WisPolitics, WisBusiness Health Care Report for Sept. 1

WisPolitics, WisBusiness Health Care Report for Sept. 1

— The Department of Health Services is urging state residents to take precautions ahead of the Labor Day weekend as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. 

“Let’s use all of our effective prevention tools: Get vaccinated, wear masks when gathering indoors, and stay home if you’re feeling sick, especially if planning get-togethers with others over the holiday weekend,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist for communicable diseases.

Wisconsinites are being asked to hold gatherings outdoors this weekend. DHS warns that “medium and large gatherings” are contributing to the continued spread of the disease.

The seven-day average for new case numbers increased to 1,699 today, as the delta variant of the virus drives new infections. The Wisconsin Hospital Association dashboard shows 934 people are currently hospitalized with the virus and 275 people are in the ICU.

State residents can still take advantage of the Wisconsin Vaccine Reward Program if they get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine now through Labor Day, Sept. 6.

The DHS site shows 54.8 percent of the state’s population have gotten at least one vaccine dose, and 51.5 percent have completed the vaccine series. At the national level, 61.9 percent of the U.S. population have gotten at least one shot and 52.6 percent are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

See the latest case numbers here, and the WHA dashboard here.

See more on the vaccine reward program here.

— The UW System is offering a $500 tuition credit to nursing and pharmacy students who work at least 16 hours providing COVID-19 vaccinations over the next four months. 

A release shows more than 1,000 students earned a tuition credit for working at a vaccination site during the 2020-21 academic year, and another 200 earned the credit over the summer after the program was extended. Funding for the tuition credits comes from a Department of Health Services grant.

Eligible students must be enrolled in a nursing or pharmacy program at a UW System campus during the fall semester and put in at least 16 hours as a COVID-19 vaccinator between today and the end of the year. They must also be authorized to provide these vaccines with a professional or nursing license, or coordinate with a faculty supervisor.

“Our nursing and pharmacy students have been part of the solution in helping combat COVID-19 from day one,” UW System President Tommy Thompson said in a statement. “As long as we need them, I am confident they will step up for the people of Wisconsin.”

— Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Dr. Susan Turney will be the featured speaker at the upcoming WOMEN reception event in Madison on Sept. 30. 

This annual event is put on by the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum. Over the past six years, the event has highlighted a number of female executives and entrepreneurs.

“We’re excited to have a speaker of Dr. Turney’s reputation share her experiences, especially at a time of challenges and innovation within health care,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council.

Read more here.