Sen. Tammy Baldwin visits Tomah VA, highlights reforms

Met with family of Jason Simcakoski Saturday

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., was in Tomah Saturday to talk about reforms to the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Baldwin and the family of Jason Simcakoski, who died after being improperly prescribed painkillers at the Tomah VA three years ago, toured the medical center and talked about the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act.

The law, which secured full funding this month, focuses on improving VA opioid prescribing guidelines more accountability and better pain management services.

Sen. Baldwin said the legislation reshapes the way staff members at the VA are trained when dealing with opioid prescriptions.

“One of the most basic and major provisions of Jason’s law, required the people who write the prescriptions, the people who are treating our veterans and writing the prescriptions to be trained over again in the latest information we have,” Baldwin said.

The family of Jason Simcakoski said if Jason were alive today, he’d be proud of what his parents have done in his memory.

“I think he’d say, hey mom and dad, we’re proud of what you guys are doing,” said Marv Simcakoski, Jason’s father. “We couldn’t help save his life, but I know he’d be very that we’re out there saving other lives right now so they didn’t run into the same situation as our son did.”

The funding for the law is $55 million.