University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
UW-Eau Claire students giving back to hometowns during COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 moved classes online and sent many students home for the semester, Blugolds near and far are finding ways to give back to their hometowns during the pandemic. Full story.
Social work majors find new ways forward after COVID-19 ends internships
Savana Stuhl, a social work major in her last semester, had two internships cut short this spring because of COVID-19. While challenging, she says the experience will make her an even better social worker. Full story.
28th annual student research event, CERCA, to take place online April 27-May 1
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UW-Eau Claire will host the first-ever online presentation of the annual student research celebration. The 28th annual Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity will take place the week of April 27-May 1 and will be delivered through the Canvas online instruction platform. The site will be open and accessible to everyone, with no campus login required. Full story.
PABLO FOUNDATION TO MATCH DONATIONS TO TOGETHER CHIPPEWA VALLEY UP TO $50,000
Pablo Foundation Responds to Urgent Nonprofit Need (April 21, 2020 - EAU CLAIRE, WIS) Together Chippewa Valley is thrilled to announce that Pablo Foundation, a local philanthropic group, has stepped forward with a grant totaling up to $50,000 in response to the urgent need from local nonprofits due to COVID-19. The grant will match dollar-for-dollar all donations to Together Chippewa Valley up to a total of $50,000 through April 30, 2020. To date, Together Chippewa Valley has raised $23,195 which will now be doubled to $46,390 by the match.
“As the spokesperson for the local effort Together Chippewa Valley, we are very grateful for the Pablo Foundation gift, which will help so many nonprofits in our community. This effort is another example of how well we work together in the Chippewa Valley. It seems no matter the cause, we first turn to each other to help out. This exciting movement will support 800 plus employees and the over 200,000 people they serve each year. Thank you, Pablo Foundation,” said Together Chippewa Valley spokeswoman, Kerry Kincaid.
Pablo Foundation’s Executive Director, MaiVue Xiong, states, “Working collaboratively so our community can stay healthy and sustainable during this time is of upmost importance to the Foundation. We are proud to support a coalition of nonprofits that comes together in our greatest time of need to creatively find ways to further support their organization’s causes. Although times are hard, we encourage others to give what they can so we can all come out of this pandemic stronger than going in.” Pablo Foundation’s mission is to create a model for a healthy and sustainable community. They are focused on housing, health, education and the arts.
Together Chippewa Valley was formed to coordinate a response effort to address community needs during the COVID-19 crisis, to raise funds through a first-of-its-kind community-wide fundraising initiative, support each other’s missions, to survive, and to thrive.
Make a gift today and help Together Chippewa Valley to help maximize this grant and support their mission to keep the nonprofit community thriving. Those interested in supporting Together Chippewa Valley can visit togetherchippewavalley.org to give online.
About Together Chippewa Valley Together Chippewa Valley is a coalition of nonprofits forming to coordinate response efforts to address community needs during the COVID-19 crisis, raise funds through a first of its kind community-wide fundraising initiative, and support one another’s missions to survive and thrive.
Current coalition members: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 21, 2020 Contact: Kerry Kincaid +1 (715) 577-2360 email@example.com togetherchippewavalley.org • Bob’s House for Dogs • Boys & Girls Clubs of the GCV • Children’s Museum of Eau Claire • Chippewa Valley Museum • Chippewa Humane Association • Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild • Eau Claire County Humane Association • Family Promise of the Chippewa Valley • Family Resource Center • Family Support Center • Fierce Freedom • Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes • Junior Achievement of Wisconsin • Pablo Center at the Confluence • The Community Table • Sculpture Tour Eau Claire • UCP Western Wisconsin • YMCA of the Chippewa Valley
Pablo Center Joins National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) Created
To Fight For Venues Survival Amid Mandated, Extended Shutdowns
National Independent Venue Association just formed and already has more than 450 charter members in 43 states, including Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, 9:30 Club in D.C., First Avenue in Minneapolis, Chicago Independent Venue League, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pabst Theater Group in Milwaukee, Red River Cultural District in Austin, and Exit/In in Nashville.
