Take Back My Meds MKE: Governor, Advocate Aurora Health Promote Safe Medicine Disposal

Contact: Jon Richards
(414) 416-1695

New Drop Box at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center already busiest disposal site in the area

MILWAUKEE – State, health care and environmental leaders will gather at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center today to shed light on the importance of safely disposing unused medication. Governor Tony Evers, Advocate Aurora Health president and CEO Jim Skogsbergh and others will promote the safe disposal of unused medicine and highlight new disposal options in Milwaukee.

Evers will speak at the site of a new drop box installed at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, 2900 W. Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee. The new drop box has already become the busiest disposal site in Milwaukee County and is on pace to keep nearly 750 pounds of unused medicine out of Lake Michigan, and out of the wrong hands, each year.

It is the fourth drop box Aurora has placed in its facilities; other drop boxes are located at the Outpatient Pharmacy at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, at Aurora West Allis Medical Center and at Sixteenth Street Community Health Center’s Park View Clinic. Advocate Aurora Health is the only hospital system in the Milwaukee area offering drop boxes in its facilities.

“Improper disposal of unused medicines can contribute to the ongoing opioid crisis and pose a direct threat to our drinking water,” said Evers. “These new drop boxes make it easy for people in Milwaukee County to safely dispose of unused medicine in a way that keeps it out of our waterways and out of the wrong hands.”

“Advocate Aurora Health is committed to helping combat the problem of safely disposing unused medication,” said Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health. “The amount of medication falling into the wrong hands and into our waterways is alarming and we are proud to take the lead on making drop boxes available within several of our facilities so that anyone can safely dispose of unused medication.”

“Sewage treatment plants cannot effectively treat unused medicines flushed down the toilet and as a result more than 30 different chemicals have now been detected in Lake Michigan near Milwaukee,” says Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan. “This new drop box will address that pollution problem while also helping to fight opioid abuse by getting prescription drugs safely out of circulation.”

“This drop box, and the eleven others our coalition has sponsored, are keeping more than one ton of medicine out of the lake every year and also combating the opioid crisis in Milwaukee,” said Jon Richards, coalition director of Take Back My Meds MKE. A map of all drug take back locations in Milwaukee County, can be found at takebackmymeds.com.