THU AM News: Builders group points to ‘acute shortage’ of lots for new homes; Exact Sciences partnering with German research institution

— The Metropolitan Builders Association says an “acute shortage” of available lots in the Milwaukee area is limiting the home building industry. 

A release from the Waukesha-based trade association shows total lots in the metro Milwaukee area reached a peak of 20,488 in 2004 before falling to 1,237 in 2012. While the number of lots has increased since then — reaching 5,795 in 2021 — it declined to just 2,491 this year, the release shows. 

“Even after the 2008 housing downturn, the development side of new homes construction never really recovered,” Tony Van Sistine, director of government affairs for the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee, said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, Neumann Developments President Steve DeCleene says subdivision development has gotten “increasingly difficult, expensive, and risky” over the past 20 years. Due to this shift, developers have only developed lots needed to “feed their homebuilding operation,” the head of the Pewaukee-based company explained in the release. 

“The days of a pure merchant developer who subdivides and improves land in order to sell it to individuals are gone forever,” he said. “The consequence of this shift in the market is a reduction in the supply of homes through new construction. With limited supply and persistent demand, I see no end in sight to the ever-increasing value of home in Wisconsin.”

See more details in the group’s release: 

— Exact Sciences will be partnering with a German research institution to conduct clinical studies for a breast cancer test. 

The Madison-based cancer diagnostics company yesterday announced the partnership with West German Study Group, which will explore the use of Exact Sciences’ liquid biopsy test in detecting “minimal residual disease” in certain breast cancer patients. 

Minimal residual disease — or MRD — refers to tumor-specific genetic material remaining in a patient’s body following cancer treatment, according to a release. This circulating tumor DNA is released into the blood by tumors as they grow, and can signal a recurrence of cancer. 

Exact Sciences says detecting this circulating DNA at “extremely low levels” could help clinicians identify if cancer will return earlier and improve treatment decisions. 

Dr. Rick Baehner, chief medical officer of precision oncology for Exact Sciences, says the partnership with the West German Study Group “offers a tremendous opportunity to help inform treatment decisions and recurrence monitoring, and ultimately improve future outcomes for breast cancer patients.” 

This effort, called ADAPT Triad, will draw on data from two ongoing trials and one registry being conducted by the research institution. Results from over 3,000 German patients will be included, all of which will be divided into categories with Exact Sciences’ Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test, the release shows. 

Prof. Nadia Harbeck, scientific director of the West German Study Group and head of the Breast Centre at LMU Klinikum Munich, says the partnership “is a worthy addition to our program and will help change the treatment and monitoring program for solid tumors.” 

See more details: 

— Long-term care residential employment in the state remained 12.1 percent below pre-pandemic levels in March, according to a report from provider organizations. 

The report notes the state’s long-term care sector “was especially hit hard by the pandemic” and is recovering more slowly than other industries. 

Based on results from a statewide provider survey, caregiver vacancies increased from 23.8 percent in 2020 to 27.8 percent in 2022. An earlier report from 2018 put that number at 20 percent, according to a release. 

The Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis: A 2022 Report was created by the Disability Service Provider Network, long-term care network LeadingAge Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association, and the Wisconsin Health Care Association/Wisconsin Center for Assisted living.

This year’s survey identified 23,165 job openings at long-term care facilities in Wisconsin. That’s up from 20,655 in 2020 and 16,500 in 2018. 

John Sauer, president and CEO of LeadingAge Wisconsin, says the report “amplifies the need for proactive solutions” to this growing problem. 

“Wisconsin needs a path towards a long-term sustainable workforce in order to meet the needs of its aging population,” he said in a statement. 

Some of the recommendations in the report include: reducing administrative burdens on caregivers, allowing assisted living facilities to participate in nurse aide training programs, investing in remote patient monitoring and telehealth, and enacting “systemic payment reform” aimed at increasing and maintaining reimbursement relative to the cost of providing care. 

Report authors also say any funding for increasing wages “must be provided consistently” throughout the year. 

See the full report: 

See the release: 

–State officials have announced $14.1 million in ARPA funding will go toward youth mental health services and those that administer that care. 

According to a release from Gov. Tony Evers, UW-Whitewater is getting $9.1 million of these funds and Children’s Wisconsin will receive the other $5 million. 

The university will put $7.6 million of the American Rescue Plan Act funds into its Qualified Treatment Trainee Grants Program, which helps professionals with training licenses get observation hours needed for full certification. 

Of that number, $5 million will go to about 200 behavioral health agencies to hire at least one such trainee, $2 million will be split into $5,000 stipends for trainees in unpaid internships, and $620,000 will help expand a network of trainee sponsor agencies. The other $1.5 million allotted to UW-Whitewater will be used to fund educational pathways for students “committed to behavioral health careers.” 

Meanwhile, Children’s Wisconsin will direct $2.3 million to the Craig Yabuki Mental Health Walk-In Clinic in Milwaukee. This is the only walk-in behavioral health clinic for children and youth in the state, the release shows. And the other $2.7 million will be used for a pediatric psychology residency program, being launched in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

See the release: 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and</i>

Sign up here: 


# EPA says review of $700M gas plant doesn’t fully analyze greenhouse gas emissions, climate change

# Exact Sciences reduces loss, beats analysts’ expectations in Q2

# Nashville Metro Council nixes RNC agreement, paving way for Milwaukee



– ‘It’s OK to not be OK’: Farmers open up about mental health concerns

– FarmFirst dairy co-op hosting Federal Milk Order webinar

– How the climate deal would help farmers protect the environment


– Couture goes above-ground as tower’s core starts to rise


– Inflation weighs on back-to-school buying for many families


– As COVID-19 cases drop, schools struggle to recover from the pandemic

– Dane County schools had nearly 650 job openings a month from start of school year


– Hotel and theater operator Marcus reports $9 million quarterly profit


– Demand for monkeypox vaccine outstrips limited supply of doses available in Wisconsin


– Whitnall Beer Garden to close early, Sprecher named best root beer: Beer Biz MKE

– Sea-Doo Switch, a new kind of pontoon boat, comes from Wisconsin


– Brian Niznansky takes over as chief meteorologist at TMJ4


– Continental Properties raises $346 million in four months for latest real estate fund


– Point Beach: Anti-nuke groups question safety after emergency shutdown


– Fiserv Forum will host NHL game likely to include Chicago Blackhawks


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

On Broadway, Inc.: Seeking public input on Green Bay Public Market

AARP Wisconsin: ‘Cooking with Seniors’ proposal wins AARP ‘Small Dollar, Big Impact’ grant