“There’s No More Money,” says Governor Walker’s Wife in a Discussion about Programs to Reduce Trauma in Wisconsin

Tonette Walker told a group in Milwaukee that her program “Fostering Futures” had changed state government by “goading” institutions and agencies to develop policies and practices that recognize the lifelong impact of childhood trauma.

When asked if she would advocate for more spending on relevant programs, Walker replied, “No. That’s not what I do at Fostering Futures. My number one thing when I meet with someone is: There is no more money. You are not getting any more money from me. I don’t have any control over that.”

Walker’s comments occurred at one of a series of  monthly meetings organized by the president of Marquette University and his wife to find solutions to the epidemic of trauma-related problems in Milwaukee.

Click here to read the article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Winnebago Mental Health Institute Continues to Jeopardize Patient Health

Serious problems remain at Winnebago Mental Health Institute, according to two recent news reports.

Action News 2 at WBAY.com reported on July 30 that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) told the facility that it was not in compliance with federal standards in terms of physical environment, special staff requirements, and medical records.  The facility’s proposed “correction plan” includes such key areas as improving treatment plans and providing sufficient nursing staff and psychiatric care technicians.

CMS extended its deadline for compliance yet again.  The new date is October 1.  If the facility does not comply, it can no longer receive Medicare and Medicaid funds.

Click here to read “Winnebago Mental Health Gets Another Chance to Meet Medicare Standards.”

A July 25 report in Oshkosh Northwestern offers supporting and frightening details.

“As of July 3, the facility had at least 41 vacancies — that’s about 6.5 percent of the full staff. Openings include six full-time psychiatrists and nine full-time psychiatric care technicians.”

“An April report by a consultant for the state found Winnebago was “heavily relying” on overtime, increasing risk of harm to patients, causing staff to quit, and incurring substantial cost. Winnebago employees made nearly $1.9 million in overtime between July 2016 and July 2017.

Click here to read “Inspectors: Problems at Winnebago Institute Linger 8 Months After Patient’s Death.”

Click here to read a letter to the editor that proposes a solution to the problem.

Police and Firefighters are Teaming up with Mental Health Professionals to Address Trauma in Milwaukee

Everyday,  police and firefighters are involved in events that can cause lifelong trauma in others.  They see what a fire, a shooting, a robbery, and domestic violence can do to the immediate victims and those around them.

Experts are also beginning to understand the ways that traumatic experiences can be passed from generation to generation.  In simple terms: a violent environment for a child can led to stress, inhibit healthy growth, and ultimately perpetuate the cycle of violence.

Until recently, police and firefighters had no tools to help the survivors of exposure to violence.   But, under the auspices of a new county-city team, they have referred 700 families and individuals to mental health professionals for help with trauma.

Click here to read “How a City-County Partnership with Mental Health, Police, and Firefighters is Treating Trauma in Milwaukee” in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Click here to read “In High-Trauma Milwaukee Journey House Sees Mental Health Therapy as Missing Link,” another effort to address trauma in Milwaukee