Obesity Advisory Group
The participation in WCHQ’s Obesity Advisory Group has been nothing short of excellent. The group continues to share best practices related to education for both clinicians and patients. Since patients who are obese often enter the health care system through primary care, it is important these clinicians are familiar with specialized care services. One member of the team suggested that a statewide registry of obesity-related services would be useful for identifying where a patient can be referred for specific care. Another suggested that a presentation on the downstream impacts of not treating obesity, both economic and health, would be helpful at an upcoming meeting. While obesity is an issue that effects all age groups, as the Advisory Group worked on a charter, they determined that the focus would be on adult obesity. This was helpful in setting the parameters for what is and what is out of scope for their work. The Advisory Group meets monthly. To join, contact Jen Koberstein.
The WCHQ Behavioral Health Assembly on April 30 featured approaches to behavioral health that will increase safety, access and traditional and non-traditional support for patients. Each presenter had a unique focus on how the pandemic has impacted people’s lives and shared their unique approaches to supporting people during this difficult time. The presenters provided resources WCHQ members will find useful in supporting their patients.
To access the materials from the Behavioral Health Assembly and additional resources, you will first need to log into and then go to the following pages:
To access these materials, your organization must be a WCHQ provider member, corporate sponsor, or annual partner. If your organization falls into one of those categories, you must first have an account in WCHQ’s Online Community. If you do not have an account go to JOIN. If you are unsure whether your organization is a member, click here for corporate sponsors and annual partners. Contact Mary Kay Fahey for assistance.
Adolescent and Child Health
On May 17, Paul Burstein, MD FACOG, a Clinical Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, presented to the Adolescent and Child Health Improvement Team on the importance of vaccinating children from Human Papillomavirus (HPV) prior to reaching age 15. There are over 100 different strains of HPV and many of them are associated with different types of cancers. Virtually all cervical cancers, as well as a large percentage of vaginal/vulvar, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers, are caused by high risk HPV.
The HPV vaccine is proven to be very effective in preventing HPV-caused cancers. Oral HPV infections, which are associated with oropharyngeal cancers, are 88 percent lower among young adults who received at least one HPV vaccine dose. From 2009 to 2016, oral HPV infections among unvaccinated men dropped by 37 percent. This is considered evidence of herd immunity against oral HPV due to widespread use of the HPV vaccine. When given on the recommended schedule and at the recommended ages, the HPV vaccine can prevent up to 90 percent of HPV-related cancers. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine HPV vaccination at age 11 or 12 years and vaccination can be started at age 9 . However, the vaccine is approved for use in men and women up to age 26. The Adolescent and Child Health Improvement Team discussed the importance of vaccinating children prior to age 15 to avoid the need for a third vaccine to maximize effectiveness.
To participate in these discussions and presentations, consider joining the Adolescent and Child Health Improvement team. Contact Abbey Harburn for more information.
The Chronic Disease Learning Collaborative (CDLC) heard from several presenters at their May meeting. MetaStar provided an overview of two new self-measured blood pressure e-learning modules: Taking Your Blood Pressure at Home (a patient facing module) and SMBP: Prepare and Teach Your Patient (a clinician facing module). These modules together form an SMBP education package that helps health care providers educate their patients on taking an effective blood pressure reading at home. Several WCHQ members are using e-learning for staff to teach them the techniques for helping patients learn how to take an accurate reading.
MetaStar also facilitated a discussion to gain insight into WCHQ’s members’ top issues related to chronic disease. They announced the formation of a special group focused on diabetes care and education on the community of practice and the Superior Health Connect learning management platforms. MetaStar’s Mary Funseth gave an overview of the CDC 1815 Diabetes Affinity Group. This group provides resources and a place for providers to network. If you are interested in joining the Diabetes Affinity Group, follow this link to sign up.
To join the WCHQ CDLC email Jen Koberstein.
Oral Health Collaborative
The American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute (HPI) released a report on April 19 looking at disparities in the dental workforce and the patient population. The report found the racial mix of the dental workforce does not reflect the population The HPI published on April 19 a series of infographics and data looking into racial disparities in oral health. The series also highlighted the dental care utilization among the U.S. population, finding that for all age groups, Hispanics and Blacks are most likely to face cost barriers to dental care.
According to the HPI, racial disparities due to cost barriers have decreased in children and widened for adults. The CDC identifies oral health disparities based on insurance status, race, and social determinants of health such as income and education status. Nationally, Black and Latino children are significantly more likely to have cavities in their primary and permanent teeth when compared with their white peers. Additionally, children from low-income families are 15 percent less likely to get sealants compared with children from higher-income households.
The WCHQ Oral Health Collaborative recently began discussing disparities in oral health. The group will continue to explore opportunities to measure disparities in oral health care. The Oral Health Collaborative is interested in stratifying the oral health measures using disparities indicators published in the 2019 and 2020 Wisconsin Health Disparities Reports. The members are evaluating data collection capabilities for patient demographics that would allow WCHQ to complete this analysis. Stratifying the oral health measure results will allow the Oral Health Collaborative members to identify disparities gaps and begin evaluating strategies to reduce these gaps.
For more information about the Oral Health Collaborative, contact Jen Koberstein.