October 3, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 40


WHEPP Region 7 and Partners Announce Ebola Preparedness Symposium
Topic: Public, Private Healthcare Partnership Necessary to Strengthen Community Resiliency

Though the risk of Ebola is very low for the U.S. general population, the current outbreak in West Africa has increased the chance of patients traveling from affected countries to the U.S. It is important for U.S. health care facilities to be prepared for this possibility. The Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program (WHEPP) Region 7, Aurora Health Care, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee Health Department are hosting a symposium entitled, "Ebola Preparedness: The Public and Private Healthcare Partnership Necessary to Strengthen Community Resiliency" October 14. This symposium is open to public and private health care professionals, and is not open to the general public. The event will be held at the Italian Conference Center in Milwaukee from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Breakfast is available.

The symposium will feature national, state and local experts knowledgeable about the ongoing outbreak in West Africa and how it impacts the U.S., who should be evaluated for suspected Ebola virus disease, and infection control and prevention practices in health care settings.

Speakers include:

A panel of local experts from Aurora Health Care, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee Health Department will also be presenting.

There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is required. Information and registration are at http://bit.ly/EbolaMke. Early registration is encouraged. Direct questions to Elizabeth Corneliuson, RN, MS, CHEC, WHEPP Region 7 program manager, elizabeth.corneliuson@froedtert.com or 414-777-0146.

WHA is monitoring communications on a regular basis throughout the day from DHS, CDC and HHS and posting Ebola information on a separate page of the WHA website at www.wha.org/ebola.aspx.

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Stoughton Trustee Honored with WHA Award
Wahlin presented with 2014 Trustee of the Year

In a surprise ceremony held during Stoughton Hospital’s regular Governing Board Association meeting September 22, Board Chair Ken Wahlin received the WHA 2014 Trustee of the Year Award. He was nominated by hospital President/CEO Terry Brenny.

In recounting the hospital’s success over the past few years—such as high levels of operational performance, high satisfaction levels and national recognition—Brenny had this to say about why Wahlin was deserving of the award: "I can state unequivocally these favorable outcomes are in a significant way attributable to an amazing, caring and dedicated Governing Board led by Ken Wahlin…Ken has consistently demonstrated the best qualities expected of a trustee and a board leader."

Ken has served seven consecutive years on the hospital’s Governing Board Association, and during that time he has staunchly focused the board, administrative team and others around the hospital’s role, its mission and its strategic plan. While always making sure the strategic plan is the driving force for operational effectiveness, Ken has insisted the hospital have a broad vision for the community’s needs and respond responsibly to those as well.

In presenting the award, Jenny Boese, WHA vice president, external relations and member advocacy said, "The Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Annual Trustee Award has honored those trustees over the past 55 years who have made exemplary commitments to their hospitals and communities. It is evident that Ken fulfills the spirit of this award."

In addition to the award, WHA will contribute $250 to Wahlin’s charity of choice.

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Political Action Fundraising Campaign Reaches 83% Mark
Just $45,000 needed to reach goal

The 2014 Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and State PAC Fundraising Campaign has raised more than $220,000 since the campaign launch in May. Just one month before the elections, disbursement activity to candidate campaigns across Wisconsin is fast and furious, especially this year given the high number of open seat races and competitive races for the constitutional offices of governor and attorney general.

Comparing the 2014 campaign to recent years, last year’s campaign at this date was at 73 percent of goal, and in the last election year of 2012, the campaign was at 80 percent of the goal.

This past month the campaign added 24 individuals who are listed below along with all of the 293 participants to date in the 2014 Campaign. Thank you! The next publication of the contributor list will be in the October 17 edition of The Valued Voice. For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.

