Legislative Update - Trans 309

Legislative update

Trans 309 Update – August 2019

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BetterHelp: Mental Health Counseling

WEMSA has a new partnership with BetterHelp, the world's largest counseling service to assist with providing mental health services to WEMSA members. This new partnership provides a 50% discount on their first month of counseling to help ease into the concept of seeking help. BetterHelp provides remote counseling services across the country, utilizing only highly educated, licensed, and trained counselors.

BetterHelp's counselors must meet rigorous standards such as having a minimum of a Masters degree in their field, have an active and verified license, and have a minimum of 3 years and 2,000 hours of experience. This ensures that WEMSA members are provided with some of the best counselors available to help.

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Hinckley Springs/ Keurig - New WEMSA Partnership

WEMSA is proud to announce a new partnership with DS Services of America (Hinckley Springs/ Keurig) to provide water and coffee services for both stations and individuals across Wisconsin. This partnership provides an exclusive discount on their AquaCafe water/ coffee machine and their water coolers, in addition to discounts on 5-Gallon jugs of water, cheaper than you can get from Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or even Costco.

WEMSA members can now receive bottled water service straight to their door at a discount normally only provided to large volume businesses. Additionally, services no longer need to 'send someone out' to go buy 5-Gallon water jugs, saving them time and money.

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CEMS and Flexible Staffing - Rule Writing 10o1

AUTHOR: Marc Cohen, WEMSA Executive Director

I am very fortunate to represent WEMSA (along with Amanda) on the DHS committees to help craft the administrative rule for both the Community EMS – WI 2017 ACT 96 and Flexible Staffing - WI 2017 ACT 97. The most interesting thing that I discovered is that the most challenging part of administrative rule writing is not actually writing the rules for the legislation. It is actually the process.

When those of you in services around the state are frustrated by the time things take to get done, Now, I can certainly empathize with you. What I discovered is that the entire process from having the governor open Administrative rule, the 90-day process of public comment all the way through the actual approval through the Department of Health Services can take upwards of 18 months. There is even a 52-page manual on how to write rules. All of that doesn’t account for the change in legislative leadership with the new governor. We have already begun working very seriously on both bills.

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AUTHOR: Kirk Gunderson, WEMSA Board President

A season of Gratitude, a Season of challenges and maybe even a Season of change.  As I sit here and think about my years in EMS (yes I started in 1986) I keep coming up with one word and that word is Gratitude.  Is it the gratitude shown towards me that I think about, no. Sure I can remember the hugs and the sincere thank you that what given by a family member and do not get me wrong I appreciated everyone of them.

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Did you know? Conference Teasers Inside...

Did you know all of the awesome things we will have at our upcoming January 2019 Conference?

I wanted to take a few minutes to highlight some cool things, like classes, events, and most of all PRIZES. Everyone loves FREE stuff!

First off, a BIG THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and exhibitors! They help to make our conference possible for our attendees. Without them, we couldn't continue to do what we do. Please check out what they have to offer. Many are partnered with WEMSA to bring you discounted pricing on products/ services. See all of our sponsors here:

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Association Health Plans

Association Health Plans

The History

In the late 1990s federal legislation had been proposed to create federally-recognized Association Health Plans (AHPs). Small businesses such as dairy farmers, car dealers, and accountants created AHPs to buy health insurance with the aim of lower cost with a larger pool of enrollees. Over time, many of the AHPs filed for bankruptcy, and, as a result, sweeping changes were mandated in the 1990s that almost made AHPs extinct.

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Listen Brothers & Sisters

I was sitting at my desk busily working on a printable conference brochure when I heard an older gentleman’s voice echoing from down our long corridor hallway. He was asking questions about the shelf life of his home fire extinguisher. I hear Marc instruct him on pressure checks, so I stumble my way out of my office and introduce myself. I explain to him that although home extinguishers do not come with an expiration date, the recommendation is between 5 to 15 years, and if you cannot remember when you bought it, it is best to replace it. I excused myself and stumbled back to my office. I heard the gentleman tell Marc that he too was a volunteer firefighter for Franklin before the department went full-time.

Next thing I know the gentleman is sitting in my office and we began talking about volunteer service and the topic of PTSD comes up. He tells me that his neighbor, a friend of his, was also in public service and that he had just committed suicide not long ago. I can see the pain in his eyes when he tells me that he just cut the grass and blew the leaves off the porch of his neighbor’s home even though he is gone. I can hear his pain when he tells me he just spoke to his neighbor’s brothers and family members offering them his shoulder and words of kindness.  I can feel his pain as he shares stories of conversations he had with his neighbor about how he dealt with stress and I can see his eyes light up with nothing but love for the neighbor he considered a son.

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WEMSA & ORH Listening Sessions

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of accompanying the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health (ORH) on a Rural EMS Listening Session tour across the North-woods. ORH provided a platform for rural EMS to describe their work and the condition in which they operate. These Listening Sessions were conducted with the hope that WI Legislators, municipal/county leaders, and state leadership will listen to their needs, struggles and ideas for solutions.


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You've Spoken and We've Listened

You’ve Spoken and We’ve Listened.

Less is more. Less emails but more content. That’s why we have created the WEMSA Connection as a bi-weekly email newsletter to bring our members only the important EMS news and updates, locally and nationally. This will combine a lot of emails that go out to reduce how many emails our members receive from us.

In addition to the WEMSA Connection, WEMSA Staff have started the WEMSA Blog. You’ll hear opinions and dialogue from our WEMSA Staff, WEMSA Board, and even interviews of leaders, professionals, and experts in the industry. Our staff has a diversified background with both direct and indirect experience in EMS, including areas of business, marketing, education, and operations.

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