In this section
Advocacy news and updates
Our advocacy efforts help make a positive impact on legislation that affects the health of children and families in Wisconsin and nationwide.
We are now Children's Wisconsin
The new name reflects that its flagship hospital in Wauwatosa is just one part of its operations. Our story includes care for kids in so many different ways: in the hospital and in primary care, in the emergency department and in a therapist’s office, through a digital health offering or at a school nurse’s office, through our child advocacy efforts or our health insurance plans. It includes the parents who work alongside us and the donors and advocates who support our work. More than a hospital and health system, we are a community of caregivers dedicated to making Wisconsin’s kids the healthiest in the nation. Watch and learn more.
Federal & state legislators & staff visit Children's: Experience the Mission
We appreciate staff from Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Congressman Pocan, Congressman Grothman, State Representative Marisabel Cabrera, and staff from Senator Jon Erpenbach, Representative Adam Neylon, Representative LaKeshia Myers and Representative Haywood for visiting Children's to learn more about the work we do within our hospitals and clinics and reaching beyond into our schools, homes and communities.
Senator Baldwin & Children's doctors discuss vaping-related illnesses
The number of vape-related lung injuries has increased – reaching almost every state across the country. New statistics continue to come out, as Children’s doctors discuss the epidemic with lawmakers. Since mid-June, Children’s Wisconsin has seen 17 patients with suspected vape-related illnesses. On October 10, doctors met with Senator Tammy Baldwin to discuss the cases – and what happens next.
In danger of addicting a new generation: How Wisconsin can protect its youth
After years of declining rates of teenagers smoking cigarettes, we are witnessing an alarming increase in the use of the next generation of nicotine products: e-cigarettes. In Wisconsin in 2018, 1 in 5 high-schoolers use e-cigarettes - a 154% increase from 2014. E-cigarettes not only contain highly addictive nicotine - which affects the developing adolescent brain and body and increases the risk of lifelong addiction to tobacco products - they also can contain harmful toxic chemicals. Right now, there is a bill in the state Capitol that will raise the minimum sale age of all tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. Known as Tobacco 21, this policy will reduce the number of high school kids who can legally purchase these products for themselves and their younger friends. Read the article by Dr. Anoop Singh, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology, and take contact your legislators on Tobacco 21 today!
The Therapist Fellowship Program is helping train future therapists
Learn more about one of the programs Children's advocated for during the Wisconsin state budget. Growing the workforce of professionals adequately trained to care for kids' mental and behavioral health needs is crucial to increasing mental and behavioral health care access. Watch here.
Children's advocates for updated child transportation safety legislation
Libbe Slavin, Safe Kids Coordinator Wisconsin, helps raise awareness of important updates to Wisconsin law to reflect best and safest practices for kids in car and booster seats.
Congressional briefing on trauma-informed care
On September 17, Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher and Illinois Congressman Danny K. Davis hosted a congressional briefing on trauma-informed care in Washington D.C. The “Success of Trauma-Focused Interventions” briefing featured speakers from leaders in the field of child trauma, mental health and safety, as well as senior officials from the Department of Health & Human Services. Bob Duncan, Executive Vice President of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and President of Children’s Community Health Plan, shared our efforts in developing a trauma-informed workforce and implementing trauma-informed care principles and practices across our health system.
Racine Children's Mental Heath Forum
On August 1, Wisconsin Congressman Bryan Steil (R-1) hosted a “Children’s Mental Health Forum” at Case High School in Racine. Policy experts from the national Departments of Health & Human Services, Education, along with officials from Racine County, discussed the importance of improving mental and behavioral health care access for kids. Amy Herbst, vice president of mental and behavioral health, and Lakeisha Russell, school-based child and family therapist, (both of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin), participated on the panel and discussed Children’s priorities and work in Racine elementary schools, as well as highlighted tips for parents.
Children's presents at Congressman Gallagher's trauma-informed care event
On July 30, Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-8) hosted a trauma-informed care event at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. Leaders in crisis response, child welfare systems and community organizations shared their experiences with trauma-informed care and how to improve services for youth and families. David Whelan, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin vice president of child well-being, shared Children’s trauma-informed care principles and highlighted Community Services’ work on SELF staffing and working to improve out-of-home care placement stability.
Teens hospitalized at Children's with lung damage after reportedly vaping
As you may have seen in hundreds of local and national news stories, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin reported eight cases of hospitalized teens with seriously damaged lungs to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services who is investigating the possible causes of these illnesses. All patients reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to being hospitalized. “The popularity of vaping is obviously skyrocketing among our kids and its dangers are still relatively unknown. We don’t have a lot of information about the long-term effects or even the short-term effects,” said Mike Gutzeit, MD, chief medical officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “What we do know is vaping is dangerous. It’s especially dangerous in teenagers and young adults.” Learn more about teen vaping. Ensure you are signed up for CAN to receive future opportunities to engage in grassroots advocacy on this topic!
Lieutenant Governor Barnes visits Children's, hears from patient advocate on mental and behavioral health
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes stopped by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to learn more about our care and services. While here, he met with 17-year-old Cady and her parents who shared how important it is for young people to be able to access mental and behavioral health care. Way to be a great advocate, Cady!
Governor Evers signs Wisconsin state budget
On July 3, Governor Tony Evers signed the 2019-21 Wisconsin state budget. You can read more about some of the provisions related to child and family health and well-being.
Children's patient travels to Washington, D.C. to advocate for mental and behavioral health care
Each year, Children's hosts a patient family in Washington, D.C. as part of the annual Children's Hospital Association Family Advocacy Day. This year, nine-year-old Derell and his mom Etta from Milwaukee, Wisc. traveled to our nation's capital to share Derell's story about the importance of accessing mental and behavioral health care. Read more here!
Governor Evers & DHS Secretary-designee Palm visit Children's, discuss mental and behavioral health and child well-being
Governor Tony Evers stopped by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to learn about the unique care we provide kids and families both inside and outside of the hospital. While here, he met with baby Jaxx and his family. Jaxx was just 1 week old and was receiving care at our cardiac intensive care unit before he had heart surgery at our Herma Heart Institute. He also learned about our Community Services and mental and behavioral health care services. Educating lawmakers about our work and the services kids and families need to be healthy and well is important to helping our work to advance policies that best support kids' health and well-being.
With too few mental health care providers to go around, kids often wait to get help
Wisconsin has a total of 148 practicing child psychiatrists, or 12 for every 100,000 residents younger than 10, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. That’s about a quarter of the academy’s recommended amount. “Every day we have families calling us all around the state attempting to get an appointment with a therapist,” said Amy Herbst, vice president of mental and behavioral health at Children’s; though the wait could be weeks or even months. Children’s has a behavioral health specialist in 19 of its 26 clinics across the state and they’re shared amongst the rest of the sites. “Still, it’s hard not to feel inadequate as a health care provider when you’re unable to get a patient the help they need right away,” said Smriti Khare, MD, president of Children’s Primary Care. Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Kids in Crisis series.
Racine schools, in partnership with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, implement full-time mental health therapists for students
As parents and school leaders recognize the growing need for mental health professionals in schools, one southeast Wisconsin school district is making it happen. Racine Unified School District partnered with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to bring full-time therapists to several of its elementary schools. Jackie Willms, from Racine, Wisc., said the program changed her daughter’s life. Read more from NBC 4.
