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GHC-SCW will be implementing holiday hours in observance of Memorial Day.
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We will implement holiday hours at our clinics and Administrative Building in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024. Check out the upcoming holiday hours in the chart below:

 

Facility

Monday, May 27 Hours

GHC-SCW Urgent Care Clinic at Capitol Clinic Open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
GHC-SCW Capitol Clinic Pharmacy Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
GHC-SCW Urgent Care Lab and Imaging Open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
All other GHC-SCW Clinics & Administrative Offices:

  • Capitol-Regent Behavioral Health Clinic
  • Capitol Clinic (Primary Care)
  • East Clinic
  • Hatchery Hill Clinic and Pharmacy
  • Madison College Community Clinic
  • Princeton Club West PT/OT Clinic
  • Sauk Trails Clinic and Pharmacy
  • Administrative Building
Closed

 

Asthma is a common condition that causes airways to become swollen and inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Asthma can be an unpredictable and sometimes scary condition. There is no cure for asthma, but you can manage and control your symptoms. GHC-SCW has resources to help with asthma education and care.

 

Respiratory Health and Asthma Education

Interested in meeting with an asthma educator? Please contact your Primary Care Provider and ask for a referral to health education.

 

Clinical Pharmacists

Contact the GHC Capitol, Sauk Trails or Hatchery Hill clinic to connect with clinical pharmacy staff.

 

Outreach for Patients with Asthma

 

To take the asthma control test, please visit the American Lung Association’s website. If your score is 20 or less, this may mean your asthma is not as controlled as it could be. Please reach out to your Primary Care Provider to discuss next steps.

For comprehensive support in managing your asthma, GHC-SCW is here to help. From personal education sessions with our respiratory health educators to expert advice from our clinical pharmacists, we provide a range of resources designed to enhance your understanding and control of asthma. Don’t let asthma manage you—take control by scheduling a consultation or asthma control test today, and ensure you’re equipped with the tools and knowledge to lead a healthier life.

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. But often, this comes at the expense of neglecting our emotional well-being. Caring for your mental health is as crucial as looking after your physical health. We’ll explore the importance of nurturing your emotional well-being and provide tips to help prioritize your mental health.

 

The Importance of Emotional Well-Being

Emotional well-being refers to your ability to understand, manage and express your emotions constructively. It is vital to your overall health and affects various aspects of your life, including relationships, work and physical health. Here’s why nurturing your emotional well-being is essential:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Nurturing Your Emotional Well-Being

Now that we understand the importance of emotional well-being let’s explore some practical steps to nurture it:

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths and expensive trips to the spa. (They are nice if they do help you though!) Dedicate time to self-care activities that make you happy, whether it’s reading, practicing mindfulness or pursuing a hobby.

Stay Connected

Maintain social connections with friends and loved ones. A strong support system can provide comfort during tough times. Schedule a coffee date with a friend or visit a relative you haven’t seen.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity releases endorphins, boosting your mood and reducing stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. You don’t necessarily need to do a grueling fitness class every day. Consistency is key in physical activity, so opt for activities you enjoy, whether it’s riding a bike, swimming or playing pickleball.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help from a behavioral health professional. They can provide valuable guidance and support. They can also refer you to helpful resources and programs, like our Foundations Intensive Outpatient Program. Substance use disorders can also hurt mental health. GHC-SCW Primary Care Providers offer compassionate care for substance use disorders, including specialized medication management and a supportive path to recovery.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help you stay present and manage stress. Looking for some simple exercises to get started? Check out the Spinal Breathing Exercise on our YouTube channel. 

Set Realistic Goals

While it’s tempting to do everything, tackling your entire to-do list all at once can be overwhelming. Break your goals into smaller, achievable steps. Make sure to celebrate your successes along the way, too!

Limit Screen Time

Screen time is unavoidable in many careers. For many, computers and smartphones have become essential tools for their jobs. However, excessive screen time, especially on social media, can negatively impact mental health. During your downtime, make sure to set boundaries for healthy device use. It can be as simple as turning off notifications, setting a timer to limit usage and keeping your phone or laptop out of the bedroom.

Get Quality Sleep

Prioritize sleep, aiming for seven to nine hours per night. Quality rest is essential for emotional well-being and vital to your physical health. To create a sleep-friendly space, keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet with comfortable bedding.

