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State’s health care leaders meet to discuss opioid crisis

Nearly 70 health care leaders from across the state met with Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, State Rep. John Nygren and Medical Examining Board Vice Chair Tim Westlake, MD, last Friday at the Wisconsin Medical Society headquarters. The meeting was part of an effort by the trio’s newly formed Wisconsin State Coalition for Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction to collaborate with the medical community to address the current opioid crisis.

Pictured in foreground, left to right: Attorney General Brad Schimel, State Rep. John Nygren and Tim Westlake, MD. “It’s great to see so many leaders from different health care organizations come together to work on solutions to this huge public health problem,” said Dr. Westlake, an emergency medicine physician. “We have a small window of opportunity to get this right, and we all are going to have to step up and implement reforms that encourage best practice and judicious prescriptive behavior, in the best way possible.”

The meeting agenda included updates on improvements made to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), development of draft Wisconsin Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing, and the availability of CME-approved online, on-demand webinars for physicians and their health care teams. Participants also shared best practice workflows and discussed potential resources, services and regulations needed to support health care systems in combatting the inappropriate use of opioids.

In addition to Rep. Nygren, Attorney General Schimel and Dr. Westlake, presenters included Michael McNett, MD, medical director for chronic pain, Aurora Healthcare GMS; Paul Pritchard, MD, vice president and chief quality officer, Prevea; Chad Zadrazil, JD, PDMP Director, Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services; and Amy Zosel, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin.

Back to April 21, 2016 Medigram