Children's advocates attend 2019 WHA Advocacy Day and honor staff and legislators with awards
On April 17, nearly 100 Children's Hospital of Wisconsin advocates, including Children's staff and patient families, traveled to Madison to take part in the Wisconsin Hospital Association's annual Advocacy Day. You can read more about the event here and read Children's blog on two patient families who attended the event!
Children's honored the seventh annual Children's Champion Policy Awards to Speaker Robin Vos, Representative Steve Doyle and Representative Pat Synder for their work on the bipartisan Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care. The Task Force championed numerous policies to improve the health and well-being for our most vulnerable children and youth. For the first time, Children's also honored two of our staff for their dedication and passion for advocacy on behalf of Wisconsin kids and families. Congratulations to Lori Albers, Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs Project Manager, and Aaron Kinney, Executive Director of the Herma Heart Institute!
Kohl's donates $5 million to Children's Hosital of Wisconsin to enhance mental health services
Kohl’s announced a $5 million gift to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to help launch a multi-year mental health strategy to improve mental health services for Wisconsin kids and their families. The grant will directly address the state’s need for greater access to mental health services for children and generate awareness about the impact a child’s mental health has on his or her holistic well-being.“This incredibly generous gift will jumpstart numerous initiatives and expand programs that strengthen our mental health strategy,” said Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “We are so thankful that Kohl’s believes in our vision that Wisconsin kids will be the healthiest in the nation — physically, mentally and socially. Sadly, Wisconsin ranks extremely low in meeting the mental health needs of our kids.” Read more. Also - watch and read this powerful story on our Racine school-based mental health providers, featured on NBC 4.
Children's doctor discusses lead exposure in kids at Milwaukee Common Council
Heather Paradis, MD, medical director of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, participated in a Public Safety and Health Committee session at Milwaukee's City Hall on the effects of lead exposure on Milwaukee’s children. Dr. Paradis pointed out that the number of children being hospitalized with severe lead poisoning in Milwaukee continues to increase and she stressed the importance of early testing. Visit our legislative work page to read her testimony.
New infant abuse prevention bill based on work of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin doctor
According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse or neglect in the United States in fiscal year 2017. Seventy-two percent of child fatalities involved children younger than 3, and 50 percent involved infants younger than 1. Multiple studies have found that relatively minor, visible injuries in young infants, including bruising and intraoral injuries, are often indicators of abuse. Such injuries in infants are commonly overlooked by medical providers, caregivers and child welfare professionals because they seem trivial. Without early intervention, physical abuse can escalate, resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced a new bill on April — the Early Detection to Stop Infant Abuse and Prevent Fatalities Act — which is inspired by and based on the work of Lynn Sheets, MD, medical director of child advocacy and protective services at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, that would help reduce cases of infant abuse in the United States.
“Keeping kids healthy and safe needs to be our aim, not treating injuries after they happen or mourning the loss of a life taken too soon. This bill would help us do that. This legislation could significantly improve early recognition and intervention efforts to protect vulnerable infants and will help prevent many cases of abuse and related fatalities,” said Dr. Lynn Sheets, medical director of child advocacy and protective services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Unfortunately, after decades of evaluating abused infants, I have found there were reports of minor suspicious injuries before more serious harm was done. We have used this information in Wisconsin to help prevent further tragedies and applaud Senator Baldwin’s leadership to expand these efforts.” Read more.
Abbott Family: The power of advocacy
Aidan, a 14-year-old from Slinger, Wisc., loves physical education class and enjoys playing basketball. But he's no ordinary 14-year-old; he's working to make a big impact on public policy affecting kids across the country. Read on to hear from Becky, Aidan's mom about the importance of sharing your story!
Children’s statement on Governor Evers’ 2019-21 state budget:
“Governor Evers’ proposed budget includes encouraging support for an array of programs, services and partnerships to enhance access to care for kids, and especially important are increased payments to hospitals, like Children's, that serve a high volume of patients covered by Medicaid. These proposals will help us strive towards Children's vision of Wisconsin's kids being the healthiest in the nation,” said Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Access to health care and child safety are important bipartisan priorities. As the Legislature now begins its work on the state budget, we look forward to working with lawmakers and the Governor to ensure adequate funding for the health and wellbeing for Wisconsin's children."
Lawmakers visit Children's
We were glad to host many lawmakers in early 2019 to learn more about the care and services we provide to kids and families from all across Wisconsin. Thank you Commissioner Kowalik, Secretary-designee Palm, Assistant Deputy Secretary-designee Safar, Representative Haywood, Representative Myers, Representative Vining, Congressman Gallagher, Congressman Steil, Speaker Vos and Governor Evers!
Children’s pediatricians host press conference on importance of vaccinations
On February 19, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin held a press conference urging people to get vaccinated, if you haven’t already, because influenza in Wisconsin hasn’t peaked yet. Lyn Ranta, MD, Children’s director of physician affairs, recommends that all children over six months receive vaccinations. She notes that the influenza vaccine is particularly helpful in preventing severe infection and hospitalization. Watch the press conference and learn more.
For young survivors of violence, Project Ujima uses art to help them heal
For more than two decades, Project Ujima has worked to stop the cycle of violent crimes that takes a toll on far too many of Milwaukee’s children, families and neighborhoods. In 2018, Project Ujima began collaborating with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) Peck School of the Arts. 15 teens works closely with Project Ujima staff and UWM art students and faculty on a peace banner and a series of survivor portraits. One 15-year-old participant wrote that “I can finally talk to people, not with violence or with words.” Read more.
Providers across Wisconsin working to prevent child abuse and neglect
On average across Wisconsin, maltreatment is blamed for approximately 27 child deaths per year. Lynn Sheets, MD, medical director of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Child Advocacy & Protection Services, says that children who are part of families that are under high levels of stress – where there are financial problems, social isolation, mental health issues, abuse and more – are more likely to be abused. The Wisconsin Department of Children & Families recorded 806 substantiated reports of physical child abuse in 2017 and Child Protective Services investigated more than 42,000 reports in the same time. Hospitals across Wisconsin are beginning to implement a curriculum called Period of PURPLE Crying, which teaches new parents what type of crying is okay and to be expected and how to cope with it. Read more.
Children’s ranks among best hospitals for children with congenital heart disease
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was named among the top 24 best hospitals for children with congenital heart disease. Studies show that the more experience a hospital and its surgical team have in performing high-risk operations, the better outcomes they tend to have. On average, Children’s provides more than 600 cardiothoracic surgeries each year. See the rankings. Learn more about Children’s Herma Heart Institute.
Children’s Kenosha Clinic opened February 4
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin opened its new Kenosha Clinic on February 4 with expanded services, including urgent care seven days a week. The clinic will consolidate specialty and primary care services with convenient on-site lab, imaging and community services into one multipurpose location. Read more.
How Integrated Behavioral Health is bringing pediatric psychologists into the pediatrician’s office
Eight-year-old Derell, from Milwaukee, Wisc., had trouble focusing in school and following rules. At the Midtown Clinic and three other primary care clinics, Children’s is piloting the Integrated Behavioral Health program, which brings behavioral health therapists and pediatric psychologists into the primary care setting. Once he was receiving treatment, Derell’s behavior transformed rapidly, including an improvement in his grades and getting along with other kids. Read more about Derell and integrated behavioral health at Children’s.
Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program funding signed into law
In early September, the U.S. Senate followed the House of Representatives and approved bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program at $325 million annually for training at children's hospitals across the country. This funding helps Children's to train more than 100 residents and fellows each year. President Trump signed the bill into law on September 18. Thanks to our advocates for sharing with Congress why training our next generation of pediatric providers is so important to kids and families!
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin bringing mental health care to schools
A distraught kindergartner clenches her fists and gets an angry look on her face. Crying, she stands up and pushes over several chairs that crash to the floor as her classmates turn to look. Episodes like this became more frequent for six-year-old Takiya, a student at Knapp Community School in Racine, Wisc. Takiya's teachers suggested she trying seeing Kristine Jacobs, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Children's who works full-time at Knapp's mental health clinic through a partnership between Children's and Racine Unified School District. Jenny Miller, manager of school-based mental health services for Children's says "What we are doing is really groundbreaking; we are putting services at the center of families' lives in a place they already know and trust - their kids' school." No family is turned away for an inability to pay and services are funded through a combination of school district monies and grants. The program is also possible in part because of recent legislation that raised Wisconsin's Medicaid reimbursement rate for mental health services. Click here to read more about school-based mental health.
Local family advocates for Medicaid and pediatric provider training in Washington, D.C.
In June, the Johnson Family from Kenosha, Wisc. represented Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Washington, D.C. in meetings with members of Congress as part of the national Children's Hospital Association's Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day. Gabe and his family joined other patients and families representing children's hospitals from across the country. Gabe discussed the lifesaving specialty medical care he has received and how important secondary Medicaid coverage is for their family. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Kenosha News and many other local affiliate television stations ran stories about Gabe. See more of Gabe's story.
Children's Community Health Plan dedicated to providing access to the highest quality health care and services
Children's Community Health Plan (CCHP) helps ensure kids and families across the state have the health insurance coverage and services they need. CCHP was started by Children's in 2006 in order to provide improved access to health care services for lower income families and to ensure taxpayer funds were spent appropriately on medical, dental and behavioral health services and treatment. CCHP offers BadgerCare Plus in 21 counties, covering more than 129,000 children and families. In addition, CCHP offers Together with CCHP on the Marketplace in six counties in southeastern Wisconsin, providing more than 27,000 individuals and families with a health insurance plan with a wide array of providers. Click here to learn more about CCHP.
American Heart Association awards state legislators with Friend of Heart awards
The American Heart Association honored many state elected officials this summer with their annual awards. Among the recipients were State Senators Jerry Petrowski, Jennifer Shilling, State Representative Trieg Pronschinske, Evan Goyke and John Spiros for their efforts on passing the dispatcher-assisted CPR legislation that will help ensure Wisconsin callers receive life-saving instructions during an emergency. State Senator Alberta Darling was also recognized for working to pass legislation that would create a pilot program that offers FoodShare participants point-of-sale discounts on fresh produce and other healthy foods. Children's is proud to partner with the American Heart Association!
Members of Wisconsin Legislature learn about Children's dental care and services
Children's was pleased to share the work of our Dental Centers, and specifically our Dental Clinic and Operating Room at our Milwaukee campus, with a number of stakeholders. Children's Dental Centers serve over 15,000 unique patients annually, and approximately 40 percent of these patients have a special health care need. We also serve young adults with special health care needs. More than 90 percent of Children's dental patients are covered by Medicaid or Medicaid HMO. Thanks to State Representatives Mary Felzkowski and Paul Tittl, as well as staff from the offices of Speaker Vos, Senator Taylor, and Representatives Felzkowski, Sanfelippo, VanderMeer and Gundrum. Learn more about Children's dental and oral health care here.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin license plate now available
When you put the blue kids on your bumper, you are helping spread the word about Children's and supporting the life-changing care we provide to kids and families. By getting your Children's license plate, you join a committed group of families, providers, community supporters and employees who help make possible the Children's vision of having Wisconsin kids be the healthiest in the nation. Get the details here.
Trauma-Informed Care Day visit with the Walkers
Children's was honored to host First Lady Tonette Walker and Governor Scott Walker at our Walworth Child Advocacy Center in recognition of Trauma-Informed Care Day on May 22.
Elected officials visit Children's Hospital as part of Experience the Mission
Children's was glad to host Representatives David Bowen and David Crowley at Children's Hospital's campus, along with representatives from the Wisconsin Hospital Association. Attendees learned about Children's mission and followed the journey of a patient from transport and admission to treatment and rehabilitation. Representatives Bowen and Crowley experienced firsthand the Flight for Life gear and what it's like to be in a pediatric trauma room, among many other stops on the journey. Thanks for joining us!
Children's proud to host Governor Walker and legislators at Wausau Community Services to sign bipartisan Speaker's Task Force legislation
Governor Scott Walker visited our Wausau Community Services office to sign bipartisan legislation from the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care into law. Children's testified in support of bills to improve the process for children to find safe and permanent homes, to increase funding for home visiting and prevention services, to allow foster parents to have access to important information in the child's mental health record, and to better define dental care so children in out-of-home care receive adequate services. Read more.
Kids in Crisis town hall scheduled May 2 in Milwaukee
Children's vision is that Wisconsin's kids will be the healthiest in the nation and a significant component of a child's health is their mental health and well-being. We support kids' mental and behavioral health through our work in clinics and communities across the state. You can learn more about Children's services on this web page. We have shared stories from the Kids in Crisis series - a set of reports from the USA Today Network - Wisconsin, which explore various mental health themes and challenges the community to help find solutions. A Kids in Crisis Town Hall is taking place on Wednesday May 2 at the Milwaukee Public Library - Central Library Building from 7:00-8:30pm. This will feature youth and adults sharing stories about their personal experiences with mental health challenges in order to break the stigma around mental illness and advocate for change. Learn more.
Children's visits with lawmakers as part of Child Abuse Prevention month
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and members of Children's team met with lawmakers to focus on preventing child abuse and neglect and building awareness. We all have a role to play in creating safe, nurturing relationships and environments for kids. Thanks to Majority Leader Fitzgerald, Representative Taylor and staff from the offices of Minority Leader Shilling and Representatives Krug and Kooyenga for the meetings!
Dispatcher CPR legislation signed into law
Children's Hospital was glad to join the American Heart Association and many other partners as Governor Scott Walker signed 2017 Wisconsin Act 296 into law in April. This will help ensure that all dispatchers in Wisconsin are able to coach 911 callers through how to perform CPR while EMS and first responders are en route. Every minute counts for someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. We applaud our C.A.N. members for raising their voices on this important issue.
Children's Hospital advocates join Wisconsin Hospital Association's Advocacy Day
Nearly 100 Children's Hospital staff, patient families and board members joined other hospital advocates from across the state at the 2018 Wisconsin Hospital Association's Advocacy Day in Madison. Following a morning filled with informative programming and messaging, advocates headed to the State Capitol to meet with their lawmakers about important health care issues impacting Wisconsin kids and families. Learn more.
