THU AM News: Propeller Health to enter Japanese market; Kimberly-Clark joins U.S. Plastics Pact to eliminate problematic plastic packaging by 2025

— Madison-based Propeller Health will begin distributing its digital health platform in Japan to patients using two Novartis inhaler medications to treat uncontrolled asthma — the first step in entering Japan’s market.  

“In Japan, our market entry is occurring in partnership with Novartis, so right now we’re only available in Japan for patients who use Enerzair or Atectura Breezhaler to manage their asthma,” said Propeller spokesperson Rachel Fields. 

Enerzair Breezhaler was approved in Japan on June 29 for the treatment of bronchial asthma.

The health platform helps manage the condition by attaching a sensor to the Enerzair or Atectura Breezhaler inhaler, which then delivers objective data on medication use to the Propeller app on the patient’s smartphone. 

The app also sends the patient reminders to take their prescribed dose and keeps a record of adherence data over time. Patients can share that data with their clinician to help inform the patient’s treatment plan.

“We are thrilled to bring the Propeller platform to Japan and introduce digital health for asthma to a large population of patients who can benefit from better management,” said David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Propeller Health. “This collaboration is an important step in improving outcomes for people with chronic respiratory disease worldwide.”

See the full story at

— Neenah’s Kimberly-Clark will take four steps to reduce plastic packaging by 2025 as part of its commitment to the U.S. Plastics Pact.

The first step, by 2021, is to define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary. Then, Kimberly-Clark will take measures to eliminate them by 2025.

The paper manufacturer will also: ensure all plastic packaging is 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable; recycle or compost 50 percent of plastic packaging; and have 30 percent of plastic packaging be average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content by 2025. 

“We aspire to be at the forefront of the transition to a circular, reuse economy and finding new ways of giving consumers the products they need,” said Kim Underhill, president of Kimberly-Clark’s North American Consumer Business. “We realize getting there will take game-changing innovation, and we know we’re up to the challenge to do more by joining the U.S. Plastics Pact.” 

The plastic initiative goes hand-in-hand with the company’s environmental strategy for 2030 released in early July, in which Kimberly-Clark aims to cut in half its carbon, forest fiber, water and fossil fuel-based plastics footprint. 

The U.S. Plastics Pact is a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and comprises over 70 brands, retailers, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies.

WWF’s plastic footprint tracker will be used to document annual progress against the four goals.

“We are not going into this work in the mindset of accepting failure,” Stephanie Kersten-Johnston, director of innovation at The Recycling Partnership, told “The U.S. Plastics Pact will build a roadmap that allows the activator group to have full visibility of our path to achieving the targets. Our focus, and the focus of all of the activators, will need to be 100 percent on making progress toward our ambitious targets.”

— Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce leaders affirmed the association’s commitment to making Milwaukee a “Region of Choice” in a message to membership following the third night of violent protests in Kenosha after the shooting of Jacob Blake.

MMAC President Tim Sheehy and ManpowerGroup CEO and MMAC Chair Jonas Prising wrote businesses and communities “must work to advance a culture of equality.”

“We join in supporting an appropriate review, and the due process required, to seek justice in the encounter that resulted in the shooting of Jacob Blake and the ensuing acts of violence we have seen in its aftermath,” they said. “We offer support to the Blake family and other victims of violence, our neighbors in Kenosha, to the safety of those who serve and protect our communities, and to the owners and employees of businesses that have been damaged amid the unrest.”

The duo noted that through MMAC’s initiative, more than 100 Milwaukee region employers have united to set hiring and advancement goals for people of color.

— Six counties are seeing both an increased trend and a high burden of COVID cases: Brown, Clark, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, La Crosse and Outagamie. This is up from three counties last week, the state Department of Health Services says.

The northeast healthcare emergency readiness coalition region is also seeing both an increased cased trend and high case burden.

Seven counties in the state rank below the high mark for COVID-19 activity — one more than last week — but no counties rank “low.” These are Ashland, Price, Rusk, Lincoln, Menominee, Marquette and Richland.

