— UW-Eau Claire’s rural nursing specialist says the promise of widespread broadband internet and the technology it enables goes well beyond remote diagnosis.
“Through the connectivity with broadband, we can address issues around what we call the social determinants of health,” said Pam Guthman, a clinical assistant professor for the university’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences with three decades of experience caring for rural residents.
She spoke yesterday at a WisPolitics.com luncheon panel in Eau Claire focused on telemedicine and the potential of broadband throughout the state. Guthman noted that high-speed internet helps provide access to education, new types of flexible employment, and mental and behavioral health programs — all of which drive positive public health outcomes.
“So when you start thinking about health, you need to look at this from a lens that’s a little bit broader than just only the tertiary care,” she said. “There definitely could be a ton of ways that we could access and utilize telehealth.”
Communication between care providers has been scaling up for the past several decades, according to Dr. David Blair, chief medical information officer for Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin. And as technology improves, he says new ways for patients and doctors to interact are also being explored.
“What our ultimate vision would be on the provider side is that we would be able to deliver any care for a patient short of surgery from any location,” he said.
WIN Technology CEO Scott Hoffmann provided numbers from the Federal Communications Commission showing 91 percent of Wisconsinites have access to at least one provider offering 25 megabits per second upload speed, which meets the benchmark for broadband internet.
“But the reality is, there is quite a gap yet in rural Wisconsin,” he said.
Rep. Romaine Quinn, R-Barron, agreed that “there’s still a huge need” in the state. He pointed out that federal figures don’t always tell the whole story, as many rural residents may face major hurdles to getting connected.
— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Steve Conway, executive director of the Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin.
He discusses a new bill that would enable more groups — including CSW — to offer continuing education for chiropractors in the state. Under current law, sponsoring these programs is restricted to certain organizations, but Conway sees the legislation as a chance to even the playing field.
“So an association like ours — which is a full-fledged chiropractic association; we’ve been around for seven years — we cannot provide continuing education for our members,” he said. “This is going to be very helpful for our organization, to be able to do this for our members.”
The bill passed the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection with bipartisan support yesterday after previously making it through a Senate committee.
See the full list of podcasts, sponsored by UW-Madison: http://www.wisbusiness.com/category/podcast/
— Construction trade groups in the state are supporting legislation that would add new legal protections for certain infrastructure.
According to a release, the legislation would include infrastructure for petroleum, renewable fuel, chemical and water in existing laws that aim to protect electric and natural gas infrastructure from trespassing and vandalism.
The Wisconsin Operating Engineers Local 139, the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council and the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association are backing the legislation. These groups collectively represent more than 28,000 workers in the state.
Terry McGowan is president and business manager of the Wisconsin Operating Engineers Local 139. He says critical infrastructure worksites in the Midwest have seen “millions of dollars” worth of construction equipment set on fire and other kinds of damage.
“This is dangerous not only for the hard-working men and women on the job site, but also demonstrators and the environment,” he said. “It is only a matter of time before a serious environmental disaster occurs in Wisconsin from these actions.”
John Schmitt, president and business manager of the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council, says the council’s members “should not have to fear physical and verbal assaults by people who oppose a project.”
— The impact of tax cuts approved since Republicans took over the Capitol in 2011 will total $13.1 billion by the end of the current budget, according to an LFB memo released by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.
The memo broke down what taxpayers will pay compared to what they would have without the tax cuts. It cited savings of: $7.2 billion in income and franchise taxes and economic development surcharges; $131.3 million in other general fund taxes; and nearly $5.8 billion in property taxes.
The savings cover the period of 2011-2021 and include tax cuts that were approved earlier this year.
The LFB memo notes the tally only includes provisions that would directly increase or decrease a taxpayer’s liability. That means it doesn’t include things such as: tax enforcement provisions, income tax withholding table changes, and increased sales tax collections due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing states to collect them on transactions involving companies that don’t have a physical presence within their borders.
See the memo:
— The state Department of Health Services has now identified 60 confirmed cases of lung illnesses linked with vaping, with 14 potential cases under investigation.
A map shows 26 of the state’s 72 counties have had at least one case. They roughly span the bottom two-thirds of the state, with no cases identified north of St. Croix and Door counties.
No related deaths have yet been reported in Wisconsin, but recent deaths in Florida and Georgia have brought the national total to 11.
The Trump administration recently announced plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes amid the national uproar surrounding vaping and potential health impacts. More than 500 individuals around the country have reported lung diseases after using vaping products, many of which were filled with marijuana-derived THC oils.
In Wisconsin, DHS notes the majority of identified cases were linked to vaping products containing THC.
Track the ongoing state investigation: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm
# New WEDC chief pledges to work closely with board in shaping Wisconsin’s economic strategy
# Representation Matters: MMAC initiative tackles lack of management and workforce diversity in Milwaukee
# Wisconsin VC fund co-founded by Nasdaq chairman raising $4 million
# Wisconsin weighs felony for actions against pipelines
– Grant seeds pollinator habitat on potato farms
– Bill in wake of Sun Prairie blast sends message to subs: Call before you dig, every time
– What’s a tariff exemption worth? Millions if you’re Johnson Outdoors
– MMAC sets goals for metro Milwaukee employers to boost minorities in management, workforce
– Former Cree CEO named Marquette’s first innovator-in-residence
– 2 UW-Madison professors among ‘genius’ grant winners
– Wisconsin Extension agents earn national honors
– Short course dorms at UW-Madison get upgrade
– At meeting in Ashland, binational commission hears concerns about the Great Lakes
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– Dream Dance Steakhouse announces reopening date
# HEALTH CARE
– What’s driving losses at 41 Wisconsin hospitals, including four at Ascension?
– American Family’s partnership with Milwaukee starts with Summerfest
– Opportunity zone bill would double benefit to in-state investors
– Kenosha County Brothers appear for preliminary hearing on vaping operation
– Northwestern Mutual announces C-suite changes
– WEDC board sets salary for new CEO Missy Hughes
– Harley-Davidson added 502,000 new riders last year, but more than Boomers are leaving
– Rep. Kind introduces the ‘CURD Act’ to protects quality of cheese
# REAL ESTATE
– Gary Grunau remembered as community champion
– Sen. Patrick Testin: Doctors and patients — not government — should decide if cannabis is the right treatment
# PRESS RELEASES
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