Representatives Rohrkaste and Crowley honored with sixth annual Children's Champion Policy Awards
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin proudly honored Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) and Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) with the sixth annual Children's Champion Policy Awards. The Children's Champion Policy Awards honor public policy leaders in Wisconsin who strive to make a positive impact in the lives of Wisconsin children and families by working to advance child health and well-being policy.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin stands with kids
Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children's Hospital writes: "Students all across our country, including in Wisconsin, observed the one-month anniversary of the senseless and heartbreaking deaths of 17 students and staff at Stoneman Douglas High Schoolin Parkland, Florida in various ways. I am deeply moved by the bravery and passion of the students organizing these efforts and by the strength of their voices in
advocating for change." Read more.
Visitors from Milwaukee Sister City - Irpin, Ukraine - visit Children's Hospital
Milwaukee and Irpin, Ukraine recently signed a Sister City agreement to encourage friendship, collaboration and exploration of mutual cultural and economic issues. Visitors from Irpin visited Milwaukee and toured a variety of community institutions, including Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
State Senator LaTonya Johnson visits Next Door
Dispatcher CPR bill moves through Wisconsin legislature
A bill that would ensure that 9-1-1 dispatchers are trained to talk callers through performing life-saving CPR is moving through the Wisconsin Legislature. It has passed the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice & Public Safety and we are glad that it recently had a hearing in the Senate Judiciary & Public Safety Committee. On January 30, Children's Hospital staff joined the American Heart Association for a Lobby Day at the State Capitol to encourage our elected officials to support the measure.
State Legislature: Children's Hospital testifies on Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care legislation
Children's Hospital testified in support of four bills that originated from Speaker Robin Vos' Task Force on Foster Care. These included bills to improve the process for children to find safe and permanent homes, increasing funding for home visiting and prevention services, allowing foster parents to best support their child's mental health care, and ensuring children in out-of-home care receive adequate dental care. We appreciate our staff, David Whelan, Kristin Kopcha, Dr. Colleen Greene and Rachael Wolfe for testifying in Madison in support of this legislation. We were especially grateful to foster parent, Cathi Foster, for sharing her powerful story of how she and her family advocate for their son.
Children's Hospital focuses on future physician advocates
Each semester, Medical College of Wisconsin residents at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin spend a rotation in the State Capitol. They learn about the importance of pediatric advocacy, partnerships and contacting and meeting with their elected officials. Dr. Amanda Scheuermann recently met with her legislators - Representative Jonathon Brostoff and Senator Chris Larson. It's important for legislators to hear from you - their constituents - on issues that matter to you. If you'd like to learn more about your advocacy work and easily contact your elected officials, Learn more about our Children's Advocacy Network!
Children's Health Insurance Program reauthorized for six years
Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a critical source of funding for BadgerCare in Wisconsin, which helps provide health care coverage for children living in low-income and working families. In Wisconsin, a combination of federal Medicaid, CHIP and state match funds help cover approximately 450,000 kids in Wisconsin - with CHIP specifically helping cover approximately 118,000 children annually. This funding expired on September 30 last year, however Congress approved and President Trump signed a short-term government funding bill, which included a six-year extension of CHIP funding. This bill maintained important provisions to protect high quality health care for kids. It's clear that CHIP funding was extended due to a strong collective advocacy effort across the nation - thank you advocates!
Wisconsin legislature passes bipartisan family treatment court program bill
The State Senate and Assembly voted to approve legislation to allow counties across the state to implement family drug treatment court programs. Family treatment court programs work to break the cycle of abuse through approaches that are customized to build on each family's unique strengths and address areas of improvement. Family treatment court programs aim to reduce child maltreatment by treating the underlying substance abuse or mental health problems through collaborative efforts by treatment professionals. This team helps monitor parents and holds them accountable in reaching their goals, including achieving sobriety, improving parent skills, attaining further education and employment, and stable living arrangements. This measure aims to improve child well-being and the welfare of families by meeting the families' comprehensive needs and promotes family reunification whenever possible, hopefully reducing the burden on the foster care system. Connie Klick, Director of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Child Advocacy & Protective Services, testified on this legislation in Madison. Read more about this legislation from its authors, Representatives Jessie Rodriguez and Evan Goyke.
Congress should act quickly to reauthorize CHIP funding
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a critical source of funding for Wisconsin's Medicaid program, which provides essential health care coverage for children living in low-income and working families. Importantly, CHIP was designed to meet children's unique needs, including providing access to high-quality, affordable and appropriate pediatric health care, including dental and mental health and long-term care benefits. Even with bipartisan support for CHIP, federal funding was allowed to expire on October 1 and Congress has not yet taken final action to extend this important program. Learn more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Legislation aims to support foster care system amid opioid crisis
Legislators serving on the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care have developed solutions to bolster Wisconsin's foster care system and provide support for children, parents and social workers across the state. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin attended various public hearings across the state, offering input on issues affecting the ability to best care for children and families. Read more in the Wausau Daily Herald.
Shortage of mental health providers hits crisis point just as more teens seeking help
The shortage of mental health professionals is a crisis - particularly for youth, and more particularly for low-income families who use public insurance. Demand for mental health services is up. Teachers report more kids struggling to cope with traumatic experiences while suicides rise. Families are becoming more comfortable seeking help. But seeking help and getting it are two different things.
In Wisconsin, government funds reimburse mental health providers for about half their costs for seeing Medicaid patients. Children's Hospital is one of those systems taking a financial loss on its psychiatry services, says Tracy Oerter, director of mental health services for Children's Hospital. "The waitlist to see a child psychiatrist stretches for months. We attempt to schedule a first appointment within three months of a family's call, but that doesn't always happen. We could probably double our workforce and still not meet the demand," says Oerter. Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Government and elected officials visit Children's Hospital
Throughout September and October, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin was glad to have many visitors! Department of Safety & Professional Services Secretary Laura Gutiérrez and Assistant Deputy Secretary Kirsten Reader met with our staff and toured the hospital facility. Nick Di Meo, Southeast Medicaid Policy Director also visited the Milwaukee hospital and Midtown Clinic. As part of Children's Experience the Mission program, Department of Health Services Assistant Deputy Secretary Jenny Malcore, along with State Representatives Evan Goyke, Mike Rohrkaste and Jessie Rodriguez recently visited Children's Hospital to learn about the work we do to achieve our vision - that Wisconsin's kids will be the healthiest in the nation.
State representatives honored with Children's Champion Policy Awards
On August 30, Children's president and CEO Peggy Troy honored State Representatives Evan Goyke and Dale Kooyenga with the fifth annual Children's Champion Policy Awards. The Children's Champion Policy Award honors public policy leaders in Wisconsin who strive to make a positive impact in the lives of Wisconsin children and families by working to move health and child well-being policy forward. Children's looks forward to continuing to work together with our local, state and federal elected officials to ensure Wisconsin's kids are the healthiest in the nation.
Children's supports reauthorization of funding for federal Children's Health Insurance Program
Children's joined professional organizations and pediatric health care providers in expressing support for the continued funding of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Congress needs to act quickly to extend CHIP funding before the program's funding expiration at the end of September. Importantly, Wisconsin is budgeting for continuation of this funding and the impact on our state would be substantial, with estimated costs as much as $113 million. We are concerned that major shortfalls could lead to program changes or cuts that would jeopardize access to care for Wisconsin's children and families.
