WHA Applauds Continued Focus on Addressing Heroin and Opioid Addiction


Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 575-7516

Madison (March 17, 2016) – A package of eight bills was signed into law today by Gov. Scott Walker that seeks to combat the opioid abuse and misuse epidemic in Wisconsin. Known as the H.O.P.E (Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education) legislative package and authored by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), these bills take a multi-pronged, multi-stakeholder approach to working to address this complex epidemic.

There is no single solution to this problem. The package of bills being signed across the state today illustrates the complexity of this issue and highlights the important collaborative work and support of state and community leaders, law enforcement, patient groups, and health care providers.

“Wisconsin’s hospitals and their emergency departments see the terrible effects of prescription painkiller abuse in our communities,” according to Wisconsin Hospital Association President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “The fact that the Governor is signing the H.O.P.E package in hospitals across the state recognizes that emergency departments are at the front lines of this epidemic, and that hospitals and health systems across the state have a key role in working with community partners in helping to address it.”

“We very much appreciate the commitment and partnership from leaders like Governor Walker, Representative Nygren, Attorney General Schimel and lawmakers across the state, but the work does not end with the signing of today’s bills,” Borgerding said. “WHA recognizes Wisconsin hospitals and health systems have an important role in working with community partners to address the opioid abuse epidemic. WHA will continue to provide information and resources to Wisconsin hospital and health systems leaders to help them combat opioid abuse and misuse in their communities.”

- END -