FRI AM News: Sluggish economy predicted, credit union lending grows, MCW and Froedtert partner on electronic health records

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— One of the few positive indicators the Fed can point to, the labor market, might not actually be that strong, a Memphis-based economist told the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

Though the national unemployment rate is now at 4.9 percent, Vining Sparks IBG chief economist Craig Dismuke pointed to other indicators. The labor participation rate, for example, hasn’t recovered. The percentage of people with full-time jobs isn’t yet at pre-recession levels. Payrolls are growing, but they’re largely coming from lower-wage sectors.

Changing all of that would help the sluggishly low inflation rates get closer to the Fed’s target, but there’s little indication that will occur, Dismuke said at a Madison Monona Terrace event this week.

“If that doesn’t happen, I don’t think they can raise rates,” he said.

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— The state’s chartered credit unions lent 9.6 percent more last year than in 2014, the state’s Department of Financial Institutions says.

The 150 credit unions lent a total of $22.2 billion, a $2 billion increase from 2014, while their assets increased 9.3 percent to $28.7 billion. There were also 10 fewer credit unions last year, showing the industry-wide effects of mergers.

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— CVS Health is partnering with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin on an electronic health records initiative.

The partnership will, for example, let CVS Pharmacy give updates to doctors on their patients. It will also pass on information to primary care physicians if patients go to CVS’ MinuteClinics, with patients’ approval.

The partnership will help give Froedtert and MCW physicians “access to a more complete and timely profile of their patients,” said the organization’s chief medical officer, Jonathon Truwit.

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— Navitus Health Solutions will expand its Appleton campus as the pharmacy benefits manager continues to grow faster than it expected.

Navitus employs 600 people nationwide, ranging from its Madison headquarters to offices in Appleton, Austin and Phoenix. The company has more than doubled the number of members it serves since the Appleton office opened, so Navitus is building a second office there three years earlier than it originally planned.

Construction on the four-story building will be completed this fall and will have room for 500 more employees.

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**REGISTER NOW Thursday Feb. 18: State Budget Director Michael Heifetz**

Michael Heifetz serves as the Division of Executive Budget and Finance administrator, as well as state budget director. Prior to his appointment as Administrator, Michael served as vice president of governmental affairs at Dean Clinic and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin for the past 11 years. Before that, he was a top legislative aide.

Heifetz will discuss the Walker administration’s priorities as the legislative session winds down.

Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St., Madison. Event ends at 1 p.m. Parking available at a nearby city ramp, Monona Terrace or the Hilton Hotel garage next door.

$19 for program and buffet luncheon.

Pre-registration required: Contact The Madison Club at [email protected]

Sponsors: Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, American Family Insurance, University Research Park, Walmart, and Xcel Energy.



Lending by Wisconsin credit unions rose in 2015

Froedtert & the Medical College affiliation with CVS to coordinate patient care

Wisconsin ranks 26th in solar jobs

Johnson Controls Inc.’s tax inversion plan

Milwaukee ranks in Lonely Planet’s “Best of the U.S.” for 2016

Nueske’s to expand, add 65 jobs thanks to bacon

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– Fed Survey: Wisconsin Farmland Values Rose Two Percent in 2015


– Major sports complex in Fitchburg likely, if city chips in

– 26-story apartment tower proposed for Goll Mansion site


– UWSP receives $500K grant for crop research


– Hurt by lower sales, higher costs, MillerCoors reports drop in quarterly profit


– S.C. Johnson rolls out full ingredients list for fragrances

– Manitowoc Company board approves split


– Rep. Kind Supporting Farm Equipment Depreciation Act


– Continental Properties sells Oak Creek OfficeMax in investment deal

– Milwaukee Sam’s Club to be converted into light industrial space

– Wauwatosa considers redevelopment of City Hall, library site


– Assembly approves expanding landlord rights

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– Kroger could buy Fresh Market, add to Milwaukee-area stores

– With new owners, expect Forest Mall overhaul

– Motherhood Maternity closes in Wausau Center

– Major retailer eyeing Marshfield Mall


– Filament Games releases new product


See these and other press releases:

Clean Lakes Alliance: Frozen Assets Festival and fundraiser a success

Edgewood College: Chamber singers prepare for performances in Ecuador

First National Bank: Fox Valley makes changes to board of directors

Hilton Madison: Celebrating 15thanniversary with $15 room nights and special offers this month

Looking Glass Investments: Adds Brad Darnell as chief technology officer

Navitus Health Solutions: Strong growth leads to Appleton campus expansion

Ten Chimneys Foundation: Presents Olympia Dukakis at American Players Theatre

Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts: Students to learn movement and rhythm in African drumming and dancing class at THELMA

VerHalen Commercial Interiors: Hires chief financial officer

Wisconsin Credit Union League: Consumers help themselves and communities using credit unions, report says