Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance walk to be held Friday at Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls: In honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are hosting a remembrance walk at Irvine Park on Friday, Oct. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

The event is being held in conjunction with Share of Western Wisconsin, a pregnancy and infant loss support group.

Families who have suffered the loss of an infant or a pregnancy are encouraged to gather at the Irvine Park main pavilion, which is near the duck pond. The walk will proceed to the bridge where a brief memorial service will be held, then loop back to the pavilion. The route is less than one mile.

“It’s important we honor those little lives lost because even though they are no longer with us, they have left tiny footprints on our hearts,” says Ashley Rawlings, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Women and Infants Center registered nurse. “We want families to know they are not grieving alone, and their loss is never forgotten.”

The walk is free and registration is not required. For people interested in participating or who want more information, they should call 715-717-7666. Face coverings and social distancing practices will be required.

Mobile mammography unit provides services to 190 people since June: This June Prevea Health, in partnership with HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, began providing mobile mammography services to people in rural western Wisconsin. Since then, 190 patients have used mobile mammography services, Prevea said in a news release last week.

Of those patients, 23 required additional imaging for suspected breast cancer; one was diagnosed with breast cancer; 25 received a mammogram for the first time and 15 had not had a mammogram in more than five years, according to Prevea.

“These numbers indicate the importance of not only a mobile mammography service in rural communities, but also early breast cancer detection,” says Megan Bauer, mobile imaging coordinator and mammography technologist. “These 190 women now have an accurate picture of their breast health, and we know that detecting potential cancers early will help save lives.”

The unit is equipped with technology that can provide 3-D and/or digital images. It features two changing rooms and a waiting room and is staffed by a registered mammography technologist. It travels on a regular basis to Prevea Health centers in Altoona, Augusta, Cornell, Ladysmith, Menomonie, Mondovi and Rice Lake.

Appointments with the mobile mammography unit are required and can be made by calling (715) 717-3690. More information is also available at www.prevea.com/mammo

State awards $550K in grants to aid rural hospitals, clinics in filling positions: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has announced more than $550,000 in grants will be awarded to support education and training to help rural hospitals and clinics fill “high need, high demand” positions, the DHS said in a news release.

The Advanced Practice Clinician grants, totaling almost $250,000, support the development of clinical training sites for physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. Hospitals and clinics receiving APC grants include Cumberland Memorial Hospital, Essentia in northwest Wisconsin and Marshfield Clinic Health System in northern, central and western Wisconsin.

Other facilities received grants to support education and training opportunities for health care workers. Hospitals that received those grants included Gundersen in Friendship and Whitehall and Marshfield Clinic Health System in northern, central and western Wisconsin.

“Access to high quality health care is critical for all Wisconsin residents, and all parts of our state need an adequate supply of well-trained professionals to deliver that care,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.

Marshfield Clinic now offering flu shots: Marshfield Clinic Health System is offering influenza vaccinations at all primary care locations in Wisconsin, it announced last week.

While flu viruses circulate year-round, most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and March, but activity can last as late as May.

Dr. Edward Belongia, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, said in a press release that flu vaccines are especially important this season because immunity has declined after a year with an almost complete absence of flu circulation.

“It’s important to get your flu vaccine as soon as possible because it can take up to two weeks for the immune system to produce antibodies against the vaccine strains,” Belongia said in the press release.

People can schedule a flu vaccine online through their My Marshfield Clinic account. They can visit marshfieldclinic.org/flu for information and appointment options. People can receive a COVID-19 shot at the same time as a flu shot.

While most symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza overlap, including a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle pain or body aches or a headache, a loss of taste or smell is one symptom of COVID-19 that does not typically occur with influenza.

Chippewa Valley Free Clinic holding annual fundraising event: The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic is holding its annual fundraising event by offering a themed box filled with food and beverages. Each box has a theme and distinct food and beverages. October’s Box, presented by Northwestern Bank and the Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic, is called “Oktoberfest Celebration” and includes sausages from The Bavarian Sausage Company in Madison, sweet and sour red cabbage, spaetzle, German mustard, Butterkase and Cambozola cheese and Mestemacher three-grain bread. People will also be able to purchase K Point and German beers or a bottle of red and a bottle of white German wines with their box.

