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Lisa A. Cudahy Community Health Grants Recipients

Through the Lisa A. Cudahy Community Health Grants, the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF) hopes to promote and assist nonprofit community organizations committed to education and outreach in women’s health. Congratulations to the following grant recipients:

Indianhead Community Action Agency
Creating Community Awareness about Domestic Violence
The project involves development of a brochure to be distributed in a 15 county region, informing the general public and community partners about the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) program and free legal services. An evaluation will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the brochure and based on evaluation results, five counties will be selected to conduct community forums to educate the public about the prevalence of domestic abuse and violence and services offered through the LAV program.

M & S Clinical Services
The Stigma of Mental Illness in the African-American Community:
Removing the Stigma and Mask of Shame
The project will bring together local organizations, clergy and mental health professionals to be a part of a volunteer planning and advising board for a one-day mini conference. The goal of the conference is to raise awareness about mental illness by providing education, clinician resources and encouraging individuals, families, and clergy to openly discuss the issue of mental illness and how to access needed resources.

Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA)
Information and Assistance Program
The goal of the program is to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse and increase access to services. There are a number of different services that can be accessed by telephone, social media, and email or directly online including brochures, fact sheets, newsletters and links to mental health information and services on a variety of topics. A mental health screening which is an anonymous, evidence-based online tool that allows users to assess their risk for mental disorders is also available.

Meta House, Inc.
Meta House Women’s Tobacco Cessation Project
Meta House started a program to provide assistance to staff and clients to quit smoking when they decided to become a smoke-free campus in July 1012. They are continually enhancing their program to make it more successful and to maximize the chances that those who quit will sustain their tobacco cessation. They have integrated an exercise component to the Tobacco Cessation Project, and these funds will help them add cardiovascular exercise to their program.

Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth, Inc.
Children’s Court Advocacy and Family Restoration Project
Partnering with the Milwaukee County Children’s Court and District Attorney’s Office, the Milwaukee Youth Council, Marquette University Law School Restorative Justice Initiative and the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare they will provide advocacy and case management for families involved in Child in Need of Protection and/or Services (CHIPS) proceedings. The project will employ strategies including advocacy, case management, cross-systems case coordination, restorative practices, youth leadership development and intervention/prevention efforts to address three interrelated types of violence – domestic violence, child abuse and youth violence.

Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter, Inc.
Facilitate the mission of Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter, Inc.
The shelter will provide a “Hands On 5-step program” to clients. Step 1. Discussion: family, income, housing, past history and goal setting. Step 2. Income: current job, job hunting, SSI, SSDI, child support and budgeting. Step 3. Life Skills: problem solving, parenting, personal hygiene, healthcare, preventive care, and nutrition. Step 4. Independence: Housing within their reach, assistance programs, help with security deposit, and first month’s rent. Step 5. Outreach: Help them with items needed in their new home. During the outreach period clients are allowed to come to the shelter for services and are visited at their homes to give them continued support.

Stillwaters Cancer Support Services
Making Sense of Life after Cancer Support Group
This free group will meet six times during 2013, for two hours on a weeknight evening at Stillwaters. It is open to both women and men who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer. Sessions will be facilitated by a licensed counselor and include an educational component and time for addressing and discussing topics of concern. Guest speakers will address topics such as nutrition, physical activity, body image, stress reduction and fear of recurrence. One session will include a panel discussion of survivors who are 3+ years from treatment.

United Community Center, Inc.
Dulce Secretos (Sweet Secrets)
The goal is to adequately and broadly disseminate a video program about a family struggling with diabetes. The story involves multiple generations, with the women at the core of the family, and balancing care giving of elder parents and their children, while trying to maintain their own healthy lifestyle. The program will educate the viewer about the prevalence and definition of Type 2 diabetes, the benefits and value of screening, risk factors, signs and symptoms, main complications and lifestyle changes including nutrition and exercise.

Wellness Center of Door County, Inc.
Taking action to improve the mental health of young mothers in the Door County community
The goal is to empower mothers from the Young Adult Parent Support (YAPS) Program with self-care skills that promote mental and emotional wellbeing in monthly two-hour sessions, Creative Expressions and Creative Explorations. A free training entitled “Exposure to Traumatic events: What you Need to Know to Improve Patient Care” will be offered. The target audience for the training will be health and dental care providers, social service providers, law enforcement, workers in the justice system and faith based workers, especially parish nurses.


World Cancer Day


Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008.

Know Your Risk:
Understanding your risk of developing different types of cancer is important. Use the tools below to learn how you can decrease your risk for cancer.

For more Information
Sue Ann Says Columns:
Know the Facts about Melanoma – the Fastest Growing Cancer in the World
Don’t Ignore Gynecologic Cancer Symptoms

Where to Get Help:

• After Breast Cancer Diagnosis ● abcdmentor.org ● 1-800-977-4121
• Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance ● wisconsinovariancancer.com
• Wisconsin Cancer Council ● wicancer.org ● 608-265-4618
• Susan G. Komen for the Cure® ● ww5.komen.org ● 1-877-465-6636
• Breast Cancer Recovery ● bcrecovery.org ● 1-888-821-1140
Kohl’s Breast Health Assistance Fund ● 1-877-910-PINK (7465)


National Wear Red Day and Million Hearts™

Every year nearly 10,000 Wisconsin women die from heart attacks and strokes. It’s the #1 cause of death in the state.

