Sara Russell Rodriguez, MSN, MPH, RN, has seen far beyond Wisconsin, and she says she’s determined to turn that vision into better health care, schools, and individual freedom for those in her home state as its lieutenant governor.
Her grandparents owned a dairy farm in Richland County and she was born in Milwaukee and raised in Brookfield. Rodriguez and her husband have two children who attend public school in Waukesha County. She’s been an RN, a vice president for a Fortune 100 company, and is a small business owner as founder and principal of Lamplight Healthcare Consulting, which offers a wide range of services for employers, health systems, payors, and health care technology firms. Rodriguez was chosen to be an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she led national and international outbreak investigations. She served in the Peace Corps (Samoa) and is now a Girl Scout troop leader.
A Democratic member of the State Assembly representing Waukesha County and the western suburbs of Milwaukee, Rodriguez says she is running for Wisconsin lieutenant governor because her local and global experience give her a unique viewpoint on how to keep serving communities all through the state.
(UPDATE: Sara Rodriguez won the November election and is now lieutenant governor-elect of Wisconsin.)
“I’m not a career politician, I’m a nurse and a businessperson, and I think we can do better for all of us,” says Rodriguez, who earned each of her health credentials at Johns Hopkins.
“I would not be where I am today without the education that the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing gave me. Not only did it give me the opportunity to explore so many aspects of nursing, it exposed me to mentors and leaders who encouraged me to apply for unique and rewarding experiences. I would have never been an epidemic intelligence service officer with the CDC without their guidance. Now, as a member of the assembly and as a candidate for lieutenant governor, I apply that public health nursing lens every day; a lens of not only prevention but of investment in our kids and community. Becoming a nurse was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Her campaign website lists her top priorities as:
Public health: “As a public health professional, I view many issues through the lens of public health, including gun violence and community safety, mental health and substance abuse, and climate change.”
Education: “It’s time to start treating Wisconsin educators like the superheroes they are and support students like our future depends on it—because it does.”
Economy: “Raised in a union-values family, I know that family-supporting wages are the foundation for a vibrant middle class in Wisconsin.”
Reproductive freedom: “I will never stop fighting to protect the right of every Wisconsinite to make their own health care decisions and defend against attacks on reproductive rights.”
Climate and environment: “Our strongest strategy is one where every family and business can be part of our clean energy future.”
Rodriguez would partner with Democratic Governor Tony Evers, who seeks a second term in office. The election is November 8, 2022.
“I would love to work on health care initiatives with Governor Evers if that’s where he’d like to direct my time,” she told PBS Wisconsin’s Here & Now. “I want to continue the great work that current Lt. Gov. [Mandela] Barnes has done within the green energy sector—I really want to make sure that that doesn’t get lost in the transition. We need to continue to move forward on those things and really get Wisconsin to be a leader in this technology space. Thirdly, I would love to work on entrepreneurship. I have a small business myself and that’s an area where I think we can have some bipartisan solutions on how to make sure we’re supporting small businesses here in Wisconsin.”
Of course, voters will have a big say in how Rodriguez keeps serving Wisconsin communities. But not on whether she keeps serving them. “I’m passionate about public health, and I’m passionate about my community.” — Steve St. Angelo
Click here to learn more about the programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.
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