Express Gratitude

Regularly express gratitude for the positive aspects of your life. This practice can foster a more positive outlook. One way to do this is to keep a daily gratitude journal. You could start your day positively by writing down the things for which you are grateful. Another way to express gratitude is by taking time before bed to note events that brightened your day. Some events you could note in your journal may include witnessing a random act of kindness or seeing your favorite flowers on your daily walk.

Educate Yourself

Learning about mental health can be powerful in understanding these conditions. You can also be part of the movement to reduce stigma and support others who are struggling with these conditions. Our online health conditions pages provide helpful information and resources on common mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression.

 

Nurturing your emotional well-being is valuable to your overall health and happiness. Incorporate these tips into your daily life to prioritize your mental health and contribute to a more emotionally fulfilling existence. Remember, seeking help when needed is a sign of strength, and there’s support available for everyone. Your mental health matters, so make it a priority.

Understanding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is crucial for everyone’s health and well-being. These conditions can affect anyone who is sexually active, regardless of their background or lifestyle. Our goal is to empower you with information that helps you take control of your sexual health and to destigmatize STIs. Regular STI testing is an essential part of maintaining health and wellness.

Male couple smiling and being affectionate with each other

Why STI Testing Matters

Regular STI testing is a critical component of maintaining your health. Many STIs are asymptomatic, showing no signs or symptoms. Without testing, you might not detect these infections, which could lead to more severe health issues. Regular testing is the best way to catch these infections early and start treatment.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, most STIs are treatable. Treatments range from antibiotics for bacterial infections to management strategies for chronic conditions. Early detection through regular testing is crucial. Treating STIs early helps you avoid many long-term health complications.

Female couple laughing and smiling at each other

Breaking Down the Stigma

The stigma surrounding STI testing and treatment is a major barrier. It’s time to change the narrative around STIs. They do not reflect one’s morality or character; they are health issues requiring medical attention. When diagnosing and treating STIs, we believe providers should approach these conditions with empathy and understanding.

Empowerment Through Education

Being informed is your first line of defense against STIs. Understanding how STIs are transmitted, recognizing the importance of regular testing, and knowing the available treatment options enables you to make informed decisions about your health. Education is a powerful tool for preventing STIs and reducing the stigma associated with them.

Taking Action with STI Testing

If you are sexually active, integrate STI testing into your regular health routine. Engage in open conversations with your health care provider and sexual partners about STI testing to create a supportive environment for everyone. Remember, seeking help and receiving treatment is a sign of taking responsibility for your health, not a cause for shame. We encourage you to view sexual health as a vital part of your overall well-being. Actively managing your sexual health is a decisive step towards a healthier life.

Ready to take the next step? Contact your Primary Care Provider about STI testing. An appointment may not be required, so call your primary care clinic today.

This April, we celebrate the ConnectRx Wisconsin initiative that helps Black mothers and their babies. Now in its second year, this innovative care coordination system continues to provide medical care and address essential social needs that contribute to the overall well-being for Black pregnant women and birthing persons in Dane County. Coinciding with this anniversary is Black Maternal Health Week, a time dedicated to recognizing and addressing the health challenges of Black mothers.

A Vision for Health Equity

ConnectRx Wisconsin was launched by the Dane County Health Council and The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness to bridge the health disparity gap in our community, particularly in maternal and child health. The initiative was created to eliminate disparities in low-weight births between Black and white women in Dane County, where Wisconsin has one of the highest Black infant mortality rates in the United States. The Saving Our Babies Report, which includes community-based and system-level recommendations, led to the launch of the Saving Our Babies Initiative in 2019 and the Black Maternal and Child Health Alliance of Dane County in 2020 and paved the way for ConnectRx Wisconsin.

The Heart of ConnectRx Wisconsin

At the core of ConnectRx Wisconsin is a comprehensive screening process, identifying participants who could benefit most from the program. To qualify, patients must:

  1. Identify as African American/Black
  2. Have a positive pregnancy test
  3. Screen positive for one or more of the five Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) domains, including:

    • Housing
    • Financial stability strain
    • Food insecurity
    • Transportation
    • Stress

Once enrolled, individuals work with dedicated community health workers. These professionals guide participants with crucial resources like housing support, financial assistance and accessible health care services.

