October 24, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 43

WI Hospitals, Health Systems Step-Up Ebola-related Exercises, Preparedness


The Wisconsin Hospital Association and its member hospitals and health systems continue to work closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health, Division of Public Health in following the Centers for Disease Control guidance concerning Ebola. Hospitals are actively drilling, reviewing infection-related protocols and training on the newest standards for personal protective equipment to ensure they are prepared for the possibility of an Ebola case in Wisconsin. The safety of patients, health care workers and the community is at the forefront of all their planning and response efforts.


WHA is in frequent contact with the hospital preparedness staff at the Wisconsin Department of Health and with Public Health Officer Karen McKeown to ensure that critical communications reach the administration and caregivers at Wisconsin hospitals so they are able to continue to advance and refine their Ebola preparedness efforts.


WHA updates its Ebola webpage continuously, including weekends and after hours. Check it frequently for general information and guidance documents (www.wha.org/ebola.aspx) and webcasts (www.wha.org/ebola-webcasts.aspx).


Any questions related to Ebola can be directed to Mary Kay Grasmick, WHA, 608-274-1820, 608-575-7516 or mgrasmick@wha.org or to Andrew Brenton, WHA, at abrenton@wha.org or 608-274-1820.


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Aurora Health Care Trustee Honored with WHA Award

Daniels presented with 2014 Trustee of the Year


John Daniels, Jr., Aurora Health Care Board chair, received the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s 2014 Trustee of the Year Award October 22. Daniels was nominated by Nick Turkal, MD, Aurora Health Care president/CEO. WHA President Steve Brenton presented the award.


Since joining Aurora’s Board of Directors in 2008, Daniels has exemplified leadership in discerning and addressing Wisconsin’s health care needs. His perspective and knowledge have helped illuminate many local, state and national issues. His energetic advocacy helps ensure that Aurora remains focused on clinical quality, the patient experience and Aurora’s role in the community.


Daniels also serves as chair emeritus of the law firm Quarles and Brady, after a six-year term as chair of the firm.


“John has a long-standing record of leadership in our community,” said Turkal. “His contributions to the advancement of education, race relations, arts and culture, economic development, and health care are innumerable.”


Daniels’ national accomplishments are numerous, but include National Entrepreneur of the Year and a Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association


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WHA Physician Leadership Conference Focus on Team Leadership, Change


One of the most difficult transitions for a new physician leader is the move from working autonomously and focusing on clinical issues to leading a team with a new approach to managerial decision-making and problem solving. The WHA 2015 Physician Leadership Development Conference will focus on the tools, techniques and skills needed to assist both new and seasoned physician leaders in making that transition.


The 2015 conference, scheduled Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 at The American Club in Kohler, will be led by William “Marty” Martin, PsyD, one of this event’s most popular faculty. He will focus on ways physician leaders can lead strategic innovation and change within the organization. In addition, Barry Silbaugh, MD will help physician leaders focus on moving their perspective and skill set from that of a physician working autonomously to leading a team and influencing others to change. Both Martin and Silbaugh are nationally-recognized faculty from the American Association for Physician Leadership (ACPL), formerly the American College of Physician Executives.


Registration is now open online at http://events.SignUp4.net/15PLD, with a discounted “early bird” registration fee available to those registering by January 15. Additionally, a “host” registration option is available for senior-level hospital representatives (non-physicians) who accompany one or more of their physicians to the conference but do not need CME credit. ACPL is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ACPL designates this live activity for a maximum of 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.TM Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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DEA Letter Addresses Hospital Concerns Raised by New Rule


On October 17, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a letter clarifying that its new regulation addressing disposal of unused controlled substances is not intended to apply to small amounts of unwanted controlled substances left over after treatment of a patient. The affected regulation was released September 9 and effective October 9. 


According to an October 20 release by the American Hospital Association, the letter “satisfactorily addresses” concerns that it and others had raised regarding the new rule.


Specifically, AHA had raised concerns that if the new DEA disposal regulation intended to apply to small quantities of unused controlled substances left over in syringes, IV solution or medicated patches after treatment of patients, then hospitals would be put in a situation making it nearly impossible for hospitals to safely dispose of those substances and still be compliance with the new DEA rule and other rules.


Responding to those concerns, DEA’s October 17 letter distinguishes between inventory and pharmaceutical wastage and emphasizes that the rule only applies to disposal of inventory. “[O]nce a controlled substance has been dispensed to a patient…the substance is no longer in the practitioner’s inventory.” So, for example, DEA said, any remaining substance in a syringe or vial is not required to be destroyed in accordance with the new regulations.


DEA’s letter also emphasizes that the new regulations “do not alter a practitioner’s existing obligations to destroy pharmaceutical wastage in accordance with applicable…laws and regulations.” In addition, DEA “strongly encourages” practitioners to continue to adhere to controls and procedures that prevent diversion.


