FRI AM News: New behavioral health center to meet rising demand for services in Milwaukee; WisBusiness: the Podcast with Teresa Esser, managing director for Silicon Pastures

— A new behavioral health center planned for the south side of Milwaukee aims to address rising demand for mental health services among underserved Hispanic communities.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers is launching the new clinic in partnership with the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. Some of the financial support comes from Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

The facility will be located in one of the four Milwaukee County zip codes with the highest number of people in need of behavioral health services, according to a release. The area has a significant number of Spanish speakers, and Sixteenth Street President and CEO Dr. Julie Schuller emphasizes the importance of culturally relevant and competent care.

She explains the clinic has been expanding behavioral health services over the past decade or so, as recognition of mental health issues has grown. Now, she says, existing sites are “full to the gills,” and more space is needed to continue expanding services. 

“We have always had as a mission to serve people regardless of cultural, linguistic and economic barriers,” she told “We provide services to people with no insurance, people with Medicaid.” 

Plus, she says, all services are provided in both English and Spanish. She noted concerns around immigration are leading to heightened depression and anxiety among Hispanic populations in the state. Sixteenth Street is seeing more patients than ever, and demand for services keeps increasing. 

The system of clinics serves about 40,000 patients each year, with more than 150,000 annual visits and around 75 clinicians working at the various locations. 

Numbers from Health Compass Milwaukee show that 45 percent of Hispanic adults in Milwaukee County have a diagnosed mental health condition, compared to 22 percent for all adults. Latinos in Milwaukee often struggle with a lack of health resources and insurance coverage, including prescription coverage and access to clinical services.

See more: 

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Teresa Esser, managing director for Silicon Pastures, an angel investor network based in Milwaukee. 

“We look for entrepreneurs who we believe can build strong, valuable businesses in our city and our state and region,” she said. 

Since the network is based in Milwaukee, she says it’s easier to work with companies based in southeast Wisconsin. But she noted Silicon Pastures has been investing across the state and elsewhere for about two decades. 

In the podcast, Esser discusses the Milwaukee Rotary Club and the Invest in Milwaukee Committee. This group has been meeting throughout the year and exploring how resources can be directed to new and emerging businesses in the city. She compares investment resources in Wisconsin with other states, breaking down how the state falls behind others. 

“What would Milwaukee look like if we invested more of our risk capital right here in our early-stage businesses?” she said. “What would Wisconsin look like if we took a portion of the capitol we are currently exporting to venture capital fund managers on the east and west coasts, and we started to put that to work in Wisconsin?” 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See a full list of podcasts, sponsored by UW-Madison: 

— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher is praising the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as “a huge win for the economy and for Wisconsinites” and said he thinks mounting pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will force the California Dem to bring the trade deal to the floor this year.

Still, while traveling back to Washington from a trip to Marinette with Vice President Mike Pence to promote the trade deal, the Green Bay Republican told Pelosi faced a difficult political calculus in moving forward with the USMCA.

“It ultimately comes down to a choice between doing right by Wisconsin farmers. But in so doing, she’s going to have to give President Trump a win,” he said. “I very much hope that she puts the interests of the country in general and Wisconsin in particular ahead of partisan politics.”

Gallagher also swatted down concerns from U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and congressional Dems that a provision in the trade deal would increase prescription drug costs by mandating a 10-year “test data” exclusivity period for pricey biologic medications across all three countries.

That provision — which the Town of Vermont Dem in September labeled as equated to “a big, wet, sloppy kiss” for the pharmaceutical industry — would add an additional five years of protection from competition from generic medications in Mexico and two years in Canada while lowering the exclusivity period in the U.S. from 12 years to 10.

But when asked about those criticisms, Gallagher accused his colleagues of “grasping for a talking point or some sort of excuse to vote against it.”

“If anything, USMCA modernizes some of the IP protections for a variety of industries that includes the pharmaceutical industry,” he said.

See more from Gallagher in the Friday Report. 

See a report on Pence’s visit: 

— A number of health care and academic organizations are backing legislation that would reimburse cancer patients for costs associated with participating in a clinical trial. 

The state Senate Health and Human Services Committee recently held a public hearing on the legislation from Republican authors Sen. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield and Rep. Bob Kulp of Stratford. They say the bill would help those who can’t afford out-of-pocket expenses such as travel and lodging. 