Contributors ranging from $1 to $499
Aittama, Craig Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Alstad, Nancy Fort HealthCare
Anderson, Phil Sacred Heart Hospital
Anich, Matthew Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Appleby, Jane Aurora Health Care
Arnett, James Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Bagnall, Andrew St. Nicholas Hospital
Bair, Barbara St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Ballentine, Anne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Bayer, Tom St. Vincent Hospital
Brenholt, Craig St. Joseph's Hospital
Brenny, Terrence Stoughton Hospital Association
Buser, Kenneth Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Campau, Patricia Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Capelli, A.J. Aurora Health Care
Cardinal, Lori Agnesian HealthCare
Ceelen, John Ministry Health Care
Censky, Bill Holy Family Memorial
Clark, Julie St. Joseph's Hospital
Clark, Renee Fort HealthCare
Collins, Sherry Wisconsin Hospital Association
Coopman, Dianne St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Cormier, Laura Bellin Hospital
Courtney, Chip Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Dalebroux, Steve St. Mary's Hospital
Danner, Forrest Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Donlon, Marcia Holy Family Memorial
Duda, Carrie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Dux, Larry Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Dwyer, Maxine St. Mary's Hospital
Erickson, Susan Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Ewald, Sandra Aurora Health Care
Ferrigno, Sandra St. Mary's Hospital
Fielding, Laura Holy Family Memorial
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital & Clinics
Gormican, John J. Agnesian HealthCare
Graul, Mark Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Groskreutz, Kevin St. Joseph's Hospital
Gulan, Maria Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Gullicksrud, Lynn Sacred Heart Hospital
Gustafson, Andy SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Hafeman, Paula St. Vincent Hospital
Halida, Cheryl St. Joseph's Hospital
Hamilton, Mark
Harrington, Kathleen Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Hattem, Marita Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Heaney, Dwight Fort HealthCare
Henricks, William Rogers Memorial Hospital
Hieb, Laura Bellin Hospital
Hill, Juliet Sacred Heart Hospital
Hockin, Jennifer Aspirus, Inc.
Hofer, John Bay Area Medical Center
Holub, Gregory Ministry Door County Medical Center
Hueller, Julie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Jensen, Russell St. Mary's Hospital
Jones, Mary Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Karow, Deborah Ministry Health Care's Howard Young Medical Center
Kaufmann, Marilyn Holy Family Memorial
Kelsey Foley, Kathy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Kempen, Jacob Aspirus Wausau Hospital
King, Steve St. Mary's Hospital
Kingston, Mary Beth Aurora Health Care
Kinney, Aric Aurora Medical Center Summit
Klay, Chris St. Joseph's Hospital
Klay, Lois St. Joseph's Hospital
Koch, Mark Mayo Clinic Health System
Koebke, Troy Bellin Hospital
Kuehni-Flanagan, Tracy St. Joseph's Hospital
LaBarge, Margie Ministry Health Care
Lakey, Sandy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Lambrecht, Randy Aurora Health Care
Larson, William St. Joseph's Hospital
Leonard, Mary Kay St. Mary's Hospital
Luehring, Sally St. Vincent Hospital
Lynch, Sue Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Marquardt, Amy Hospital Sisters Health System
Mason, Paul Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial
Mays, Laura Stoughton Hospital Association
McMeans, Scott Holy Family Memorial
Meicher, John St. Mary's Hospital
Mercer, Carla Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Mohr, Carol Sacred Heart Hospital
Moon-Mogush, Cindy Aurora Health Care
Neikirk, Jon Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Nevers, Rick Aspirus, Inc.
Newberry-Ferguson, Linda ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI
Nickerson, Brian Aurora Health Care
Nicklaus, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
O'Brien, Laura
Ott, Virginia St. Joseph's Hospital
Palecek, Steve St. Joseph's Hospital
Pavelec-Marti, Cheryl Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Peck, Lori Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Peiffer, Susan Sacred Heart Hospital
Pempek, Kalynn Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Penczykowski, James St. Mary's Hospital
Penovich, Carrie Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers
Prunty, Brian Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Riddle, Roberta Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Risley-Gray, Ruth Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner
Ross, Daniel Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Roundy, Ann Columbus Community Hospital
Schaetzl, Ron St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Schneider, David Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner
Schweitzer, Susan Columbus Community Hospital
Selle, Ginger St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Shear, Jim  
Sheehan, Heather Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Slomczewski, Constance Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Sommers, Craig St. Mary's Hospital
Sparacino, Gloria Aurora West Allis Medical Center
Steines, Sara Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Stephens, Brian Ministry Door County Medical Center
Stranberg, Kevin Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Strasser, Kathy Aspirus, Inc.
Sullivan, Anne Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Tapper, Joy Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Teigen, Seth St. Mary's Hospital
Theiler, Brian Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics
Turtenwald, Robyn Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Van Meeteren, Bob Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Vergos, Katherine Ripon Medical Center
Voelker, Thomas Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Walczak, Laura St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Waldoch, Timothy Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Walker, Troy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Washburn, Juliane Bay Area Medical Center
Werkheiser, Cindy Monroe Clinic
Westbrook, Diane River Falls Area Hospital
Wetenkamp, Vicki Holy Family Memorial
Wheeler, Susan St. Nicholas Hospital
Whitinger, Margaret Agnesian HealthCare
Woleske, Chris Bellin Hospital
Wymelenberg, Tracy Aurora Health Care
Ziebarth, Laura St. Mary's Hospital
Contributors ranging from $500 to $999
Andersen, Travis Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Anderson, Layton Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Brenton, Andrew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Carlson, Dan Bay Area Medical Center
Carlson, Peter Aurora Psychiatric Hospital
Connors, Lawrence St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center
Dexter, Donn Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Dietsche, James Bellin Hospital
Dolohanty, Naomi Aurora Health Care
Eckels, Timothy Hospital Sisters Health System
Frangesch, Wayne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Graebner, David Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center
Granger, Lorna Aurora Health Care
