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MADISON (April 16, 2018) — Martha “Molli” Rolli, MD, of Madison was inaugurated the 167th president of the Wisconsin Medical Society during the Society’s Annual Meeting April 13-14 in Madison. Doctor Rolli succeeds Noel Deep, MD, FACP, of Antigo.
Doctor Rolli is a board-certified psychiatrist with additional certification is forensic psychiatry who has practiced for more than 20 years in Wisconsin. She is currently the medical director at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison and previously was director of psychiatry for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. She also served as associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and continues to work with students and residents as volunteer faculty at both the University of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
During her inaugural remarks, Dr. Rolli talked about the importance of improving access to mental health services in Wisconsin, and how it relates to addressing the opioid crisis in Wisconsin.
“It is not possible to separate the lack of access to treatment for addictions from the lack of access to mental health treatment in general,” she said. “There is tremendous overlap and most folks who need treatment for opiate use disorders also need mental health services to be successful in their recovery.
“I hope to focus much of my attention on improving access to high quality mental health care in Wisconsin. The lack of easy access to mental health services in Wisconsin places a tremendous burden not only on psychiatrists, but also on primary care physicians, Emergency Department doctors and, of course, our patients, the citizens of Wisconsin,” she added.
Doctor Rolli’s career has allowed her to treat patients of all ages from all walks of life with serious mental illnesses in a variety of settings, including private practice, community hospitals and prisons. Recently, she has been very active in finding ways to improve access to mental health care, especially for those with serious and debilitating psychiatric illnesses. At the same time, she is interested in how to reduce the stigma of mental illness in our communities, in health care and in politics, and last year helped create and now chairs the Society’s Mental and Behavioral Health Task Force.
“The task force is focused on three areas: reducing stigma, increasing the mental health workforce and improving access to care; and I am confident we can move the needle on this important issue. It is a lofty goal, but I have always believed that you get farther when you set your sites high,” she said, noting that in Wisconsin, nearly 1.5 million people are dealing with a mental or behavioral health condition, and Wisconsin has the 4th highest prevalence of mental illness in the nation. That includes addiction and substance abuse, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and personality disorders. At the same time, Wisconsin ranks 34th in terms of mental health workforce availability.
Doctor Rolli has been a Society member for over 15 years and served on the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Board of Directors since 2008 with five years as board chair. She is a longtime member and previous chair of the Society’s Council on Ethics. Doctor Rolli also served as president of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association and the Dane County Medical Society
A 1992 graduate of Mayo Medical School, Dr. Rolli completed her residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, where she served as chief resident.
With over 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.