A release shows other states including Texas and Pennsylvania have passed similar bills. 

“Cancer clinical trials provide the best evidence of the effectiveness of potential life-sustaining treatments, but in our country less than 5 percent of cancer patients are willing to participate in trials due to various barriers,” Kooyenga said in a release. 

The bill has the support of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Marshfield Health Care System, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Nurses Association. 

Bill authors expect a public hearing on the Assembly companion bill to be held soon. 

See the bill text: 

— Long-term care groups in the state are expressing disappointment after Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill that sought to make changes to instructional programs for nurse aides. 

The bill Evers vetoed, AB 76, cleared the Assembly 66-31 and via voice vote in the Senate.

He wrote in his veto message state law currently requires programs to be at least 120 hours in length and include at least 32 hours of clinical experience. Federal law requires 75 hours and 16 hours for each, and the bill would’ve set a new limit that matches federal law.

In a release, the health care groups noted providers in Wisconsin are lacking workers, warning care quality and access would be “severely limited.” They claim the CNA profession needs support, and said the legislation would have provided it. 

In his veto message, Evers wrote he objected to “providing less training for those who care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The bill was authored by state Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, and state Rep. Warren Petryk, R-Eleva, to address a shortage of CNAs.

“This legislation is needed more than ever to address the CNA shortage; especially in our rural and northern communities,” Cowles said.

Organizations opposing the guv’s veto include the Wisconsin Health Care Organization, Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living, Wisconsin Assisted Living Association, LeadingAge Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Directors of Nursing Council, the Wisconsin Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Wisconsin Association of County Homes, and the Disability Services Provider Network. 

See the veto message: 

— Seven social enterprise companies have won this year’s Force for Positive Change competition, sharing $70,000 in prize money. 

The annual contest from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Marquette University highlights how entrepreneurship is helping solve social or environmental challenges in a sustainable and equitable way. 

Awardees include: Rebel Green of Mequon, a company selling eco-friendly cleaning products; The Community Warehouse of Milwaukee, a nonprofit teaching job skills; Nelson and Pade, an aquaponics system provider based in Montello; 7 Rivers Recycling of Onalaska, a recycling center in La Crosse County; Artisan Dental, a dental care provider in Madison; Maydm, a Madison STEM education program; and Soaring Independent Cooperative, a Madison home care provider. 

These award winners will each get $10,000, while six honorable mentions will each receive $1,000. Winners were chosen from more than 115 applicants and were narrowed down by a panel of judges. 

See the release: 


# Initiative launches to increase percentage of minorities in Milwaukee creative industry

# Wisconsin credit union growth accelerated over last 12 months

# Evers vetoes bill to speed up training for nursing assistants

# Evers signs bill making it a felony to trespass on pipelines



– Legislation would fund rollover protection services rebate program


– 120,000-square-foot building planned for Menomonee Falls office park


– St. Augustine Preparatory Academy names Abby Andrietsch as CEO


– Report: Wisconsin has reduced its vulnerability to flooding

– Hunters kill 10 elk in Wisconsin’s second hunt

– State’s second elk season now complete


– Sixteenth Street plans behavioral health clinic at Badger Mutual’s south side HQ building


– Milwaukee area creatives call on employers to hire 1,600 minority employees by 2030

– Lead wage-theft investigator says Wisconsin needs stricter stop work order rules


– Paul J. Jones, Harley’s chief legal officer, leaving company


– $300,000 fund launched to prevent gentrification around downtown Milwaukee

– Downtown Milwaukee Aloft hotel sold

– Aloft hotel in downtown Milwaukee sold for $26.5 million


– Tired of too many deer, Richland Center allows bow hunting in city limits

– Urban Design Commission gives initial approval to West Washington apartments


– Kohl’s rethinks women’s category approach


– Facing a familiar family business problem, East Side icon Vitucci’s closes


– Memo to Madison e-bike riders: You’re legal now.


– Kind urges energy commission to address propane shortages


– Neil Kraus: Let’s have a ‘small, nimble and dedicated’ — and diverse — search committee for UW System President


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin: Applauds Gov. Evers for ending Miller Park perk

Worzalla: Breaks ground