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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Assessing and Improving Community Health in Wisconsin

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Fox Valley

Implementation Approaches

Priority: Alcohol and other drug use

Ongoing Initiatives:

-It’s UR Choice

  • Children’s Hospital has created fun and engaging e-learning programs, which are offered at no cost to all schools across Wisconsin, designed to inspire students to lead healthier lives. Using online and classroom lessons, It’s UR Choice helps students in grades 4 through 8 make smart choices when faced with the pressures of using and abusing alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The e-learning courses meet national health education standards and were developed using evidence-based or informed research.

-Alcohol and other drug use advocacy

  • Children’s supports efforts and policies that aim to reduce substance abuse. Children’s has been a long-time leader in advocating for stronger DUI laws, including enhanced penalties for DUI with a child in the car. In addition, along with the Wisconsin Hospital Association and other partners, Children’s supported a series of policy initiatives collectively known as the HOPE legislation. The HOPE Agenda (Heroin, Opiate, Prevention, and Education) is a legislative package that has received unanimous bipartisan support, aimed at combating our state’s heroin epidemic. Children’s will continue to advocate for policies that address access to and treatment for drug use and abuse.

Priorities: Physical Activity and Nutrition

Ongoing Initiatives:

-Mission: Health

  • Children’s Hospital has created fun and engaging e-learning programs, which are offered at no cost to all schools across Wisconsin, designed to inspire students to lead healthier lives. Using online and classroom lessons, Mission: Health helps students in grades K5 through 8 establish healthy habits, increase physical activity and avoid childhood obesity. The e-learning courses meet national health education standards and were developed using evidence-based or informed research.

-Clinical Nutrition

  • Children’s Hospital offers a variety of nutrition education programs throughout the community. Our Clinical Nutrition staff frequently present on nutrition education to groups statewide, including schools, community organizations and foster care families.

-Weight of the Fox Valley

Weight of the Fox Valley is a community health initiative designed to address active lifestyles and healthy habits among Fox Valley residents to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Children’s Hospital participates on the leadership team providing direction and guidance, in addition to established action teams that address Active Communities, Early Childhood, Food Systems, Healthcare, Schools and Worksite. Through this collective impact model, Children’s Hospital participates primarily on the following initiatives:

  • Nutrition and Physical Activity Leadership Group – This group consists of nutrition and physical activity experts within the Fox Valley region. The group is part of an “ask the expert” panel that answers questions from county citizens related to nutrition and exercise sent through the website. This leadership group designs and executes initiatives related to healthy eating and exercise.
  • Food System Action Team – This team promotes healthy eating and healthy food procurement within the service locations. The team is working to increase the number of fruits and vegetables consumed by children in before- and after-school programs.

-Physical activity and nutrition advocacy

  • In collaboration with American Heart Association, Children’s supported legislation that requires daily 30 minutes of physical education in elementary schools to ensure that children have a safe and supportive environment to exercise and build team skills. This legislation has not become law, and we will continue to focus resources on advocating for this policy. Along with other medical partners, Children’s opposed legislation that would allow unpasteurized “raw milk” to be sold to consumers. Children’s will continue to look for ways to support access to healthy foods and increased physical activity in our communities.

Priority: Alcohol and other drug use

Ongoing Initiatives:

-It’s UR Choice

  • Children’s Hospital has created fun and engaging e-learning programs, which are offered at no cost to all schools across Wisconsin, designed to inspire students to lead healthier lives. Using online and classroom lessons, It’s UR Choice helps students in grades 4 through 8 make smart choices when faced with the pressures of using and abusing alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The e-learning courses meet national health education standards and were developed using evidence-based or informed research.

-Alcohol and other drug use advocacy

  • Children’s supports efforts and policies that aim to reduce substance abuse. Children’s has been a long-time leader in advocating for stronger DUI laws, including enhanced penalties for DUI with a child in the car. In addition, along with the Wisconsin Hospital Association and other partners, Children’s supported a series of policy initiatives collectively known as the HOPE legislation. The HOPE Agenda (Heroin, Opiate, Prevention, and Education) is a legislative package that has received unanimous bipartisan support, aimed at combating our state’s heroin epidemic. Children’s will continue to advocate for policies that address access to and treatment for drug use and abuse.

-It’s UR Choice

  • Children’s Hospital has created fun and engaging e-learning programs, which are offered at no cost to all schools across Wisconsin, designed to inspire students to lead healthier lives. Using online and classroom lessons, It’s UR Choice helps students in grades 4 through 8 make smart choices when faced with the pressures of using and abusing alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The e-learning courses meet national health education standards and were developed using evidence-based or informed research.

-Children’s Community Health Plan 

  • Created by Children’s Hospital, this insurance plan serves more than 130,000 children and adults who are covered by BadgerCare Plus, ensuring that more families get access to high-quality health care. Our health plan facilitates a variety of health promotion initiatives for its families, such as healthy shopping education and prenatal education and referrals.

