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Special Committee on Infant Mortality

Chair: Sen. Judith Robson,
Vice Chair: Rep. Cory Mason
Legislative Council Staff:  Mary Matthias and Rachel Letzing
Member List 

The Special Committee is directed to study: (a) the causes of infant mortality in Wisconsin; (b) evaluation of efforts that have been undertaken to address this problem in both the private and public sectors; (c) coordination of public health and Medicaid funding; (d) evaluation of infant mortality prevention programs that have been successful in other cities and states; (e) evaluation of the public health costs of not addressing the causes of infant mortality in Wisconsin; and (f) developing a strategic proposal, including any necessary legislation, to address infant mortality in Wisconsin, particularly disparities in infant mortality rates in different geographic areas of the state.

Report to the Legislature
  • Report to the Legislature 2011-12, Special Committee on Infant Mortality (March 19, 2012).
  • 2011 Senate Bill 532, relating to evidence-based home visitation program services for persons who are at risk of poor birth outcomes or of abusing or neglecting their children; designating race and ethnicity on birth certificates; requiring informed consent for performance of certain elective procedures prior to the full gestational term of a fetus; and granting rule-making authority.
  • 2011 Assembly Bill 693, relating to evidence-based home visitation program services for persons who are at risk of poor birth outcomes or of abusing or neglecting their children; designating race and ethnicity on birth certificates; requiring informed consent for performance of certain elective procedures prior to the full gestational term of a fetus; and granting rule-making authority.
Results of the Joint Legislative Council Meeting
Recommendations to the Joint Legislative Council - January 18, 2012 Meeting
  • Memo, to Members of the Special Committee, Council Consideration of Committee Report (January 11, 2012).
  • Proposed Report to the Legislature, No. 2011-12, Legislation on Infant Mortality, (December 8, 2011).
  • WLC: 0045/2, relating to cultural competency training for medical students and students enrolled in programs in a health care occupation in the University of Wisconsin-System and certain technical college students.
  • WLC: 0046/2, relating to an electronic application and information system to determine eligibility and register for public assistance programs.
  • WLC: 0055/2, relating to directing the department of health services to request a medical assistance waiver.
  • WLC: 0059/3, relating to hospital best practices for postpartum patients and newborns requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.
  • WLC: 0060/3, relating to a report on information related to infant morbidity and mortality.
  • WLC: 0063/3, relating to hospital staff privileges for and written agreements required for nurse-midwives and allowing nurse-midwives to elect to be covered under the injured patients and families compensation fund.
  • WLC: 0069/3, relating to eligibility for the Wisconsin earned income tax credit for certain parents.
  • WLC: 0072/2, relating to requiring informed consent for performance of certain elective procedures prior to full gestational term of the fetus.
  • WLC: 0074/2, relating to designation of an infantís race on the birth certificate.
  • WLC: 0090/1, relating to evidence-based home visiting programs.
  • WLC: 0099/1, relating to a report on information related to hospital neonatal intensive care units.
Results of the March 3, 2011 Mail Ballot
February 24, 2011 Mail Ballot
  • WLC: 0045/2, relating to cultural competency training for medical students and students enrolled in programs in a health care occupation in the University of Wisconsin-System and certain technical college students.
  • WLC: 0046/2, relating to an electronic application and information system to determine eligibility and register for public assistance programs.
  • WLC: 0055/2, relating to directing the department of health services to request a medical assistance waiver.
  • WLC: 0059/3, relating to hospital best practices for postpartum patients and newborns requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.
  • WLC: 0060/3, relating to a report on information related to infant morbidity and mortality.
  • WLC: 0063/3, relating to hospital staff privileges for and written agreements required for nurse-midwives and allowing nurse-midwives to elect to be covered under the injured patients and families compensation fund.
  • WLC: 0069/3, relating to eligibility for the Wisconsin earned income tax credit for certain parents.
  • WLC: 0072/2, relating to requiring informed consent for performance of certain elective procedures prior to full gestational term of the fetus.
  • WLC: 0074/2, relating to designation of an infantís race on the birth certificate.
  • WLC: 0090/1, relating to evidence-based home visiting programs.
  • WLC: 0099/1, relating to a report on information related to hospital neonatal intensive care units.
  • WLC: 0045/1, relating to cultural sensitivity training for medical and nursing students in the University of Wisconsin-System and certain technical college students.
  • WLC: 0046/1, relating to an electronic application and information system to determine eligibility and register for public assistance programs.
  • WLC: 0055/1, relating to directing the department of health services to request a medical assistance waiver.
  • WLC: 0059/1, relating to hospital best practices for postpartum patients and newborns requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.
  • WLC: 0060/1, relating to a report on information related to infant morbidity and mortality.
  • WLC: 0063/1, relating to hospital staff privileges for and written agreements required for nurse-midwives and allowing nurse-midwives to elect to be covered under the injured patients and families compensation fund.
  • WLC: 0068/1, relating to advanced certificate for licensed practical nurses.
  • WLC: 0069/1, relating to eligibility for the Wisconsin earned income tax credit for certain parents.
  • WLC: 0070/1, relating to home visits by nurses and nurse assistants to achieve good birth outcomes for mothers and infants.
  • WLC: 0071/1, relating to expanding the physician practice payment pilot program.
  • WLC: 0072/1, relating to requiring informed consent for performance of certain elective procedures prior to full gestational term of the fetus.
  • WLC: 0074/1, relating to designation of an infant's race on the birth certificate.
  • Draft letter to Christopher Queram, President, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.
  • Memorandum, distributed at the request of Public Member Ann Conway.
November 16, 2010
  • Packet of Materials from Secretary Karen Timberlake, Department of Health Services:
