Governor-elect Tony Evers has appointed several Milwaukee area health care and nonprofit leaders to serve as health policy advisors to his transition team.
Evers this week unveiled the members of his Health Policy Advisory Council, who will advise the transition team on policy matters relating to the Department of Health Services, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, the Department of Employee Trust Funds and other state boards.
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Milwaukee-area leaders appointed to the advisory council include:
- Mary Jo Meyers, director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services
- Mary Neubauer, public policy coordinator for Mental Health America of Wisconsin
- Tanya Atkinson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
- Kofi Short, community engagement manager of Diverse & Resilient
- Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee office director for Disability Rights Wisconsin
- Candice Owley, president of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
- Veronica Gunn, CEO of Genesis Health Consulting.
Other council members include: Karen Timberlake, senior advisor at Michael Best Strategies and former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Jane Mahoney, affiliate faculty of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging; Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician with UW Health; Lisa Peyton-Caire, president of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness; and Tim Size, executive director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative.
Throughout his campaign, Evers vowed to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor or disabled, and extend protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Evers said his policy advisors will help develop a plan that will increase access to health care coverage while lowering costs.
“Voters said loud and clear on election day they want Wisconsin leaders to focus on health care,” Evers said. “It’s time to end the attacks on the Affordable Care Act so those with pre-existing conditions don’t have to worry about losing coverage and move our state forward on expanding access.”
Wisconsin is among 14 states to not adopt Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Gov. Scott Walker has rejected the federal expansion dollars, arguing the state would ultimately take on the financial burden of sustaining the program over the long-term.