Making a Difference Together

Over the past two years, ConnectRx Wisconsin has not only improved health outcomes of Black mothers, but has also empowered them with the proper support to create brighter futures for their children.

Since April 2022, ConnectRx Wisconsin has referred 674 Black pregnant patients who were identified as high-risk for coordinated care. Out of these, 600 patients were given essential resources such as housing, food, transportation, and financial assistance. Among the 411 Black pregnant patients who chose to enroll in ConnectRx Wisconsin for additional birthing support, 234 healthy births have occurred, including 172 doula-supported births. This showcases the valuable role of doulas in achieving positive birth outcomes.

During the 20-month evaluation period of ConnectRx Wisconsin, 90% of babies born with doula support reached optimal gestational age, and an impressive 84% were born at a healthy birth weight. These statistics address a critical factor in reducing Black infant mortality rates. Furthermore, in year one, 68% of clients avoided medical interventions, while an unprecedented 94% initiated breastfeeding. These outcomes foster healthier beginnings for both mothers and babies alike.

The program’s success is a testament to the power of community, collaboration and technology. We are proud to be part of the list of program partners below, working together to help address these health disparities to make a positive difference.

A Week of Reflection and Action for Black Maternal Health

Black Maternal Health Week is April 11-17. This time reminds us of the work still required to ensure that all mothers, regardless of race, have access to the care and support they deserve. ConnectRx Wisconsin embodies the spirit of this week throughout the year by actively working to dismantle barriers. The goal of this initiative is to foster a world where every pregnancy is safe, respected and celebrated.

Looking Ahead with Hope

As we reflect on the accomplishments of the ConnectRx Wisconsin program and the importance of Black Maternal Health Week, we continue supporting and uplifting Black mothers in our community. Together, we can continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless families. We also continue to work towards ensuring all have the care and support they need to live a healthy life.

Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW) is proud to introduce our Autism Spectrum Treatment Program. This program is designed to help kids aged 6 to 16 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parents or caregivers. We’ll explain what this program is all about, why it’s helpful, and how you can get started.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

First, let’s talk about ASD, which stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder. It’s a condition that can affect how someone interacts with others, communicates and behaves. Kids with ASD might have trouble making friends and handling their feelings. GHC-SCW wants to help these kids and their families and we’ve created this special program to support their growth and development.

Autism Spectrum Treatment Program Focus and Approach

The GHC-SCW Autism Spectrum Treatment Program is made just for kids with ASD and their parents or caregivers. Here are some key things to know about it:

  1. Home-Based Care: We know that being comfortable at home is important for kids with ASD. Our program happens in your home, where your child can feel relaxed and supported.
  2. Proven Methods: Our program uses techniques proven to help kids with ASD. We want to give our members the best care possible to meet their needs.

Program Details

Here’s how the sessions work:

Getting Started

To join the Autism Spectrum Treatment Program, there are several requirements that must be met:

  1. The child must have a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  2. The child must be able to speak and respond in full sentences.
  3. The home where appointments take place must be in Dane County.
  4. Family must have an active GHC HMO insurance plan (at this time, we are not able to accept other insurance plans for this program). If you have questions about coverage, please contact our Member Services team at (608) 828-4853 or toll-free at (800) 605-4327 and request Member Services.

If the child has all four qualifications, these are the next steps:

For non-GHC-SCW in-network providers, we have provided two helpful online referral forms they can fill out for qualifying patients for this program:

 

ASD Referral for Diagnosis Form

 

ASD Referral for Treatment Form

 

GHC-SCW wants to give our members the best care possible, including those with behavioral health conditions. We strive to support kids with ASD and their families as they work toward better social and emotional well-being. If you think this program will help your child, talk to your primary care provider to see if it’s a good fit.

April: Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month, a month that until recently was referred to as Autism Awareness Month. Today, many agree that we have moved beyond general awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder and strive instead focus on acceptance and inclusion. The shift from Autism Awareness to Autism Acceptance reframes the conversation to focus on intentional inclusion, helps shift societal views on autism toward positivity, and provides a platform to engage the broader community in discussions and challenge misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Autism. While the characteristics of Autism are not always visible, it often impacts people’s lives in ways we often don’t fully understand or appreciate. With this in mind, here are some resources to learn more about Autism in an effort to make inroads into including, supporting, and celebrating Autistic people.

