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Gov. Doyle visits Aurora

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Governor Doyle, First Lady Jessica Doyle announce immunization partnership at Aurora Sinai
As part of Healthy Kids Initiatives, cards will encourage parents to immunize children

MILWAUKEE - During a visit to the nursery at Aurora Sinai Hospital today, Governor Jim Doyle and First Lady Jessica Doyle announced an unique partnership with Hallmark Card, Inc., to send a special greeting card to every new Wisconsin parent reminding them to get their baby immunized, and providing important information about when immunizations should happen.

``Wisconsin ranks better than the national average in child immunizations but we still have about 20,000 children in Wisconsin between the ages of 19 to 35 months who are not properly immunized,``Governor Doyle said. ``Today, Jessica and I are announcing a partnership with Hallmark to launch an immunization greeting card program to reach the parents of every child born in Wisconsin. I applaud Hallmark’s commitment here in Wisconsin to make sure our kids grow up happy and healthy.``

The Governor and First Lady Doyle will send a card to all new parents in Wisconsin when their child reaches about six weeks of age. The cards will remind parents to schedule their children for their shots if they haven’t done so already. Included inside the card are a growth chart and an immunization record listing all recommended immunizations for kids under the age of two. All children should receive their first round of when immunizations at around six to eight weeks of age.

``Immunizations are life saving,`` First Lady Doyle said. ``Getting your child immunized is one of the simplest, most effective ways to ensure they get a healthy start in life. Jim and I are so grateful to Hallmark for teaming up with us to improve the lives of our children.``

In Wisconsin, childhood immunizations alone prevent 210,000 cases of preventable diseases and 660 deaths each year. Immunizations in Wisconsin save $210 million in direct health care costs every year.

Wisconsin is 10th in the nation in making sure toddlers are immunized on time. About 80 percent of Wisconsin children complete their primary series of immunizations by their second birthday.

``Wisconsin already has strong partnerships between local public health departments, doctors, community and tribal health centers, and local and state governments,`` Governor Doyle said. ``We need to build on those partnerships to get the message out that vaccine preventable diseases are a threat and parents can do something to protect their children.``

Hallmark Cards, Inc., donated the cards as a corporate effort to promote childhood immunization. Other administrative costs will be covered by an Immunization Program Grant through the National Immunization Program (NIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NIP and CDC strongly endorse these types of activities.

In January, as part of his Healthy Kids Initiatives, the Governor announced his Council on Physical Fitness and Health, which he charged with the task of carrying out the Administration’s efforts in promoting physical fitness and nutrition. The council is composed of nutrition professionals, physical education teachers, nonprofit leaders, professors, and doctors from across Wisconsin.

Additionally, Governor Doyle announced the launch of a new Healthy Kids Web site - HealthyKids.Wisconsin.gov - designed to provide parents and students with information on health and fitness, and to provide links to programs, and resources on the web.

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