WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul stopped in Wausau on Tuesday to visit North Central Health Care.
The AG met with officials at NCHC to discuss what needs to be done to further address efforts made by NCHC, that aim to put an end to the meth and opioid epidemics in central Wisconsin and Marathon County specifically.
“This is a problem that I view as the most significant public safety issue we face and one of the most significant public health issues.,” Attorney General Kaul said. “Number one is prevention. Number two is we need to expand access to substance abuse treatment, so people that are suffering from substance use disorder are able to get the help they need to get back on their feet.”
The Attorney General also mentioned that in 2017, over 900 opioid related deaths happened in Wisconsin, and he wants to do his part to help drastically eliminate those numbers.
North Central Health Care CEO Michael Loy said NCHC discussed ways to expand their current programs that directly tackle the epidemics locally.
“I think we are out in front in doing things proactively,” Michael Loy said. “The attorney general can gather some information and we can help him, and the administration to be able to improve the system of care here.”
“It’s really encouraging to see there’s some innovative programs going on here in Marathon County,” Attorney General Kaul added.
“We’re partnering to expand psychiatry and addiction programs and that’s our goal,” Loy stated. “To be able to get the people in this community who need our programs and services into those services as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
The Attorney General said a change won’t happen overnight, but he’s confident in North Central Health Care’s ability to help fight the crisis in our area.