Latest News

  • July 14, 2020 12:47 PM | Deleted user

    WACEP President’s Message, July 2020
    Ryan Thompson, MD, FACEP

    Medicine has a history of at best ignoring, and at worst shaming, physicians who struggle with mental health. It is long past time for that to change. Today’s EM physicians face unprecedented challenges and ever-mounting pressures. In addition to managing the increasing risk of contracting COVID at work, the physical demands of wearing PPE all day, and dealing with increasingly complex and seriously ill patients, many EM physicians across the state are seeing cuts in pay or slashed hours, adding financial pressures to the mix. 

    While there has always been an element of thrill-seeking and relishing in the stress of a busy ED, we must recognize the toll the job takes on each of us. It is time to end the stigma associated with seeking therapy or counseling, and recognize it for what it isself-care. Just as a physician who is ill cannot take the best possible care of their patients, neither can one struggling under a mountain of stress. We owe it to our patients to be at the top of our game when caring for them, and that means seeking out mental health care when it’s needed.

     Many physicians fear being labeled as “problematic” or “less-than” if they seek care. If you are a medical director, make sure that your physicians are not being asked to report on seeking counseling, as this can be a huge deterrent for physicians to get the care they need. Both ACEP and WACEP are against physicians being forced to report their mental health care.

    If you feel like you could benefit from counseling, ACEP offers free, confidential sessions via phone, text, or chat.  If you are in southeastern Wisconsin, the BRaVe (Building Resilience Virtually) Clinic also offers free and confidential remote counseling (

  • July 14, 2020 11:52 AM | Deleted user

    WACEP offers its congratulations to Wisconsin’s 2020 Emergency Medicine residency graduates.

    The University of Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Residency Program Grads:

    • Dr. Josh Buehler will be joining Eugene Emergency Physicians in Eugene, OR
    • Dr. Eric Collins will be joining Mayo Clinic Eau Claire Hospital in Eau Claire
    • Dr. Emily Fleming will be completing an EMS Fellowship in Madison
    • Dr. Alok Harwani will be completing an Administration Fellowship in Madison
    • Dr. Rosalia Holzman is heading to The Ohio State University Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH
    • Dr. Corlin Jewell will be completing an Education Fellowship in Madison
    • Dr. Ilan Kolkowitz will be completing a Global Health Fellowship in Madison
    • Dr. Michelle Lum will be completing an Ultrasound Fellowship in Madison
    • Dr. Erik Morrow will be joining Mayo Clinic Eau Claire Hospital in Eau Claire
    • Dr. Eric Ohlrogge will be completing a Medflight Fellowship in Madison
    • Dr. Dan Ritter will be going to Mercy Health in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, IA
    • Dr. Katie Ulrich will be going to Dignity Health in Chandler & Gilbert, Phoenix, AZ

    The Medical College of Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Residency Program Grads:

    • Dr. Sean Mackman will be joining Emergency Medicine Specialists.
    • Dr. Adam Haggerty will be joining Gundersen Health System.
    • Dr. Justine Wergin will be joining Emergency Medicine Specialists.
    • Dr. Marielle Brenner will be completing a toxicology fellowship at IU Health in Indiana.
    • Dr. Rachel Nordstrom will be practicing at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
    • Dr. Cody Bonk will be completing an ultrasound fellowship at Nebraska Medical Center.
    • Dr. Reece Cooper will be joining Appleton Emergency Services SC, Thedacare Regional Medical Center in Appleton
    • Dr. Sarah Kessenich will be practicing at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
    • Dr. Daniel Kopatich will be doing Locum Tenens.
  • July 14, 2020 8:21 AM | Deleted user

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), in collaboration with the National Ebola and Special Pathogens Training and Education Centers (NETEC), and Project ECHO, launched a series of COVID-19 Clinical Rounds on March 24th.

    This initiative supports a series of three weekly teleECHO programs – 1) Critical Care: Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations; 2) Emergency Department: Patient Care and Clinical Operations; and 3) EMS: Patient Care and Operations.

    The aim is to create peer-to-peer learning networks where clinicians who have more experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes with clinicians across the U.S. and around the world with a wide variety of experience treating COVID-19. Each Clinical Rounds session includes brief presentations from experienced expert clinicians; the presentations have included representatives from Bellevue Hospital in New York City, Emory University, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, and Nebraska Medicine, among others. Representatives from more than 15 relevant national professional organizations round out the panel of expert discussants.

    The majority of each session is spent in discussion related to Q&A generated by the participants. As of mid-April more than 7500 people from all 50 states and more than 30 countries have participated in the sessions.

