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 →

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.

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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.

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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.
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Infants, toddlers and teenagers take over congress

It’s a funny headline that invokes funny images – toddlers running down the halls of congress, infants putting on their best diapers to impress and teenagers texting about a critical vote.

It’s a funny image, because this could never happen. Children – from the youngest to the oldest – don’t get opportunities to speak up on issues that impact their lives. Think of the numerous laws that impact children – abuse, neglect, reimbursement or disability, to name just a few. Yet who do we rely on to make sure those affected are heard?

Advocacy efforts rely on the strength and action of volunteers who care about kids and want to make a difference. Children are not able to represent themselves on issues that directly impact their care. …Continue reading →

Vote for 96.5 WKLH as North America’s Most Caring Radio Station

Click to vote for the most Caring radio station!Every year since 1998, Carole and I have had the great opportunity to host the Miracle Marathon. Since then, we have raised more than $12 million for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

This year, we have the chance to jump-start our total gift by $50,000. Foresters™ and Children’s Miracle Network are searching for North America’s Most Caring Radio Station. To celebrate its ongoing commitment to Children’s Miracle Network, Foresters will donate $50,000 to the radio station with the most votes to put toward the total of their 2010 radiothon.

We need your help! If WKLH receives the most votes, the donation will directly benefit this year’s Miracle Marathon and support care for kids and families at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Vote online at through Friday, Feb. 5. From the list of radio stations, select “WKLH 96.5 Classic Rock, 96.5.” You can vote up to 10 times a day per e-mail address. Please share this message with your family and friends! Remember to cast your vote over the weekend!

Also, tune in to WKLH 96.5 for the 13th annual Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon Wednesday, May 26, through Friday, May 28.

-Dave Luczak, 96.5 WKLH

Learn more about Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin at