One Year Anniversary of a Smoke Free Wisconsin

Today marks the one year anniversary of a Smoke Free Wisconsin!

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has been supporting SmokeFree Wisconsin since the beginning. A big thanks to Children’s Hospital employees and our community advocates for helping get this law passed! We know a smoke free Wisconsin makes a positive difference for our kids.

And our advocacy efforts continue to make a difference! Governor Scott Walker issued the following statement on the upcoming anniversary of the state’s smoking ban. “Although I …Continue reading →

How and when to advocate for your child with special health care needs

When my daughter was born, 19 years ago, she was whisked off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital due to concerning respiratory and digestive symptoms.  We quickly learned that she had many special health care needs that would require us to learn some new parenting skills.  I was told “You’ll have to speak for your daughter as she will not be able to speak up for herself.”  My response was, “I don’t want to!”

Advocating was not something that I had planned to due when I read the baby books during my pregnancy.  While I learned these skills because of Emily’s special needs, any …Continue reading →

Dental care to the rescue!

Ignore your teeth and they will simply go away. Sad, but true. Ignore the problem of access to dental care and the problem will NOT go away. Sad, but true.

Pictured (from left): Tom Barrett, mayor, City of Milwaukee; Carol Keintz, executive director, Next Door Foundation; Willie L. Hines, Jr. alderman and Milwaukee Common Council president; Bob Duncan, executive vice president, Community Services, Children’s Hospital and Health System; Bevin K. Baker, commissioner of health, City of Milwaukee.

Everyday, Milwaukee families struggle to find dental care for their children. That’s why improving access to dental care is a top priority for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. What began many years ago as a quiet conversation about bringing dental care to the most underserved of neighborhoods now is a reality. On Monday, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the Next Door Foundation, opened its pediatric primary care and dental center.

It would be an understatement if I said I was anything short of being thrilled at the potential that lies within this opportunity. By partnering with the Next Door Foundation, Children’s Hospital has the chance to address the dental and medical issues that exist within the city. We’re partnering with our colleagues to ensure that every child has the medical, dental and educational support they need.

Rarely are we given the chance to make such a significant impact on the lives of children in so many ways. Since dental health can dramatically influence overall health, we must identify children who are at risk and provide preventive care as early as age 1. Since we know a child with chronic dental pain may be a child who cannot learn, we need to provide services so they can succeed in school.

It’s about teeth, but it’s about so much more. It’s about establishing a presence within the community so families know their children are our priority. Baby teeth come and go. The impact of establishing a medical-dental home for every child will last a lifetime.

~ Lori Barbeau, DDS, is the medical director for Dental Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Help me advocate for your child

Help me advocate for your child

Thirty-six lab coats hang outside our hospital to raise awareness of the impact of proposed funding cuts to resident training programs on health care for children.

When I tell people what I do for a living, often I get a puzzled look when I say, “I advocate for children’s health.” I explain that I work for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and it’s my job to make sure our elected officials understand how the work they do impacts the lives of children.

For example, a recent proposed change in President Obama’s budget calls for the elimination of federal funding for Children’s Graduate Medical Education. This cut is alarming because it has a real impact on Wisconsin and the health of our children. The funding provides children’s …Continue reading →

The Medicaid safety net

Children's Advocacy NetworkFor so many Americans who lost their jobs and their insurance, Medicaid is an important safety net. Now imagine you lost both your job and your insurance benefits and your child gets sick, but you have the Medicaid safety net. So, you call your doctor, only to be told that your doctor’s office can’t see your child because he or she cannot see any more Medicaid patients. You are told this is because the state can’t afford to pay the costs for the services. …Continue reading →

Put it out: Statewide smoking ban takes effect today

Wisconsin’s statewide smoking ban went into effect today. This law bans smoking in all restaurants and bars, retail businesses and public places. While this new law may be inconvenient to those who smoke, it serves to protect others from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Did you know that every year secondhand smoke:

  • Causes 3,400 lung cancer deaths in nonsmoking adults?

Advocating for our Children

I can’t put into words the honor Mira Raetherthat we feel to be representing Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin at the National Association of Children’s Hospital’s Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. For the last five years, insurance coverage and health care have played a critical role in our lives and far too many families face the same obstacles.

In 2005, we became proud parents of triplets. At 30 weeks gestation, I gave birth to two boys and one girl. Shortly after birth, our daughter Mira was diagnosed with renal acidosis. In simple terms, her kidneys weren’t doing their job. Mira was on dialysis nightly for two and half years before she received a kidney transplant from our neighbor, who was a match. …Continue reading →

Goodbye smoke, hello clean air

After a lot of hard work, we finally made it! On Monday, July 5, 2010, we will be a smoke-free Wisconsin!

The long wait for Wisconsin to join the 27 other states that have gone smoke-free is just around the corner.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has been supporting SmokeFree Wisconsin since the beginning. We know that making Wisconsin smoke free can make a positive difference for our kids.

…Continue reading →

Finding a voice for change

When I decided to become a nurse, supporting political positions never crossed my mind. Of course I have opinions! But publicly advocating for them never was a priority.

Recently, I finally found my voice.

I had the opportunity to participate in the Wisconsin’s Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day at the state capitol in Madison. What an enlightening experience! Our day consisted of fabulous speakers who gave us interesting perspectives on the state of health care reform and its impact on Wisconsin.

…Continue reading →

Lifesaving instruction in schools: E-mail your legislator today!

Our state’s Legislature is considering legislation that can help save lives in our schools. Can you help us?

Assembly Bill 725 will require all schools in Wisconsin to offer enrolled high school students instruction in lifesaving skills.

In situations when an emergency happens, time is of the essence. Many lives can be saved because people at the scene of a cardiac emergency have the necessary tools to recognize and respond appropriately.

Cardiovascular diseases remain Wisconsin’s No. 1 killer, yet many lives can be saved if simple lifesaving procedures are initiated by lay rescuers. By providing simple instruction in the high school setting, our young adults will have an increased comfort level and the necessary tools to help save a life.
…Continue reading →