Birth defects registry system opt-out legislationJennifer Kilzer, a neonatal nurse practitioner at Children's, testified in support of AB 371 to change Wisconsin's birth defect registry to align with systems around the country to allow for better research to understand the causes of birth defects.
Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, along with other child- and family-serving agencies, is glad to participate in Speaker Robin Vos' Task Force on Foster Care to help address some of the issues facing our foster care system, including the importance of prevention programming. Kristin Kopcha, Children's director of family preservation and support, and David Whelan, Children's director of family case management services, recently provided information at a recent meeting in Madison.
Across Wisconsin, a steep increase in kids separated from addict parents
The number of children separated from their parents by county authorities has climbed across Wisconsin to its highest level in nearly a decade. A USA Today investigation found drug abuse is clearly driving the uptick - leaving more families in turmoil, straining public resources and creating a shortage of foster parents. Read more in the Appleton Post Crescent.
Children's patient family highlights the importance of Medicaid for working families
Steve Warpinski and his family recently traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of the Children's Hospital Association's annual Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day. They met with lawmakers to discuss the importance of Medicaid for kids like Steve. Read more about Steve's story in the Green Bay Press Gazette and visit our Family Advocacy Day page to learn more.
Children's helps health care providers detect trafficked youth
Milwaukee has a significant adolescent trafficking problem, and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is working to better educate providers in identifying and helping children who may be victims. Dr. Wendi Ehrman, a pediatrician at Children's Midtown Clinic, and Dr. Angela Rabbitt, a child abuse pediatrician at Children's, have spearheaded the work, including to help found the Proactive Outreach for the Health of Sexually Exploited Youth. Listen to WUWM Radio.
One Wisconsin family’s Medicaid story
Steve, age 6, brightens his classroom, love to be outside and is a strong and positive boy. Facing a complex congenital heart defect diagnosis while still in the womb, Steve faced a hard battle ahead of him. After receiving multiple life-saving surgeries and procedures at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Steve and his family are traveling to Washington, D.C. in July as part of Children’s Hospital Association’s Family Advocacy Day. Read more.
Governor Walker signs bill expanding dental hygienist settings
On June 21, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill expanding the settings where dental hygienists can provide important preventive dental care. Jodi Bloch, Children’s director of state and local government relations, Matt Crespin, associate director of Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, and Pam Fraser, Children’s director of dental services witnessed the culmination of our collaborative work. We would especially like to thank our legislative partners: Senator Sheila Harsdorf, Senator Tim Carpenter, Senator Leah Vukmir, Representative Kathy Bernier, Representative Evan Goyke and Representative Joe Sanfelippo. We were glad to partner with many organizations on our shared vision, including Ascension, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Dental Hygienists Association and the Wisconsin Hospital Association, to help this bill become law.
We know the top reasons for emergency department dental admission are for dental decay, gum disease and tooth infections. With regular preventive care, we believe children can avoid seeking emergency care for these dental issues. By co-locating services and integrating dental hygienists into a variety of new settings, like outpatient clinics, we have the potential to expand access to dental care for families and keep children healthy and in school.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel concerned about children in health care debate
David Haynes, editorial page editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, expressed concern about proposed cuts to Medicaid and the impact it would have on kids. Haynes says, “I worry about the smallest voice in this debate. A big piece of the effort to ‘repeal and replace Obamacare’ concerns what to do about Medicaid – and that means what to do about the only health insurance millions of impoverished American kids have.” A recent study found that the House bill would result in nearly $350 million less for Wisconsin’s kids. Given the suggested cuts, fewer kids may be covered and their quality of care may be reduced. Read more.
Chiropractor participation exams bill passes Wisconsin State Assembly
A bill expanding the scope of practice for chiropractors recently passed the Wisconsin State Assembly. Specifically, one of the provisions of the bill would allow chiropractors to perform pre-participation exams for student athletes before being cleared to participate in a sport. It is important that children, especially athletes, receive a comprehensiv
e medical evaluation by physicians who are fully qualified and trained in providing exams on cardiovascular conditions, growth and development and adolescent health.
Project SEARCH completion ceremonyProject SEARCH is a unique workforce and career development program for young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities to learn skills, training and education to be marketable in the workplace. On June 1, the Project SEARCH interns at Children’s attended their completion ceremony, with six interns accepting full-time jobs. We were glad to have Representative Josh Zepnick and Department of Workforce Development Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell attend the ceremony.
Where are the children?
As a follow-up to her original op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Peggy Troy joined more than 60 children’s hospital leaders in a letter that ran as a full-page ad in the front section of the New York Times on April 23, calling on the President and Congress to make children a strong priority in the health care debate. Read the ad here.
Children’s receives All-Star Advocacy Award
Over 100 Children’s advocates attended Wisconsin Hospital Association Advocacy Day on April 19. At this year’s event, Peggy Troy, Children’s president & CEO, was honored to receive the Advocacy All-Star Award from WHA. Visit our WHA Advocacy Day page to learn more.
Don’t forget the kids as you debate a new health care bill
Children’s president & CEO Peggy Troy writes in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel op-ed that “as Congress considered changes to the Affordable Care Act, I was increasingly alarmed about the lack of attention and debate on the risks the changes to Medicaid posed to children’s health. The fact is that nearly half of our country’s children, 36 million, receive some form of health care coverage through Medicaid and the related Children’s Health Insurance Program. Children make up only 20% of the cost of the Medicaid program – and yet, when recent efforts to reform Medicaid and cut costs were debated, the impact those changes would have on kids were swept aside. Read more.
PBS special: Lead & our health
Dr. Heather Paradis, medical director of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, joined a panel of local health experts on PBS to discuss lead poisoning and what parents should do to protect their families.
Bullying prevention programming in proposed budget
The proposed Wisconsin state budget includes $300,000 over the biennium for bullying prevention education. Children’s operates Act Now!, an e-learning, game-based program which helps students and parents combat bullying by empowering bystanders, building conflict resolution skills and developing effective responses. More than 90 public school districts and private schools utilize Act Now! reaching over 90,000 students. Additional funding would enable the program to continue to be offered free of charge to schools and to further expand training and resources for school staff. Bridget Clementi, vice president of Community Health, and Clay Anton, e-Learning representative, testified before the Joint Finance Committee in Milwaukee on April 5 on the importance of this program’s funding.
Bill would let dental hygienists work independently in more places
On March 22, Wisconsin Public Radio published a story regarding proposed legislation expanding dental hygienist practice settings. Expanding access to preventive oral health care could help prevent avoidable hospital emergency department visits. Allowing dental hygienists to provide care directly in additional settings, including hospitals, medical clinics and day cares, would address some of the barriers to care. Read more. Matt Crespin, associate director of Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, and Pam Fraser, director of Dental Services, testified before the Assembly Health Committee and the Senate Health & Human Services Committee in support of this legislation.
$6 million sought for school mental health
USA Today published a story on January 3 regarding State Superintendent Tony Evers’ request fornearly $6 million to expand mental health services for students, including hiring more social workers, establishing clinics in schools and training school staff. Children’s supports providing school districts with this funding as a good start to recognizing that schools provide a unique opportunity to reach and treat kids where they are. Read more.
