Finishing the year strong, Wisconsin Medical Society members participated in several fundraiser events hosted by the Democratic and Republican campaign committees. These events are made possible by the contributions our members make to WISMedPAC and allow physicians and Society staff to build deeper relationships with our policymakers and to have substantive conversations about the issues that impact Wisconsin physicians and patients.
Over the last few weeks, the Society attended the following events:
- First was the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee bowling fundraiser, where staff members were joined by Nicole Hemkes, MD, a member from Dane County, for an afternoon of bowling and conversation with members of the Republican Assembly caucus. Society representatives engaged with a number of legislators key to the current health care policy conversations and had a very positive interaction with Speaker Robin Vos. As a bonus, Society Chief Operating Officer Peter Welch won the Ugly Sweater Contest!
- Last week, Society staff attended an intimate networking event hosted by the Senate Democrats at Cento in Madison. HJ Waukau, the Society’s Policy Director, connected with several Senators and their staff about our legislative priorities. Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling discussed the challenges of divided government and how state Democrats plan to win more seats in the 2020 election.
- Earlier this week, Dr. Hemkes again joined Society staff for the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee’s year-end event at Eno Vino in Madison. At this packed event, Dr. Hemkes and Peter Welch spoke with a number of Democratic Representatives about emerging policy issues such as vaccines and health disparities in Wisconsin. Minority Leader Gordon Hintz echoed Senator Shilling in his frustration with the divided government environment. Hintz included health care as a top priority for the Assembly Democratic caucus.
- Finally, Peter Welch had breakfast with the Senate Republicans at the Madison Club, where Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald gave an overview of the upcoming State Senate elections and discussed the upcoming end to the legislative session.
At each of these events, the conversations that members and staff had with legislators increased the voice of physicians in the policymaking process. These opportunities would not be possible without ongoing support from our members.
Next year, as election season ramps up, the Society will be expanding our advocacy work to engage more members outside of Madison. Stay connected with Society communications early next year for opportunities to meet with your local representative in your legislative district.
WisMed staff HJ Waukau is pictured here with Senator Scott Fitzgerald, Senator Alberta Darling and Former Governor Tommy Thompson.
Contact Heidi Green with questions.
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