December 17, 2015

A Note from Rep. Rohrkaste

Click on photo to view a message from Rep. Rohrkaste.

Hi, Mike Rohrkaste here with my last video e-update before the New Year.

This year has gone by fast and we have been able to accomplish a lot. I have met with many constituents in my first year in office and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to reach out to me. I will continue to look for constituent feedback by periodically hosting coffee events in the district. Also, constituents are always more than welcome to contact me via email or phone at my Madison office. I am very flexible to meet in the Fox Cities area.

This week, I was able to testify on Assembly Bill 530, which I introduced to establish a statewide Dietetic Internship Program that will train additional Registered Dietitians. The goal of this bill is to address a pressing skills gap and workforce shortage issue which we face in the dietetic nutritionist field. The bill also looks to improve nutrition services, and to strengthen the state’s healthcare workforce. I am optimistic this bill will pass through committee and will be heading for the Assembly floor soon.

Last week, the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia finished up our last public hearing. I would like to thank everyone who participated, as we received fantastic suggestions all over the state. The task force is currently looking at several bills which will help caregivers and those throughout our state living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We will continue to keep all of you up to date on what the task force is doing.

The Christmas tree is up here at the state Capitol and I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am honored to be able to serve the people of the 55th Assembly District and I will continue to do my best to represent you here in Madison.

Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas


Speaker's Task Force on Alzheimer's and Dementia

Last week, we held our final public hearing.  Since October, the task force has held six public hearings throughout Wisconsin.  Our first two public hearings were held in Madison, with the final four being held at Valley VNA Senior Service in Neenah, Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Iowa County Health and Human Services in Dodgeville, and Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.  We were also able to tour Brewster Village Long Term Care Facility in Grand Chute, Mount View Care Center in Wausau, and Clark Street School in Middleton.  I would like to thank all of these facilities for being great hosts and for offering their insight concerning Alzheimer's and dementia.

Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia affect thousands of Wisconsin families everyday and we need to raise awareness about these diseases.  In the public hearings, the task force heard about several ways the state could help caregivers and those living with Alzheimer's and dementia.  Increased respite care and additional Dementia Care Specialists were some of the many suggestions the task force received.  Also, we learned Wisconsin needs an increased awareness of Alzheimer's and dementia and better understanding of those living with these diseases. 

There is a lot of work for us to do regarding Alzheimer's and dementia, but I am proud of what Wisconsinites have already accomplished.  In our travels throughout the state, the task force was introduced to some great programs that are directly benefiting caregivers and those living with these diseases.  From the Music & Memory Program to Dementia-Friendly Communities, Wisconsinites are looking to innovative new ways to help.  I hope that our task force will further the great work Wisconsin is already doing.

In Case you Missed It....

Christmas at the Capitol

The Capitol Christmas tree is up and lit!

This year's tree hails from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, home-grown by the Kowieski family. Their story makes this tree special, planted and cared for by son, Brad, as part of a 4th grade school project in 1984!

School children from around Wisconsin once again lent a big hand in decorating the tree. All the ornaments on display were hand-crafted and showcase this year's theme, Wisconsin Sports.

The tree lighting ceremony was held last week, with special music by the Rhinelander High School wind ensemble and show choir.

If you are in Madison this holiday season, be sure to stop by and see the tree for yourself. The building is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



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State Capitol Room 208 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-5719