Governor Walker’s budget provides important funding to improve kids’ health and well-beingGovernor Walker’s proposed 2017-19 budget includes important funding that will benefit the health and well-being of Wisconsin kids. Specifically, his budget would:
- Provide funding for a school-based anti-bullying program called Act Now! developed by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
- Enhance access to mental health care by expanding the Child Psychiatric Consultation Program, a partnership between Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin statewide
- Add funding for mental health care in schools
- And maintain stable funding for Wisconsin’s Medicaid and child welfare programs
ABC 27 recently featured Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Act Now! anti-bulling program.Sign up for the Children’s Advocacy Network to receive email updates on legislative activities and learn of opportunities to contact your legislators to help ensure these important items are kept in the budget.
Milwaukee elected officials tour Children's
We had the privilege of hosting 12 Milwaukee-area legislators at Children's on January 27. They toured our Emergency Department, Herma Heart Center, and learned about our Community Health programs, including Project Ujima, School Nurses, and Community Health Navigators.
Senator Vukmir attends Project SEARCH Bring Your Legislator to Work
State Senator Leah Vukmir (R-5) visited Children's on January 24 to spend time with one of her constituents, Project SEARCH intern, Katya. Senator Vukmir learned from Isabel how to restock the patient family kitchen and the nurse stations. Project SEARCH's Bring Your Legislator to Work events showcase our important partnership with Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin and the valuable work of our interns.
Representative Zepnick attends Project SEARCH Bring Your Legislator to Work
State Representative Josh Zepnick (D-9) visited Children's on December 2 to spend time with one of his constituents, Project SEARCH intern, Isabel. Representative Zepnick learned from Isabel how to prepare patient exam rooms and restock medical supplies. Project SEARCH's Bring Your Legislator to Work events showcase our important partnership with Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin and the valuable work of our interns.
State Senators Vukmir and Roth, Representative Murphy visit Children's
State Senator Leah Vukmir (R-5) participated in Wisconsin Hospital Association's Roundtable Discussion on December 7 hosted at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Senator Vukmir, Senate Health Committee Chair and Joint Finance Committee member, met with hospital leaders from Children's and other health systems discuss several issues impacting Wisconsin's health care delivery system at both the state and federal level.
We also had the privilege of hosting State Senator Roger Roth (R-19) and State Representative David Murphy (R-56) at our Fox Valley campus in Neenah on December 9. Our staff in the Fox Valley area shared their work and highlighted our collaborative efforts with other local health care systems.
Senator Tammy Baldwin’s staff tours Children’s
Kathleen Laird, Senator Tammy Baldwin’s health legislative assistant toured Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s main campus in Milwaukee in October. She visited the Herma Heart Center, the NICU, and the Family Resource Center. She also met with Bridget Clementi, Vice President of Community Health, to learn about Children’s community health initiatives.
Governor Walker declares September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Governor Walker visited Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on September 8 to declare September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Wisconsin. The proclamation was presented to representatives from Gold in September (G9), a childhood cancer awareness project that helps children by uniting foundations, organizations, hospitals and individuals to raise awareness, create hope and defeat cancer. The state of Wisconsin and Children's are fortunate to have many advocates and supporters committed to fighting childhood cancer, including the MACC Fund, Northwestern Mutual and G9.
Children’s leaders attend D.C. event
Children’s recently participated in Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Milwaukee Night in Washington, D.C. Children’s and other areas businesses sponsored the event which provided an opportunity to highlight our work in the community and network with Milwaukee-area elected officials and their staffs. Elected officials in attendance included Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and House Speaker Paul Ryan. The event was covered by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Medicaid team visit
Members of Wisconsin’s Medicaid team met with Children’s leaders at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s main campus in Wauwatosa, Wis. in August. The team toured the Family Resource Center, Herma Heart Center, the NICU and Emergency Department. After a lunch session learning about Community Services and Children’s Community Health Plan, the State Medicaid team visited the new Midtown Clinic, heard from a patient family involved with the Community Health Navigators and learned about the collaborative work at Midtown.
Representative Cindi Duchow visits Children’s main campus
Representative Cindi Duchow (R-99) visited Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's main campus in Wauwatosa, Wisc. in July. Representative Duchow visited the Herma Heart Center, the NICU and the Teen Lounge to see Children's work in action.
Children's honors Representatives Rodriguez and Taylor
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin honored the recipients of the fourth annual Children's Champion Policy Award: Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-21) and Representative Chris Taylor (D-76). Children's Champion Policy Award honors public policy leaders in Wisconsin who strive to make a positive impact in the lives of Wisconsin children and families by working to move child health and well-being policy forward.
Representative Rodriguez was recognized for her leadership as the chair of the Committee on Children and Families, as well as her role on the Speaker's Task Force on Urban Education. Representative Taylor was honored for her advocacy on child health and well-being issues during the budget negotiations in her role on the Joint Finance Committee.
Governor Walker signs bill requiring school CPR training
At the end of April, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill requiring Wisconsin schools to provide CPR training in every health course between seventh and 12th grade. Under current law, all public, charter and private schools must offer high school students instruction in CPR and external defibrillators; this bill requires this training in grades seven through 12.
"Over 1,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest in the United States every day and very few citizens are trained to respond and help in these situations," Walker said. "This legislation gives our students the training they need to offer aid and potentially save lives." Wisconsin was the 31st state to have passed legislation ensuring all students learn CPR.
Governor Walker signs donor bill into law at Children's
Governor Scott Walker visited Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on April 1 to sign a bill into law that requires businesses of a certain size to provide up to six weeks of unpaid leave to workers who elect to be a bone marrow or organ donor.
About Bill 517:
- Covers the time necessary for the employee to undergo the donation procedure and recover
- Requires employees to provide documentation to the employer that confirms a patient needs the donation or transplant and that the employee is eligible and a match to serve as a donor
- Covers businesses with 50 or more full-time employees
- Limits employee eligibility to those who have worked at a qualified business for 52 consecutive weeks and worked at least 1,000 hours
House Speaker Paul Ryan visits Children’s Walworth County Child Advocacy Center
During a home visit to his Congressional district in March, House Speaker Paul Ryan visited Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Child Advocacy Center in Elkhorn, Wis. The Walworth Child Advocacy Center provides a safe place for kids and families who may have been abused or witnessed violent acts to get medical care. Speaker Ryan toured the center and met with Children’s leaders to learn more about the importance of child advocacy work in his district and throughout the state. Read more.
Children's doctor travels to Washington, D.C.
In March, Dr. Michael Kelly, director of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Pediatric Cancer Program, along with other leading pediatric cancer researchers and physicians, traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Don Graves, special assistant to President Obama and counselor to Vice President Biden, who is overseeing the Administration's "National Cancer Moonshot". Dr. Kelly and other colleagues with the Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research provided Mr. Graves and senior staff members with an overview of the current state of pediatric cancer research and discussed the importance of the initiative, including an appropriate focus and emphasis on children.
Children's attends Wisconsin Hospital Association Advocacy Day 2016
Children's leaders and staff attended Wisconsin Hospital Association's annual Advocacy Day on March 30, along with 1,000 other hospital advocates. Read more.