(EAU CLAIRE, WIS. April 17, 2020) Independent Venue Week and the nation’s top independent music venues and promoters have joined together to announce the formation of National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to fight for the survival of independent venues, their employees, artists, fans and their communities. Membership is at no cost to venues, and is accessible here: NIVA Membership. Pablo Center at the Confluence has signed up and are supporting NIVA’s efforts. Until now, independent venues and promoters have inherently been islands unto themselves, fighting fiercely in brutal, individual marketplaces. But the pandemic has brought a crashing halt to business operations of small and mid-sized venues across the country and threatens their existence.
Independent venues and promoters play a vital role in their communities, influencing travel and tourism. They are a part of the fabric, foundation and pride of cities and towns across America. According to a 2016 IBISWorld study, the live music industry produced $23.5 billion in annual revenue. With the complete and sudden shutdown, all venues and their communities have been dealt a devastating blow with revenues totally halted, but the overhead has not.
“Music venues were the first to close and will be the last to open,” said Dayna Frank, NIVA board member and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis. “It’s just brutal right now, and the future is predictable to no one. We can’t envision a world without these music venues, so we’ve created NIVA to fight for their ability to survive this shutdown, which we hear could go into 2021. Our first order of business is to push to secure federal funding to preserve the ecosystem of live music venues and touring artists.”
“Independent venues and promoters have a unique set of circumstances that require specialized assistance, so we’ve banded together and secured a powerhouse lobbying firm,” said Gary Witt, CEO of Pabst Theater Group and founding member of NIVA. “Akin Gump has been tapped to represent us, and that telegraphs to Capitol Hill that our needs are serious. Most of us have gone from our best year ever to a dead stop in revenues, but our expenses and overhead are still real, and many will not make it without help. Our employees, the artists, and the fans need us to act. But we are also an important income generator for those around us, bringing revenue to area restaurants, bars, hotels, and retail shops. Our contributions to the tax base far exceed our ticket sales.”
“If the number of venues and promoters that signed up for NIVA membership in the first three days is an indicator – 450 venues in 43 states and Washington, D.C. – we can say the independent venues and promoters might be in dire straits, but they’re motivated to fight for their survival,” said Rev. Moose, co-founder of NIVA and managing partner of Marauder which runs Independent Venue Week in the U.S. “In addition to going to Capitol Hill to seek funds, NIVA will also offer key survival tools to members by sharing resources, information, and providing guidance on the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program.”
See Tickets and Lyte have made generous contributions to fund NIVA’s membership launch and initial lobbying effort.
NIVA is seeking additional sponsorship from organizations wishing to support its mission to assist independent venues and promoters. Said Witt, “NIVA will grow to become a fantastic advocate and nurturer of independent venues and promoters after the pandemic. Survival today, prosperity tomorrow.” To learn more, contact NIVA here: Contact NIVA
Independent venues and promoters can join NIVA here: NIVA Membership
You can view the expanding list of 450+ participating members from 43 states here: NIVA Member.
NATIONAL INDEPENDENT VENUE ASSOCIATION BRINGS EFFORT TO SECURE VENUE SURVIVAL TO CAPITOL HILL
(EAU CLAIRE, WIS. April 22, 2020) The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), whose members, employees, artists and local communities are facing an existential crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are in urgent need of targeted legislative and regulatory assistance. Today, NIVA sent a letter to Washington leadership proposing solutions to address the unique and dire situation facing the industry. Venues throughout the region: Pablo Center at the Confluence, The Plus, The Metro, Chippewa Valley Theatre Guilds Grand Theatre, Pinehollow - Eau Claire; The Mabel Tainter – Menomonie, Big Top Chautauqua – Bayfield; Pabst Theater, Turner Hall Ballroom, The Rave / Eagles Club, The Miramar Theatre, The Cooperage, The Back Room, Cactus Club, Riverside Theater – Milwaukee; Cavalier Theater - La Crosse; Hypervibe – Neenah; Liquid & Ruby, The Venue on Winnebago St – Madison; LuCille Tack Center for the Arts – Spencer; Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts – Brookfield; Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts - Fond du Lac; The Mineral Point Opera House - Mineral Point are strongly supporting NIVA’s ongoing efforts.
“Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handouts,” said Dayne Frank, NIVA Board President and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis. “But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is legitimate fear for our collective existence.”
The letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is attached.
NIVA is comprised of more than 800 of the most influential independent music venues and promoters across 48 states, including 24 independent venues across Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. Independent venues were among the first to close as COVID-19 spread across the country, and unfortunately, are also likely to be among the last to reopen.
Due to unique circumstances such as the indefinite closure of our industry and zero revenue for the foreseeable future, NIVA has requested specific funding programs to assist while we are completely shut down as the result of government mandates. The goal is to enable independent venues to survive the shutdowns, reopen in the future, and once again contribute to the economic revival of our communities.
It is estimated that for every $1 spent on a ticket, a total of $12 in economic activity is generated within communities on restaurants, hotels, taxis, and retail establishment. While we are small businesses, the estimated direct annual economic impact we bring to local communities is nearly $10 billion.
It will likely take months for venues to resume to their full performance schedules, but once they are permitted to reopen, capacity reductions may be required for safety. NIVA is also seeking national guidelines for large gatherings to occur in a safe manner. Uniformity across the country and throughout the industry will ensure artists can resume a tour schedule and fans can come and enjoy shows once again.
security Financial Bank
Security Financial Bank Promotes Angie Bryan to Lead Personal Banker
EAU CLAIRE – Paul Rudersdorf, president and CEO of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Angie Bryan has been promoted to lead personal banker. In this newly-created position, Bryan will oversee all personal bankers throughout SFB’s five locations. She will be responsible for staff schedules, training personal bankers and assisting them in providing products and services that meet SFB’s client needs.
Bryan joined SFB in 2008 as a casual teller. Throughout the years, she has served in a variety of roles including full-time teller and universal banker and then was most recently promoted to personal banker in 2015.
A Durand native, Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in business management/business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She is active in the community serving as a Junior Achievement classroom teacher and a volunteer for Reality Check in Durand and Real Life Academy in Eau Claire.
In addition to her new role, Bryan will continue to serve as a personal banker in SFB’s Durand office.
Stokes|Herzog Matketing + Consulting
Hundreds of Eau Claire Businesses Utilize Free Future Planning Tools
Eau Claire, WI - In just over one week, more than 500 people have visited a website developed by a local advertising agency to help businesses and non-profits in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We're so happy that local businesses are finding the information on eauclairestrong.com helpful especially during this time of need. With millions of business owners searching for hope during this crisis, we want to encourage and uplift them even in the smallest of ways. Small businesses are the heart of our economy and we've made a commitment through eauclairestrong.com to support them," said co-owner Chris Herzog.
The new website, eauclairestrong.com, created by STOKES|HERZOG Marketing + Consulting. is designed to give businesses and non-profits a place to find the latest information on marketing and advertising strategies to help their clients and customers continue to buy their products, goods, and services. There is also a donation hub to help non-profits get the word out about their fundraisers to cover their costs during this difficult time.
Since launching the website last week, the website has been visited hundreds of times, and the most popular tools are the donation hub and branding strategies.
Co-owners Sarah Stokes and Chris Herzog are adding new content nearly daily as more information about the pandemic becomes available to keep business informed and offering free advice.
"There are so many efforts to give back during this time, and it's exciting to see that one of our most visited pages is the "giving back" page. This community's heart is so big and that is being felt now more than ever. If we can assist in helping organizations strengthen their strategic planning and marketing messages while also helping people find ways to give back, then we know this is a win, win!" added co-owner Sarah Stokes.
Former news anchors Sarah Stokes and Chris Herzog started the STOKES|HERZOG family of companies back in 2014. The two own the marketing and consulting agency, STOKES|HERZOG Realty which is a Wisconsin based commercial real estate brokerage, and The Juicy Good Life, an online success training company designed for women.
Contact: Ashley Gudis, Scholarship Committee Chair and Director of Dove Healthcare – Rutledge Home and Orchard Hills, 715-577-4036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholarship Winner Announced
Eau Claire – Skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and assisted living provider Dove Healthcare announced Alysia Arel of Eau Claire as one of two recipients of the 3rd Annual Sandy Rasmussen Scholarship.