Are you excited about the upcoming solar eclipse? On April 8, 2024, this natural phenomenon will occur where the moon will partially block the sun. The Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW) wants to help the Madison community safely watch this rare space event and have a great time. The best time to see the eclipse here is about 2:05 p.m. Knowing how to keep your eyes safe while watching the eclipse is essential.

An image of two solar eclipse glasses.

 

Free Solar Eclipse Glasses Giveaway

GHC-SCW is giving away 4,000 pairs of special glasses to watch the eclipse safely. These viewing glasses are available while supplies last at all GHC-SCW Primary Care Clinics, including Capitol Clinic, East Clinic, Hatchery Hill Clinic, Madison College Clinic and Sauk Trails Clinic from now through April 8, 2024.

 

Understanding Solar Eclipses

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, making a shadow on the Earth. It’s a rare and exciting event that provides an excellent opportunity for education and fascination, especially for those curious about astronomy. Weather conditions may affect visibility. The eclipse times and coverage are based on the Madison-area zip codes.

 

Solar Eclipse Viewing Safety Tips

It’s vital to protect your eyes when you watch the eclipse. Don’t use regular sunglasses—they won’t protect your eyes from the sun. Check out the tips below to protect the health of your eyes.

 

GHC-SCW’s Commitment to Eye Health

In addition to preparing for the eclipse, GHC-SCW’s Eye Care Center is here to address all your eye care needs. Renowned for treating various eye conditions, we offer top-of-the-line eyewear, sunglasses and contact lenses.

 

Addressing Concerns About Eye Damage

If you are a GHC-SCW member and have concerns about eye damage after an eclipse, GHC-SCW’s Eye Care professionals can help. They can provide you with comprehensive eye examinations and expert advice.

We invite you to join GHC-SCW in safely experiencing this awe-inspiring natural event. We also encourage everyone to capture their eclipse-viewing moments to share on social media using the hashtag #GHCSolarView2024. Please pick up your free solar eclipse safety viewing glasses at a GHC-SCW Primary Care Clinic while supplies last, and take precautions for a fun and eye-safe solar eclipse experience within our community!

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At GHC-SCW, we are a non-profit member-owned health plan that provides health care to over 83,000 members in south central Wisconsin. Our organization was founded over 47 years ago as the area’s first HMO with a vision to revolutionize health care. The mission of GHC-SCW is to partner with members and communities to maximize health and well-being. We are a quality-driven Cooperative that values individual differences and fosters a caring and compassionate environment through collaboration, innovation and community involvement.

Our Board of Directors and Nominations Committee are essential in assisting the Cooperative in fulfilling our goals. We seek three candidates for our Board of Directors and three for our 2025 Nominations Committee. These are excellent opportunities to make a positive difference in our organization and community. Learn more about these exciting positions and how you can apply!

Understanding the Board of Directors

As the representatives of the organization’s members, the Board oversees the Cooperative’s business and affairs. They focus on the longer-term goals, purposes and opportunities to serve the member-owners’ needs. They provide strategic and ethical leadership, are accountable for all activities of the Cooperative and discharge its legal responsibilities.

Serving on the Board gives you the opportunity to use your unique set of skills through collaborative leadership. Working with other members of our community, you can have a positive impact on our member-owners’ health and well-being, as well as GHC-SCW staff.

How to Apply

To apply as a candidate for the Board, you must meet the following qualifications:

Members wishing to run for a Board position must submit their completed application by March 19, 2024. Click here to fill out and submit your application to be a candidate for the 2024 Board of Directors.

Board Candidate Selection Process

The 2024 Nominations Committee will review applications for the Board Candidates. Based on applicant qualifications, the 2024 Nominations Committee will select the nine candidates for the Board election.

Preference is given to candidates with one or more skills or experience in the following areas:

The Board of Directors election will be held online between May 20 and June 25. Board candidate statements will be published in the GHC-SCW member newsletter, HouseCall, before the Annual Membership Meeting so members can decide who to vote for. The results will be announced at the virtual Annual Membership Meeting on June 27, 2024.​

The 2025 Nominations Committee

In addition to accepting applications for the 2024 Board of Directors open positions, we are also accepting applications for our 2025 Nominations Committee. The members of the 2025 Nominations Committee will play an essential role in identifying and vetting potential Board Members next spring. They will have significant responsibilities, such as candidate outreach, evaluation and recommendation.