Sojourner Family Peace Center holds grand opening
The Family Peace Center celebrated its grand opening on February 4. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is a foundational partner of the Peace Center, which provides adult and child-focused services to victims of violence from throughout the state. Children's services located in the center include: Milwaukee Child Advocacy Center, Psychiatry Services, Project Ujima and child abuse prevention services. The center is one of the first in the nation to house holistic services for domestic violence victims of all ages in one place.
Governor Walker signs SB 143 – Respiratory Care Practitioner Emergency Transport
This bill would allow for staffing of emergency vehicles with one EMT and one first responder instead of two EMTs. Children’s Hospital supported this bill and we were excited to have Sunita Hermon, Lisa Van Dyken, and Kimberly Turner-Nelson present for the bill signing on November 10th. We would like to thank Senator Moulton and Representative Mursau for authoring this significant legislation, and Senator Vukmir for offering an important amendment on behalf of Children’s Hospital.
Project Search “Take Your Legislator to Work Day”
Project SEARCH is an innovative workforce and career development model for young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, providing training and education in marketable, competitive, and transferable skills. The program is a partnership between Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and area schools. The ultimate goal of Project SEARCH is employment.
Project SEARCH has hosted several legislators for “Take Your Legislator to Work Day.” We are grateful to the legislators who have toured with us and want to thank all the interns for their great work and wish them the best of luck in the future.
Check out the article on Project Search here.
Children’s weighs in on car seat legislation
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children less than 2 years old stay in a rear-facing system until they reach the maximum height and weight for their car seat. However, Wisconsin allows children over 1 year old or over 20 lbs. to be in a forward-facing system, which allows much younger children to be in the less-safe, forward-facing seats. Representatives Loudenbeck and Taylor are moving forward with legislation that will update Wisconsin’s outdated child passenger safety laws.
Children’s Hospital leaders discuss hospital’s role in changing health care landscape
Below is a recap of the media coverage.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an op-ed written by Marc Gorelick, MD, COO and EVP. The article, entitled “Specialization and transparency matter when treating children” discusses the effects of pediatric specialization and surgical volumes on quality outcomes:
Dr. Gorelick also did an interview with WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio in which he emphasized the importance of volumes and of transparency in health care quality.
The Milwaukee Business Journal published an article outlining why duplication of pediatric services could be harmful, stemming from a presentation CEO Peggy Troy gave to the Greater Milwaukee Committee, which includes about 100 of the Milwaukee area’s top business leaders and CEOs.
Elected Officials and Community and State Leaders Tour Children's
This year we’ve had some great opportunities to have local, state, and federal leaders tour our wonderful facilities. This is an excellent opportunity to show off all the great work the team at Children’s is doing. We are so grateful to everyone who came and shared in our wonderful culture and saw all the great work we are doing.
A big thank you to Representative Gwen Moore, the State Medicaid Team, Wisconsin Medicaid Director Kevin Moore, State Senator Harris Dodd, State Representative Jessie Rodriguez, State Representative Joe Sanfelippo, State Representative Josh Zepnick, and others for taking the time to learn about what we do here at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin!
Governor Walker Signs Biennial Budget
Governor Walker signed Wisconsin’s $72.2 billion biennial budget. Children’s focused much of our advocacy efforts on the Medicaid Budget and specifically the disproportionate share hospital program (DSH). We are pleased to share that the DSH program was funded and was made an ongoing provision. The program helps hospitals around the state, most significantly hospitals such as ours with high Medicaid volumes.
EpiPen legislation signed into law
The 2015 Wisconsin Act 35 allows organizations to provide life saving measures to people who are experiencing anaphylaxis. This law will allow for venues, including camps, colleges, universities, day care facilities, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, business or arenas to have epinephrine auto-injectors prescribed to them. The enactment of this law represents a big win for Children’s Hospital.
Children’s Heads to Madison for WHA’s Advocacy Day
A group of more than 50 Children's Hospital of Wisconsin leaders and staff, including President and CEO Peggy Troy, joined nearly 1,000 other hospital leaders and volunteers at the Wisconsin Hospital Association's Advocacy Day event in Madison recently. Advocacy Day is an annual event that connects hospital supporters with their legislators so lawmakers can learn how issues impact local hospitals and communities. If you are interested in attending Advocacy Day in 2016 contact Jen Mance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynch family represented Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Washington, D.C., at Family Advocacy Day
Kelly and Brian Lynch and their daughter Cailinn, 7, represented Children’s in Washington, D.C., at meetings with federal lawmakers as part of Children Hospital Association’s Family Advocacy Day in partnership with Speak Now for Kids. The Lynch family met with Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Congressman Paul Ryan and Congressman Ron Kind to discuss the importance of federal policies that provide Cailinn, and millions of other children, access to high-quality pediatric care. The Lynch family urged lawmakers to protect Medicaid, which is the single largest insurer for kids in the United States.
Children’s to work with Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities to implement $2.2 million in funding
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities will kick off an initiative to help turn scientific findings around child trauma, toxic stress and developmental brain science into public policy. This multi-million dollar initiative is designed to help youth service providers in instituting child trauma-based reforms. Children’s Child Well-being team will be using this funding to assess outcomes related to developmental milestones rather than focusing on permanency as a gauge for child well-being. Read more here.
The 2014 election results are in...
In Wisconsin, the 2014 election cycle has left us with the same overall government power that the 2012 election produced. Election results: Look through the Wheeler Report for a detailed account of all the Wisconsin State and Federal races. The 2015-2016 Congress and State Legislature will be sworn-in this January. (Nov 2014)
Bids for Kids
Bids for Kids is an annual dinner and raffle event with more than 250 guests raising money to benefit children and families served by Community Services at Children Hospital of Wisconsin. The event took place at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The event raised $164,000 for Community Services programs. The Children’s Champion Policy award honors policy leaders in Wisconsin who strive to make a positive impact in the lives of children and families by working to move public policy forward. We were pleased to announce that this year’s award recipients were Senator Luther Olsen, from Ripon and Representative Cory Mason from Racine. (Nov 2014)
Project SEARCH - "Take Your Legislator to Work Day"
State Representative Dan Knodl joined Kate Rekoske, Project SEARCH intern at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, for Take You Legislator to Work Day. Kate is interning at Children's Employee Prescription Center. Pictured left to right: Terry Hensler, director, Clinical Engineering, Children's; Susan Feider Kelly, Children's Project SEARCH Instructor; Rep. Dan Knodl; Kate Rekoske, Project SEARCH Intern at Children's; Michelle Mettner, Vice President, Govt Rel, Children's. (Oct 2014)
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was featured in an article that appeared in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. The story reports on a recent recommendation from the American College of Surgeons to create a new classification system for pediatric surgical centers similar to the one that classifies trauma centers. Dr. Keith Oldham, surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, spearheaded the task force that made the recommendations. (Sept 2014)
Senator Vukmir tours Children's Hospital
On August 6, Senator Vukmir visited with patients and staff in the healing garden, Family Resource Center, Herma Heart Center, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the school room. (Aug 2014)
Patient family goes to Washington, D.C. for Family Advocacy Day
Noah Baral, age 4, from Stevens Point, Wis., and his family, joined many other patients and families from children's hospitals across the country to speak with members of Congress during the Children's Hospital Association's Speak Now for Kids Advocacy Day, June 24-25, 2014.