The $2,500 scholarship was created in honor and appreciation of Sandy Rasmussen, an employee of Dove Healthcare – Rutledge Home for over 47 years. Rasmussen has served the residents in numerous capacities, often concurrently, including lawn care, transportation, recreation, resident assistant, nutritional services aide, cook, and nutritional services director. She has also volunteered countless hours fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association and American Cancer Society.
Scholarship Committee Chair and Dove Healthcare – Rutledge Home Director Ashley Gudis shared, “We are honored to help Alysia advance her education and career. She demonstrates great compassion and commitment for those entrusted in her care and dedication to her profession.”
A LPN at Dove Healthcare – West Eau Claire since 2009, Arel is pursuing an associate’s degree in nursing from Rasmussen College. The scholarship committee selected Arel based on her letters of reference, an essay, work ethic, and character.
Dove Healthcare – West Eau Claire Director of Nursing Shelby Kolar said, “Alysia is always willing to help wherever and whenever needed. Her positivity and ability to make others smile no matter the situation makes her an excellent mentor for her co-workers. I am thrilled that she is taking the next step in her career and earning a degree that will further enrich the lives of those in her care.”
The Sandy Rasmussen Scholarship is available to Dove Healthcare employees pursuing post-secondary education at an accredited technical college or four-year university.
Wisconsin Public Radio
Emily Moore from Feed My People Food Bank on “Spectrum West” April 23, 2020
Emily Moore of Feed My People in Eau Claire will join host Al Ross on “Spectrum West,” which airs at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2020 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. The program will also feature interviews with two Eau Claire improvisational actors, the author of a new book about the Great Lakes, and a former Eau Claire Poet Laureate.
Emily Moore, executive director of Feed My People Food Bank, will talk about her organization’s continued efforts to get food to people in need during the current pandemic.
Amber Dernbach is a theater teacher and improv mentor at Memorial High School in Eau Claire. She and Tabitha Tatro, an improv actor with a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire theater degree, will be visiting with Ross to talk about how their routines have changed with no live performances to prepare for.
Correspondent Jim Oliver will be sharing a conversation with Theodore Karamanski, a professor of history at Loyola University in Chicago. Karmanski has written a book entitled “Mastering the Inland Seas: How Lighthouses, Navigational Aids, and Harbors Transformed the Great Lakes and America.”
Bruce Taylor is a UWEC English professor and former Poet Laureate of the City of Eau Claire. He will be joining Ross as part of the show’s celebration of Poetry Month, and to offer his perspective on our unique times and share some of his writing.
“Spectrum West” is a weekly program exploring the music, arts and humanities in western Wisconsin. The show includes in-depth behind-the-scenes interviews and stories about area writers, musicians, theater, visual arts and much more. The show is broadcast at 10 a.m. Thursdays on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM University of Wisconsin River Falls via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. A repeat broadcast plays at 7 p.m. Fridays on 89.7 WUEC-FM Eau Claire and 90.7 WVSS-FM/ Menomonie. Archives of “Spectrum West” are available at wpr.org/programs/spectrum-west-al-ross.
Pandemic Update and its Impact on University of Wisconsin Campuses in Western Wisconsin discussed on “The West Side” on April 24
The economic, academic and outreach implications of the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-River Falls and University of Wisconsin-Stout will be the primary topic of discussion on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 24 on The Ideas Network Stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls.
The program will also feature an update on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to western Wisconsin from WPR reporter Rich Kremer.
Host Dean Kallenbach will be joined by Mike Rindo, the assistant chancellor for university communications and facilities at UWEC; David Travis, provost at UW-River Falls; and Glendali Rodriguez, interim provost at UW-Stout.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
SUBJECT: Merchants Bank Named Community Champion by Minnesota Bankers Association
Winona, Minn. – Merchants Bank is one of 40 banks in the state to be named a Community Champion by the Minnesota Bankers Association in recognition of the Bank’s local community contributions, service and support.
“We are proud to be recognized for our community engagement efforts in 2019, but the current state of the world provides a stark reminder that we have great challenges ahead of us in all of our communities,” said Greg Evans, President & CEO. “As we always have, we will embrace those challenges as opportunities. By working together, we can and will help those in need and support the heroes on the front lines of the pandemic response.”