  • Memorandum, prepared by Sam Austin and Kim Swissdorf, Legislative Fiscal Bureau (November 15, 2010).
  • Memo No. 1, Recommendations for Legislation (November 15, 2010).
  • Report, Illinois Cornerstone System Review (October 25, 2010), presented by Paula Sherman and Bob Martin, Department of Health Services.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, presented by Jason Helgerson, Medicaid Director, Department of Health Services.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Public Member Sheri Johnson, Ph.D., Racism and Birth Outcomes.
October 13, 2010 (Beloit Memorial Hospital, Beloit, Wisconsin)
  • Handout, distributed at the request of Public Member Thomas Schlenker, M.D. MPH, Director, Madison and Dane County Public Health.
  • Article, AACN Applauds the New Institute of Medicine Report Calling for Transformational Change in Nursing Education and Practice, distributed at the request of Public Member Leona VandeVusse.
  • Article, AMA Responds to IOM Report on Future of Nursing, distributed at the request of Public Member Leona VandeVusse.
  • Memo, Delivery and newborn Care in Hospitals, from Judy Warmuth, Vice President Workforce and Laura Leitch, Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
  • Letter to Secretary Karen Timberlake, Department of Health Services, from Senator Judy Robson, Chair, Special Committee on Infant Mortality.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Marilyn Kilgore, President, Beloit African American Infant Mortality Coalition and Angela Moore, Project Coordinator, Beloit LIHF.
  • Issue Brief, The Case for Home Visiting, Strong families start with a solid foundation, prepared by The Pew Center on the States (May 2010).
  • Report, Ask Me 3 in Wisconsin's Community Health Centers:  Summary Evaluation Report, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (June 2010).
  • Article, Reducing Racial Bias Among Health Care Providers:  Lessons from Social-Cognitive Psychology, submitted by Public Member Sheri Patillo Johnson.
  • Handout, Recommendations to the Special Committee on Infant Mortality, submitted by the March of Dimes.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by the March of Dimes.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Cindy Schlough, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.
  • Testimony, John Schlitt, Director and Beth Jacob, State Policy Manager, Pew Home Visiting Campaign.
  • Article, The Pew Home Visiting Campaign, Helping States Improve Quality, Evaluation, and Accountability, by John Schlitt, Director, Pew Home Visiting Campaign.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Karen Cain, Health Officer, Rock County Public Health Department.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Public Member Leona VandeVusse, Ph.D.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Jackie Tillett, CNM, ND, FACNM, Midwifery and Wellness Center, Aurora Sinai Medical Center.
September 22, 2010
  • Article, Regionalization of perinatal care in Wisconsin:  A changing health care environment, by Christine Van Mullem, RN, MS; Ann E. Conway, RN, MS, MPA; Kyle Mounts, MD; Donald Weber, MD; Carol A. Browning, MD, Wisconsin Medical Journal, Volume 103, No. 5 (2004), distributed at the request of Public Member Ann Conway.  Ms. Conway also requested the committee receive links to the following documents:
  • Information being distributed at the request of Chair Robson:
  • Report, Fetal and infant mortality review (FIMR) project of Racine 2007-2008), submitted by Teresa S. Johnson, Ph.D. RN, University of Wisconsin, College of Nursing.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, The Greater Racine Collaborative for Healthy Birth Outcomes/Racine LIFH Project, presented by Carole M. Johnson, Ph.D., The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, Sharon Schulz, Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency, and Lena Cooksley, The Professional Women's Network for Service.
  • Data Request from Public Member Dr. Thomas Schlenker, September 10, 2010.
  • Testimony, from Dottie-Kay Bowersox, MSA, Public Health Administrator, City of Racine.
  • Handout, Fetal and infant mortality project (FIMR) of Racine (project funded from 5/07-5/09) data collection 1/1/07 - 12/31/08, submitted by Teresa S. Johnson, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor, UW-Milwaukee, College of Nursing, Research/Nurse Consultant, WFHC-AS, and Margaret Malnory, MSN, R.N., Administrative Director, Women and children's Services, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-All Saints.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, Kenosha LIHF Collaborative, We hold our babies future in our hands, Gwen Perry-Byre, RNC, MS, APN, and Pamela Smith, MS, Project Coordinator, Black Health Coalition of Greater Kenosha.
  • Presentation, by Teri Hicks, City of Racine Health Department.
    • Testimony, by Teri Hicks, City of Racine Health Department.
September 8, 2010
  • Wisconsin Healthy Birth Outcomes:  Minority Health Program Challenges and Contributions, Journal of Public Health Management Practice, November 2008.
  • 2007 Wisconsin Act 20, Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality and Morbidity Report, Racine Healthy Births Healthy Families Program, October 2007 Ė December 2008.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, from Dr. Phil Farrell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pediatrics and Population Health Sciences, UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Wisconsin Partnership Program for the Healthy Birth Outcome Initiative. 
  • PowerPoint Presentation, African American Infant Mortality, City of Milwaukee, presented by Dr. Patricia McManus, Executive Director, Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, Reducing Infant Mortality Disparities in Wisconsin, presented by Dr. Gloria Sarto, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, Healthy Birth Outcomes:  Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities, by Dr. Murray L. Katcher, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer and Patrice Onheiber, MPA, Director, Disparities in Birth Outcomes, Department of Health Services.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Kathleen Pritchard, Ph.D., President and CEO, Planning Council for Health and Human Services, Inc.
  • Report, Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Birth Outcomes in Wisconsin (February 8, 2008), distributed at the request of Dr. Phil Farrell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pediatrics and Population Health Sciences, UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Wisconsin Partnership Program for the Healthy Birth Outcome Initiative.
  • PowerPoint Presentation, by Cynthia D. Ferré, Pregnancy and Infant Health Branch, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.