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At a time when the opioid epidemic is still an ongoing national crisis, one Mount Pleasant couple has been recognized for their commitment to helping local children in the foster care system.

Robin Vos (R-Rochester), the speaker of the Assembly, presented the Hometown Hero Award to Dan and Robyn Fedrigon, of Mount Pleasant, at the beginning of Thursday’s Assembly floor session.

They were recognized for their commitment to helping a total of 100 foster children throughout the past 11 years.

“Because of the opioid epidemic, the demand for foster parents has skyrocketed,” Speaker Vos stated. “We are grateful that the Fedrigons have stepped forward time and time again to help.”

According to the Department of Health Services, the rate of opioid prescription deaths in Racine County has increased to 15.3 per 1,000 residents in 2015 from 7.2, a 113 percent increase compared to the number in 2006. Hospital stays for patients encountering opioid issues in Racine County have also increased to 50.7 per 1,000 residents from 29.7, a 71 percent increase.

As of Oct. 31, 2017, the county had 366 children in foster care, a 40 percent increase, and 88 licensed homes, a 27 percent decrease.

As one of the licensed homes, Robyn and Dan were able to use Robyn’s experience as a former surgical technician in the labor and delivery unit to help premature newborns and babies who needed specialized care due to unique medical needs.

“It was my privilege to present the Fedrigons with the Hometown Hero Award,” Speaker Vos further stated during the special ceremony. “Their commitment to the foster care system does not go unnoticed.”

To find out more about being a foster care parent, click here.