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Each news article below shows only part of the news story. To view the full story, click on Read More below the story.

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  • January 15, 2021 12:57 PM | Amanda Schumacher (Administrator)

    The State of Wisconsin is offering BinaxNOW point of care antigen tests to a variety of facility types. The antigen test is best used in outbreak testing and testing of symptomatic individuals. Lab-based molecular testing continues to be the “gold-standard”. The BinaxNOW tests may be appropriate if preferred testing is not available in a timely manner. Supplies provided by the state are in addition to BinaxNOW tests distributed directly to the facilities by HHS.

    Facilities must qualify to receive additional allocation:

    • Maintain a current CLIA certificate or waiver
    • Have access to PCR testing.

    If inventory allows, additional opportunities for BinaxNOW tests will be made available via a similar request process.

    How to request BinaxNOW tests

    Your facility may request a two week supply to support staff and resident testing strategy; tests are not intended to test visitors and family. Please size your order to reflect only what you need from the state.

    If your organization would like to request BinaxNOW tests from the state, please fill out the request form: BinaxNOW Antigen Test Request.  Please submit your order request by close of business Monday, January 18.

    If the state receives additional allocations of tests in the future, they may also be made available via a similar request process and you will be notified when they are available.

    Additional helpful information

    For questions please contact: for DHSCOVIDBinax@dhs.wisconsin.gov

  • January 15, 2021 10:51 AM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    State residents can sign up for weekly emails containing updates, news, and resources

    The Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today a newsletter the public can sign up for to get direct information about the COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout. Every Friday, a COVID-19 update newsletter will be sent via email to people who sign up to receive it. Registration is now open, and archived copies of the weekly newsletter will also be available.

    “Throughout this pandemic, we have remained committed to keeping the residents of Wisconsin as informed as possible,” said Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “The more quality information we have, the more effective we can be in making healthy and safe choices. That is why we have regularly updated data dashboards and science-based guidance on our website, and it is also why we want to add a weekly newsletter to our communications toolbox.”

    View the entire news release.


  • December 29, 2020 1:19 PM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    Reminders and updates for members:

    • The state holds weekly updates for vaccinators and stakeholders.  These webinars are Fridays at 9am.  Past webinars are also available on line.
    • The state has updated its information on the vaccinate enrollment process.  This and past information are available on the state’s website for COVID-19 vaccinators.  Check here to learn more about enrolling as a vaccine provider and related resources.
    • The state also launched a new vaccine page for the public.  This includes a summary of vaccine allocated, shipped and administered.


  • December 23, 2020 6:42 PM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    Madison, WI -- The statewide coalition to combat the spread of COVID-19 is encouraging Wisconsin residents to keep it up on COVID as statewide positivity and hospitalization rates show an encouraging downward trend. As vaccinations begin to be distributed in the state, the leaders of the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition are urging Wisconsinites to remain vigilant in practicing safe behaviors to ensure we continue to curtail the spread of the virus.

    The efforts of the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition to-date have resulted in significant amplification of public health messaging focused on curbing the spread of COVID-19. Since its launch in October, the coalition has produced six public education announcements encouraging safe behaviors. These spots have achieved an estimated audience reach of well over 30 million on statewide television and radio. On digital platforms, coalition ads have generated over 16 million ad impressions and reached more than six million devices across the state.

    “We are encouraged by a recent reduction in cases and hospitalizations, which show that safe practices are making a difference in Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “On behalf of the coalition, we say, “Thank you!” to the people of Wisconsin for taking the necessary precautions to curb the spread of COVID. But we cannot stop now. Over the next several months as vaccines are made available to the general public, we need to keep our guard up and continue to wash hands, wear masks and maintain social distance.

    Since its launch in October, the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition has advanced an aggressive campaign encouraging the use of crucial safety measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coalition messaging has included public education announcements featuring a wide range of Wisconsin voices, including frontline health care workers from health systems throughout Wisconsin, members of the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Congressman Mark Pocan, and UW System President Tommy Thompson.

    “Wisconsinites have come together to fight the common enemy of COVID and get our state heading in the right direction,” said Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark D. O’Connell. “Vaccines are coming, but we can’t stop now. The next few months will be critical and we encourage everyone to do their part to slow the numbers even more.”

    The “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition currently includes more than 125 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, and advocacy organizations. Notable coalition members include the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Green Bay Packers, and representatives of local governments, chambers of commerce, and visitors bureaus from every corner of the state. The organizations have joined together with a shared goal of furthering public education about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin and the critical need for preventative measures.

    ###

    For more information about the Stop the Spread coalition and the importance of safe behaviors for both public and state economic health, visit www.wha.org/stopthecovidspread


  • December 17, 2020 12:28 PM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    National Association for Home Care & Hospice

    WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with unprecedented health challenges that affect every element of life;

    WHEREAS, the health care community must utilize all resources available to provide care and to limit the spread of the deadly virus in the interest of public health and to be consistent with the ethical principle of “do no harm”;

    WHEREAS, the home care and hospice community has been a leader in infection control while serving infected and non-infected patients;

    WHEREAS, an emerging resource that may provide significant protection from COVID-19 virus infections is the availability and access to vaccine immunizations;

    WHEREAS, the Advisory Commission on Immunization Practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that vaccination of all home care and hospice personnel, along with other health care personnel, is the highest priority as a matter in containing and controlling the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus;

    WHEREAS, immunization of home care staff, both clinicians with direct contact with infected patients as well as all other home care staff, may help prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus, reduce risks of infirmity and death among the home care patients, and protect health care staff so they may be available to provide care to the overall patient population in home care:

    Read more by clicking here

  • December 16, 2020 1:33 PM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    National Association for Home Care & Hospice

    As we prepare for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, we want to share with you some ready-made materials developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can be used to build confidence about COVID-19 vaccination among your team and other staff. These are part of CDC's COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit for Medical Centers, Clinics, and Clinicians.

