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Safe Toys & Gifts Month

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, many of us are in the process of buying gifts for family, friends, and special kiddos in our lives. Last year in the U.S. there were 262,300 toy-related injuries treated in hospitals.  Here are a few suggestions to help safety-proof your holiday shopping:

  • Fabric toys should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant
  • Stuffed toys should be washable
  • Lead-free paint should be used in painted toys
  • Art materials should be labeled nontoxic
  • Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they’ve been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials

You can view the list of recalled toys at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website. The  Good luck shopping and stay safe this holiday season!


GrapeVine Project Sessions

Yesterday we held a GrapeVine Project training session in Wausau, Wisconsin. The training sessions provide nurses with the training and materials they need in order to hold their own GrapeVine Project session.

What is the Grapevine Project?

The GrapeVine Project is a free health education program for women presented by Faith Community/Parish Nurses (FCNs) right in your own community. The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation partners with FCNs throughout the state and provides educational information about various health topics. The nurses are then able to share the information with women in their communities by holding free one-hour educational sessions.

Women who attend GrapeVine Project sessions will:

  1. Increase their knowledge of specific health topics and issues
  2. Learn about risk factors, symptoms, prevention, and early interventionLearn about lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and well-being
  3. Increase their awareness and improve access to local health resources and services
  4. Receive helpful and health-conscious gifts at the end of each session

“The GrapeVine Project is an excellent program that provides wonderful resources and support of women’s issues. The training is easy to participate in and well worth the time to attend… It can be very powerful helping people who need assistance and don’t know how to ask for help.” –Mary, RN

To schedule a session, email Nora Miller, Program Coordinator, or call (800) 448-5148, ext. 103.


Safe Routes to School

Congratulations to the 17 Wisconsin communities receiving federal grants funding for local Safe Routes to School projects in 2013!

We learned about the Safe Routes to School project at our 6th Annual Dialogue event in September that focused on preventing and treating obesity.  Safe Routes to School is an international movement that promotes walking and bicycling to school.  The program works to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing alternative for families, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.


Lack of physical exercise is one of the greatest factors contributing to obesity in our children.

Some additional quick tips from our Dialogue panel of experts:

  • Make healthy food choices.  Your children’s food choices are directly correlated with their mothers both during and after pregnancy.
  • Don’t focus on dieting too much. A mother’s preoccupation with dieting and weight loss can result in a child who focuses on these issues too heavily.
  • Become the family health leader. Model healthy behaviors and create opportunities for your child to make healthy food and physical activity choices.
  • Make it a family affair. Have meals and participate in physical activities together. Take advantage of family-based healthy interventions if you need support.

Building Healthy Communities: Where We Live, Learn, Work and Play by Susan Latton from Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation


World AIDS Day

December 1st was World AIDS day, and with women comprising 50% of HIV positive individuals worldwide, and 25% in the U.S., it is important to know our risk. Women are also especially susceptible to HIV/AIDS and other STIs due to their unique physiology.

Take the passing of this day as an opportunity to consider your own reproductive health and choices. For more information about HIV/AIDS and testing services visit UW Health’s HIV Testing: Should I Get Tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus?

AIDS/HIV in Wisconsin

  • It was reported at the end of the year 2011 that 8,300 people were living with HIV in Wisconsin
  • Between 350 and 450 cases of HIV are reported in Wisconsin each year
  • More than 4,000 people who were reported with HIV in Wisconsin since the beginning of the epidemic have died

For more information and resources, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.


Happy Friday!

It is the weekend, and time for much needed relaxation. Take 10 minutes for yourself and work through this guided imagery video:

Have a great weekend!


Easy Exercise From Home

Now that it is cold, it can be harder to motivate yourself to exercise. However, it is important to continue (or begin) your exercise routine through the winter months. Check out this video on easy exercises you can do right from your house!



Visit our Pinterest page for more inspiration!


Battling the Winter Blues

After celebrating Thanksgiving, we are beginning to look forward to the approaching winter months, busy holiday season, and shorter daylight hours.  For some people, the decreased exposure to sunlight can cause them to experience a form of depression termed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or what is sometimes called the “winter blues.” Women have a greater likelihood of being affected by SAD and being aware of symptoms is important.  While these blues may seem like a mood that will resolve on its own, it is something best evaluated and discussed with a healthcare provider.

If you find yourself facing similar symptoms as those indicated below, take the time to schedule an appointment:

  • Feelings of sadness that linger for at least two weeks
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Sense of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating

Fortunately there are ways to relieve these symptoms: UV light therapy, physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can help alleviate the “winter blues.”


What we are Thankful for

At the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation we are thankful for many things: our sponsors, donors, clients and all who help us in our work of helping provide Wisconsin women with the information, opportunities and support they need to be healthy.

Thank you to all of our supporters and donors, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Want to give back this holiday season? Think about volunteering at the WWHF! For more information visit our website.



For the Health of your Heart

This year at the Research Luncheon we were honored to have Marc Gillinov, MD, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Gillinov is a staff cardiac surgeon at The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He holds the Judith Dion Pyle Chair in Heart Valve Research at Cleveland Clinic and recently co-authored the book “Heart 411: The only Heart Guide You Will Ever Need.”

When asked what one food/substance we should avoid for the health of our heart, Dr. Gillinov’s answer was trans fats.

What are trans fats?

Trans-fats are made when liquid fats are turned into solids, and can be found in many processed foods. Different trans fats include: shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Reading labels for the facts

Label with Partially Hydrogenated Oil

If a product has less than .5 grams of trans-fat per serving the product can be labeled as having “0 trans fat.” In order to make sure that a product does not have trans-fat, make sure that there are no “partially hydrogenated” ingredients on the label. For more information check out this article from UW Health: Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet.


Happy Friday!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Research Luncheon yesterday, and to our keynote speaker, Dr. Marc Gillinov! We would also like to give a special thank you to our sponsors: Delta Dental, UW Health, WPS Health Insurance, Blain’s Farm and Fleet, the UW Department of Radiology, The Markos Family Foundation, The Cudahy Foundation, and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Thank you!

Sue Ann Thompson with the award recipients Gui Su, PhD, and Roberta Strigel, M.S., M.D.

Marc Gillinov, M.D., thoracic and cardiac surgeon, and author of Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need

Have a great weekend!