As a commitment to local community leadership, Merchants Bank employees volunteered more than 15,000 hours to 211 organizations in 2019. In addition to last year’s volunteer efforts, Merchants Bank contributed to more than 500 organizations with total charitable donations of more than $595,000.00, or 2.63% of Merchants Bank’s pre-tax income. Local community commitment and support has been key priority for Merchants since it’s founding in 1875.
The Minnesota Bankers Association Community Champion recognition honors banks based on their community involvement in the past year. Criteria included volunteer hours, number of employees volunteering, charitable contributions, number of organizations supported and how often financial education was provided to the community. 40 banks from across the state were honored for their 2019 community efforts. In total, the 40 banks contributed $3.1 million in charitable donations and 92,500 volunteer hours.
Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 19 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. As the parent company for Merchants Bank, Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) also owns the First National Bank of Northfield, with two banking offices in Northfield and a loan production office in Bloomington, MN. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.
LOCAL ADULT CARE PROVIDER FACES BLEAK OUTLOOK IN THE FACE OF ANOTHER RATE CUT
(MONDOVI, WIS. April 17, 2020) Financial realities for those who own and operate group homes has become increasingly dire. Once again, they face draconian cuts to funding. Garlick’s CBRF, Inc., of Mondovi, WI, operates seven facilities that cares for 19 residents with varying degrees and combinations of cognitive, physical and mental health disabilities. Garlick’s has been in business for 35 years and has seen major shifts in the industry and funding levels says owner/operator Mary Jo LaBair.
“Providers have been asking for change for decades, and the last two years have continued to highlight a crumbling family care system,” said LaBair. “Right now, the system works as an inverted funnel where funds seem to be depleted at the Managed Care Organization (MCO’s), or administrative level of the industry, and by the time it gets to the actual caregivers, it is whittled down to nothing. We have attempted to address this, and it seems that each entity - MCO’s, Department of Health Services (DHS), and legislation - points the finger at someone else.”
While the finger pointing goes on high up the food chain, providers continue to experience rate cuts. Direct care staff at Garlick’s have not been given cost of living raises in 8 years and cannot offer benefits to employees. Most staff supplement their wages through food pantries, heating assistance programs, food share, second jobs, etc.
“It appears that the contract between DHS and the MCO’s is catastrophically flawed. While MCO’s may be operating within compliance and legally, they certainly do not appear to operating ethically,” said LaBair.
There is a substantial gap between the wages of front line, direct care workers who actively ensure the health, safety and welfare of facility residents, and MCO employees. On average, a direct care full-time staff earning $12 an hour, grosses $24,960 with no benefits. Using Inclusa as an example, 12 of their CEO’s earn between $127,00 and $394,00 per year and have received 15-30% wage increases in the past three years. According to financial information reported by Inclusa to DHS alongside other Wisconsin MCOs, the company’s validation rate increased, and they continue to show a profit margin. By the third quarter of 2019, Inclusa reported income from operations at $8.5 million—well above all but one other MCO. Inclusa also has the highest administrative cost at 4% while others are around 3%.
In spite of this positive financial status, non-negotiable room and board rate cuts were handed down by Inclusa to Garlick’s on April 1, reducing the reimbursement rate per resident in some cases to just $16 per day. That allows for $500 monthly to cover a bedroom, furniture, utilities and meals. Upon consulting with their accounting firm, Garlick’s determined that actual cost to provide room and board is, on average, three times higher at approximately $1,500 a month.
Supervision rates are, on average, far below the actual cost of doing business as well. Inclusa additionally indicated to Garlick’s that supervision cuts for three facility residents would be implemented over the next four months. The combined result of reduced room and board and supervision cuts will force difficult decisions to be made.
“I’ve done this for 35 years and without livable wages and cost of business, I don’t know that I see a way forward to keep the facilities open. It’s a tough call,” said LaBair.