    Materials include:

    • A guide for building vaccine confidence within health systems, medical offices and clinics;
    • Turn-key slide decks for immunization coordinators, the healthcare team and other healthcare personnel with information about COVID-19 vaccines, tips for building vaccine confidence, and tips for having effective vaccine conversations with patients;
    • Posters, fact sheets, FAQs, and social media;
    • Printable buttons/stickers for staff to wear once they've gotten their vaccine; and
    • A video describing how ACIP makes recommendations and advises CDC on the use of vaccines in our country.

    We also urge you to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine by visiting the  NAHC COVID-19 Vaccine Resources page. It will be updated as often as necessary so please check frequently for the latest news and information.

    Please read and share the full resolution of the NAHC Board of Directors.

  • December 08, 2020 8:22 AM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    New Stop the COVID Spread! coalition message draws upon experiences of overwhelmed health care workforce

    Madison, WI – “We need your help.” That’s the underlying message from statewide health care workers in the latest “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition public education announcement that begins airing on broadcast TV, radio, and digital platforms throughout Wisconsin today. The new ad—the fifth put out by the coalition—comes as Wisconsin continues to face unrelenting COVID-19 case counts with hospitals throughout the state operating near or at full capacity. Health care providers featured in the new coalition message include Green Bay’s Bellin Health, Marshfield Clinic Health System, and UW Health in Madison, with a joint plea to the public to help curb the spread of the virus: “We’re on the frontlines. It’s our job to save lives and get people better. But fighting this pandemic puts our families at risk, too. We need your help. ask up, wash your hands, and if you go out, stay at least six feet apart. Please, do this for your family, and ours.”

    The real-life perspectives shared in the spot are those of Chelsea Rangel, RN, and Hilary Faust, MD, from UW-Health; Sumithra Tirunagaram, MD, and respiratory therapist Karen Masanz, from Marshfield Clinic Health System; Jessie Schaumberg, RN, and Paul Casey, MD, from Bellin Health.

    “While news of forthcoming COVID-19 vaccinations is encouraging, we need to remain vigilant in practicing safe behaviors to curtail virus spread,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association president and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Our frontline health care heroes need your help, as their ability to provide care to our loved ones and neighbors is being strained. Overcoming this health care crisis requires all of us working together.”

    “You don’t have to put your life on the line like the folks who work in healthcare, grocery stores, restaurants, or hardware stores. All you have to do is wear a mask, practice social distancing and do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus to keep people from dying,” added Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. “Is that too hard to do and too much to ask?”

    Since its launch in October, the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition has grown quickly to include more than 125 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business and advocacy organizations. The organizations have joined together in a campaign to educate the public about the seriousness of the growing crisis in Wisconsin and the critical and growing need for preventative measures. A full list of member organizations is below.

    You can watch the full video at: https://youtu.be/GIRW7xTyhDM

    ###

    For more information click here


  • November 30, 2020 2:17 PM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    Congressman Pocan, Speaker Vos join together to urge Wisconsin residents to stay safe

    Madison, WI -- Keeping ourselves, our friends, neighbors, and loved ones safe is not political.

    That’s the message delivered by Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan, who appear together in the latest “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition public education announcement aimed at combating the pandemic raging throughout Wisconsin. The new ad, the coalition’s fifth, will begin airing on broadcast and digital channels throughout the state today as rampant community spread of COVID-19 continues to stress the state’s health care system.

    Representing different political parties, geographic areas and bodies of government, Congressman Pocan and Speaker Vos have come together for a cause that all Wisconsin residents can agree on: beating COVID-19. “After another election, it’s clear we have differences, but we can also agree,” says Speaker Vos in the ad. “We can still live our lives and be sensible and safe.” Both elected officials speak about the importance of preventative measures including wearing masks, hand washing, practicing social distancing, and staying home whenever possible. “We have to do all we can to stay safe,” adds Congressman Pocan.

    “Wisconsin needs unified responses to the COVID pandemic and aligning around a common message is critical,” said Eric Borgerding, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. “We’re grateful to Speaker Vos and Congressman Pocan for joining us to send the public a crucial message about working together to slow COVID’s spread.” “We all need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID and get Wisconsin out of this public health crisis,” added Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark D. O’Connell. “As Congressman Pocan and Speaker Vos have demonstrated, keeping Wisconsin safe is something upon which we can all agree.”

    Read the full article here


  • November 30, 2020 1:22 PM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    Forward Health

    The latest issue of the Your Key to EVV newsletter is now available online. We’re finishing up November, and the weather is getting cold. We hope you’re staying safe and warm inside. The end of November is also the end of our first month of using electronic visit verification (EVV). We appreciate your help in bringing Wisconsin forward into the future of care technology. Keeping that in mind, we wanted to focus on workers and answer the questions we’re hearing from you in the first few weeks of EVV operation. Here you’ll find some common questions about how the Wisconsin Department of Health Services-provided EVV solution works during visits. Please share this information with any workers who may find it helpful. 

  • November 03, 2020 11:07 AM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

    Each November the home care and hospice community honors the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation. To recognize their efforts, we call upon all Americans to commemorate the power of caring, both at the home and in their local communities and join with WiAHC and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) by celebrating November as National Home Care & Hospice Month.

    With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the need for health care will continue to rise, and costs will continue to skyrocket. This is where home care and hospice come in. As the preferred choice for most patients, it also offers the greatest cost savings. For example, Medicare pays nearly $2,000 per day for a typical hospital stay and $450 per day for a typical nursing home stay. Meanwhile, home care costs less than $100 a day and helps many U.S. seniors remain independent at home, enrich their lives, and keep in touch with those they love.

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