The Nominations Committee is significant in ensuring GHC-SCW has a diverse and skilled Board. We want to ensure all of our members and their best interests are represented by Board Members who reflect the mission and values of GHC-SCW. Each member of the Nominations Committee takes seriously the importance of a thorough nomination process for the Cooperative’s governance.

As a member of the Nominations Committee, you can gain a unique insight into GHC-SCW’s governance and strategic planning. Plus, you can collaborate and engage with diverse members and leaders. Most importantly, you will significantly contribute to the Cooperative’s future by shaping its leadership.

Members who want to run for a position on the 2025 Nominations Committee must submit their completed application by March 19, 2024. Click here to fill out and submit your application to be a candidate for the 2025 Nominations Committee.

For those interested in shaping the future of GHC-SCW and serving its community, applying for a position on the Board of Directors or the Nominations Committee presents a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact. It’s a chance to work alongside like-minded individuals committed to the Cooperative’s success and the well-being of its members.

Winter has arrived, and along with it comes the magic of snow-covered landscapes. However, it also brings a potential hazard that we all need to be aware of – slippery surfaces that can lead to painful slips and falls. Here are some valuable winter walking safety tips to remember while navigating icy and snowy surfaces.

 

1. Stay Informed

Before heading out into the winter wonderland, staying informed about the weather is essential. Keep an eye on the weather forecast to know what to expect regarding temperature changes, snowfall, and ice accumulation. Staying informed allows you to prepare and take preventive measures accordingly.

2. Choose the Right Footwear

Selecting the proper footwear is crucial to prevent slips and falls in winter. Invest in non-slip shoes or boots with excellent traction to keep yourself stable on slippery surfaces. Your choice of footwear can be your best friend in avoiding winter accidents.

3. Walk Carefully – Small Steps and Shuffling

Walking safely on icy sidewalks or snowy paths requires a unique approach. Take small steps and shuffle your feet to maintain better balance. Avoid rushing and give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. Remember, “slow and steady” is the key to staying upright in icy conditions.

4. Keep Walkways Clear

Keeping walkways clear of snow and ice is essential for a safe winter season. Make sure to regularly salt or sand outdoor pathways and promptly remove any accumulated snow to provide a secure walking surface. Ensure that entranceways are dry inside your home, with mats in place to prevent wet floors.

5. Use Handrails

Handrails can be a lifesaver when navigating stairs, especially in icy or slippery conditions. Always use handrails for added support and stability, whether you’re going up or down stairs. This simple practice can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

 

Still Not Confident Walking in a Winter Wonderland?

If you need help maintaining balance while walking on snowy or icy surfaces, GHC-SCW has resources that can help!

Our Physical and Occupational Therapy (PT/OT) team can work with you to address your concerns to help prevent falls. They can educate you on any personal risk factors you may have, and provide training and exercises that can help. Using the knowledge, tools and resources they provide, you can feel more confident facing winter walking hazards.

Want to get started working with a PT/OT specialist? Schedule an appointment with PT/OT by calling (608) 662-5060.

 

As we embrace the beauty of the winter season, let’s also embrace these practical winter walking safety tips to prevent slips and falls. We can all enjoy the season safely and responsibly by staying informed, choosing the proper footwear, walking carefully, keeping walkways clear and using handrails. Stay safe and savor the magic of winter!

We will implement holiday hours at our clinics and Administrative Building in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 15, 2024. Check out the upcoming holiday hours in the chart below:

 

Facility

Monday, January 15 Hours

GHC-SCW Urgent Care Clinic at Capitol Clinic Open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
GHC-SCW Capitol Clinic Pharmacy Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
GHC-SCW Urgent Care Lab and Imaging Open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
All other GHC-SCW Clinics & Administrative Offices:

  • Capitol-Regent Behavioral Health Clinic
  • East Clinic
  • Hatchery Hill Clinic and Pharmacy
  • Madison College Community Clinic
  • Princeton Club West PT/OT Clinic
  • Sauk Trails Clinic and Pharmacy
  • Administrative Building
Closed