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Earth Day 2022 is here. In 2022 it is essential to take steps to take care of our planet more than ever. Whether by composting your leftover fruits and veggies, reusing your old recyclables, or even picking up litter you see when walking your dog.  Celebrating Earth Day benefits all of us.

             At GHC-SCW, this Earth Day, we are doing our part by going paperless in our pharmacies with a new program launching soon called Meds on Cue.

             Pharmacies are required by law to provide medication monographs or pamphlets of information. Some medications also require additional information called medication guides. One medication monograph can be 4-6 pages long. When a patient receives this after their first fill of a prescription, they’ll throw it away or recycle it. Because of this, we end up wasting a LOT of paper.

             This is where Meds on Cue comes in.

             Meds On Cue is a new pharmacy service that uses QR code technology to offer patient-friendly, prescription-specific medication education on demand. The information won’t provide just written medication information but educational videos explaining usage, benefits, and potential side effects. The program ensures patients understand how to take their medications safely and limit avoidable reactions, but it also helps GHC-SCW take steps to go green. Using Meds on Cue technology, we estimate that we will reduce our paper usage in the pharmacies by 75% annually!

             So how do you use Meds on Cue?

             Meds on Cue is user-friendly and only requires a smartphone with a camera. You can either use your camera on your smartphone to scan the QR code directly or download a QR reader from Google Play or App Store. Once you’ve scanned the QR code, a Meds on Cue link will pop up with everything you need to know about your medication! Whether it’s a question on side effects or proper usage/dosage, Meds on Cue answers all your questions about your prescription right in your hand!

             And no need to worry. If you still want the paper version of your medication monograph, paper versions will still be available by request!

             GHC-SCW is excited to be taking the first steps as a cooperative to go greener and paperless. Stay tuned for more information on Meds on Cue in the coming weeks.

Let us know what you’re doing this Earth Day to help the planet go greener!

During the week of April 11 to April 17, we want to deepen the conversation about Black Maternal Health for Black Maternal Health Week. At Group Health Cooperative of South-Central Wisconsin, we want to bring awareness to the racial disparities in Black maternal health care.

In 2020, Black women were disproportionately affected by the mortality rate of 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, making Black birthing persons three to five times more likely to die from giving birth than white women in the United States. Research also indicates that 22% of Black birthing persons are more likely to receive a lower quality of care than White birthing persons and are more likely to be subject to discrimination in health care.

And this problem is found right here in Dane County and Wisconsin. Our state is continuously ranked the worst in the country regarding health and birth disparities. According to a report released by the Foundation of Black Women’s Wellness, babies born to Black birthing persons in Dane County are two times more likely to be delivered at low birth weight. A low birth weight puts newborns at a higher risk for health challenges and an increased mortality rate.

It’s also important to acknowledge the past experiences of Black women and birthing persons throughout history and how their sacrifices and trauma have helped shape modern-day medicine. In the 1840s, James Marion Sims, a white doctor in Montgomery, Alabama, performed painful experiments without anesthesia on Lucy, an enslaved Black woman, while other doctors observed. Sims would soon be dubbed the “Father of Gynecology.” Still, without his experiments on enslaved Black women and teens, Sims would’ve never been able to develop a technique to help with the chronic complications of childbirth.

As Black Maternal Health Week continues and we work together to increase health equity for Black women and birthing persons, let us keep in mind the trauma and experiences that have led us to today.

Ever wonder why a seemingly minor injury to your back can cause so much pain?

Your brain keeps eyes on all of the systems in your body, similar to the dashboard of a car. These systems have sensors that read you and your environment, including temperature, stress, joint movement, stretch, and blood flow. An injury to your low back can also trip your sensors and put you into fight or flight mode. Sometimes the nervous system’s sensitivity is so high that normal motion is painful even though it’s not causing harm.

The stress of any kind will cause your nervous system to be more sensitive. It could be work stress, money worries, family stress, or anxiety. Stress can make it that it doesn’t take nearly as much to trigger pain with your movements and daily activities. Learning how your alarm system works can help decrease your body’s sensitivity to movement and allow you to do more with less pain.

At GHC-SCW, we have PTs and OTs ready to help you learn how your alarm system works. Whether through minimizing outside stress/triggers or learning physical and energetic modalities to reduce stress and its physical symptoms, we are here to help you along your journey of relieving lower back pain.

To learn more about how stress impacts your body and ways to desensitize your alarm system to help your physical pain consider seeing a GHC provider in the PT/OT Department.