Wisconsin Military Medics & Corpsmen Program
Governor Evers Signs AB 720
On March 8, 2022 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove, Governor Tony Evers signed Assembly Bill 720 into law. According to Governor Evers, this bill, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 158, will allow military service members with medical education, training, and experience to transition into civilian healthcare workforce to help address some of the shortages in healthcare. Heroes for Healthcare is appreciative to Governor Evers for his support of AB 720.
Heroes for Healthcare is grateful for the support and participation by the Wis-MAC Coalition members who continued to be active throughout the legislative process. Their support included testimony before the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Health and the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, and Constitution and Federalism and outreach to legislators asking them to support passage of AB 720.
Additionally, Heroes for Healthcare extends their thanks to the following people who attended the bill signing for AB 720: Jarvis Racine, Herzing University; Ali Nelson, County Veterans Service Office, Kenosha County; Keith Casey, Concordia University Wisconsin; Kari Metts, Concordia University Wisconsin; Ann Zenk, Wisconsin Hospital Association; Richelle Andrea, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association; Paul Fisk, American Legion Department of Wisconsin; Buddy Julius, The Firm; and Janelle Thompson, Heroes for Healthcare Board Member.
The bill signing was covered by media outlets including WTMJ Channel 4 Milwaukee, WDJT CBS 58, The Journal Times, and others.
Heroes for Healthcare looks forward to working with the Wisconsin Department of Professional Services to develop the administrative rules and regulations that are necessary for the implementation of the Wisconsin Military Medics and Corpsmen Program.
Background of Wis-MAC Program
Annually over 200,00 military service members will separate from active duty. Healthcare holds promise as a target industry with jobs for transitioning military veterans given healthcare’s high number of job openings, especially jobs requiring less than a bachelor’s degree and the projected growth in the healthcare industry. According to the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs approximately 3,000 military service members return annually to Wisconsin, the majority return to their communities of entrance.
Based on Heroes for Healthcare’s experience in working with transitioning service members and veterans with healthcare MOS, they face difficulty with their training and experience not translating into civilian healthcare employment. Unfortunately, many are unemployed, underemployed or not working in healthcare. To address this challenge, Heroes for Healthcare, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, proposes to use the Commonwealth of Virginia Military Medics and Corpsmen Program, as a model to develop Wisconsin’s program. The Virginia MMAC Program states it is changing the way healthcare hires veterans in Virginia. Click to watch this video to see the first female hire in the MMAC Program.
The following reflects successful hires resulting from the VA MMAC Program in each of the three pathways, through October, 2021:
- Total Hires – 368
- MMAC Qualified (Pathway 1) – 146
- No Veteran Left Behind (Pathway 2) – 157
- Healthcare Leadership (Pathway 3) – 65
Wisconsin Military Medics & Corpsmen (Wis-MAC) Program
Since the passage of AB 720, by the State Legislature and signed into law in March of this year by Governor Evers, Heroes for Healthcare has been promoting the benefits of the program to military bases and healthcare facilities. In addition, Heroes has been monitoring and encouraging the Medical Examining Board to finalize and approve the development of the emergency administrative rules so the program can be implemented.
Heroes for Healthcare conducted outreach to the Transition Specialists and Managers at over one-hundred Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard bases to promote the Wis-MAC program and disseminate Wis-MAC flyers. Once the Medical Examining Board has approved the rules for the program, Heroes for Healthcare will actively begin to recruit medics, corpsmen and medical technicians nation-wide for the program.
There are three key outcomes of Wisconsin Assembly Bill 720 legislative bill:
· Provide Medics, Corpsmen and Medical Technicians with the opportunity for a civilian healthcare job like the one they performed while in service of our country
· Make Wisconsin an attractive state for Veterans and Service Members with healthcare experience as Virginia and Wisconsin will be the only states with this type of program
· Have an immediate positive effect on the shortage of healthcare workers
Heroes for Healthcare Legislative Honorees
Heroes for Healthcare extends appreciation to the dedicated and actively engaged members of the Heroes Wis-MAC Coalition who contributed their time, expertise, and passion to develop the Wis-MAC program, legislative bill, and passage of AB 720. The journey began in February 2021 and included over thirty-five Zoom meetings, outreach to over fifty veteran and healthcare organizations to promote the Wis-MAC program and gain support, legislative outreach to recruit sponsors and cosponsors for the bill in the Assembly and Senate and provided testimony at Assembly and Senate committee hearings.
Heroes for Healthcare recognized and honored members of the Wis-MAC legislative team for their outstanding leadership, dedication, and passion, which contributed to the passage of AB 720 in the Wisconsin Legislature. To honor these Wis-MAV volunteers, and the State Legislators who sponsored the Bill in the Assembly and Senate, Heroes for Healthcare created a Challenge Coin to commemorate this outstanding accomplishment.
