FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        May 26, 2017

Rep. Tusler Working Hard For Third District In State Budget

Joint Finance Committee Approves Rural Wisconsin, Dementia Care Motions

Madison, WI – Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee adopted a motion Representative Ron Tusler (R - Harrison) submitted that maintains funding and expands access to resources for individuals and families affected by dementia. The other motions, proposals driven by the Rural Wisconsin Initiative (RWI), a group in which Rep. Tusler is a member, will increase funding for the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program and create two matching grant programs for the training of Advanced Practice Clinicians and for the training of Allied Health Professionals.

“The Third District stands to benefit from the adoption of all of these proposals. First, Dementia Care Specialists are a great resource for families and individuals affected by dementia. Second, the package of RWI motions addresses rural Wisconsin’s critical needs for healthcare,” said Rep. Tusler.

The Dementia Care Specialists program, housed within the Aging and Disability Resource Centers across the state, provide memory screenings and referrals, information, and assistance about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The motion provides $893,000 in state funding in FY 2017-18 and $1,920,000 in FY 2018-19 to fund the current 19 positions through the end of calendar year 2017 and creates five more positions, beginning July 1, 2018. 

The Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program, a program that mirrors a bill the RWI introduced last session and inserted into the Governor’s proposed budget this year, will see its funding increased by $200,000 over the biennium.

Two other RWI proposals create $1 million matching grant programs. The first program provides grants to hospitals, health systems, and educational entities that form health care education and training consortia for Allied Health Professionals. The second grant program will assist hospitals and clinics that provide new training opportunities for Advanced Practice Clinicians.

“These RWI proposals will attract and help train talent in rural Wisconsin and give residents that don’t live in Wisconsin’s urban centers access to better care and better technologies. Rural Wisconsin’s patience is slowly paying off,” said Rep. Tusler.

The proposals, officially placed into the 2017-19 state budget, await final approval by the legislature and signature by the Governor.