Hospitals share important message during COVID-19 pandemic: Don’t delay emergency car
EAU CLAIRE AND CHIPPEWA FALLS – Heart attacks, strokes, accidents and injuries: These are just a few examples of medical emergencies that can occur at any time, in any place and to any one – even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals remind all area communities that the emergency departments are open and available to provide all types of emergent medical care, 24/7, regardless of the current public health crisis.
A recent report from the American College of Emergency Physicians states some emergency departments across the country are seeing a reduction in patient volumes, as well as patients delaying seeking medical care for non-COVID-19 related emergencies – potentially due to patients being concerned about contracting COVID-19 during a hospital visit or overwhelming health care workers.
“We urge our community members to never forgo or delay seeking medical care for any type of emergency, even in the midst of a pandemic,” says Dr. Ken Johnson, emergency medicine physician for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s Hospitals. “We have highly-skilled, compassionate providers ready to care for you, and protocols in place to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”
The following are some examples of symptoms/incidents in which a trip to the emergency department or call to 911 is necessary:
Numbers Show Strong First Quarter for Housing Market Pre-coronavirus
Eau Claire, WI - The Wisconsin existing housing market was on solid ground for the first quarter of 2020 with all indicators pointing towards strong sales in the spring and summer.
March home sales state wide were up 7.9% and year-to-date home sales in Chippewa County were up 34.8% compared to the same time-frame in 2019, and sales in Buffalo County were up 66.7%. Nearly all homes that closed in March had signed contracts four to six weeks earlier, prior to the pandemic placing a foothold in the U.S.
“The first quarter of 2020 started strong with all indicators pointing towards a solid spring and summer sale season. However with the “Safer at Home” Executive order we are beginning to see a slowdown indicating the unease of many buyers and sellers at this time of uncertainty.” said RANWW Executive Vice President Brenda Barnhardt.
While “Safer at Home” may be keeping buyers from viewing homes in person REALTORS® have been able to pivot and make homes available for viewing virtually.
“Our industry has done a great job in utilizing technology to make homes available to buyers while following all the “Safer as Home” guidelines. It is our priority to keep everyone safe during these unprecedented times while making sure the dream of Home Ownership remains available for all.” said Gary Brenizer, RANWW board president.
The REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin is the professional trade association that all professional REALTORS® residing within the association jurisdiction belong to. The association provides educational opportunities for its members, is active in local, state and national advocacy efforts, engages in community outreach through charitable giving, operates its own private foundation to help homeowners in need and remains a positive force for the members they serve.
For more information on the REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin, log on to www.ranww.org
Join A New Healthcare Worker Research Community
Because you know what it takes to be a HERO, participate in the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes Registry
MARSHFIELD – The Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Registry is inviting U.S. healthcare workers to share their clinical and life experiences in order to understand the perspectives and problems faced by workers on the COVID-19 pandemic front lines. After creating a profile on the registry, participants can choose to participate in surveys and receive invitations to future clinical trials.
The HERO Registry is asking hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals to join. This includes nurses, therapists, physicians, emergency responders, food service workers, environmental services workers, interpreters, and transporters – anyone who works in a setting where people receive health care.
“Healthcare workers are on the front lines of trying to combat COVID-19. If they are sick, they cannot care for our patients. We are trying to better understand the risks for our staff,” said Dr. Robert Haws, principal investigator for the study at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute and director of the Clinical Research Center. “By doing this, we can keep our health care workers safer, which is critically important during a pandemic.”
The first trial, HERO-HCQ, will be available to select registry participants. The trial will test if hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, brand name Plaquenil®) is effective in preventing coronavirus infections in healthcare workers. Participating sites within PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network will use the registry to recruit 15,000 healthcare workers to participate. Marshfield Clinic is the only site from Wisconsin participating in the hydroxychloroquine trial. The registry will also be used for other clinical trials and research studies that address unmet needs for healthcare workers.
There is no cost to enroll in the HERO Registry, which is completely voluntary, and only takes only a few minutes to join. After joining, registry participants will receive surveys and opportunities to participate in future studies. Healthcare workers can participate as much or as little as they like. The registry will follow a protocol developed by the Duke Clinical Research Institute and data guidelines to keep healthcare worker information secure.
