News

  • 02/23/2021 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    BCMS Opens Nominations for Heroes of COVID-19 Campaign
    BCMS Will Highlight Local Heroes Both Behind the Scenes and on the Front Lines

    Brown County, Wis. – February 23, 2021 – With a year of the pandemic now in the rearview, Brown County Medical Society (BMCS) wants to show support for all of the local COVID heroes who live or work in the Brown County community.

    Through the “Heroes of COVID Campaign,” BCMS intends to raise awareness of the many heroes among us and the tireless work they’ve done over this past year to make sure the residents of our community are cared for during the pandemic. There are heroes in all aspects of our lives and our community, and by spotlighting the positive contributions that have been made—and continue to be made—will not only show our gratitude but will strengthen our resilience to us keep moving forward.

    Click here for full press release.

  • 02/22/2021 1:46 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    COVID-19 PSA

    Wisconsin Medical Society President, Erik Gundersen, MD, MA, is featured in a COVID-19 PSA. In addition to reminding patients of the basic safety precautions of masking, physical distancing and handwashing, Dr. Gundersen encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.

    To help encourage timely vaccinations, please feel free to share the PSA which can be found on the Wisconsin Medical Society’s social media channels.

    COVID-19 buttons to spark patient conversations via WisMed and Pharmacy Society partnership

    Wisconsin Medical Society members can get free Stop the Spread buttons. In an effort to encourage conversations with patients about healthy COVID-19 behaviors and vaccine hesitancy, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s COVID-19 Task Force developed a button that can be worn by physicians and other members of the health care team to help spark those conversations. Through a partnership with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, buttons were produced and are currently being distributed around the state.

    Buttons are free to Society members, but there is a limited quantity, so requests will be filled in the order they are received. Click here to order for you and your team today!

    Senate passes COVID-19 liability protection as part of special session bill

    The Wisconsin State Senate approved legislation this morning, February 18, that will provide important civil liability protections related to COVID-19 for health care entities and other businesses. Meeting in a special session called by Governor Tony Evers on a bill to revamp the state’s Unemployment Insurance computer system, the Senate approved January 2021 Special Session Senate Bill 1 on a 27-3 roll call vote. Soon after the vote, Gov. Evers released a statement saying the bill is “a step in the right direction,” perhaps signaling his intention to sign the bill should it reach his desk. The Wisconsin Medical Society has strongly supported establishing civil liability protections related to COVID-19 to help prevent opportunistic lawsuits seeking to capitalize on the pandemic.

    According to the bill, “Beginning March 1, 2020, an entity is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting in or relating to exposure, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus identified as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 in the course of or through the performance or provision of the entity's functions or services.” The immunity would not apply in cases of reckless or wonton conduct or intentional misconduct, nor for any claims already filed before the bill’s enactment. The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance amended the bill on Wednesday to include the liability protection language.

    The bill now heads to the State Assembly, which may take up the measure as soon as Tuesday, February 23. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

  • 02/04/2021 6:49 PM | Anonymous

    While Doctor Day 2021 has shifted to a virtual format, the May 5th event promises to offer equally important hot topics and content.

    This year’s policy and politics panel will include members of the powerful budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance.  Committee co-chairs Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) will be joined by their Democrat colleagues Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point).  

    You will hear a first-hand account of important budget topics, and during the middle of budget negotiations. This includes policy related to the Department of Health Services and funding for the Medicaid Program. This is a great opportunity to hear differing views on policy and spending priorities for the 2021-23 Biennial Budget and current legislative session.

    Other components of the day will again include policy breakouts, priority issue briefings, a keynote presentation and of course, legislative visits.

    Whether you’ve attended many advocacy days in prior years or none at all, be sure to sign up for Doctor Day 2021 and make your voices heard! The unique multi-specialty nature of Wisconsin's Doctor Day offers all physicians across the state from all specialties to come together and advocate for issues affecting their patients, their practices and their specialty.  Learn more and sign up at www.WIDoctorDay.org.

  • 01/15/2021 5:41 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    Gov. Tony Evers said Friday that he’ll declare another public health emergency over COVID-19 so he can continue his indoor mask mandate, which is set to expire next week. 

