Advocacy in Wisconsin

Updated:May 29,2014

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2014 Wisconsin Public Policy Agenda

The American Heart Association / American Stroke Association supports and advocates for public policies that will help improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths by coronary heart disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

Thank you so much for helping to make this past legislative session such a success!  Your determination and proactive outreach to your lawmakers played an important part in our advocacy efforts.

  • Pulse Ox– Ensure all newborns are screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) prior to hospital discharge.

    The Legislature passed and the Governor signed a compromise bill in early March. The compromise bill gives the Department of Health Services the authority to add screenings like pulse ox to the list of screenings that newborns can receive before they leave the hospital.  The American Heart Association and our partners continue to work with the department to officially add the screening.  We'll keep you posted on the next steps.
  • Workplace Wellness – Create incentives for small businesses that create comprehensive worksite wellness programs for their employees.

    The Legislature passed and the Governor signed the Healthy Jobs Act (worksite wellness bill). The final bill allocates $15 million over a five year period in order to award grants to small businesses to help create new worksite wellness programs.  We are currently working with the Department of Health Services on the administrative rule to implement.  We expect businesses will be able to start applying for the grant dollars in 2015.  Once the application information is available, we'll be sure to pass it along.
  • Physical Education Minimums – Ensure elementary and middle school students receive the daily recommended amount of physical education.

    This bill received a public hearing in the Assembly, but did not advance further in the legislature.  The legislation would have ensured children in kindergarten through fifth grade participate and receive instruction in physical education for at least 30 minutes each school day.  The American Heart Association will continue to work to ensure that there are strong physical education programs and regular physical activity opportunities throughout the day in Wisconsin’s schools.
  • 911– Strengthen Wisconsin’s 911 system, including dispatch agencies and first responders. Includes creating training standards for dispatch personnel and ensuring EMS has the equipment it needs to respond to cardiac and stroke emergencies.

    We received a joint public hearing (Senate and Assembly) in early March, but it was not voted out of committee.  We will continue to work on this issue next session.  We are always looking for stories to share with our advocates and lawmakers, so if you have a story about 911 that you haven't shared with us yet, please reply to this email and let us know about it!
  • E-cigarettes

    Legislation introduced would have specifically exempt e-cigarettes from the statewide smoke-free air law.  The legislation received hearings in both the senate and assembly and the senate committee did pass their bill, but it did not advance further.  This is certainly an issue we expect to discuss again next session.
  • CPR in Schools – Support local efforts that require psychomotor skill based CPR training before graduation. Focus on LaCrosse, Wausau, Mequon, Middleton and Sauk.


Learn more about your state elected officials and where they stand on important issues!  Visit the Web site of your State Representative or State Senator.

Don’t know who your representatives are?  Find out

For more information about advocacy in Wisconsin, please contact: 

Nicole Hudzinski
Government Relations Director (Health Systems issues)
Phone: (608) 221-8866

Chris Klein
Government Relations Director
Phone: (608) 221-8866

Jason Harder
Regional Grassroots Advocacy Director (MI and WI)
Phone: (517) 349-3102                

American Heart Association
2850 Dairy Dr., Ste. 300
Madison, WI  53718
Fax: (608) 221-9233 

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