In terms of infection ratios, Milwaukee County has the state’s highest at 24.6 per 1,000 people. In one week, Milwaukee County added 958 COVID-19 cases to its count — 267 less than last week. The county has a cumulative total of 23,514 confirmed cases.

The second-highest infection ratio in the state is Iron County at 20.1 cases per 1,000 people — up from 16.1 last week. It added about 16 cases in one week for a cumulative 115 confirmed cases. Iron County has three active COVID-19 investigations in workplace and “other” settings. 

Racine County has an infection ratio of 19.9 per 1,000 people and a cumulative total of 3,897 confirmed COVID-19 cases after adding 152 cases in one week. Brown County’s infection ratio is 19.8 per 1,000 people and cases number 5,143, an increase of — 487 cases in one week.

Kenosha (17.3), Walworth (15.9), Marinette (14.2), Trempealeau (13.8) and Waukesha (13.4) are the other counties that are above the state average infection ratio of 12.5 per 1,000 people.

See DHS’ data dashboard with county and HERC region breakdown here: 

— DHS is conducting 12 fewer facility-wide investigations than last week. It’s now conducting 1,188 statewide.

Non-health care workplaces account for 479 of the current investigations, followed by 287 in long-term care facilities.

Long-term care facilities are reporting 414 deaths due to COVID-19 and 38 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. That’s 11 more deaths since last week. These include nursing homes and assisted living facilities, such as community-based residential facilities and residential care apartment complexes.

There are 97 active nursing home investigations.

Over 82 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients who have died in the state were age 60 or older.

Sixty-four of the investigations are in group housing facilities including correctional facilities, homeless shelters, dormitories and group homes, which have seen 47 COVID-19 deaths, or 4 percent of the state’s total.

Three hundred and thirty deaths are categorized as “unknown,” meaning they may or may not have occurred at these facilities. According to DHS, the unknown category exists because relevant information has only been collected since April 8.

The state is also conducting 248 investigations in “other settings”, 55 in educational facilities and 55 investigations in health care facilities. A majority of the investigations are taking place in Milwaukee (192), Waukesha (178), Dane (101), Kenosha (93) and Brown (54) counties.

There have been a total of 2,301 investigations, with 1,113 investigations closed. An investigation is considered closed and removed from the DHS listing 28 days after the last positive case was confirmed.

Click here to see the nursing homes with active public health investigations and a breakdown of investigations by county: 

— Wisconsin reported 768 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths.

The seven-day average of daily confirmed cases rose from 666 to 681 and the seven-day average for percent positive tests rose slightly from 8 percent to 8.1 percent after the state received 10,378 tests.

The new cases bring the cumulative case count to 72,260, with 63,730 recovered. Meanwhile, 1.5 percent of patients have died with the death toll now at 1,100.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (485), Racine (86), Waukesha (71), Kenosha (61), Brown (58), Dane (39), Washington (27), Rock (26), Walworth (26), Winnebago (21),  Outagamie (19), Ozaukee (18), Grant (17), Waupaca (17), Marathon (13), Fond du Lac (9), Clark (8), Sheboygan (8), St. Croix (7), Eau Claire (6), Jefferson (6), Marinette (6), Dodge (5), Pierce (5), Forest (4) and Richland (4). 

Adams, Barron, Door, Sauk and Taylor counties report three deaths each. Buffalo, Calumet, Columbia, Kewaunee, Langlade, Monroe, Polk, Trempealeau and Wood counties report two deaths each.

Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Green, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marquette, Oconto, Portage, Rusk and Waushara counties report one death each.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

Click here for a list of community testing sites: 

See the latest numbers from DHS: 

— UW-Madison launched a new website that shares results of COVID-19 tests among campus faculty, staff and students.  