“Healthcare workers treat and protect all of us from COVID-19. With the HERO Registry we aim to develop better measures to protect and support them,” said Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS, principal investigator of the HERO research program, which is led by the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), part of the Duke University School of Medicine. “The registry will leverage PCORnet resources and capacity to help us develop fast knowledge to keep healthcare workers safe and healthy, which ultimately will help protect us all.”
The HERO research program is funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Award (Contract Number: COVID-19-2020-001). The program is coordinated by the Duke Clinical Research Institute and leverages PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. To learn more about the HERO Registry, visit https://heroesresearch.org.
WESTconsin Credit Union Makes $45,000 Donation to Food Bank
WESTERN WI— Soon food banks across western Wisconsin will be receiving funds totaling $45,000 from WESTconsin Credit Union to help support their mission of ending hunger. In light of unprecedented economic hardships facing individuals and families, leaders at the credit union determined one of the fundamental building blocks for wellness is having food and nutrition. Area food banks have been identified as the ideal community resource in helping make the biggest impact to help fight hunger.
“At WESTconsin, we made a promise to be there for the communities we serve over 80 years ago,” Stephanie Rasmussen, Chief Experience Officer, shares. “Today, we are honored to stand up and support our neighbors and communities in hopes this helps those in need and provide inspiration to others in reminding everyone that Kindness Counts.” People Helping People is the founding philosophy of credit unions and has withstood the test of time for over 150 years. WESTconsin will be dispersing payments in the next few days in an effort to quickly provide support.
Food banks have seen an increase of more than 60% in many communities due to unemployment and schools being closed. Many are offering curb side pickups as well as organizing pop up food pantries in rural areas. Now more than ever support is needed with no amount of giving too small. Monetary donations are especially valuable because for every $1 in cash, food pantries can purchase up to $10 worth of food. Those seeking food assistance should contact their local food bank or pantry for hours of operation and methods of distribution. Visit https://www.feedingwi.org/ or https://www.foodpantries.org/ to search for places nearest where you are located.
WESTconsin Credit Union has been serving members since 1939, and membership is open to anyone who lives or works in the Wisconsin counties of Barron, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Washburn, or the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Isanti, Pine, Ramsey, Wabasha, and Washington, with a $5 minimum deposit in a Membership Savings Account. Credit unions are financial institutions owned by their accountholders, and member funds are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to at least $250,000.
Private Security During COVID-19 Pandemic Plays Essential Public Safety Role
DAVENPORT, Iowa – Per Mar Security Services is proud to be a longtime member of the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO), the nation's largest contract security association whose member companies employ over 450,000 highly-trained security officers across the United States. In an April 15 press release, NASCO recognizes the essential public safety role private security officers are playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With current strains on our first responders, private security officers are stepping up to protect the citizens of the communities we live in and the critical infrastructure needed to provide medical care and sustain economic demand.
Brad Duffy, President of Security Officer Services, said, “We are grateful for our front line employees providing security and public safety during this pandemic. They, along with many other essential employees in the country, are making great sacrifices to help others during this time.”
View NASCO’s full press release below.
Recognizing the Essential Public Safety Role of Private Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Private Security Officers are on the Front Line Everywhere in Maintaining Public Order and Security in the Current Crisis
Washington, D.C., April 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – NASCO salutes security officers across the United States who are playing a crucial role in public safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are over 1,000,000 private security officers in the United States, outnumbering public law enforcement personnel by a margin of more than two to one. As the current crisis severely strains law enforcement resources, private security companies and their dedicated, hardworking security officers increasingly are being relied upon to provide vital security and support, including maintaining social distancing and other health and safety requirements, at hospitals, government facilities, and essential businesses. They are also safeguarding non-essential businesses and other venues such as schools that have been closed but still require security. While such public-facing roles come with increased public exposure, security officers throughout the U.S. are showing up for duty every day.
Recognizing the essential nature of private security and private security officers during this crisis, the Department of Homeland Security/Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency includes “personnel (front line and management)” in “private security” in the category of essential critical workers related to “Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Other First Responders”. Also, included in that important category is “Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures.”