    To receive announcements on this program join our list serve here:

  • July 08, 2020 9:24 AM | Deleted user

    BRaVe Clinic—Building Resilience Virtually—is a new program that offers free counseling to healthcare workers in Southeast Wisconsin. The program was developed by Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean for global health at the Medical College of Wisconsin,

    The clinic is grant-funded and offers free services to healthcare workers by appointment. The program is intended to assist first responders, EMS and emergency department personnel with behavioral health challenges they face while responding to the demands of COVID and other health issues in their communities.

    WACEP members are encouraged to disseminate this program flyer widely, and members who qualify are encouraged to utilize the program’s services.

  • June 29, 2020 11:28 AM | Deleted user

    ACEP is collaborating with the American Association of Emergency Psychiatry on some new resources related to physician wellness and mental health during COVID-19. 

     On June 11, ACEP hosted "Who's got your back? Psychological Awareness & Team Support," a free webinar about the value of peer support and how you can help your colleagues - and yourself. Panelists include Jack Rozel, MD, MSL, president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, Victor Stiebel, MD, who is board certified in emergency medicine, psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine, and Anthony Ng, MD, DFAPA, chair-elect of the Coalition on Psychiatric Emergencies. 

    The webinar is now available in the eCME library (worth 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™). 

  • June 22, 2020 8:17 AM | Deleted user

    ACEP is committed to eliminating obstacles to EM physicians seeking mental health care. By anonymously sharing your story, you can help inform and further ACEP’s advocacy efforts to remove the existing barriers to seeking treatment, including fears surrounding licensure and credentialing, and better encourage professional support and non-clinical mental health initiatives, such as peer support. 

    Share your experience.

  • June 18, 2020 11:02 AM | Deleted user

    June 18, Wisconsin Health News

    The state’s medical malpractice fund is waiving premiums for the next fiscal year for participating healthcare professionals and providers. 

    The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund’s Board of Governors approved the premium holiday on Wednesday. The holiday, originally requested by the Wisconsin Medical Society, will run from July 1 to June 30, 2021. 

    Dr. Bud Chumbley, CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a board member, said the action will “provide some financial relief to many of the Wisconsin medical professionals and providers who have been affected by the pandemic and who face ongoing challenges.”

    The fund covers claims beyond state-mandated insurance limits, which are set at $1 million by occurrence and $3 million by aggregate per year.  In April, lawmakers signed off on a plan not to increase participation fees for the fund for the next fiscal year.

  • June 16, 2020 2:29 PM | Deleted user

    WACEP President’s Message, June 2020
    Ryan Thompson, MD, FACEP

    Emergency Medicine is uniquely situated in the House of Medicine to bear witness to the failures of our society. We are there for people in their darkest hours and as a result we see the more overt societal problems – violence, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, sexual assault, and suicide. However, it is sometimes easy for us to overlook some of society’s more insidious ills.

    Wisconsin has a long history of racial inequality. Our communities of color were confined to certain neighborhoods in our cities for large swaths of our state’s history – a practice known as redlining. The resultant deficiencies in housing, healthcare, education, and job opportunities remain even today. The education gap between black and white children in Wisconsin is the worst in the nation. Wisconsin has the highest rate of incarceration of black men in the nation. White people in Wisconsin make 37% more money than black people doing similar jobs. There is a 48% gap between black and white home ownership.

    This housing, education, and income inequality has led to disparities in health, as well. Black infants in our state have a rate of mortality that is nearly 3 times that of other races. Rates of obesity, asthma, hypertension, lower extremity amputation from diabetes, arthritis, and hyperlipidemia are all significantly higher among African Americans. Shockingly, the rate of end-stage renal disease from diabetes is nearly 5 times that of white people.

    As physicians, we are obligated to work toward better health for all of our patients. It can sometimes be difficult to see what we can do to be helpful- after all, we try to do our best for each and every patient in the ED. But there are things we can do, both big and small, to make a difference: Listen to your patients. Advocate for additional social work resources in your department. Help your patients get registered to vote. Support organizations that buoy underserved communities.  Make sure your department is attempting to hire people of color at all levels. Double check that your patient can afford their prescriptions. Mentor students of color. Recognize your own biases so that you can start to work against them.

    We are at a unique moment both in Wisconsin and our nation as a whole. Emergency Physicians should take this opportunity to improve the lives of our patients and the health of our communities. The time for action is now.

  • June 16, 2020 1:56 PM | Deleted user

    Alister Martin, MD, MPP and Marin Darsie, MD

    As the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated longstanding healthcare inequalities that disproportionately affect communities of color and low socioeconomic status, many of us in the medical community are left wondering what we can do. Disparities in Wisconsin are especially sobering. Though Black Wisconsinites make up just 6% of the population, they account for 25% of COVID-19 deaths. The events of the past few months have shined a spotlight on health inequity, creating a pivotal moment for improving our healthcare system.

