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MADISON (April 25, 2017) — Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel was awarded the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Presidential Citation during the organization’s Annual Meeting April 22 in Wisconsin Dells. In presenting the award, outgoing Society President Barbara Hummel, MD, called Schimel “one of the good guys.”
Since being elected in 2014, the attorney general has made combatting the opioid crisis a top priority by working collaboratively with physicians and other health care professionals, legislators, law enforcement and other key stakeholders.
“It’s clear that ending this crisis will take all of us, working together, and I am so glad that Attorney General Schimel is truly our partner in this effort,” said Dr. Hummel. “While policymakers in other states have taken more confrontational or punitive stances toward those who prescribe as well as those who are addicted, his spirit of working together has already resulted in a meaningful reduction in the number of opioids prescribed and dispensed.”
Schimel thanked physicians for their efforts, noting that opioid prescribing in Wisconsin decreased 15.5 percent from 2013 to 2016 and that Wisconsin is “light years ahead” of other states.
“No law did that. It was the medical community recognizing that they have a role—just like the public recognizes that they have a role—in getting us out of this trouble,” he said.
Doctor Hummel also praised the attorney general’s Dose of Reality media campaign, which she said has greatly increased awareness about the opioid crisis in Wisconsin and has helped the public realize that the issue is not limited to any one specific age group, race or economic sector.
According to Schimel, it’s also led to the collection and safe destruction of over 207,000 pounds of unused medications as part of the state’s Drug Take Back days, which are held twice a year in April and October.
The Presidential Citation was established in 1959 to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to medicine or public health.
With nearly 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.