    “While there's light and hope at the end of this tunnel, this virus hasn’t gone away,” Evers told reporters. The order will extend the mandate by another 60 days, he said. 

    This will be the fifth emergency declaration issued by Evers related to COVID-19. The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard a challenge in November to his ability to issue multiple public health emergencies related to COVID-19.  

    Mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams will also begin their work next week, and a program providing assisted living facilities with COVID-19 vaccine has launched.

    The Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin National Guard will launch a mobile vaccination program next Tuesday to supplement local efforts with additional staff and resources. 

    There will be nine teams at the start, with an intent to scale the program up. Mobile clinics will be staffed by National Guard members and pharmacy or nursing student volunteers through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin System. 

    DHS also said Friday it officially activated the second part of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. The program's first part, launched in late December, focused on nursing homes. The second part of the program, slated to begin Jan. 25, will focus on assisted living facilities. 

    DHS expects all participating nursing homes to complete first doses by Jan. 18.

    Pharmacies and assisted living facilities can launch the second part of the program before the Jan. 25 start date if they have adequate vaccine and capacity to administer doses. 

    DHS said Friday that 213,056 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Wisconsin.

    Of those, 30,805 people have received two doses, completing their vaccination series. 

    So far, 373,100 doses have been shipped or are being shipped to Wisconsin out of an allocated 607,650, with 197,000 held in reserve for long-term care facilities. 

    DHS reported 2,269 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, for a total of 518,251. 

    Thirty-two more deaths were reported, for a total of 5,322. 

    An additional 8,040 people were tested, for a total of 2,945,882. 

    DHS considers 27,611 cases active. 

    The seven-day average for daily new cases is 2,319, down 173 from Thursday and 396 from last week. 

    The seven-day average for daily new deaths is 29, down one from Thursday and seven from last week. 

    As of Thursday, the seven-day positivity rate by person was 25.9 percent, a one-day decline of 0.8 percentage points and seven-day decline of 5.4 percentage points. 

    The rate by test was 8.5 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from Wednesday and 2.3 percentage points from a week ago. 

    Three patients were receiving Bamlanivimab infusion therapy at the surge facility in West Allis on Friday. 

  • 01/09/2021 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    With the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) evolving its policymaking process to a year-round schedule, the Society is seeking a special group of members to help review policy proposals that are submitted for discussion and eventual action by the Board of Directors. This group will include Society members from across the state to ensure widespread representation. The function is similar to the role Reference Committees had in the former House of Delegates structure: listening to testimony on policy proposals and making recommendations for final action to the ultimate deciding body.

    The committee will include members from all eight Society districts and the young physician, resident physician and medical student sections. They will meet as needed leading up to each Society Board of Directors meeting. If you are interested in serving on this policy-reviewing committee, please fill out this form.

    For more information, contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD.

  • 01/08/2021 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    The Minnesota Medical Association’s (MMA) 5th annual physician well-being conference will be held virtually on January 28, 2021. As a promotional sponsor for this event, Wisconsin Medical Society members can access this conference at the discounted MMA member price of $195 with the code JOYMEDPARTNER.

    Bryan Sexton, PhD, an associate professor at Duke University and director of the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety & Quality will kick off the conference with his keynote presentation Bite Size Coping During Times of Uncertainty.

    For additional information including a full agenda and registration, click here.

  • 01/07/2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    The Physician Wellness Advisory Committee held its first meeting in December. The purpose of this committee is to design and establish the framework and operability of a Physician Wellness Program to offer help and respite when needed for the physicians of Wisconsin. The intent is to initiate the program in a short period of time and provide the framework for it to grow and be more robust in the future. Special thanks to Mary Jo Capodice, DO, MPH, Jacqueline Landess, MD, Erica Larson, DO, and Michael Miller, MD, for giving their time and providing recommendations as the Wisconsin Medical Society begins this crucial journey towards providing this valuable service to the physicians of Wisconsin.

    The committee is currently reviewing options that can be provided in the immediate future. A model that has been adopted in multiple states is being strongly considered. This proposed model is similar to an Employee Assistance Program, where a limited number of confidential counseling/coaching services are provided without the need to go through one’s employer or health insurance. The option to pilot the program in specific counties is also under consideration. 

