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 The Wisconsin Military Medics & Corpsmen program is modeled after the award-winning Virginia MMAC Program, and it is a pathway for returning veteran clinical care providers and practitioners to work, under supervision, in their field while they obtain appropriate education and civilian licensure in the State of Wisconsin.
· 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
Legislative SupportHeroes for Healthcare and the Coalition of veteran and healthcare organizations and institutions are proud to announce the passage of AB 720 by the State Assembly and Senate, to create the Wisconsin Military Medics & Corpsmen (Wis-MAC) Program. The bill was passed with excellent bi-partisan support in both the Assembly and Senate. This is a victory for veterans, and healthcare facilities who will benefit from the training, and experience military medical personnel will contribute to civilian healthcare in Wisconsin. The bill will be sent to Governor Evers for signing.
This legislation addresses a critical workforce issue, and provides a proven pathway for returning military medics, corpsmen, and medical technicians to work under a qualified supervising clinician, while they pursue civilian licensure in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s longstanding healthcare shortages have only worsened throughout the pandemic, and AB 720 is one tool to make sure that all Wisconsinites have the access to high quality care they need and deserve, especially in rural communities.
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 co-sponsors for the bill in the Assembly and Senate and provided testimony at Assembly and Senate committee hearings.
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
- Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
- VFW Department of Wisconsin
- American Legion Department of Wisconsin
- County Veteran Officers Association of Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce
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