MADISON – Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP) recognized Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Representative Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) as Friends of Family Medicine. This recognition is presented to an exclusive group of legislators for their efforts to support effective health care policy and promote the importance of family medicine in the health care delivery system.
“Access to quality primary care is a critical part of a strong health care infrastructure,” Senator Shilling said. “Family physicians are on the front lines of working to improve the health of our communities every day. Their efforts truly promote excellence in health care.”
“La Crosse is blessed with two world-class health care systems, both help promote primary care and prevention as a tools to support a health community and keep health care costs down,” said Rep. Jill Billings. “Although we have made great strides in the last legislative session there is a lot of work yet to be done to improve our health systems - especially in regards to shortages of primary care physicians. I look forward to continuing our work to ensuring accessible, quality care next session and collaborating on this effort with my legislative colleagues and key stakeholders.”
One example of legislation supported by the WAFP this past session was SB 317. This legislation will streamline the ability to prescribe and dispense prescription medication by eliminating an extra step previously required. Streamlining this process utilizing modern health information technology will save time and money for health care providers and patients. SB 317 received bi-partisan support in the legislature and was signed into law on March 30 of this year.
In a press release announcing the 2011-2012 Friends of Family Medicine, WAFP President Brad Meyers, MD said, “The Legislature as a whole should be applauded for their work to improve the quality and delivery of health care in Wisconsin during the last legislative session. However, a select group of lawmakers have distinguished themselves in their efforts to promote the role of Family Medicine in the health care system and deserve special recognition.”
In all, 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats were selected as Friends of Family Medicine for their support of important health care policy during the 2011-2012 legislative session.