Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes spent Monday (April 15, 2019) afternoon at Northlakes Community Clinic – Ashland Downtown. The visit focused around the clinic’s efforts to address Opioid and other substance use disorders in northern Wisconsin along with the governor’s focus on expanding Medicaid.
“We are committed to constantly finding way to remove barriers to care for the people we serve throughout northern Wisconsin,” says NorthLakes Community Clinic CEO Reba Rice says. “We’re honored that the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and their team took the time to see firsthand our mission in action to serve all residents of northern Wisconsin, regardless of their ability to pay.”
During their time in Ashland, Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Barnes spent time talking with NorthLakes administration, providers and Behavioral Health Staff to understand some of the challenges the team faces in treating this devastating disease and some of the challenges we face in offering services in rural communities. They also learned about some of the innovative solutions the clinic is taking to help those in recovery. In 2018, NorthLakes saw 361 individuals within their Recovery program. Of those, 240 individuals were part of the Opioid Treatment Program (formerly known as HOPE). Of those, 18 were pregnant. In total 70 percent of clients noticed a substantial improvement in their quality of life as a result of treatment.
Following the meeting, the newly elected administration had an opportunity to tour the clinic. NorthLakes Community Clinic – Ashland Downtown has recently undergone several phases of new construction due to the expansion of services in the Ashland area. The most recent renovation, which is slated to be complete in the next month, brings all services with the exception of Optometry into one building allowing for a more integrated approach to care.