38 different organizations have been awarded stipends to bring awareness about e-cigarette use to young people.
The money is to fund community awareness events, coordination with state policy initiatives, curriculum development and implementation of youth-led action plans to address e-cigarette use and prevention in school.
Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan made the awards.
Spokesperson Allie Machtan says they met with various agencies, schools and others to work out a program of awareness...
"...We're taking that discussion and putting it into place. Putting those thoughts into practice through investing $20,000 into youth e-cigarette prevention stipends..."
She says the $500 stipends will enable each organization to customize the approach within their communities...
"What we're hoping to do here is have all the awardees take lessons learned and communicate through that process and evaluate after that process so we can take lessons learned and apply them for future investments in the prevention work, future initiatives for communities..."
Recently, state health officials identified eight cases of severe pulmonary disease among adolescents being investigated for potential connections to e-cigarette use. All patients reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to hospital admission.
Among the organizations awarded the stipends were Antigo and White Lake schools, Forest, Iron, Langlade and Price County Health Departments, Vilas County Youth Coalition, and six regional tribal organizations.