    Updates on the Committee’s progress will continue to be shared. Please reach out to Jim Lorence with any questions or comments. 

  • 12/03/2020 7:29 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    Doctor Day, the state’s premier event for physician advocacy, is set for May 5, 2021. Preparations are underway to ensure the event can be held that day either virtually or in-person – so be sure to save the date! As the state looks forward to finding a way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the 8th annual Doctor Day could be the most important ever. Elected officials and policymakers always benefit from physicians sharing their expertise; that knowledge will be needed even more in spring 2021.

    One of the most popular aspects of Doctor Day is meeting with Capitol legislators and staff, and those important interactions will be on the agenda as well – either virtually or in-person depending on the COVID-19 situation at the time. Of those attending last year’s Doctor Day, 99 percent said they would “highly recommend” the event to their colleagues.

    Please save the date and register today at widoctorday.org. Contact Heidi Green for more information.

  • 11/23/2020 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 Risk Chart to share with your patients

    The current rise in COVID-19 cases has shown that a significant portion of the general public remains unsure about activities that put them more at risk for catching the underlying virus despite widespread information about COVID-19. To help inform your patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s (Society) COVID-19 Task Force has created this downloadable display that you can use when talking with your patients, have on display in your examining rooms, lobby or other areas where patients may see it or give to your patients at discharge.

    The Society’s COVID-19 Task Force meets every other week to discuss the latest issues related to the pandemic and strategize on ways to support physicians and better educate the public. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD with any questions or suggestions.

    Nominees sought for Society offices; deadline Jan. 4

    Nominations are now being accepted for several Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) offices, and all nomination materials are due to the Society’s Nominating Committee by Monday, January 4, 2021.

    Candidates are sought for the following offices:

    • President-Elect for 2021-2022
    • AMA Delegate for 2022 and 2023 (two positions) – George Lange, MD, of River Hills (incumbent and eligible for reelection); Charles Rainey, MD, JD of River Hills (ineligible for reelection)
    • AMA Alternate Delegate for 2022 and 2023 – Don Lee, MD, of Milwaukee; Nameeta Dookeran, MD, of Waukesha (both incumbents and eligible for reelection)

    All candidates must submit a curriculum vitae not to exceed three pages, a cover letter no longer than one page, a completed candidate questionnaire for the office the candidate is seeking and a completed Disclosure of Significant Affiliations (conflict of interest) form. The candidate questionnaire forms are available here.*

    The Nominating Committee will meet Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, at 4 p.m. via Zoom. The Committee will interview and evaluate the candidates for Society offices and prepare a slate of nominees for presentation to the membership.

    Those serving on 2020-2021 Nominating Committee are:

    • District 1—Arthur Angove, DO, of New Berlin; Joshua Gershtenson, MD, of Kenosha; David Galbis-Reig, MD, of Racine; Michelle Graham, MD, of Milwaukee; Cynthia Jones-Nosacek, MD, of Milwaukee; Aurora Lybeck, MD, of Hartford; Anthony Rieder, MD, of Wauwatosa.
    • District 2—Lynn Broderick, MD, of Madison; Michele Brogunier, MD, of Madison; Natalie Wheeler, MD, of Madison; Alan Schwartzstein, MD, of Oregon.
    • District 3—Hilary Bingol, MD, of La Crosse; Michael White, MD, of Onalaska.
    • District 4—Larry Gordon, DO, of Weston; Michele Montgomery, MD, of Wausau; William Raduege, MD, of Woodruff.
    • District 5—Bret Pasiuk, MD, of Fond du Lac.
    • District 6—Bradley Burmeister, MD, of Green Bay.
    • District 7—Cecil Berlie, MD, of Eau Claire; Lee Hofer, MD, of Eau Claire.
    • District 8—Charles Bertel, MD, of Ashland.
    • Specialty Sections—Vacant.
    • Resident/Fellow—Evan Henricks, MD, of Milwaukee.
    • Medical Students—Kyle Bevers, Medical College of Wisconsin; Noah Borchardt, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

    Communications to the Nominating Committee should be addressed to Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA, CEO, Wisconsin Medical Society, PO Box 1109, Madison, WI 53701. Communications also can be emailed to Noreen KruegerClick here to learn more about the nominating process and to download the candidate questionnaires and the conflict of interest form.*

    Note: The Society will post the completed candidate questionnaire and cover letter on WisMed Community upon submission. The Society will post the conflict of interest form of all candidates selected by the Nominating Committee as nominees on WisMed Community after nomination by the Committee.