The 2022 Heroes for Healthcare Gala Award Honorees were recognized during the Gala, which was held at the Brookfield Conference Center on November 5, 2022.
Senator Andre’ Jacque, (R), Wisconsin State Senate, District 1 De Pere, WI. Senator Jacque was the lead sponsor of SB 688 in the Wisconsin State Senate, and he introduced the Bill on November 11, 2021, on Veterans Day. Senator Jacque made passage of the Bill a priority and he conducted outreach to his colleagues to ask for their support and to sign onto the Bill. Heroes for Healthcare recognized and honored Senator Jacque for his leadership, and commitment to help medically trained service members and veterans find their career in civilian healthcare.
Rob Summerfield, (R), Wisconsin State Assembly, District 67, Bloomer WI. Representative Summerfield was the lead sponsor of AB 720 in the Assembly and introduced the Bill on November 19, 2021. He worked closely with Assembly leaders to schedule the Bill for a hearing by the Assembly Committee on Health in a timely manner, and added an Emergency Rule-Making Amendment. Heroes for Healthcare recognized and honored Representative Summerfield for his dedication, leadership, and willingness to actively support the passage of AB 720.
Jarvis Racine, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Workforce Development & Government Affairs, Herzing University, Whitewater, WI. Member, Heroes for Healthcare Board of Directors. Jarvis extensive knowledge and experience of the legislative process and ability to work across party lines was invaluable. His professional relationships in higher education, workforce development and healthcare were leveraged to gain support for AB 720. Jarvis testified before the Senate and Assembly Committees and conducted outreach to champion the benefits of the Bill to address workforce shortage in healthcare.
Paul Fisk, American Legion Department Wisconsin, Member Council on Veterans Programs, former Alderman and Mayor of Lodi, and Navy Veteran, Lodi, WI. Paul is well- known and respected in the State Capitol for his dedication, passion, and advocacy on behalf of Wisconsin Veterans. His knowledge and experience of the legislative process was used effectively to promote and gain support for AB 720, because of his long-standing relationships with legislators in both parties. Paul testified before the Senate and Assembly Committees on behalf of the American Legion to encourage passage of the Bill.
Shawn Lerch, CEO, Sauk Prairie Healthcare, Navy Veteran, Prairie Du Sac WI. Shawn consistently used his healthcare administrator’s experience and knowledge of Wisconsin healthcare rules and regulations to shape the development of the Wis-MAC program requirements. He asked tough questions and examined distinct options to ensure the program’s design could be supported by his peers. Shawn’s served on several of the Wis-MAC task groups and shared his expertise and experience. He willingly agreed to testify before the Senate and Assembly Committees and effectively stated why AB 720 should be supported and approved. He is a strong advocate of the Wis-MAC program, and is committed to hiring eligible veterans at Sauk Prairie Healthcare.
Sylvia Lai, Talent Acquisition Coordinator, CoVantage Credit Union, Wausau, WI. Sylvia used her extensive human resource skills, and experience to inform the Wis-MAC eligibility requirements. She is a strong advocate for the Federally Qualified Community Health Centers and how medically trained service members could use their experience and training to improve quality and access at these facilities. During the legislative outreach for AB 720, Sylvia agreed to develop talking points and messaging strategies to promote and gain support for the Bill. Her enthusiasm, passion, active engagement, and expertise was valued by the Legislative Team and Heroes for Healthcare.
Matthew Schroeder, Director, Office of Military & Veteran Services, Edgewood College, Army & Marine Veteran, Arena, WI. Matthew contributed his considerable knowledge of student veteran’s academic needs, and how their military training is undervalued to inform Wis-MAC requirements for obtaining a Wisconsin license. Matthew’s perspectives, and experience as both an Army and Marine veteran was beneficial during the planning process. When asked if he would be willing to testify before the Senate and Assembly Committees, he quickly agreed and came to the Capitol in a suit, because he wanted to be taken seriously. During his testimony he shared facts and his experience about why AB 720 should be approved and how passage of the Bill would enable medics, corpsmen, and medical technicians to continue to serve and transition to civilian healthcare.
Representative Christine Sinicki, (D), Wisconsin State Assembly, District 20, Milwaukee, WI. Representative Sinicki has served in the Wisconsin State Assembly since 1998 ad has earned a reputation for her ability to work collegially with her colleagues on issues to improve benefits and support for military veterans, public education, and healthcare. Representative signed onto AB 720 as the Ranking Democrat and provided guidance on how to navigate the legislative process, emphasizing the importance of gaining support across party lines, outreach to Labor and veteran organizations to gain support for the Bill. She served on several Wis-MAC task groups and provide timely feedback on the numerous drafts of the Bill.
