This partnership between the South Milwaukee and St. Francis, Oak Creek and Cudahy Health Departments, and the Wisconsin National Guard may literally save lives. And I can’t thank our local teams enough for leading the way in making this a reality — from the South Milwaukee Engineering and Street teams working on traffic flow to our city attorney for hammering out a lease to our health workers for ensuring this operates smoothly.
A special thanks also goes to Reich Brothers, owners of the former Bucyrus campus, for working with us on a short-term lease for their facility.
With this stood up, the challenge now comes in sustaining it. COVID-19 is not going away. The pandemic is deepening as we head into winter, and CARES Act funding being used to fund this facility — as well as contract tracers and additional health department personnel — “expires” at the end of 2020. Unless that date is extended, or new money is allocated, it is hard to see how local governments can continue providing services like this.
I advocated for that last week, and will continue to. I ask you to do the same. Without a coordinated federal or state approach to a pandemic that demands one, fighting COVID-19 has increasingly been left to local governments to manage. We need allies in that fight.
From the Milwaukee County Law Enforcement Executives Association, Milwaukee Area Investigative Team …
On October 19th, At approximately 1:20 PM, South Milwaukee Police responded to a residence, in the 700 Block of Blake Avenue regarding a report of a suicidal subject. Upon arrival, officers encountered the subject on the porch of the residence armed with a firearm. The subject fired one round and one officer returned fire striking the subject. Life saving measures were immediately taken, however the subject, a 43-year-old white male, was pronounced deceased at the scene. A handgun was recovered at the scene. The South Milwaukee officer involved has been with the department for 22 years and as is customary with these type of incidents, has been placed on administrative duty as the investigation continues.
This is preliminary information based on initial reports of the incident.
This is an ongoing investigation.
The Milwaukee Area Investigative Team will investigate this incident.
The lead investigating agency is the Greenfield Police Department.
Please keep everyone involved in this incident in your thoughts and prayers, as we let the investigative process begin.
Sobering news as the pandemic deepens in South Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and across the state.
Here are some deeply concering data points …
South Milwaukee saw 76 new cases Oct. 9-16, our worst week so far.
We have seen 593 confirmed cases in the city since the pandemic began about seven months ago — with 168 of them coming since Sept. 11.
Two South Milwaukeeans died this week of the virus, and my thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.
Our “burden rate” — an equalized measure of how active the virus is — stood at 410.3 as of Oct. 13, with a positivity rate of 11.3%. Both are higher than the couty as a whole. On Oct. 6, our burden rate was 164.05.
You can find more information here on the South Milwaukee School District decision, which I fully support. District leaders are letting science, data and a focus on public health guide their actions, and they all lead to the same conclusion: Returning to virtual learning for all students is the right call.
Flexibility will be key throughout the pandemic, and the district website sums it up well …
The School District of South Milwaukee is firmly committed to providing a high quality learning environment and experience for all students, regardless of instructional model. We anticipate that we will need to move between virtual, hybrid and fully in person instruction throughout the year based on the status of the pandemic.
We all have a responsibilty and duty to take the pandemic seriously and act responsibly. Too many aren’t. Wear a mask. Socially distance. Avoid group gatherings, especially indoors. Practice good personal hygiene.
We need to slow the spread of the virus, if we want to reopen safely — or we will have too many more weeks like this awful one in South Milwaukee.
DB Tax & Wealth is growing, along with downtown South Milwaukee.
Employees officially broke ground on the project last week, kicking off work on an approximately 12,000 square-foot expansion of their second-generation, 31-year-old business, which began as a tax preparation service and has evolved into a full-service tax, accounting, and wealth management firm.
Work is expected to be completed next spring.
In the meantime, the firm at 1125 Milwaukee Ave. is looking for professionals in similar or related industries to lease office space in their expansion, including attorneys (elder law, real estate, probate, etc.), mortgage brokers and insurance agents (life, auto, health).
More details can be found here on the project, which will be a cornerstone for our ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts. There is real momentum on Milwaukee Avenue, and it’s being fueled by owners of small, local businesses who are choosing to invest in South Milwaukee’s promising future. Businesses like DB Tax & Wealth.
We all must play a role in limiting the spread of the virus, and it’s about personal responsibility.
