MADISON, Wis., Oct. 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dean Clinic and Dean Health Plan are pleased to announce a new program designed to keep children with life-threatening allergies safe in schools. For the 2012-2013 school year, 243 schools in 39 different school districts in south central Wisconsin received one of the donated EpiPens.
"EpiPens are a crucial tool needed to help stop an allergic reaction," says Dean Clinic Allergist Reid Olson, MD. "EpiPens are a first line of treatment and they can actually stop a reaction in a matter of minutes."
The program will run through the 2016-2017 school year. New EpiPens will be delivered to the schools each of the next five years. If an EpiPen is used during the school year, a new EpiPen will be replaced without cost to the school district.
"The program was piloted in the Madison School District last year when we donated more than 40 EpiPens to the district," says Dean Clinic President and CEO Craig Samitt. "First grade Gompers Elementary School student, Talon Hogan gave us all the reason in the world to not only continue the program, but expand it, after a donated EpiPen was used on him during an allergic reaction at school."
"When my son had an allergic reaction to something unknown, we were very happy the school had an EpiPen to use on him," says Talon's mother Heidi Hogan. "If the school had not had the EpiPen it could have been much worse for us. We were very thankful they were able to help slow down the reaction."
Wisconsin law does allow children with known allergies to have an EpiPen with them in schools, but Dr. Olson says Talon Hogan's case is a good example of why it is still important that schools have a backup.
"If a child's first exposure to the allergen is at school, they may not have an EpiPen or an action plan set up with the school," says Dr. Olson. "This is when having the device in the schools is critically important."
School districts who offer employees Dean Health Plan insurance or the option to receive it were eligible to request EpiPens as part of this year's program.
"We hope the EpiPens don't need to be used, but it's feels good to know that these schools now have an extra life-saving device on hand," says Dr. Olson.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dean Clinic External Communications Manager Kim Sveum at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 294-6080.
Dean Clinic is a multi-specialty health care delivery system based in Madison, serving south-central Wisconsin. The Dean organization, including St. Mary's Dean Venture physicians, includes approximately 500 physicians providing primary, specialty and tertiary care at almost 60 locations throughout southern Wisconsin.
Established in 1983, Dean Health Plan is the insurance services subsidiary of Dean Health System and SSM Health Care. It maintains a position of leadership in insurance services through a physician-led integrated health system that improves the health status of its members.
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