The dashboard will be updated daily with tests performed on campus, the percentage of those tests that are positive, cases identified on and off campus, cumulative case data and potentially more metrics to come. UW will not disclose names or other information that could potentially identify a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

UW-Madison will resume in-person instruction on Sept. 2. About 6,500 students will move into residence halls — move-in began yesterday — and all will be required to get tested. 

Chancellor Rebecca Blank predicts in a blog post yesterday that Dane County will see an initial increase in positive cases when students return to campus. 

An individual who tests positive will be directed to self-isolate and seek medical care. Students in residence halls may use campus isolation spaces or return home. UW has capacity for 1,000 people or 15 percent of the expected residence hall population in its quarantine rooms. Students living off campus have been advised to develop plans for how they will isolate.

UW-Madison has 35 contact tracers working in cooperation with state and local public health officials. The campus notes additional contact tracers will be hired. Contact tracers will notify anyone believed to have been within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive. 

According to the university’s release, all necessary cleaning will take place in areas where the infected individual spent time.

See the new dashboard: 

See Blank’s blog post: 


TODAY: ‘Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers and baseball: Economic recovery amid a pandemic’

Join and today, from noon to 1 p.m. for a virtual event: “Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers and baseball: Economic recovery amid a pandemic.” Three experts will explore the pandemic-shortened baseball season and how it has affected the economic impact of Miller Park, which will be 20 years old next year.

* Rick Schlesinger, president of Business Operations, Milwaukee Brewers

* Tim Sheehy, president, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce

* Kelly Jo Golson, chief marketing officer, Advocate Aurora Health

See a study on the economic impact of Miller Park from earlier this year:

You must register in advance to view this event. Registration can be done by booking below. Those who register will receive a link on the morning of the event so they can view it live.

The Milwaukee Event Series is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training, ELEVEN25 at Pabst, Milwaukee Police Association, The Firm Consulting, Medical College of Wisconsin, Spectrum and Bridge & Build, Sports with a Purpose.

Register here:



# More Than 700 Companies Join Movement To Ensure Employees Have Time To Vote

# Milwaukee Bucks boycott playing NBA playoff game in protest of Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha

# At gun violence vigil, activists call for more investment and less policing

# Parents, private schools ask state Supreme Court to toss order limiting in-person school



– Agronomist predicts bumper crop of corn rootworms 

– Wisconsin dairy farmers, neighbors, lawmakers discuss local issues 

– Landmark Services, Countryside Co-op Merger is a Go 

– FDA, OSHA Publish Checklist to Assist Food Industry 

– Watch Out for Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle 


– Colleges face new financial threat as thousands of students petition for tuition discounts 

– From 1:30 a.m. text messages to hotel room rentals, universities get creative in back-to-school plans 

– Wisconsin Universities Begin Reporting Cases Of COVID-19 


– More Than A Quarter Of Inmates At Green Bay Prison Test Positive For COVID-19 


– Unemployment rate in Milwaukee still highest in Wisconsin at 11 percent 


– Illinois Teenager Faces Homicide Charges In Kenosha Shooting 

– DATCP Issues Letter of Warning to Elite Hearing Centers of America 


– WEDA director Brian Doudna to lead Sheboygan County EDC 


– Super Steel acquires division of Manitex International 

– Briggs CEO Teske, other execs sustained massive drops in value of stock holdings 


– Facebook attacks Apple for curbing personalized ads 


– Wisconsin Manufacturing Owner, Dairy Farmer Sing Trump’s Praises At RNC 


– HQ, manufacturing development in the works at Franklin site eyed by Carmex maker 


– Gov. Tony Evers Doubles National Guard Presence In Kenosha 

– White House authorizes up to 2,000 National Guard members from other states to help in Kenosha


– With the restaurant industry in turmoil, James Beard Foundation puts off awards to 2022 


– Milwaukee dips in Midwest startup rankings 


– Packers among growing list of NFL teams that won’t have fans inside their stadium to start season 


– Milwaukee Rep postpones upcoming season, announces modified lineup 


– Airline job cuts could pressure Congress and Trump on stimulus 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

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