Medical Society of Milwaukee County
Press Release

Medical Society of Milwaukee County Announces DR. Brian Peterson as Board President

Dr. Brian Peterson, Milwaukee County Chief Medical Examiner takes lead on Medical Society’s Prescription Narcotic Abuse initiative during 2016 term.

By - Mar 14th, 2016 05:00 pm
Dr. Brian L. Peterson. Photo courtesy of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County.

Dr. Brian L. Peterson. Photo courtesy of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County.

MILWAUKEE, WI (March 14, 2016) – The Medical Society of Milwaukee County (MSMC) an organization representing nearly 3,700 physicians and medical students across the Milwaukee community, announced Milwaukee County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Brian Peterson will fulfill the role of board president for the 2016 term.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Peterson lead our board as president,” says Kathy Schmitz, Executive Director of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County. “Dr. Peterson’s experience and passion for his work will contribute tremendously as we take on our key initiative to increase awareness on prescription narcotic abuse.”

Under Dr. Peterson’s leadership, MSMC plans to continue with a multi-pronged approach to dealing with the prescription narcotic abuse epidemic, starting with the professionals who are writing prescriptions – namely the physicians, in parallel to educating the community on methods for prevention and treatment options and sharing that recovery is possible.

“It needs to start with our physicians – knowing what to prescribe, how much and having important conversations with patients about their use,” says Peterson. “MSMC is a neutral convener for physicians so we can come together to create change on issues like prescription drug abuse, not for the benefit of one health system, but for the community as a whole.”

Peterson shared that he has seen a startling increase in deaths related to drug overdose in his office. In fact, the number of these preventable narcotic-related deaths totaled 229 in 2015, compared to 139 in 2011. In comparison, motor vehicle accidents totaled 93 deaths last year. With prescription narcotic drugs becoming more controlled, Peterson expects to see the number of heroin deaths rise before they fall. This is due to the availability and affordability of heroin on the streets, as prescription drugs become less available.

In addition to his leadership role with the prescription narcotic initiative, Peterson also plans to engage even more medical students in the Society’s initiatives, especially those with interest in forensic pathology.

As a student, Peterson attended medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin and graduated in 1980. Following a rotating internship he served for two years with the United States Marine Corps as a general medical officer. Military residency (anatomic and clinical pathology) and fellowship (forensic pathology) followed, with several more years of United States Navy service. Peterson joined the staff at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner‘s Office in 2008 and was appointed chief in 2010.

Peterson has also filled the role of consultant for national TV shows like Forensic Files, The New Detectives, and more. He is also known for his work on national cases like Lacy Peterson and serial killer Jack Barron’s victims. He and his wife enjoy being foster parents to Mel, a puppy in training for Canine Companions for Independence, training dogs dedicated to assist those with autism, veterans and more. He also enjoys playing the violin.

For more information or to arrange an interview with an MSMC physician, contact Kathy Schmitz at 414.475.4750.

About the Medical Society
Established in 1846, the Medical Society of Milwaukee County is an organization of physicians that provides leadership on critical health issues, such as prescription drug safety, to improve the overall health status of the community. We believe physicians have a profound impact on our community, inspiring hope and healing. The Medical Society of Milwaukee County is powered by the wisdom and expertise of its physician members. From families with young children to seniors who have lived generations, the health care needs of Milwaukee’s diverse community compel our work at the Medical Society of Milwaukee.

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One thought on “Medical Society of Milwaukee County Announces DR. Brian Peterson as Board President”

  1. Margaret LaFleur says:

    To what extent does MSMC work with the mental health care providers in the county and the state? Are K-12 teachers, coaches, guidance counselors offered training to recognize signs or symptoms of opioid abuse? To what extent will the committee include the offering of education and awareness programs for parents and/or the general public?

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