Wear a mask when needed. Socially distance. Avoid crowds and other situations where the virus could spread easily. Practice good hygiene. Stay home when you’re sick — and get tested when appropriate, maybe at our new local testing site coming online. We also need those who test positive to quarantine, and those who have been exposed to those people who isolate, for the good of the community.
In the early days of the pandemic, we often said, “We are all in this together.” That belief has waned for some. We need to return to that mindset as the virus spreads quicker than ever. Me included.
We are stronger, together — and are at our best when we partner to solve problems. That is why I was happy to see the South Shore health departments announce a collaboration that will bring a COVID-19 testing facility to the former Bucyrus campus in South Milwaukee.
The Cudahy, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee/St Francis Health Departments in the south shore announced they will build on their strong partnership to establish the Zone E Community Coronavirus Specimen Collection Site. This testing site will be the first of its kind in the South Shore area, offering free, low barrier tests to any Wisconsinite who believes they need to be tested.
“As the cases of COVID-19 in our State climb, testing all individuals with high risk exposures to COVID-19 remains a key strategy for containing further spread of infection,” said Heather Puente, Cudahy Interim Health Officer. “All persons who were in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 (defined as being within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) should be tested, regardless of symptoms.”
With the limited number of area medical clinics, local leaders in the south shore are dedicated to ensuring their communities have local, accessible testing options. “Having access to local testing is instrumental for our communities,” said Puente. “This testing site removes barriers to testing for many people, whether they are unable to get to a testing location, uncomfortable going to a medical clinic, are uninsured or under-insured, or are looking for more convenient access.”
“Our battle against COVID-19 is far from over,” said Jackie Ove, South Milwaukee/St. Francis Health Officer. “Uniting together through innovative partnerships in one of the ways we are able to maximize resources to combat COVID-19. The municipalities in Zone E have previously coordinated public health programming and emergency response efforts, so this was a natural collaboration. Zone E is defined by the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management as the communities of Cudahy, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and St. Francis.”
“The former Bucyrus Campus offers a prime drive through site location that allows for testing to all Wisconsinites. It allows for easy entry and exit, as well as contained space within the facility.”
“Access to local testing, combined with masking, social distancing, and staying home to isolate or quarantine when appropriate, is critical to combat COVID-19,” said Darcy DuBois, Oak Creek Health Officer. “No one wants to pass this illness to their friends or family. Getting tested provides vital information and peace of mind on an individual level and on a community level; it helps us protect those we care about and slows the spread of the disease.”
Official dates and times of the Zone E Community Coronavirus Specimen Collection Site will be released soon and will be available on the health department’s websites.
I want to thank our local health departments for their tireless efforts in responding to the pandemic, as they work to keep us safe and limit the spread of the virus. They continue to step up and do their best in incredibly difficult circumstances, with little leadership from Washington D.C. or Madison, where lawmakers are more focused on litigating than legislating.
The work of local health departments is not over, as the pandemic deepens across the state. South Milwaukee reported 31 new coronavirus cases in the past week. We have had 77 new cases since Sept. 18.
We all play must play a role in limiting the spread of the virus. Wear a mask when needed. Socially distance. Avoid crowds. Practice good hygiene. Stay home when you’re sick — and get tested when appropriate.
Ascension Wisconsin is opening three urgent care centers in Wisconsin — including a Physicians Urgent Care clinic that began seeing patients last week at 3111 S. Chicago Ave.
From the press release …
As part of its commitment to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Ascension Wisconsin is opening three new urgent care centers in Southeast Wisconsin in partnership with Physicians Immediate Care (PIC). PIC is a Midwest leader in urgent care and occupational health services with more than 40 locations in Illinois, Indiana and now Wisconsin.
“These new urgent care centers complement our existing urgent care and occupational health sites and provide additional care options to the communities we serve,” said Bernie Sherry, Senior Vice President, Ascension and Ministry Market Executive, Ascension Wisconsin. “The partnership with PIC helps Ascension Wisconsin deliver on the promise to provide care in ways that are affordable, accessible and convenient for all those we serve.”
