Print Page   |   Sign In
News & Press: WPA News

President's Message, September 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019  
Share |

John Schneider, MD
WPA President, 2019-2021

As we cross the Autumn Equinox, daylight and night time are balanced and the transition from summer to fall reminds us that there is a time for all things; reflecting we need balance, the gratitude of the incipient harvest and the need to prepare for the cutting back of winter.

There is much to be grateful about:

Dr Katrina Hickle-Koclanes, program chairperson and her team produced an excellent fall meeting and our conference room at Saint Kate the Art’s Hotel was packed to standing room only for most of the day; by the numbers we had 21 exhibitors (a record number), 103 attendees and 25 pre-conference workshop attendees.  Dr Rahn Baily, our keynote speaker presented to us on Mental Health Disparities & Suicide and Gun Violence and Suicide, along with conferring the moniker of Dr HK on our program chairperson. 

We ended the day with a screening of the short film "Hoan Alone: Personal Stories from the Bridge" with discussion by the producer director Aaron Johnson, followed by a Legislative Panel entitled “Policy Impact and Suicide Prevention” by State Representatives Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) which was moderated by Kimberly Kane and discussed the work of the Speakers Taskforce on Mental Health  which is focused on Suicide Prevention this legislative cycle. 

And we’ve had a major loss:

As was shared in a prior announcement to the full membership, Eric Jensen, our long-time lobbyist and friend, passed away last Friday after a one year battle with liver cancer. 

WPA shares its condolences to Eric’s family, and expresses our thanks to all that Eric has done for our members and the patients they serve. Eric always combined an extraordinary sense of strategy, excellent communication skills and deep understanding of health policy to successfully lead our advocacy efforts.  His work will not be forgotten, and his legacy will be a constant reminder for all of us to get involved.

Services will be held on Thursday, September 26 in Madison.  A full obituary is available online here..  Per the family’s request for memorial donations, WPA will be making a contribution in Eric’s memory.