Each box costs $100 and contains supplies for two people. To place an order visit www.thecoffeegrounds.com/events-2. A limited number of boxes are available for order until Monday or until they’re sold out. Boxes will be ready for pick up at The Coffee Grounds on Friday, Oct. 22.

State AG, DPI announce online safety course for parents, caregivers: Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, in partnership with the Department of Public Instruction, announced last week a free online course for parents and caregivers on how to help keep kids safe online.

The course can be found at tinyurl.com/pra6ja9e

The “Pro-tech-ting Children Online: ICAC Resources and Support” course is led by Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force victim service specialists. The goal of the course is to help people recognize online exploitative behaviors, support and empower those impacted by it and provide resources for healthy online behaviors.

Wisconsin ICAC Task Force leaders suggest parents talk to their children about online safety early and often. Parents should discuss online dangers and risks with their kids. They should also have an open dialogue about their kid’s online activity, including the websites they’re visiting, the people they’re communicating with, the information they’re sharing about themselves, and any situations that make them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused, the Wisconsin DOJ said in a new release.

Mayo Clinic family medicine residency program in Eau Claire ranked No. 1 in Midwest by Doximity: The family medicine residency program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire has been ranked the No. 1 program in the Midwest, No. 1 in Wisconsin and No. 6 in the U.S. on Doximity’s 2021 Residency Navigator, Mayo Clinic announced in a news release this week.

Doximity ranks programs based on reviews from residents and alumni, survey data from physicians and other data from public sources, according to its website.

The Doximity Residency Navigator includes 4,900 residency programs across 28 different specialties, including over 700 programs in family medicine.

Red Cross still in emergency blood, platelet shortage: The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years, the organization said in a news release this week.

The Red Cross asked donors of all blood types – especially type O − to make an appointment to give blood or platelets. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct.16 through Nov. 13 are:

Chetek

  • : 10/14/2021: 1:30 p.m. — 6:30 p.m., Senior Community Center, 711 First Street

Mondovi

  • : 10/20/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Roger Marten Community Center, 120 S Franklin St

Bloomer

  • : 10/18/2021: 11:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m., Pines Ballroom, 9690 County Hwy SS

Cadott

  • : 11/12/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., St John’s Lutheran Church Cadott, 215 East Seminary

Chippewa Falls

  • : 10/29/2021: 9 a.m. — 3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Bible Church, 531 E. South Ave.

Cornell

  • : 10/22/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Cornell High School, 708 Bridge St.

Jim Falls

  • : 10/11/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Anson Town Hall, 13836 Cty. Hwy S

Stanley

  • : 10/15/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Stanley, 147 E 4th Avenue

Boyceville

  • : 10/18/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church Boyceville, 1039 Nordveien Drive

Colfax

  • : 10/27/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Viking Bowl and Lounge, 108 S. Main St.

Menomonie

  • : 10/11/2021: 1 p.m. — 6 p.m., Menomonie United Methodist Church, 2703 Bongey Dr.; 10/12/2021: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Alliance Church of Menomonie, 502 21st St. N.; 10/25/2021: 11 a.m. — 5 p.m., Menomonie National Guard Armory, 315 W 28th Ave.; 10/28/2021: 9 a.m. — 2 p.m., St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1100 9th Street East; 10/29/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church Menomonie, 1306 Wilcox St.; 11/5/2021: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Hampton Inn & Suites, 2017 Stout St

Altoona

  • : 10/25/2021: 8 a.m. — 2 p.m., Altoona High School, 711 7th St. West

Eau Claire

  • : 10/29/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church Eau Claire, 1314 E Lexington Blvd.; 11/1/2021: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum, 1204 E Half Moon Dr.; 11/1/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., St. James the Greater Catholic Church, 2502 11th St.; 11/8/2021: 12:30 p.m. — 6 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Eau Claire, 1712 Highland Ave.

Fall Creek

  • : 11/8/2021: 12:30 p.m. — 6 p.m., St Raymond Of Parish, E10455 Mallard Road

Durand

  • : 11/10/2021: 8:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m., Durand High School, 607 7th Ave E

Ladysmith

  • : 10/21/2021: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Indianhead Community Action Agency, 1000 College Ave W

Pigeon Falls

  • : 10/25/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls, 13083 Main St

Trempealeau

  • : 10/14/2021: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Mount Calvary Lutheran Church Trempealeau, 24531 6th Street

From staff reports

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