    For questions or more information, email Noreen Krueger.

    *WisMed Community is a members-only resource and will require you to log in. For questions or assistance please contact Anne Hauer.

    Financial lunch and learn sessions

    Put the major financial pieces in place for your future by joining one or all of the lunch and learn classes hosted by WisMed Financial. The Retirement Readiness series is focused on decisions for those near or in retirement. Financial Planning 101 provides a good knowledge base for anyone. All of the sessions start at noon. To register please visit wismedfinancial.org/lunch-learn.

    Retirement Readiness
    11/19 Have you saved enough and Social Security
    12/3 Wills, estate documents and charitable giving
    12/10 Replacing the paycheck with investments and smart tax planning
    12/17 Health insurance, Medicare and long-term care

    Financial Planning 101
    11/17 Cash flow and eliminating debt including student loans
    11/24 Charitable giving, wills and other estate documents
    12/1 Saving for retirement and kids’ college
    12/8 Building an investment portfolio
    12/15 Smart tax strategies, life and disability insurance

    To learn more or for questions, please contact Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF® of WisMed Financial, Inc.

    Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®
    WisMed Financial, Inc. part of the Wisconsin Medical Society

    Society continues statewide push for smart COVID-19 behaviors

    Building off of Governor Tony Evers’s November 18 announcement that he will declare another public health emergency and extend the face coverings order through mid-January 2021, the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) called on the state to help protect physicians and other health care staff in the face of a growing COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Every day, more Wisconsin physicians... are personally affected by the pandemic, and that means hospital capacities are even more strained,” Society President Erik Gundersen, MD, said in a press statement provided to the state’s media outlets. “Everyone in Wisconsin needs to rally around what can attack this pandemic.

    “If we all do this, we can save lives,” Gundersen said.

    As various gubernatorial orders have been challenged in the state’s courts as an overreach of executive branch power, Wisconsin’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise – dragging hospitalizations and ICU bed usage numbers along with them. Combined with more health care staff succumbing to the virus itself or quarantining due to exposure, dramatic action is needed to help stave off even worse overall outcomes.

    “The Society is continuing to call for all private and public entities to help fight the pandemic and protect our heroic health care workforce,” Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, said. “Physicians can lead the way in urging our communities to put politics aside and do the things that we know make a difference: wash hands, wear masks and stay home.

    “The Society will continue to use all of its means to help physicians during the pandemic,” Dr. Chumbley said. “And that includes urging the public to step up for their physicians and the communities they serve.”

    As the holiday season approaches – and as COVID-19 cases continue to rise at alarming rates – the Society’s COVID-19 Task Force created this downloadable display that can be used when talking with patients, as a display in examining rooms, lobbies or other areas where patients may see it or give to patients at discharge. Additionally, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) produced an informational piece about how to celebrate the holidays safely.

    Physicians can access the Society’s COVID-19 Resources page for additional tools that can help them educate the public about smart COVID-19 behaviors and other information.

    Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

  • 10/30/2020 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | November Updates

    Financial planning now available to WisMed members

    In order to help Wisconsin Medical Society members be secure, the Society has launched WisMed Financial, Inc. “Helping members with their finances can change the direction of a family and is a tremendous responsibility. WisMed Financial will have a meaningful and positive influence for our members,” said Mark Ziety, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. And the data supports it. Fifty percent of physicians under age 40 who use a professional financial advisor are ahead in savings, emergency funds and retirement tools according to a report.

    To ensure the client’s interest always comes first, the company follows a no commission, fee-only model and is held to the fiduciary legal standard. According to The White Coat Investor®, it is estimated that 80% of doctors need, want and should use a financial planner and/or an investment manager. So it was important to put these high standards in place at the company’s creation.

