On Sept. 22, Governor Walker announced creation of a Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse, to be co-chaired by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren (R – Marinette). In doing so, Governor Walker ordered the Wisconsin State Health Officer to issue an advisory regarding the serious public health problem that has been created by the recent opioid epidemic and for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to do what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of opioid abuse. The task force is charged with advising and assisting the Governor in a coordinated effort to combat the opioid crisis facing the State of Wisconsin and, ultimately, to identify and recommend potential action items for the State of Wisconsin.
Members of the task force include Attorney General Brad Schimel, Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher, Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel, Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer, Sen. Leah Vukmir, (R – Brookfield), Sen. Janet Bewley (D – Mason), and Rep. Jill Billings (D – La Crosse). In addition, a representative from the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, a representative from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, a representative from the Wisconsin Medical Society, and a representative of the Wisconsin Coalition for Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction will serve on the task force.