Dawn Crim is leaving the Evers administration in the midst of delays in processing licenses for nurses and other professions

·3 min read
Dawn Crim, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Dawn Crim, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

MADISON - The secretary of the state agency charged with licensing professionals in Wisconsin is stepping down amid worries over delays in processing license applications.

Dawn Crim will leave her position as the secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services on Aug. 1, according to a Friday news release from Gov. Tony Evers. She was appointed in 2019 to the role and confirmed by the Senate in September 2021.

She gave no reason for the departure in her resignation letter, which was sent to Evers Wednesday

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To replace Crim, Evers appointed Dan Hereth, who is currently serving as the assistant deputy secretary of the department. Hereth has been with the agency since January 2019, and previously served as the deputy district director for U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore.

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Under Crim, a lag in license approvals from the department has caused delays, particularly in the health field, as nurses and therapists have had to wait on the approval of crucial documents. Those delays have meant that highly qualified workers haven't been able to start jobs at a time when the health care industry has struggled to keep up with the coronavirus.

Currently, the department warns on its websites that processing an application for a license or permit could take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks.

"Please 'plan ahead' as we cannot speed up the credentialing process or waive supporting documents even in emergencies," the application site says.

Also during her term, Crim secured funding to expand and improve the state's prescription drug monitoring program, created two new grant programs to support fire and veterans working toward careers in licensed occupations, and began the process of implementing new systems and technology aimed at updating the license application system.

Crim previously served as the assistant state superintendent for student and school success at the Department of Public Instruction, and before that, worked for two decades at the University of Wisconsin System in various roles, including assistant coach for women's basketball and director of community relations for UW-Madison.

“Secretary Crim has been absolutely critical to my administration from the very beginning, and her leadership has been indispensable on several fronts — from her efforts to ensure we have high standards for those serving and caring for Wisconsinites across our state to monitoring and preventing the misuse of prescription drugs to her work as chair of my Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council and so much more,” Evers said in the release. "There is no challenge she hasn’t been willing to take on and work to solve, including throughout the many challenges we’ve faced together over the last three years."

Laura Schulte can be reached at leschulte@jrn.com and on Twitter at @SchulteLaura

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Dawn Crim leaving Gov. Tony Evers administration amid licensing delays