Heroes for Healthcare recognized and honored Representative Sinicki for her outstanding support, leadership and engagement which contributed to the passage of AB 720.
The following veteran, and healthcare organizations and institutions registered in support of AB 720 and SB 688.
- Concordia University Wisconsin
- Gundersen Health System
- Heroes for Healthcare
- Herzing University
- League of Women Voters
- Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association
- Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
- Wisconsin Hospital of Nurse Anesthetists
- Wisconsin Hospital Association
- Wisconsin Nurses Association
- Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
- Center for Veteran Issues
Click here for the Wisconsin State Legislature’s website
Click here for the Wisconsin State Senate’s website
The following video reflects on why Wisconsin is a great choice for employers.
About the Wis-MAC Coalition
- The Wis-MAC Coalition is comprised of thirty-three (33) volunteer representatives from healthcare organizations, veterans service organizations, institutions of higher education, and healthcare associations.
- Four task groups were developed to review the Virginia MMAC program model and to develop and recommend the program elements for the Wisconsin Military Medics & Corpsmen program. These include:
* Education/Credential & Regulations
* Partner Healthcare Agreement/Scope of Practice
* Veterans RecruitmentThe following individuals served on the Wis-MAC Coalition and contributed their expertise, time and support which results in the development of the Wisconsin Military Medics & Corpsmen program.
- Dave Dobosenski, CEO, St. Croix Regional Hospital
- Phil Stuart (Navy Veteran), CEO, Tomah Health
- Shawn Lerch (Navy Veteran), CEO, Sauk Prairie Health
- Sylvia Lai, Recruiting & Onboarding Specialist, Bridge Community Health Clinic
- Kathy Charles RN, Regional Admission Counselor, Concordia University Wisconsin
- Jo Anne Preston, Workforce & Organizational Development Manager, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
- Ann Zenk RN, BSN, MHA, Senior Vice President Workforce & Clinical Practice, Wisconsin Hospital Association
- Joan Whitman Ph.D., Principal, Grant Associates
- Paul Fisk, Navy Veteran, American Legion Department of Wisconsin
- Rep. Christine Sinicki (D), State Representative, District #20 Milwaukee Wisconsin Assembly
- Jarvis Racine, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, & Government Affairs, Herzing University
- Jason Dean (Master Sergeant Retired Marine), VFW State Surgeon General Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Wisconsin
- Senator Andre’ Jacque (R), State Senator, Distict #1, Wisconsin Senate
- Tracy Rosinski, Regional Veteran Liaison, Heartland Home Health Care
- Kristian Lueptow PHSHRM-CP, Regional Recruiter, Heartland Home Health Care
- Rick Flowers (Marine Veteran), County Veteran Service Officer, Milwaukee County Office of Veterans Affairs
- Andrew Miller (Army Veteran), County Veteran Service Officer, Dodge County Office of Veterans Affairs
- Gregg Duffek, (Marine Veteran), Tribal Veteran Service Officer, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
- Saul Newton (Army Veteran), CEO/President, Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce
- Kathy Loppnow, Education Director, Health Services, Wisconsin Technical College System
- Peter Kallio DNP, CRNA, APNP (Navy Veteran), Chair, Wisconsin Board of Nursing
- Matthew Schroeder (Army & Marine Veteran), Director, Office of Military & Veterans Services, Edgewood College
- Paul Wallinger, Manager, Talent Delivery, Human Resources, Froedtert Health
- Troy Marx, Director of Human Resources, Upland Hills Health
- Steve Janke (Marine Veteran), Principal & President, Mission One Wisconsin
- Kari Metts (Army Veteran), Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Concordia University Wisconsin
- Keith Casey (Retired Army Veteran), Assistant Director of Community Outreach & Veteran Engagement, Concordia University Wisconsin
- Nicolas Carvillion (Army National Guard), District Director, Office of Senator Jacque
- Manny Lara (Navy Veteran), Director of Human Resources (June August 2021), Progressive Community Health Centers
- Jason Johns( Army Veteran), Vice President, Corporate & Community Relations & General Counsel, Center For Veteran Issues
- Lance Sands (Retired Army Veteran), Surgery Technician, Pro-Health Waukesha
- Angela Thomsen, Sergeant First Class, Senior Instructor Comprehensive Medical Training, Wisconsin Army National Guard, Wisconsin Military Academy
- Theresa L Braudt, MSN, RN, Administrator, Gundersen Boscobel Hospitals & Clinics
- Jeremy Levin, Director of Advocacy, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative