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Category: Health

UW must update patient visitor rules

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: Current COVID policy is bad for her mental health because she is restricted to two parents per day supporting her in the hospital. These unnecessary restrictions are putting undue stress and burden on families.

UW Health Experts offer firework safety advice for families


“Firework fuses tend to be pretty short and they burn pretty quickly but this doesn’t seem to stop some people from lighting one while still holding onto it and unfortunately just about any firework that detonates in the hand is going to pack enough energy to cause some damage” said UW Health Pediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr. Greg Rebella.

UW Health culinary creation to comfort refugees earns national award


Shekeba Samadzada and Dan Hess’ vegetable korma, a traditional afghan stew, recently earned national recognition by winning the Health Care Culinary Contest. The stew consists of garbanzo beans, peppers, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and green beans, and is seasoned with cilantro, turmeric and coriander. It is served with basmati rice and naan bread

In a post-Roe world, some medical students rethink plans to practice in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Molly Wecker, a second-year medical student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had long planned to be an obstetrics-gynecology doctor in her home state. But with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling last week, the Rock County native is rethinking her plan.

Local abuse, rape victim advocates worry about consequences of Roe reversal


Quoted: That is a concern shared among some health professionals, according to UW-Madison expert Jenny Higgins.

“We will see increases in maternal morbidity and mortality due to people being forced to carry to full term. We also know that compared to people who receive desired abortions, people who are denied abortions are more likely to stay in abusive relationships,” Higgins said.

Wisconsin’s youngest are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, but availability is not universal; UW Health will start vaccinating those under 5 starting Tuesday

Wisconsin Public Radio

It’s been more than a week since COVID-19 vaccinations were approved for kids ages 6 months to 5 years old, but some hospitals are still waiting to schedule appointments. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is urging parents to be patient as vaccinators get up to speed on new guidelines.

Century-Old State Laws Could Determine Where Abortion Is Legal

New York Times

Quoted: “I hadn’t heard much about the ban until quite recently,” said Jenny Higgins, a professor of gender and women’s studies and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. “Folks didn’t really believe that overturning Roe was possible, or palatable, until recently.”

Out-of-state abortion providers prepare to help Wisconsin patients after Supreme Court overturns Roe

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Jenny Higgins, a professor and director of the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said their research has also shown an increase in birth rates in Wisconsin in recent years due to abortion clinic closures. Higgins said Wisconsin’s abortion ban will have devastating impacts on people’s health and wellbeing in Wisconsin.

“Either people will travel out of state to get abortion care in Illinois and Minnesota, for example, which will take significant time, money and logistical resources,” said Higgins. “Some people will self-manage their abortions here in Wisconsin … and then, of course, some people will not be able to access abortion care at all.”

No Wisconsin clinics are providing abortions as of Friday after SCOTUS struck down Roe v. Wade

Wisconsin Public Radio

Noted: UW Health on Friday said the loss of safe, legal abortion access would be predominantly felt by underserved rural areas and marginalized populations.

“As we enter a time of rapid change and uncertainty, UW Health will put the needs of our patients first and foremost to ensure they receive not just the best care but the best medical advice related to their care options,” the statement read.

Wisconsin doctors scramble to understand abortion care post Roe v. Wade

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Wisconsin’s abortion ban makes the procedure illegal unless deemed medically necessary to save a patient’s life.

Abby Cutler, an OB-GYN on faculty at UW Health said that definition is impossible to pin down.

“Knowing when that line is, when does a patient, when does a mother or a future mother become sick enough or is in enough danger to require life-saving treatment immediately,” Cutler told Wisconsin Public Radio. “I think that’s a really difficult line. There is no line, really.”

Abortion access could expand in northern Illinois to meet Wisconsin demand

Wisconsin State Journal

Some hospitals also perform abortions if the fetus has a lethal condition or the mother’s life is at risk. In a statement Friday, UW Health said, “While reverting to a 173-year-old state law on abortion will create some legal uncertainties, we recognize that this court decision has effectively banned abortions in Wisconsin except to save the life of the mother, and UW Health will continue to comply with the laws related to reproductive health care.”

Baby formula shortage highlights benefits of human milk banking

PBS Wisconsin

Quoted: Donated milk is a safe and nutritious formula alternative for families who aren’t able to supply their own milk, according to Dr. Anne Eglash, a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Eglash has long been a proponent of breastfeeding through her medical practice at UW Health, where she leads the healthcare system’s lactation clinic.

“We know that in the short-term, using donor milk for premature infants is a game-changer,” Eglash said. Donor milk helps stave off a type of gut inflammation that commonly affects infants born prematurely called necrotizing enterocolitis. The condition can lead to tissue death, forcing doctors to remove a large part of the baby’s intestinal tract.

“That has a huge impact on growth and development,” Eglash said, adding that when mother’s milk is unavailable, donor milk can also play a role in preventing other negative outcomes common among premature infants, including eye and lung disease and sepsis.

Medical College of Wisconsin receives $50 million Kern Family Foundation gift to ‘transform medical education’

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The Kern Institute collaborates and shares ideas on new approaches to medical education with a number of other schools through what’s called the Kern National Network.

The other founding members of the network are the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

After a month of no new bird flu cases, Wisconsin lifts order prohibiting poultry shows ahead of county fair season

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Ron Kean is a poultry specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Extension. He said the influenza virus has historically died down in summer months, so bird enthusiasts are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the summer.

“We’re hopeful that we’re through this at least for now,” he said. “Especially a lot of the small producers, exhibition breeders, things like that, I think are quite excited to be able to go back to having shows.”

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, what will it mean for pregnancy loss care in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Miscarriage management or removal of an ectopic pregnancy shouldn’t fall within even the strictest interpretation of the 1849 law, said University of Wisconsin-Madison law professor Miriam Seifter. Still, she said that gray area could create a “chilling effect” on patients or doctors involved in care that could be construed as an abortion.

“It’s understandable that a lot of people would feel like they needed to proceed with caution and would be concerned about potential ramifications in a legal landscape that really hasn’t been clarified yet,” she said.

Wisconsin’s abortion laws are a “tangled set of provisions,” Seifter said, with a number of “outstanding legal questions about how to make sense of them.” She expects there will be ongoing debate about the state of legal abortion if Roe v. Wade is struck down.

Eyes on Schizophrenia

Wisconsin Public Radio

We see the term schizophrenia often, but what does a schizophrenia sufferer experience, and how can non-sufferers recognize the symptoms? UW-Madison Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry Diane C. Gooding will lead us through the complexities of a disorder that affects millions of people worldwide.

Not Just for the Birds: Avian Influenza Is Also Felling Wild Mammals

New York Times

Something was wrong with the foxes. That was what callers to the Dane County Humane Society in Wisconsin kept saying in April, as they reported fox kits, or young foxes, behaving in strange ways: shaking, seizing or struggling to stand. The kits, which were often lethargic and wandering by themselves, also seemed unusually easy to approach, showing little fear of humans.

Drones Being Used to Bring Defibrillators to Patients in Emergencies

NBC Washington D.C.

Quoted: “Time is really of the essence here,” said Justin Boutilier, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Survival from cardiac arrest decreases by between 7 to 15% for every minute that you go without treatment.”

Boutilier describes obstacles to emergency response —such as traffic or difficult-to-reach rural locations — as “the perfect storm.” He has been designing a prototype drone that takes off as soon as someone calls 911.

“This is sort of like a perfect storm for a drone-based delivery system,” he said. “They’re able to, you know, remove the issues caused by traffic and things like that. So they’re able to get these devices there much quicker than an ambulance could.”

Build Belonging: 6 Best Ways To Connect Based On Science


Noted: A study at the University of Wisconsin found digital messaging—and especially text—were effective in building relationships. The reason they made a difference is because they tended to communicate people were thinking about each other and taking time to reach out. The study found quantity was actually not as important as quality—communicating a real caring or attention to the other person.

Fathers feed babies too — so why are they so scarce in media coverage of the formula shortage?


Co-authored by Tova Walsh, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and Alvin Thomas, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

UW Health to build University Row clinic to replace West Towne clinic

Wisconsin State Journal

UW Health plans to begin construction soon on its University Row Clinic, next to the UW Health Digestive Health Center at 750 University Row, near University Avenue and Whitney Way on Madison’s West Side. The University Row Clinic, expected to open in 2024, will offer primary care and urgent care, UW Health said. It will replace the UW Health West Towne Clinic, which will be closed and sold upon the new clinic’s opening.

Drones Being Used to Bring Defibrillators to Patients in Emergencies


“Time is really of the essence here,” said Justin Boutilier, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Survival from cardiac arrest decreases by between 7 to 15% for every minute that you go without treatment.”

Boutilier describes obstacles to emergency response —such as traffic or difficult-to-reach rural locations — as “the perfect storm.” He has been designing a prototype drone that takes off as soon as someone calls 911.

Editorial | UW Health should recognize nurses union

The Capital Times

To our view, it is only a matter of time until the nurses gain the representation that they have been seeking. As such, it makes sense for UW Health Board members and the administration to dial down tensions, embrace a spirit of cooperation and recognize the union.

Wisconsin ranks third worst in country for air pollution exposure disparities

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: A study released last month by UW-Madison researchers found the elimination of air pollution emissions across the country from energy-related activities could prevent more than 50,000 premature deaths a year.

In a press release about the analysis, Claire Gervais, a clinical associate professor with University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, called the results “shocking.”

“Doctors can only do so much,” Gervais said. “We must have better public policy to reduce industrial and transportation sources of fossil fuel burning.”

Wisconsin faces a ‘tangled series’ of abortion laws dating back to 1849 as it heads into a possible post-Roe future

Wisconsin Public Radio

Noted: University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Collaborative for Reproductive Equity (CORE) says Wisconsin already restricts many aspects of abortion, including banning government-funded insurance coverage, limiting availability through family planning programs, requiring mandatory counseling, ultrasounds and waiting periods for medication and surgical abortions and gestational limits, among other restrictions.

“None of these restrictions are evidence-based,” says CORE director Jenny Higgins.”There’s no medical reason for any of these restrictions. So just on that alone, these restrictions should be seen as onerous.”

Quoted: According to UW associate law professor Miriam Seifter, the judges found a right to privacy based on precedents dating back to the late 19th century. The opinion concludes that the “mother’s interests are superior to that of an unquickened embryo,” regardless of whether that embryo is “mere protoplasm,” in the view of the physician, or “a human being,” in the view of the Wisconsin statute.

Josh Kaul: UW Hospital can recognize and bargain with a union voluntarily

Wisconsin State Journal

More than two years after UW Hospital nurses asked managers to recognize the revival of a union lost after a 2011 state law, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul on Thursday said the hospital can contract with its employees and set their terms of employment via a voluntary collective bargaining process.

Air pollution more likely to harm people of color in Wisconsin, especially in Milwaukee, study finds

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “It is shocking that Wisconsin has the third-highest racial disparity in the country for

exposure to particulate matter, disproportionately killing black residents,” said Dr. Claire Gervais, a clinical associate professor with the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

“Doctors can only do so much. We must have better public policy to reduce industrial and transportation sources of fossil fuel burning,” Gervais said.

Most teens have a healthy relationship with digital technology, so long as their parents do too

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Dr. Megan Moreno, a professor of pediatrics at UW-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health and study lead, said their findings show just how important parents are when it comes to teens and technology.

“Parents serve as such role models, and I think that when kids are young, the role-modeling includes a lot of instruction and talking; and I think when teens are older, parents teach more through their own behavior than through their own words,” she said.

Gift of life: Liver transplant from Waunakee boy helps Cashton teen embark on adulthood

Wisconsin State Journal

For her 18th birthday this month, Kaylee McGinnis got a ring and a necklace adorned with a sunflower, bejeweled with emeralds and sapphires and inscribed with her first name and another: Collin. He isn’t a boyfriend with whom she hopes to spend the rest of her life. He’s a boy who for more than 17 years has given her life. Kaylee, of Cashton, got a liver transplant at 7 months old at UW Hospital from Collin Barberino, a 3-year-old from Waunakee who died in December 2004 when a dresser fell on him in his bedroom.

In 2003, Wisconsin was the epicenter of a monkeypox outbreak. The latest cases shouldn’t cause alarm, yet.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “The average person shouldn’t be worried about monkeypox. It’s more about knowing when and where it’s been found and monitoring your own health,” said Dan Shirley, medical director for infection prevention at UW Health in Madison. “If you have anything that seems like monkeypox, report it right away.”

Cancer treatment centers to use precise, pricey proton therapy

Wisconsin State Journal

UW Health’s $60 million proton therapy project will include new technology by Middleton-based Leo Cancer Care. Patients will sit in a special chair that shifts around a radiation beam instead of lying down while a massive contraption rotates around them on a gantry, as is the case at most proton therapy centers.