-Mental health advocacy

  • Policy makers have identified behavioral health as a major priority area to improve outcomes for children, youth and adults alike. Children’s has worked with elected officials to support policies that increase mental health access in school settings and also on policy that addresses bureaucratic hurdles that make providing care difficult. Children’s also supported the creation of the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program to assist frontline providers in providing enhanced care to children and adolescents with mild or moderate mental health care needs and is currently advocating for increased funding for this program. Children’s will continue to advocate for better access and funding for behavioral health care coordination and collaboration across providers.

-re:TH!NK 

  • Children’s Hospital participates in Winnebago County’s Healthy Living Partnership, re:TH!NK, facilitated by the Winnebago County Health Department. re:TH!NK focuses on creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible, implementing strategies that impact mental health, substance abuse, nutrition, physical activity and more.

-Institute for Child and Family Well-Being 

  • This joint initiative between the Children’s Hospital’s Community Services division and University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare aims to improve the lives of children and families by designing and implementing effective programs, conducting cutting-edge research and evaluation, and promoting change through policy and advocacy. To fulfill this mission, the institute promotes community collaboration to bridge unnecessary divides between practice, research and policy.

-Northeast Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs 

The Northeast Regional Center is one of five regional centers across the state, funded through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program and Maternal Child Health Program located in the Division of Public Health. Children’s Hospital facilitates the grant for the Northeast Center, prioritizing:

  1. Medical Homes – Children and youth receive coordinated, ongoing and comprehensive care.
  2. Transition – Youth receive the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including
  3. Adult health care, work and independence.
  4. Family Leadership – Families are partners in shared decision-making for the child’s optimal health.

Priority: Asthma

Ongoing initiatives:

-Wisconsin Asthma Coalition

Since 2001, Children’s Hospital has supported this diverse, statewide coalition that works to take control of asthma through implementation of the Wisconsin Asthma Plan. The Wisconsin Asthma Plan is a blueprint for managing asthma across the state, and includes the following activities:

  • School walkthrough program – This program provides an environmental assessment of schools for environmental asthma triggers and offers low- and no-cost remediation strategies.
  • Improving outcomes in practical asthma management – This initiative offers in-person education for primary care provider teams on how to implement the national asthma guidelines within their clinical practice.
  • Asthma medication assistance – At chawisconsin.org/meds, the coalition has compiled an online resource of all prescription assistance programs and coupons available for asthma medications.
  • Spacers/valved-holding chambers for inhalers – In 2015, Wisconsin Medicaid discontinued providing spacers for inhalers in pharmacies, which resulted in unintended consequences. The coalition successfully worked to reverse this ruling.

-Asthma advocacy

  • Children’s supported legislation to include e-cigarettes on the statewide smoking ban list and supported limiting e-cigarette use on school property.

Priority: Mental Health

Ongoing Initiatives:

-Catalpa Health

  • Catalpa Health is a standalone nonprofit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive pediatric mental health services in the Fox Valley. After the last community health needs assessment demonstrated a critical need for pediatric mental health services close to home, Catalpa Health was formed and continues to be supported through a collaboration among Children’s Hospital, Affinity Health System and ThedaCare. The organization operates four facilities throughout the Fox Valley, including two outpatient treatment centers, an access center and a day treatment center. Catalpa provides assessments for a variety of emotional and mental health concerns; psychological, neuropsychological, psychiatric and concussion evaluations; medication management; individual, family and group therapy; and school-based mental health services.

-Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley Child Advocacy Center

  • Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley Child Advocacy Center brings together multidisciplinary partners in child maltreatment investigations. We provide comprehensive medical, forensic interview and advocacy services for Fox Valley children and their families.

-N.E.W. Mental Health Connection

  • N.E.W. Mental Health Connection is a backbone agency leading the collaboration of community stakeholders to create and continuously improve an exceptional mental health system of care for Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties. Within this collective impact model, Children’s Hospital staff sit on the board of directors and chair one of the organization’s six initiatives – the Children’s Mental Health Initiative. This initiative provides resources for and coordination of education and training regarding mental wellness and mental illness, appropriate and timely mental health screening, and access to services for children, youth and families.

-Act Now!

  • Children’s Hospital has created fun and engaging e-learning programs, which are offered at no cost to all schools across Wisconsin, designed to inspire students to lead healthier lives. Using online and classroom lessons, Act Now! helps counselors and teachers, students, parents and caregivers increase awareness about bullying and has given students age-appropriate skills needed to prevent and stop bullying. Act Now! is a comprehensive e-learning resource that focuses on improving school culture across the school community through awareness, education and skill development for teachers, counselors, students and parents. It meets national health education standards and was developed using evidence-based or informed research.

-Mental health advocacy

  • Policy makers have identified behavioral health as a major priority area to improve outcomes for children, youth and adults alike. Children’s has worked with elected officials to support policies that increase mental health access in school settings and also on policy that addresses bureaucratic hurdles that make providing care difficult. Children’s also supported the creation of the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program to assist frontline providers in providing enhanced care to children and adolescents with mild or moderate mental health care needs and is currently advocating for increased funding for this program. Children’s will continue to advocate for better access and funding for behavioral health care coordination and collaboration across providers.

-Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley Child Advocacy Center

  • Children’s Hospital-Fox Valley Child Advocacy Center brings together multidisciplinary partners in child maltreatment investigations. We provide comprehensive medical, forensic interview and advocacy services for Fox Valley children and their families.