The urgent care centers will be located in South Milwaukee, Brookfield and Mount Pleasant:
Physicians Urgent Care – South Milwaukee: opening October 5, 2020, at 3111 S. Chicago Avenue, South Milwaukee, WI 53172 Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Physicians Urgent Care – Brookfield: opening November 9, 2020, at 19165 Bluemound Road, Brookfield, WI 53045 Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Physicians Urgent Care – Mount Pleasant: opening early 2021, at 1019 S. Green Bay Road, Mount Pleasant, WI 53406
At Physicians Immediate Care, we are excited to expand into Wisconsin with one of the leading health systems in Wisconsin as part of Ascension’s regional and national effort to bring more accessible and more affordable care to its patients. Ascension Wisconsin’s leadership and strong commitment to that goal aligns perfectly with our purpose of providing “remarkable care you can count on, when and where you need it,” said Stan Blaylock, CEO of Physicians Immediate Care.
Urgent care centers are for patients who need to be seen right away but when it’s not an emergency. They’re a good option for minor illnesses or injuries such as: sinus or upper respiratory infections, high fever, sore throat, cough, flu, ear infections, urinary tract infections, sprains and strains, broken bones, cuts that may need stiches, pink eye, allergic reactions and rashes and COVID-19 testing.
About Ascension Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, Ascension operates 24 hospital campuses, more than 100 related healthcare facilities and employs more than 1,300 primary and specialty care clinicians from Racine to Eagle River. Serving Wisconsin since 1848, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., operating 2,600 sites of care – including 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.
About Physicians Immediate Care
Physicians Immediate Care, also known as Physicians Urgent Care, is the Midwest leader in urgent care and occupational health services with over 40 locations in Illinois, Indiana and now Wisconsin. For more than 30 years, the company has provided affordable, convenient medical care to millions of patients. Physicians Immediate Care is dedicated to building healthy communities by providing remarkable care you can count on, when and where you need it. Through its network of urgent care clinics (over half of which are partnered with health systems), the company is fully equipped to provide x-rays, lab testing, medical exams, minor procedures and treatments for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Its clinics offer convenient hours and accept patients who either walk-in or self-schedule same-day appointments through its Urgent Care Pass application. For locations and services, go to visitphysicians.com.
Details on their website. Look for a formal ribbon cutting soon.
The latest update from the South Milwaukee and St. Francis Health Department shows 21 new cases of COVID-19 locally since Sept. 25 — and 46 since Sept. 18. The “burden rate” also continues to increase, as the pandemic deepens across the state.
And you can find updated local information and data on the virus on the city website and Facebook page.
Please stay safe, mask up, socially distance and continue to take other necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. We are learning to live with the virus, but we must respect it, and be personally responsible in this ongoing fight. That includes me. We all must play a role.
The U.S. Department of Education has chosen E.W. Luther Elementary as a National Blue Ribbon School — one of just eight in the state and 367 in the country. It was recognized for “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.”
According to the award website: “The program celebrates school excellence, turn around stories, and closing subgroup achievement gaps. The Award is both a high aspiration and a potent resource of practitioner knowledge.”
E. W. Luther Elementary is a public elementary school in the suburb of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The city of South Milwaukee is historically working-class with strong roots in manufacturing. We are a neighborhood school with almost all of our students living within a radius of less than one mile, which helps contribute to our strong sense of community.
We promote strategies within our school to encourage and challenge all students to develop their full potential academically, emotionally, physically, socially, and culturally. We provide an environment that encompasses rigor, respect, pride, safety, celebration, relevance, and relationships. Our students are provided a rigorous learning environment focused on the academic and emotional needs of each child.
An environment of mutual respect between all members of our learning community is modeled, and we celebrate each child as an individual academically and emotionally. Through our intentional relationship building, we guide each child to become a productive member of society. We pride ourselves on the culture within our building and the growth mindset of the staff contributes to this. Teachers view all E. W. Luther students as their own, and celebrate one another’s successes. We identify this as a technique that sets us apart from others.
Congratulations to E.W. Luther and the entire South Milwaukee School District for this honor. As a former Luther family, we saw firsthand the culture Mr. Wightman, the teachers, staff, parents and kids were building there, and the school’s dedication to delivering a first-class education for all students.
I see that same spirit across the district, and it makes me proud to be a South Milwaukee school parent. Well done, E.W. Luther!
In the past few weeks, I’ve had the honor of being a small part of the retirement ceremonies for South Milwaukee Police Capt. Jill Kallay and South Milwaukee Fire Department Capt. Brad Sibley, as well as the promotion ceremony for SMPD Capt. Dan Fournier and Lt. Dave Hoeppner.
Here are my Facebook posts from each one. Thanks for your service to our city, and all you do to keep us safe!