to create a prototype of a beef patty grown from the stem cells of a cow.

Psychologist: Take time to de-stress, re-center after midterm election


“It was definitely stressful, it was a really close race for everyone,” Morgan, a student in her fourth year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said. “My roommate and I, my sister and I, had the results pulled up on our phone pretty consistently throughout the entire night refreshing it every 20 minutes.”

Respiratory illness surge forces Children’s Wisconsin to adjust appointments, surgeries

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: At American Family Children’s Hospital, RSV is contributing to a very busy time at UW Health Kids. Currently, RSV hospitalizations make up approximately 10% of the patients admitted, according to Dr. Joshua Ross, the chief medical officer and pediatric emergency medicine physician, UW Health Kids.

“We are seeing a record number of patients in our pediatric emergency department, with most coming in due to upper respiratory illnesses like RSV,” Ross said.

From Tucker Carlson to Ron DeSantis, The Right is Targeting Young LGBTQ+ People

Teen Vogue

Noted: There has also been a spate of recent threats towards facilities providing gender-affirming care. In late September, The New Republic’s Melissa Gira Grant followed one week’s worth of news on anti-LGBTQ threats, documenting attacks on Boston Children’s Hospital, Akron Children’s Hospital, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, one specific doctor at a University of Wisconsin hospital, and an adolescent clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, in that order.

10 Non-Disciplinary Approaches To Correcting Tween’s Behavior


Noted: Parenting tweens can be challenging for parents, because their ‘little kid’ who liked to cuddle, learn about the world around them, and was generally happy has suddenly been replaced with a moody, impulsive, physically maturing little human says Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As frustrating as this might be sometimes for parents, it is all developmentally normal.

SOS: ‘Surprise’ UW Health bill erased

Wisconsin State Journal

“UW Health informed the patient that he will not be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs associated with this procedure,” UW Health said in a statement Friday. “We work with our payor associates to ensure patients have accurate information on all care and procedures, including accurate estimates for cost expectations. We continue to work together to make this a seamless and consistent process for our patients.”

Abortion training is part of medical school curriculum, but some Wisconsin programs are having trouble providing it post Roe

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are also coming up with ways to solve the current training problem, but they’re also beginning to worry about future recruitment.

Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and the director of medical student education at UW-Madison’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the repercussions could be felt for years.

“I’m worried that we’re going to have a challenging time recruiting the best residents to our program because of these concerns, and not just for obstetrics and gynecology, but for all types of medicine,” she said.

Wisconsin hospitals made $4 billion last year, face financial test this year, report says

Wisconsin State Journal

UW Health, which is building a $438 million, six-story clinic on Madison’s Far East Side, benefitted from the positive financial picture last year.

UW Hospital had the highest net income of the state’s 152 reporting hospitals, with $429.1 million, for an operating margin of 9.1%, according to WHA. The hospital also had the highest net income in fiscal 2020, with $201.5 million, for an operating margin of 5.1%.

Drones carrying defibrillators could save lives in heart emergencies

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Autonomous flying drones could deliver life-saving defibrillators to people experiencing cardiac arrest, says a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who’s been involved in the research.

Ambulances aren’t always fast enough, especially in rural areas where an automated external defibrillator, or AED, isn’t available.

Survival rates drop by as much as 10% for each minute that passes without treatment, according to Justin Boutilier, an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering and co-author of several medical journal articles on the use of drones to deliver AEDs.

Wisconsin OB-GYN programs must send residents across state lines for training because of abortion ban

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The state’s two other OB-GYN residency programs − at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee − are vulnerable as well.

An Aurora spokesperson said Thursday the hospital also plans to send OB-GYN residents out of state, though they would not provide specifics of the arrangement. A UW doctor said they are in the process of determining a course of action.

“We are committed to following the ACGME mandates of training our residents and putting out well-trained obstetrician gynecologists,” said Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and academic specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. “We are actively exploring options.”

UW’s Dr. Joseph McBride: Respiratory illnesses in children surge, COVID changed seasonality of sicknesses


Hospitals across the nation are experiencing a surge in respiratory illnesses among children.

And hospitals in Wisconsin aren’t immune.

University of Wisconsin assistant professor of adult and pediatric infectious disease Dr. Joseph McBride says practitioners are “without a doubt” seeing higher numbers of respiratory issues in children. He specifically points to “respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.”

“RSV is a common seasonal virus that pediatricians, healthcare providers, young parents and families are well aware of year-in and year-out,” McBride says. “What’s interesting about RSV is that in the setting of COVID and all the mask use, it kind of threw off our normal seasonality of it. Usually it’s pretty predictable each year starting toward the end of fall, in to the winter during our normal cough-and-cold season that we would see spikes in RSV.”

Viral false COVID vaccine claim lands in Wisconsin governor’s race after Tim Michels tweet

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Patrick Remington, a former epidemiologist for the CDC and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said COVID-19 vaccines have turned out to not be as effective as initially hoped but “the one aspect that every scientist agrees is that this is one of the safest vaccines ever produced, if not the safest vaccine.”

“I think it’s very worrisome that any politician would view information that is not scientifically sound or that maybe comes from a conspiracy theory,” he said. “I would be very concerned if that information resonates with their base, because then we’ll have policy that is being determined not by science and evidence but by superstition and by conspiracy, and that should be concerning for everybody.”