    Providing top-notch service and products is critical, too. The firm is partnering with TD Ameritrade, RightCapital and other industry leaders. In addition, Mark Ziety brings more than 15 years of experience, he is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.

    The company helps members invest and plan for retirement, eliminate student loans, reduce taxes, plan for their family (wills and trust), charitable strategies, college funding and other personal financial matters. Mark can be reached at mark.ziety@wismedfinancial.org or 608.442.3750. 

    Packers, other state pro teams join WisMed in COVID coalition

    The Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks have joined the ever-growing coalition of health care, business and government advocacy organizations urging the public to help control the spread of COVID-19. The Stop the COVID Spread! coalition also released another public service announcement statewide on October 26 featuring the Packers’ Adrian Amos, Kenny Clark and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. This new message follows on the heels of another PSA featuring former Wisconsin Governor and current UW System President Tommy Thompson.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) is a founding member of the coalition, helping to launch the campaign earlier this month.

    “The Packers playing in an empty Lambeau Field really drives home the point of what can happen when a pandemic hits our state,” Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, said. “I know we all miss getting together with our family and friends to do things like watch the Packers play, so we hope the message of masking, hand washing and social distancing coming from some of Green Bay’s finest themselves will grab people’s attention.”

    The Society is also using its social media accounts to help share these safe behavior messages; Society members are encouraged to share, retweet and post those messages on their own personal accounts.

    Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

    SARS-CoV-2 CME series begins next week with Virus Biology and Vaccine Development

    Scott S. Terhune, PhD, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Biomedical Engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), kicks off the first of five sessions in the Wisconsin Medical Society’s SARS-CoV-2 CME Town Hall Series* with the presentation Virus Biology and Vaccine Development.

    Terhune received his PhD from Northwestern University and his postdoctoral training at Princeton University. He participates in both graduate student and medical student education at MCW focusing on virus replication and infection. Research in the Terhune laboratory focuses on defining how human cytomegalovirus manipulates human cells and alters networks of interactions to support infection.

    This webinar is free for Wisconsin Medical Society members, but registration is required to attend.

    Session topics and schedule for the entire series are listed below. All live presentations will be held from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. To view the sessions and to register click here.

    November 4, 2020: SARS-CoV-2 Virus Biology and Vaccine Development
    November 11, 2020: The Current State of Therapeutics
    November 18, 2020: Communicability and Public Health Response
    November 25, 2020: The Convergence of Seasonal Flu and SARS-CoV-2
    December 2, 2020: Combating COVID-19 Challenges in Disadvantaged Populations – a Case Study

    Please email education@wismed.org with any questions.

    *This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credit™.

    Governor’s prescription costs task force releases final recommendations

    Governor Tony Evers’s Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices released its final recommendations October 21 on potential future state law and policies that could improve prescription drug accessibility and affordability. The task force membership included 21 people from diverse backgrounds, including members from the state executive and legislative branches and private citizens with health care, insurance and consumer experience. Wisconsin Medical Society member Michael Goldrosen, MD, was a task force member.

    The task force divided their recommendations into separate tiers: those with support from a majority of the task force, issues for further consideration and issues that came up but weren’t discussed thoroughly. Among the top-tier items:

    • Passing legislation related to pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) similar to a bill proposed and amended this legislative session (Assembly Bill 114 as amended by Assembly Substitute Amendment 1) that passed the state assembly unanimously but did not receive a state senate vote.
    • Limiting what insurers can charge for a month’s insulin supply.
    • Requiring companies in the prescription drug supply chain to provide information to aid transparency in understanding the cost drivers of high-costs prescription drugs.
    • Increasing the number of state Department of Justice consumer protection and antitrust attorneys focused on improper drug company practices.
    • Developing a statewide medication repository with a centralized prescription drug inventory or collaborating with an existing system in another state.

    The entire 156-page report is available here, along with information about the task force’s activities and membership. An executive summary is here. It is likely that some items in the report could be included in Governor Evers’s next biennial budget proposal, which will be unveiled in the winter of 2021.

    Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information. 

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