Baldwin Family in Washington, D.C. for Family Advocacy Day


The Baldwin family visited the Lincoln Memorial this morning.

The Baldwin family of Milwaukee is in Washington, D.C. and will meet with legislators on Tuesday, July 26, to discuss the importance of children’s health care issues.  In 2009, Jonathan Baldwin and his friends were the victims of an armed robbery. Jonathan was shot seven times and transported to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in critical condition.

Millions of children in the U.S. require special care at children’s hospitals to address their health challenges. The budget crisis of 2011 is real and requires serious action, but it must be done in a way that does not threaten long-term negative impact on the state of children’s health care by decreasing access to care …Continue reading this post

I’m 18 Now!!

Where did the time go? This is what we as parents ask ourselves as our child turns 18. An adult – no way – but not a child either.  The new adult often feels empowered, anxious to make decisions, and to determine their own course. For example, having to sign a release of information to allow mom and/or dad to talk to the doctor is a real eye opener for both the adult child and for parents.

As in all of life, adulthood is not an event but a process that starts way before age 18.  By slowly giving and trusting your child with age-appropriate responsibilities, turning 18 becomes just another step in growing up. However, there are some big time legal changes that all teens need to be aware of.  Below is a short list of suggested discussion points about adult rights and responsibilities. Good Luck!

  • You are legally responsible for your actions – please think before you act.
  • You can own things; a car, a credit card – money is needed to pay for these things.
  • You can vote – a right many other countries do not have.
  • If you break the law you will pay the fine or perhaps go to jail.
  • Risk taking behavior is part of early adulthood – be aware.
  • I am here to help you make good choices – I will listen.

The State of Wisconsin Bar Association is revising its publication, On Being 18. You can currently only find it on-line.

~ Darcia Behrens, LCSW, supervisor/clinician, Family Services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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 …Click here to 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 …Click here to 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. …Click here to 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. …Click here to 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.

…Click here to 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.

…Click here to 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.
…Click here to continue reading