Read more about Noah and his journey on Children's Hospital of Wis. blog page; Family Advocacy Day: One local patient's journey continues on Capitol Hill. (June 2014)
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin featured on the cover of TIME Magazine!
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the number four pediatric hospital in the country and the nation’s top-rated neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), is featured in the cover story “Saving Preemies” in the June 2 issue of Time magazine, which is available now. The story takes an in-depth look at world-class neonatal care through the eyes of Children’s Hospital’s tiniest patients. Randolph, one of our patients featured in the story, is on the cover of the magazine. (May 2014)
Oral chemotherapy enacted into law!
The oral chemo bill will allow insurance companies to either provide parity for oral chemotherapy or offer a $100 monthly co-pay cap for a 30-day supply of the pills. This bill is extremely important in helping to ease the burden of people living with cancer by ensuring access to chemotherapy treatment regardless of how it is administered. (April 2014)
Governor Walker signs Senate Bill 523 into law at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
On Monday afternoon, Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 523 into law at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This bill gives the Department of Health Services (DHS) the authority it needs to add congenital heart defect screenings to the list of tests that all newborns receive before they leave the hospital. Prior to the bill signing, Governor Walker met with the Block Family from Milwaukee where he received a demonstration of the pulse oximetry test by Dr. Stu Berger, Medical Director of the Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Medical College of Wisconsin. (March 2014)
Governor Walker visits Children’s Hospital patients
Governor Scott Walker visited Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in December. He spent time with staff, providers and families, and he helped patients make holiday ornaments. (December 2013)
Event supports community programs and recognizes champions for kids
The 18th annual Bids for Kids dinner and auction, held in Milwaukee, raised $125,000 for Children’s Hospital’s Community Services programs. The Welfare Auxiliary of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin received the Rev. J.P. Dysart award for their support of the Child Protection Center, and Senators Alberta Darling and Jennifer Shilling received Children’s Champion Policy Awards for their efforts on behalf of kids’ health care issues. (November 2013)
Co-sleeping death legislation
Jason Jarzembowski, MD, Perinatal Pathology program director and Safe Sleep Initiative chair for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, offered testimony in Madison, Wis., opposing AB 465, which calls for criminal penalties in co-sleeping deaths when alcohol or drugs are involved. Jarzembowski said Children’s Hospital appreciates the desire to address this terrible and tragic issue, but believes focusing on community-based solutions for all preventable sleep-related deaths is more effective in keeping babies safe. We continue to be engaged in the dialogue around this serious issue at the local, state and national level. (November 2013)
Oral chemo parity bill
Mike Kelly, MD, medical director of Pediatric Cancer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, offered support to the Wisconsin “oral chemo parity bill,” which is intended to ensure patient access to oral chemo. (November 2013)
Flu shot bill
Mike Gutzeit, MD, chief medical officer and vice president of Quality at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, submitted testimony in opposition to AB247, a bill that would prohibit Wisconsin employer flu shot requirements. (November 2013)
Wisconsin safe milk
In September, Michael Gutzeit, MD, chief medical officer and vice president of Quality at Children’s Hospital, testified in Madison, Wis., in opposition of Senate Bill 236. If passed, the bill would allow the sale of unpasteurized (raw) dairy products to the public. We strongly oppose this legislation because unpasteurized milk is unsafe for human consumption. The bill passed in a committee vote and our advocacy will remain critical. Stay tuned for updates on this important issue. (November 2013)
Leaders travel to the nation’s capital to advocate on children’s health issues
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin CEO Peggy Troy traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate on important children’s health care issues. The trip provided an opportunity to meet with Wisconsin members of Congress and discuss the importance of protecting children’s health by ensuring a strong Medicaid program and ask for their continued supported of the Children Hospital Graduate Medical Education program. Hospitals around the country will continue to lobby and seek grassroots support for these important policy issues affecting the future of children’s health care. (September 2013)
2013-15 state budget signed into law
Governor Walker signed the 2013-2015 Wisconsin state biennial budget into law June 30. Thank you to all who advocated in support of funding critical to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the children we serve.
Medicaid access and coverage for kids
Children’s Hospital serves children from across the state, regardless of their ability to pay. As a result, more than 50 percent of our patients are Medicaid recipients. Medicaid is an essential safety net for families who are in need of care. It is important that the state maintain focus on a viable Medicaid program that provides access and coverage to pregnant women and children. This is critical to our ability continue to provide consistently high-quality health care to all the children we serve.
Foster care records sharing
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services certified Children’s Hospital as a health home provider for its innovative Foster Care Medical Home. A medical home means a child has a “home base” for his or her health care needs. A medical home uses a family-centered, team approach to caring for a child. In order to make the medical home most effective, we advocated for statutory language changes, which will help health providers and foster parents better manage the health of these kids. The provisions help medical providers review and analyze both health and social service needs of the kids in foster care. They also allow foster parents to be more involved in the children’s health care.
Family Justice Center
Children’s Hospital and Sojourner Family Peace Center are building the Family Justice Center, which will provide adult- and child-focused services to families who are victims of domestic abuse. The project was fully funded at $10.6 million, half of the overall cost. (June 2013)
Patient family travels to Washington, D.C., to talk about medical care
A Children’s Hospital patient and his family traveled to Washington, D.C., to help protect important health care programs kids rely on, especially Medicaid and Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education. Antonio Rieder and his family joined nearly 30 other child patients and their families to help bring to life the importance of adequate funding for pediatric care as part of the Children’s Hospital Association’s Family Advocacy Day. (June 2013)
Wisconsin Firearms Freedom Act
Read the memo urging legislators not to Co-Sign/Support LRB 2063: Wisconsin Firearms Freedom Act, which prohibits physicians other than a psychiatrist from discussing firearms and firearms safety with their patients. (June 2013)
Project SEARCH celebration
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin held a ceremony to thank and congratulate graduates of Project SEARCH, an on-the-job training initiative for young adults with disabilities, helping them overcome barriers to employment. Watch the video below to learn more about these capable, young and well-trained individuals. (June 2013)
Video: Learn about Project SEARCH
AT&T donates tablets
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin received a $5,000 AT&T Innovation & Investment Award, a recognition given to local organizations that enhance and give back to their communities. The award funded tablets that offer patients bedside relief through video chat with a sibling at home, games, videos, books and health information in multiple languages to explain a medical procedure. (May 2013)
Employees attend Advocacy Day in Madison
A group from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin joined nearly 850 other hospital leaders and volunteers at the Wisconsin Hospital Association's Advocacy Day event in Madison. Advocacy Day is an annual event that connects hospital supporters with their legislators so lawmakers can learn how issues impact local hospitals and communities. Children's Hospital representatives spent time meeting with elected officials at the State Capitol to discuss important issues such as Medicaid reform. (May 2013)
Legislation to screen newborns for congenital heart defects
A simple test could save lives. Read this news release in support of legislation that ensures all babies born in Wisconsin are screened for congenital heart defects before hospital discharge. (April 2013)
Youth concussion bill signed
Young athletes joined Governor Scott Walker while he signed the Sidelined for Safety Bill into law at Lambeau Field. The law provides athletes and parents with education about concussion and puts meaningful standards in place to address head injuries in youth sports. This includes requirements to remove an athlete with a suspected concussion from play and prevent him or her from returning without clearance from a trained health care provider. See the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. (March 2012)