    We want to provide those of you who are interested in a concrete action step: help your patients vote in a safe and healthy manner this November.

    Dr. Alister Martin, an EM physician at Mass General Hospital and a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School, leads an organization called VotER that partners with healthcare providers to help patients register to vote. He started the project as a response to what we all see each and every day we care for patients – the healthcare inequities that stem from a democratic process where 51 million citizens aren’t registered to vote. VotER wants to ensure that patients, particularly those most left behind by the healthcare system, are empowered to fix it by inviting their voices into the democratic process.

    VotER recently created Healthy Democracy Kits: badge-backers and lanyards with a QR code that patients can scan to register to vote or request an absentee ballot on their phones. It takes them 90 seconds or less while you go on to see the next patient. Voting from home is the safest way to participate in the November elections — this platform makes it easy for you to help your patients get ready to do so.

    In the past few weeks, over 5,000 health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and social workers, have ordered their free kits. This effort will be featured in August during national Civic Health Month, a nonpartisan collaboration between healthcare organizations, voter registration organizations, and providers aimed at making the connection between civic engagement and healthcare. Join a rapidly growing number of health care providers across the country who are helping their patients vote safely by ordering your free kit today!

    Potential actions:

    • VotER’s Healthy Democracy Kit is free. Order yours here:
    • Share this message with colleagues in your network or hospital/department who would be interested. Group orders are welcomed!
    • Get involved in VotER’s work in other ways, like digitally engaging with patients about safe voting. Feel free to reach out to VotER directly at

    Thank you.

    Dr. Darsie is a WACEP member practicing emergency medicine and neurocritical care at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.

  • June 16, 2020 1:39 PM | Deleted user

    Christopher J Ford, MD
    Infinity/Envision Healthcare-Ascension Columbia St. Marys Milwaukee
    Advisory Board Member-Wisconsin Emergency Services for Children

    Dear Fellow EM Providers of Wisconsin,

    Last week I sent an email to my group, Infinity/Envision Healthcare, regarding the unrest and much-needed self-reflection our county is experiencing now given the Floyd tragedy. My goal was to advocate for our patients and provide an environment that was even more welcoming, given the circumstances. The email was well received and subsequently sent to my partners nationwide. I got many emails in response from throughout the country, often offering personal experiences of racial and social injustices experienced by the sender or their family members. I was genuinely appreciative of each story shared and respectful of the acceptance of the message I was trying to relay.

    Similarly, I wanted to share my personal experiences in this forum, and offer the perspective of some of our patients as context. Despite growing up in an extremely politically active family, I will try to keep this as a-political as possible. In my experience, this has been the best approach to work interactions.

    Growing up on the Southside of Chicago, I’ve had many interfaces with police as an African-American male. Some very positive, and some I will never forget, which tailor my interactions with law enforcement to this day. I share with some of my partners in a joking fashion, as is classically my coping mechanism, of how conscious I am of how I appear when driving through my (mostly white) neighborhood after a night shift as a black man. Or, more-so, how careful I am with my interactions with police even at work. Although jovially presented, there is much context, and more so, PTSD attributed. Unfortunately, these experiences are not held by myself alone but by many African-Americans and Latinos, many of whom are our patients.

    I write this not to garner sympathy, but rather to invoke even more empathy into our interactions with our minority patient population over the coming days. Even if a member of this population has not had adverse run-ins with the police, the stressors of our current times remain triggers.  The Floyd funeral services, the protests, or witnessing of the eight minutes and forty-six seconds of unconscionable disregard for human life will likely re-open scars of the tragic loss of family or friends some have had subconsciously. Us of whom have grown up in inner-city environments probably will have a similar story of loss that rises again to surface with a tragedy such as the Floyd incident.

    I ask that we all be incredibly mindful of our patient interactions, starting with our next shift. The entire nation is on edge at this time, and any form of confrontation will now be magnified. Although I am confident you all bring to your practice always an air of empathy and gentle touch, I will admit, I have had moments of frustration fueled by adverse patient interactions. Upon later reflection,  I wish I could have de-escalated some of these situations sooner. We are all human, and to deny our potential for mirroring anger is ignoring a huge blind spot in our practice. For all of our safety and the safety of our patients, we must take care to maintain an environment that is as least provocative as possible, even more so than usual.

    I thank you all for taking the time to read this email, and I also thank you all for the work that you do. Years later, future providers will reflect on all we have been through as a discipline in the middle of a pandemic and social unrest; these are unprecedented times indeed. You all are truly heroes, never forget that!

    ~Christopher J. Ford, MD