Signs of a heart attack may differ in women than in men. Some of the important symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Unusual upper body discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
  • Nausea

Visit our website for more information on Cardiovascular Disease and to read the January Sue Ann Says column, Resolve to be Heart Healthy

Million Hearts™ is a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in five years by aligning initiatives across the United States. Visit their website and share your commitment as an individual.

Million Hearts™ focuses on the ABCS for prevention:

1. A — Appropriate Aspirin Therapy
2. B — Blood Pressure Control
3. C — Cholesterol Management
4. S — Smoking Cessation

Where to Get Help:



Annual Dialogue White Paper

The 6th Annual Dialogue: Obesity in Women: The Generational Impact, was held this year on September 12, 2012. The white paper from the event can now be found on our website under publications or events, or by clicking here. The paper provides an in-depth look at the issue of obesity in women, and the discussion from the Dialogue.

All of the speaker presentations can be found on our SlideShare page and a complete video recording of the event can also be viewed on YouTube.


A First Breath Success Story

First Breath is a program that helps pregnant women in Wisconsin quit smoking by integrating cessation strategies into existing prenatal care appointments.

This is one mother’s story:

Racine, Wisconsin– First Breath is an awesome way to quit or curb your cravings for cigarettes. I tried to have a baby for 20 years. When I found out I was pregnant I was a “pack-a-day” smoker. But when Katie was born I was down to four cigarettes a day! WIC and First Breath helped me a lot. Now I have quit smoking and I’m much healthier and happier.

Thank you,


Deborah Heian - Photo

Deborah’s daughter Katie

Health Information links:

Pregnancy and Postpartum Health
Tobacco and Alcohol


Depression in Women

As women, we are twice as likely to suffer from depression at some point in our lives. Chances are you already know someone who suffers from a mental disorder, whether it a family member, a neighbor, or a co-worker.

More than the Blues

Kate Pender, RN, MS, has been serving as a community parish nurse with the Triangle Community Ministry for 10 years and has journeyed with women through their depression. She explains:

There is no quick fix for depression as for an infection – whereas antibiotics kick in quickly, antidepressant medications may take weeks to begin to be effective – women may give up and turn to self-medication with food, tobacco, alcohol, drugs – anything to try to feel better. The truth of course is that self-medication compounds the problems increasing depression and development of other chronic diseases.”

The Gender Gap

We know that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. But why?

Experts believe that it may be the changes in hormone levels throughout a woman’s life that causes the increase depression rates. These periods of hormone changes include:

  • Puberty
  • Before menstrual cycles
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause

Specific types of depression can result from these different periods, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in conjunction with menstrual cycles, and postpartum depression following pregnancy. Although these hormone changes may put women at a greater risk for depression, other biological risks, life experiences, and interpersonal factors also play a part.

Moving Forward

Seeking help may be the hardest part of battling depression. As women, we want to stay strong, and many times are busy taking care of our families before ourselves. However, it is important to remember that we are not able to take care of others if we are not healthy ourselves, first. Click here for a list of local support groups.

Other Resources:

NAMI Wisconsin
Wisconsin United for Mental Health
Wisconsin Community Mental Health Services
2-1-1 Wisconsin


Journaling for your Health

Journaling can help with many things, including:


  • processing life events
  • clarifying your thoughts
  • focusing on your feelings
  • asking important questions
  • reducing stress

EveryWoman’s Journal is an education outreach program that teaches women how to use proactive health journaling techniques to increase individual awareness of their mental, physical, and emotional health, and guide them towards positive, effective action to improve their health and sense of personal well-being.

The next workshop is in Madison on February 11th.

Click here to register online.



Happy Friday!



Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

The Human Papilloma Virus is the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)

  • HPV is spread by sexual contact
  • Most people get it soon after they start having sex
  • 20 million Americans infected right now
  • 6 million new Americans infected every year
  • 50% of all sexually active men and women will get HPV sometime in their life

Most HPV infections get better on their own, but some do not and can cause cancer.


  • Safe Sex

    1. Only way to 100% prevent HPV is by not having sex
    2. Reduce your risk by using male or female condoms
    3. Reduce your risk by limiting number of sexual partners
  •  Get tested for HPV

  • Get vaccinated if eligible

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that preteen boys and girls at age 11or 12 become vaccinated so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus. The vaccine is given in a series of 3 shots.

How can you get help paying for these vaccines?

The Wisconsin Immunization Program helps those who are qualified receive vaccines.

For information on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs), call the Immunization Program at 608-267-9959.


Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

cervical cancer ribbonFacts about cervical cancer:

  • About 10,000 women get cervical cancer every year in the United States
  • Almost 4,000 women die from it
  • Almost 50% of women who die from cervical cancer are age 65 and older
  • Cervical Cancer is the most preventable female cancer
  • There is a test to look for the disease in the early stages.
  • 95% women are cured if disease found early
  • Cervical cancer is not hereditary like other cancers


What causes cervical cancer?

  • A virus called HPV can cause normal cells on your cervix to turn abnormal
  • Over many years, abnormal cells can turn into cancer if they are not found and treated by your doctor
  • There are often NO signs of disease in early stages
  • It can take 10 to 15 years (or more) for abnormal cells to turn into cancer
  • Later possible signs of cervical cancer:
    • Pelvic pain
    • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
    • Pain during sex
    • Increased vaginal discharge

Testing for cervical cancer:

A Pap test collects cervical cells during a Pelvic exam. Your doctor can then tell if you have an infection, abnormal (unhealthy) cervical cells, or cervical cancer.