The letter can be found here: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/dear_practitioner_pharm_waste_101714.pdf and the new rule can be found here: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2014/2014-20926.pdf.


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Gudex Meets With Local Hospital Leaders


State Senator Rick Gudex met with hospital leaders from across the 18th Senate District during a roundtable discussion. He was joined by Reps. Michael Schraa and Jeremy Thiesfeldt. The roundtable discussion was an opportunity to hear directly from hospital leaders about legislative issues on the horizon in the next legislative session.


The group had in-depth discussions about Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation program as well as ongoing issues with inadequate Medicaid reimbursement for hospitals and how this underfunding creates a “hidden health care tax” on Wisconsin employers who provide private insurance coverage to their employees.


Attendees at this roundtable discussion included individuals from Agnesian HealthCare/St. Agnes Hospital (Fond du Lac), Aurora Medical Center (Oshkosh), Mercy Medical Center (Oshkosh), Ripon Medical Center and Waupun Memorial Hospital.


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Orlikoff to Address Next Generation of Wisconsin Health Care Leaders


On November 5, Jamie Orlikoff, a member of Modern Healthcare’s inaugural list of “100 Most Powerful People” in health care and one of the foremost thought leaders in the country, will address Wisconsin’s next generation of health care leaders.


“Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Opportunities: A Future Leader’s Guide to Wisconsin Health Care” is a one-day event offered by WHA in partnership with the Wisconsin Forum for Healthcare Strategy (WFHS). The event will focus on the role the next generation of health care leaders will play in effectively addressing current health care trends, as well as describe strategies that will ensure Wisconsin continues to be a ‘leader’ state.


The day’s agenda will also include a moderated panel discussion that features three of Wisconsin’s health care leaders. The panelists will share their experiences in addressing challenges they have faced during their careers, discuss how they have prepared their organizations to be ahead of the curve, and describe how they are responding to the fast-changing environment.


Executive and mid-level leaders, directors and managers—those who are the next generation of administrative leaders in Wisconsin hospitals and health systems—are encouraged to attend. CEOs are invited to identify several ‘rising stars’ in their own organizations and encourage them to attend.


Through the generous support of WFHS, a discounted registration fee is available. Space is limited, so register today at http://events.SignUp4.net/14TCTO-1105.


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WHA Partnering with WI Psychiatric Association on Education Program


WHA has partnered with the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association (WPA) to extend an invitation to WHA members to attend the WPA Fall Conference December 5 at the American Club in Kohler.


The full-day educational program will focus on behavioral health care developments and strategies, with an emphasis on emerging integrated behavioral health models underway with the Mayo Clinic Health System, UW Health and Vanderbilt Behavioral Health. Other topics will include the role of physician extenders in psychiatric teams, electronic health records and quality improvement measures in psychiatry.


WHA members are eligible for reduced rates to attend the program. For information and to register for the program, go to: www.thewpa.org/events/event_details.asp?id=454736&group. For WHA members to receive the reduced registration rate, members should register as a non-member and then enter the promo code WHA (all caps).


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Wisconsin Team-Based Care Innovations Headline WCMEW Conference


On November 12, team-based care models from health care organizations across Wisconsin will be showcased at the “Building a Culture for Patient-Centered Team Based Care” conference. This one-day event will be held in Wisconsin Dells and is sponsored by the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW), a multi-stakeholder organization whose purpose is to facilitate strategies to assure an adequate supply of health care providers to meet the needs of Wisconsin citizens today and into the future.


The conference will also include keynote presentations focused on the new role of the team in health care and how culture contributes to the teams’ success, presented by Maureen Smith, MD, UW School of Medicine and Population Health and Andy Anderson, MD, Aurora Health Care. In addition, representatives from 12 different teams will discuss how and why the team was created; the role that a culture of collaboration plays in a team’s success; and outcomes realized from these team-based care efforts. Also, poster presentations highlighting nearly two dozen more examples of successful team-based care initiatives in Wisconsin will be on display.


Registration is still open, so register today at http://events.SignUp4.net/14TBC-1112. Direct registration questions to Jenna Hanson at jenna.hanson@wha.org or 608-274-1820.


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WHA Health Law Manual Webinar: Deaths and Donation of Blood, Organs & Tissue


WHA will conclude its complimentary webinar series October 30 from 12 - 1 p.m. with a presentation of the “WHA Deaths and Donation of Blood, Organs & Tissue Manual.” This webinar will cover a health care provider’s legal duties to patients and their families after a patient’s death. It will discuss, among other things, the legal determination of death, procedures for the disposition of corpses and decedents’ personal property, death certificate and reporting requirements, autopsies, and HIV testing after death. The webinar will also cover the donation of blood, organs, and other tissues from both living and deceased donors.