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who served as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary and has endorsed Michels, promoted COVID-19 vaccines to college students while he was president of the University of Wisconsin System during the coronavirus pandemic but did not mandate them.

Thompson said Friday he hadn’t seen Michels’ comments on the CDC and COVID-19 vaccines because he has been traveling out of state. He said spreading rumors about COVID-19 vaccine mandates is a bad idea.

“This rumor now about CDC requiring children being vaccinated should not be spread,” Thompson said.

Helium shortage: Doctors are worried that running out of the element could threaten MRIs

NBC News

“You get these sharp images, and you can distinguish soft tissues,” said Dr. Scott Reeder, chief of MRI at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “It’s central to many things we do in modern medicine.” MRIs help doctors diagnose brain tumors, strokes, spinal cord injuries, liver diseases and cancer. The 3D images, experts say, are irreplaceable.

15 best skin care products for rosacea and redness

NBC News

The location of the bumps on your face can also help you figure out whether they’re the result of rosacea. “Hormonal acne or other forms of adult acne tend to involve more of the lower face, whereas with rosacea we see the involvement of the nose, the central part of the cheeks and the center of the forehead,” said Dr. Apple Bodemer, a board-certified dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Unraveling Wisconsin GOP Candidate’s Abortion Position


Quoted: David Canon, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told us by email that it’s not uncommon for a candidate to shift positions after winning a primary or so close to a general election.

“Michels clearly has switched his position on abortion, saying that he would sign a bill with exceptions for rape and incest (after previously saying he did not support exceptions),” Canon said. “We are seeing this all over the country with candidates moving more to the center for the general election.”

$16 million in grants will support maternal and infant health initiatives across Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced a $16 million, statewide investment Wednesday to improve maternal and infant health, especially among people of color.

The funding, largely made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, will be split between the state health department’s Maternal and Child Health program, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Each entity will receive $5.5 million.

The MCW endowment fund and UW-Madison will use the funding to also support community grants for programs that focus on the social conditions that contribute to racial disparities in Wisconsin’s maternal and infant mortality rates.

Despite 2 decades of progress, Wisconsin still isn’t meeting national air quality standards

Wisconsin Public Radio

Noted: One of the major polluters, Sonoda said, is the fossil fuel industry. Across the country, coal-fired and gas power plants make up a third of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2020 University of Wisconsin-Madison study.

According to the UW-Madison study, transitioning to 100 percent clean energy would save $21 billion per year by averting health issues. That change, the study said, would prevent nearly 2,000 premature deaths, 650 respiratory emergency room visits and 34,400 cases of asthma exacerbation each year.

Forget Weed, Wine and Xanax: Science Has Better Ways to Treat Anxiety


Dr. Ned Kalin, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry, has been studying the genetics and neurobiology of stress and anxiety for decades. One of the big surprises he’s uncovered is that the amygdala, the brain structure long thought to be the seat of fear, is not genetically associated with anxiety.

More evidence that COVID lockdowns harmed children more than the virus

Washington Examiner

The latest data point to add to the pandemic blunder of punishing children during COVID comes from a study promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the study by Dr. Drew Watson, a team physician for the University of Wisconsin Athletics, the cancellation of youth sports during the pandemic “was accompanied by decreased physical activity and quality of life, as well as startlingly high levels of anxiety and depression.”

American children got 10 per cent fatter during the pandemic, ‘alarming’ study suggests

Daily Mail

Quoted: Study author Dr. Drew Watson, physician for the University of Wisconsin Athletics, said: ‘The cancellation of sports in the early pandemic was accompanied by decreased physical activity and quality of life, as well as startlingly high levels of anxiety and depression.

“Although the return to sports has been associated with large improvements in physical activity levels, quality of life and mental health, we are still seeing higher levels of anxiety and depression than before Covid, suggesting that this will remain a vitally important priority for years to come.”

How green are biofuels? Scientists are at loggerheads

Knowable Magazine

Tyler Lark, a geographer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grew up among farms, working on a neighbor’s dairy, vaguely aware of the tension between clearing land to grow food and preserving nature. As an engineering student working on water projects in Haiti, he saw an extreme version of that conflict: forests cleared for firewood or to grow crops, producing soil erosion, environmental denudation and worsening poverty. “I think it was that experience that told me, ‘Hey, land use is important,’” he says.

Doctors providing trans care are under increasing threat from far-right harassment campaigns

NBC News

Dr. Katherine Gast had become accustomed to the odd social media comment or email from someone who does not support or understand gender affirmation procedures she provides to her transgender patients.

But Gast, a co-director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s UW Health gender services program, was blindsided by what happened when the social media outrage machine that has developed around transgender issues came for her.

On the afternoon of Sept. 23, a two-minute video of Gast describing gender-affirming operations was posted by the Twitter account Libs of TikTok, a self-described news service that acts as an outrage content factory for conservatives.

DHS to offer COVID-19 rapid tests first at community testing sites

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Dr. Ajay Sethi, professor of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the shift is needed after the federal government ended its free, at-home COVID-19 testing program at the end of August.

“With the rapid at-home test, you can start taking precautions, and that was the beauty of the federal at-home test distribution program,” Sethi said. “But the funding dried out, and I’m glad to see that the state is going to make rapid tests more accessible.”