Daily Bread for 12.6.22: Disparities in Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes Plague Walworth and Rock Counties

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 4:20 PM for 9h 09m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 97.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM

 On this day in 1917, Finland declares independence from the Russian Empire.

Gaby Vinick reports Racial, ethnic disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes remain wide in Wisconsin:

Racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes are showing no signs of improvement in Wisconsin, according to a national report card by the nonprofit March of Dimes. 

Wisconsin earned a C overall. The state’s preterm birth rate rose over the last decade to 10 percent. Despite that increase, Wisconsin is doing slightly better than the national average of 10.5 percent.

Yet that advantage disappears when looking at areas of the state with higher numbers of marginalized residents. In those communities, health outcomes for expectant mothers and babies trail far behind the state and national averages. Babies born prematurely arrive before 37 weeks of pregnancy. 

“We don’t want to be reactive to a health crisis. We want to be proactive and say, ‘OK, we’re seeing this kind of uptick slowly creeping in, how can we stop this from becoming a statewide F?” said Emily Kittell, the maternal and infant health initiatives manager at March of Dimes, Wisconsin.

The state’s largest city is already there. Milwaukee received an F on its report card for its above-average 12.2 percent preterm birth rate. The county earned a D- at 11.3 percent. 

“We as a state need to say, ‘This is not okay for our moms, for our babies, and we can do better. And we have to do better,'” said Dr. Nathan Lepp, an associate clinical professor of neonatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

America is an advanced nation, and the nation and Wisconsin can — and should — meet an advanced standard in infant care. Our infant mortality rate at 5.8 is higher than the national average of 5.4. Using a maternal vulnerability index, where a higher score is a greater vulnerability, Walworth County has a score of 22.8, Rock County 32.4, while Dane County has a score of 6.0 and Waukesha County 0.2. 

There is no structural, insuperable impediment that prevents Walworth and Rock from having lower scores as do Dane and Waukesha. Counties  in the Whitewater area do not fail inevitably, but by preventable error or omission. 

How small businesses in Ukraine have adapted to the war:

The practical and moral outcome for Ukrainian small businesses would begin with the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers from all of Ukraine.

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