In the United States, the vast majority of security officers are employed by contract private security companies. This means the security officers currently providing security and public safety services on-site at medical centers, critical infrastructure and manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, grocery and hardware stores – practically everywhere – are not employees of those essential businesses. Nonetheless, it is those contract private security officers and their companies who are ensuring the safe, continued operation of those essential businesses. Their contributions are often overlooked by politicians and the media.
Accordingly, as Congress, the Federal government and state and local governments look to provide accommodations or premium compensation to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the essential service role played by security officers and the essential business role played by private security companies cannot be overstated, nor overlooked.
It is also important that with law enforcement, first responders, and private security officers being sidelined by the coronavirus – as security needs are increasing – that governmental entities maintain and facilitate the licensing and hiring of new security officers, and not impede them from going to work.
ECPSF ANNOUNCES INTERNET ACCESS SUPPORT FOR EAU CLAIRE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
A local retiree recently donated $10,000 to the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation with an eye on supporting internet access and connectivity costs for Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) students and teachers who are managing education from home.
Given the governor’s stay-at-home extension, school buildings will remain closed for the duration of the 2019-20 school year, leaving students and teachers to continue navigating online learning and teaching.
The shift to online education has been especially difficult for families in rural areas who may not have adequate internet access and for those who cannot afford the cost of connectivity.
Katie Dewitz, who is also a first-generation college graduate, saw the change in the educational model and wanted to help.
“I am motivated to help kids from lower-income families because I know that a good education is vital, not just in one's career but also in one's being an informed citizen,” Dewitz said. “Concerned that the distance learning required by the pandemic may not be available to students in have-not families, I decided to try to do something about it.”
Ms. Dewitz’ gift will support internet access and connectivity costs for ECASD students, families, and teachers. To learn more, or to make a gift to the Districtwide Greatest Needs Fund, visit www.ecpsfound.org. Donations can also be mailed to ECPSF, PO Box 511, Eau Claire, WI 54702. For information about making a gift through an IRA rollover or gift of from of stock, please contact Executive Director Sarah French at 715-852-3015 or email@example.com.
THE EAU CLAIRE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION & UNITED WAY OF THE GREATER CHIPPEWA VALLEY ANNOUNCE $223,850 AWARDED TO AREA NONPROFITS SO FAR!
[EAU CLAIRE, WI] Through the generosity of many donors, community partners, and Pablo Foundation Inc., $223,850 has been awarded to more than 30 area nonprofits in just three weeks of granting from the Quick Response Community Fund.
The Quick Response Community Fund, established by the Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF) and United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley (UWGCV) rapidly deploys financial resources to Eau Claire area nonprofits that serve community members disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and its economic consequences. It also supports urgent operational needs.
Over $50,000 was awarded to eleven area nonprofits in the third week of granting. For a complete list of grantees, visit the ECCF website’s News Tab.
While the amount granted so far is impressive, local nonprofits still have many urgent needs. That’s why the Quick Response Community Fund will continue to issue new grants each week. Interested organizations can apply online at the Eau Claire Community Foundation website. By issuing grants on a rolling basis, the Fund aims to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving community needs.
Gifts to the Fund play a vital role in continuing this much-needed support. To encourage donations from the community, Royal Credit Union, the Dick and Marlene Cable Family Fund, the Larson Family Fund, and two anonymous donors are challenging our community to raise $50,000, which they will match. This challenge will generate another $100,000 for area nonprofits!
Because ECCF is covering administrative fees, 100% of donations will support local nonprofits. If you would like to make a gift, please visit www.eccfwi.org.
"We appreciate the vital collaboration with the Eau Claire Community Foundation in service to our community members and nonprofit partners. United Way has always existed for the common good - adding value to individual effort with leadership, wisdom and focus. The Foundation and United Way share fundamental values. These values drive our work and offer the community a trustworthy path to giving," explained Karen Hebert, Interim Director of UWGCV.
“Our thoughts are with those individuals, families, organizations and businesses most affected,” said Sue Bornick, Executive Director of ECCF. “Despite the uncertainly we are all facing, we embrace the fact that we live in a caring and compassionate community where good continually grows. We will continue to navigate this unprecedented time together and be stronger for all we have endured.”
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Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.