FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2024 Contact: GovPress@wisconsin.gov

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced the appointment of 25 members to the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce.

“These individuals will bring important and necessary perspectives toward finding solutions to the pressing challenges facing our state’s dedicated healthcare workforce,” said Gov. Evers. “This task force will be charged with developing critical, innovative solutions for me to consider in preparing my next biennial budget to bolster and support our healthcare workforce and make sure this vital industry is prepared to meet the needs of Wisconsinites today and well into the future.”

As previewed in his 2024 State of the State address, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #220 to create the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce. The task force is charged with studying the workforce challenges facing the state’s healthcare system, including recruitment and retention, identifying ways to improve patient care and alleviate the burdens on the healthcare workforce, exploring educational and training pathways to grow a sustainable healthcare workforce, and creating an action plan with solutions related to workforce development, industry innovation, education, and training for consideration in the governor’s 2025-27 executive budget.

Gov. Evers also announced last week Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, a registered nurse, will lead the task force as its chair. Additional information on the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce and efforts of the Evers Administration to address the longstanding workforce challenges facing the state’s healthcare workforce is available here.

“From long-term care to some of our state’s largest healthcare systems to our technical colleges and UW campuses, there is so much expertise and experience among Gov. Evers’ appointees to serve on this important task force,” said Lt. Gov. Rodriguez. “I am grateful to each member for the time, energy, and commitment they are bringing to this issue and look forward to working together in the months ahead.”

Appointees to the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce are:

  • Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, chair;
  • Secretary Amy Pechacek, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, co-vice chair;
  • Secretary Kirsten Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, co-vice chair;
  • Dr. Tom Kernozek, chair, Department of Health Professions in the College of Science and Health, University of Wisconsin (UW)-La Crosse;
  • Danielle Cook, education director for Health Sciences, Wisconsin Technical College System;
  • John Raymond Sr., MD, professor of Medicine, president and CEO, Medical College of Wisconsin;
  • Shawn Lerch, CEO, Sauk Prairie Healthcare;
  • Joyce Mallory, community engagement manager, Heroes for Healthcare;
  • Sondra Norder, executive committee member, LeadingAge Wisconsin, president and CEO, St. Paul Elder Services Inc.;
  • Janet Zander, advocacy and public policy coordinator, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources Inc.;
  • Rick Abrams, CEO, Wisconsin Health Care Association/Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living;
  • Heather Schimmers, president, Gundersen Health System;
  • Robyn Woolever, director of Integrated Care Services, Children’s Wisconsin;
  • Sharon Cox, vice president/chief nursing officer, Beloit Health System;
  • Eric Humphrey, board chair, Center for Healthcare Careers of SE Wisconsin, chief human resources officer, Froedert ThedaCare Health;
  • Stacey Zellmer, EMT Advanced, vice president, Wisconsin EMS Association, Board of Directors;
  • Gina Dennik-Champion, executive director, Wisconsin Nurses Association;
  • Barbara Nichols, executive director, Wisconsin Center for Nursing;
  • Wendy Molaska, MD, past president, Wisconsin Medical Society, owner of private practice;
  • Dakota Kaiser, PhD, psychologist, director of integrated services, Bridge Community Health Clinic;
  • Dr. Amy Domeyer-Klenske, associate professor of OBGYN, UW-Madison, chair, Wisconsin Section of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;
  • Tom Boelter, administrator of Health and Wellness, Forest County Potawatomi Community;
  • Dr. Elsbeth Kalenderianu, dean and professor, Marquette University School of Dentistry; and
  • Laura Gould, CNA, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center; and
  • Kelly Buchholtz, M.S.N., MBA/HCM, R.N., chief nursing officer, Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin.
 An online version of this release is available here.
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