WHA members are encouraged to register for this final webinar in the series. Sign-up information, as well as more information about this webinar may be found at http://events.SignUp4.net/HealthLawManual. Attorneys in attendance may earn CLE credit.


This webinar will be presented by Dennis J. Purtell and Kate L. Bechen of the law firm of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek.


The Health Law Manuals are available for WHA members to view and download at www.wha.org/healthLawManual.aspx. WHA members who would like to access the Manuals should contact webmaster@wha.org to request a username and password.


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Partners of WHA Recognize, Celebrate Volunteer Excellence at Annual Convention


Partners of WHA, the statewide hospital volunteer organization, celebrated hospital volunteerism and recognized volunteer excellence at its recent annual state convention. Partners hosted nearly 350 volunteer members from hospitals across the state October 14-16 in Green Bay.


An annual highlight of the convention is a hospital CEO panel discussion focusing on health reform, access to health care and rising health care costs. This year’s panelists included WHA member CEOs Joan Coffman, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls; Lisa Just, Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn and Aurora Memorial Hospital in Burlington; DeAnn Thurmer, Waupun Memorial Hospital; and Mike Wallace, Fort HealthCare, Fort Atkinson. The panel was moderated by WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding.


Partners of WHA also awarded their annual Wisconsin Award for Volunteer Excellence (WAVE Award) to four volunteer member organizations, honoring outstanding programs in the categories of community service programs, fundraising, in-service hospital volunteer programs, and community outreach/collaboration. WAVE Award recipients included Gundersen Partners in La Crosse for their Alzheimer’s Caregivers Toolkit; Mercy Health System Association of Volunteers in Janesville for their Oncology Volunteer Program; Partners of Beaver Dam Community Hospital for their Craft Fair; and Volunteers in Partnership with Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital campus, Menomonee Falls for their Community Garden.


Partners of WHA President Sue Lynch reported the organization raised and donated over $2.65 million to hospitals throughout the state in 2013 for needed equipment and other capital projects. This was accomplished through nearly 500 separate fundraising activities.


In addition, it was reported that Partners of WHA members volunteered 1.2 million hours of service to Wisconsin hospitals in 2013. The financial value of a hospital volunteer’s time has been estimated nationally at $22.55 per hour (based on 2013 figures for national value of volunteer time). At that rate, the Partners of WHA volunteers donated a total value of $27 million of time and services to Wisconsin hospitals and health systems during 2013. Partners of WHA also awarded $442,500 through 422 scholarships to both traditional and non-traditional students seeking health care-related degrees in 2013.


Partners of WHA is comprised of over 10,000 volunteers and auxilians at 72 Wisconsin hospitals. Founded in 1951 as Wisconsin Hospital Association Auxiliaries, Partners of WHA, Inc. emphasizes volunteer service and participation in grassroots advocacy, public policy and community health education, and health career programs for Wisconsin hospitals. Additionally, Partners promotes leadership development offering resources and educational seminars to local hospital volunteer and auxiliary groups. They share information on successful community health education initiatives, advocacy and fundraising activities and trends on volunteerism through a variety of channels, including its quarterly newsletter, Reaching Out. More information can be found at www.partnersofwha.org.


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Coffman named “Best of the Best”


Partners of Wisconsin Hospital Association, Inc. announce Joan Coffman, President/CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Chippewa Falls, is this year’s recipient of the Best of the Best Administrative Award. The annual award recognizes an on-site hospital executive who demonstrates a cooperative, supportive, enthusiastic and well-defined relationship with their hospital’s Partners and volunteer organization. Coffman was selected among nominated hospital executives throughout Wisconsin.


In her nomination, Marge Geissler, president of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Partners, shared that Coffman is a great advocate for and active supporter of the Partners and volunteers, attending their monthly meetings and various fundraising events as well as selecting Partners members to sit on hospital boards and committees.


Coffman came to HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2008 as COO and was named President and CEO in 2010.


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CEO Opportunity – The Richland Hospital, Richland Center


The Richland Hospital, an independent critical access hospital, is seeking candidates for the position of chief executive officer. The Richland Hospital owns and operates two rural health clinics in addition to the hospital. 


The CEO will report to a ten-member board of directors. Key areas of responsibility will include integrated strategic and financial planning, improved physician integration and collaboration, strong operations management and compliance, and the development and achievement of well-defined operating, financial, human resource, quality and marketing targets.


The ideal candidate will hold at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, health care administration, public health, medicine or a related discipline. In addition, a minimum of ten years of successful and progressive health care leadership experience in a rural critical access hospital setting is required. Previous CEO or COO experience is strongly preferred.


MSA Executive Search is assisting The Richland Hospital in the search for a chief executive officer. For additional information, or those wishing to share referrals, contact Patricia Neds at patricia.neds@msasearch.com.


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