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Maureen Smith awarded grant to study disparities with WCHQ and CCHE

Maureen SmithDr. Maureen Smith was recently awarded a 4-year grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to support a Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ)-sponsored effort in collaboration with the Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) to measure and publicly report disparities in the quality of care for health systems across the state of Wisconsin. While Wisconsin ranks high in overall quality of care nationally, the state performs poorly with respect to disparities in quality of care.

Dr. Heidi Brown testing a program to reduce or prevent incontinence in Wisconsin women

Heidi BrownDr. Heidi Brown is testing a new program, "Mind Over Matter," to reduce or prevent incontinence in women in Wisconsin. Fecal and urinary incontinence are common issues affecting women, but they are rarely discussed. The Mind Over Matter program will recruit 120 women in south and central Wisconsin who will be randomly assigned to receive the program (3 sessions that are 2 hours each), before or after taking a survey on symptoms. The program is designed to focus on things that the participants can do to relieve symptoms, such as changing diet, fluid intake, and exercise. Read more about the study here.

Dr. Christie Bartels gathering patient input on how to help people quit smoking

Christie BartelsDr. Christie Bartels is conducting a year-long study on how to help patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis quit smoking. She is using a novel approach of not only asking health care providers for their thoughts, but also seeking patient input through focus groups on the best way to reach patients who smoke to help them quit. “The goal of the study is really to invite people to better health and not necessarily to shame people for smoking behavior, which I think has been the perception for years,” Bartels said. Read more about the study here.

Heidi Brown launches study to test educational program for incontinence in women

Heidi BrownDr. Heidi Brown has launched a study to test the effectiveness of an educational program, "Mind Over Matter," that explores the causes, prevention, and treatment of fecal and urinary incontinence in women. As many as 60% of women above the age of 55 have one of the two types of incontinence, and Dr. Brown's study will determine whether the Mind Over Matter program can reduce their symptoms. The program consists of three sessions that are two hours each, and uses a "train the trainer" methodology to deliver the course material. The study will take place at locations across southern and central Wisconsin, and study participants will be surveyed before and after on their symptoms to determine the effectiveness of the program.

MyHEART website launched to help young adults with high blood pressure

MyHEART LogoApproximately 1 in 15 young adults have high blood pressure, and they have lowest rates of blood pressure control compared to other adult age groups, putting them at risk for a future heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and/or kidney disease. To help address this issue, Dr. Heather Johnson and her team recently launched a new website, MyHEART, that aims to help young adults with high blood pressure live a healthier life, lower their blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. A toolkit with information for providers and administrators about how they can use and promote the website with patients is also available.

Team funded to implement children's asthma and sickle cell quality measures

Elizabeth CoxA team of investigators that includes Dr. Elizabeth Cox recently received funding from AHRQ and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop and implement new children's quality measures for asthma and sickle cell disease. The project is funded under the Pediatric Quality Measures Program, and will be used by state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs, as well as payors, clinicians, and patients & families to measure improve the quality of care for children with these diseases.

Dr. Heidi Brown awarded funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to test effectiveness of community-based continence promotion program

Heidi BrownDr. Heidi Brown was recently awarded $100,000 over two years from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to test the effectiveness of a community-based continence promotion program called "Mind Over Matter; Healthy Bowels, Healthy Bladder." Bladder and bowel incontinence affects over 60% of older women and increases their risk of injuries, depression, and hospitalization, but most women do not seek care for the condition and are unaware of self-management strategies. This project will use a randomized, controlled trial of women in Wisconsin to test the effectiveness of the program, and a toolkit will be developed to help senior centers more easily assess whether the program is a good fit and implement it if it is.

Tackling diabetes in Wisconsin by empowering patients to manage their disease

WIHA logoThe State of Wisconsin is currently in the midst of a diabetes epidemic, and management of diabetes lies almost entirely in the hands of those who live with the condition. To help address this issue, the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging launched the Healthy Living with Diabetes Program in 2013 with support from the Health Innovation Program. The program consists of a series of self-management workshop sessions that are conducted by trained lay leaders, many of whom have diabetes themsevles. To date, the program has reached over 2,300 participants across the state. 

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