Honoring Dr. Michael Wahl, Mdby Representative Peter J. Roskam
Posted on 2014-12-11
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Dr. Michael Wahl, who
I am pleased to nominate for the Wave Maker Award for the 5th Annual
Unsung Heroes of Public Health Campaign. This award recognizes
individuals for their work on a major regional or national program that
has had a significant positive impact on an important public health
Dr. Wahl has devoted his life to improving public health and safety in Illinois. Since 1998, he has served as the Medical Director for the Illinois Poison Cente--the oldest poison center in the United States. During his tenure, Dr. Wahl initiated the Poison Center Hotline, which currently treats over 90% of incoming accidental poisoning calls at home without a trip to a medical facility. The Hotline saves the State of Illinois $52 million in unnecessary health care costs each year and has prevented thousands of severe medical emergencies. Building on this successful model, Dr. Wahl has set up similar state hotlines for H1N1, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and currently Ebola, which provide the general public and health care providers with vital information during infectious disease outbreaks.
Dr. Wahl and the Illinois Poison Center have also done important work in conjunction with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and law enforcement to observe trends in synthetic drug use and provide local officials with data and surveillance on these chemicals. Because of these initiatives, synthetic drug use in Illinois has not reached the high prevalence experienced by other states. Finally, Dr. Wahl lends his time and experience to the Illinois Department of Public Health Work Group to reduce the alarming rate of heroin use by prescription drug abusers. In these many challenging endeavors, Dr. Wahl brings an unparalleled passion for service and a commitment to improve lives throughout the State of Illinois.
Mr. Speaker and Distinguished Colleagues, please join me in honoring Dr. Michael Wahl [[Page E1815]] for his dedicated work in expanding access to health care and his innovative efforts to strengthen public health for the people of Illinois and congratulating him on his nomination for the Wave Maker Award.