Gullingsrud, Tim Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Huettl, Patricia Holy Family Memorial
Hyland, Carol Agnesian HealthCare
Jacobson, Terry St. Mary's Hospital of Superior
Jensema, Christine HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Kellar, Richard Aurora West Allis Medical Center
Kersten, Juliet Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kerwin, Kathleen  
Kocourek, Cathie Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers
Larson, Margaret Mercy Medical Center
Lentz, Darrell Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Logemann, Cari Aspirus, Inc.
Malone, Virginia St. Mary's Hospital
Mantei, Mary Jo Bay Area Medical Center
McNally, Maureen Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Miller, Clint Spooner Health System
Mulder, Doris Beloit Health System
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
Nesse, Robert Mayo Clinic Health System
O'Keefe, James Mile Bluff Medical Center
Oland, Charisse Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Ordinans, Karen Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Ose, Peggy Riverview Hospital Association
Peterson, Douglas Chippewa Valley Hospital
Pollard, Dennis Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Quinn, George Wisconsin Hospital Association
Richards, Theresa Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Richardson, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
Rohrbach, Dan Southwest Health Center
Rutkowski, Jennifer Grant Regional Health Center
Schmitz, Bonnie Agnesian HealthCare
Sczygelski, Sidney Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
Smith, Gregory Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sobal, Larry Ministry Health Care
Sprecher, Lon  
Stuart, Philip Tomah Memorial Hospital
Swanson, Kerry St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Thoreen, Peter Meriter-UnityPoint Health
VanCourt, Bernie Bay Area Medical Center
White-Jacobs, Mary Beth Black River Memorial Hospital
Worrick, Gerald Ministry Door County Medical Center
Yaron, Rachel Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital
Contributors ranging from $1,000 to $1,499
Ashenhurst, Karla Ministry Health Care
Bablitch, Steve Aurora Health Care
Bedwell, Elizabeth Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Garcia-Thomas, Cristy Aurora Health Care
Geboy, Scott Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman
Geraghty, Tricia Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gorelick, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gunn, Veronica Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gutzeit, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hart, Shelly Aurora Health Care
Hayden, Kevin  
Janis, Gerald Aurora Health Care
Just, Lisa Aurora Health Care
Kosanovich, John Watertown Regional Medical Center
Kostroski, Sharon Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Lappin, Michael Aurora Health Care
Lewis, Jonathan St. Mary's Hospital
Loftus, Philip Aurora Health Care
Martin, Jeff Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
McDonald, Mary Beth Aurora Health Care
McKevett, Timothy Beloit Health System
Mohorek, Ronald Ministry Health Care
Natzke, Ryan Marshfield Clinic
Nauman, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Nelson, Dave HSHS-Western Wisconsin Division
Norbin Killoran, Carrie Aurora Health Care
Potts, Dennis Aurora Health Care
Priest, Geoffrey Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Rakowski, Mark Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Rickelman, Debbie WHA Information Center
Rislov, Amy Aurora Health Care
Russell, John Columbus Community Hospital
Sanders, Robert Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Schafer, Michael Spooner Health System
Schmidt, Cheryl St. Elizabeth Hospital
Shanahan, Thomas Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Stamas, Peter Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Wolf, Edward Lakeview Medical Center
Contributors ranging from $1,500 to $1,999
Anderson, Sandy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Bloch, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
Boatwright, Damond SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Boese, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Boland, Susan Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Byrne, Frank St. Mary's Hospital
Coffman, Joan St. Joseph's Hospital
Court, Kelly Wisconsin Hospital Association
Duncan, Robert Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Falvey, Patrick Aurora Health Care
Francis, Jeff Ministry Health Care
Frank, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Grasmick, Mary Kay Wisconsin Hospital Association
Harding, Edward Bay Area Medical Center
Herzog, Mark Holy Family Memorial
Heywood, Matthew Aspirus, Inc.
Hilt, Monica Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital
Johnson, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
Lepore, Michael Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Lewis, Gordon Burnett Medical Center
Meyer, Daniel Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay
Robertstad, John ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Roller, Rachel Aurora Health Care
Sexton, William Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital
Sheehan, John
Stanford, Matthew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Wallace, Michael Fort HealthCare
Contributors ranging from $2,000 to $2,999
Alig, Joanne Wisconsin Hospital Association
Brenton, Mary E.
Brooks, Alenia Aurora Health Care
Brophy, Michael Aurora Health Care
Clapp, Nicole Grant Regional Health Center
Colman, Gerard Aurora Health Care
Desien, Nicholas Ministry Health Care
Gage, Weldon Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hanson, Gail Aurora Health Care
Kachelski, Joe Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network
Kelch, Elaine
Kief, Brian Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Leitch, Laura Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman
Levin, Jeremy Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Normington, Jeremy Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics
O'Brien, Kyle Wisconsin Hospital Association
Pandl, Therese HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Potter, Brian Wisconsin Hospital Association
Sanders, Michael Monroe Clinic
Standridge, Debra Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Starmann-Harrison, Mary Hospital Sisters Health System
Troy, Peggy Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Contributors ranging from $3,000 to $4,999
Jacobson, Catherine Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Kammer, Peter The Kammer Group
Katen-Bahensky, Donna
Kerwin, George Bellin Hospital
Little, Steven Agnesian HealthCare
Mettner, Michelle Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Neufelder, Daniel Ministry Health Care
Turkal, Nick Aurora Health Care
Contributors ranging from $5,000 to $9,999
Borgerding, Eric Wisconsin Hospital Association
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Size, Tim Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Contributors $10,000 and above
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc


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Annual WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference, March 13-14, 2015
Early bird discount available; register today

Registration is now open for the tenth annual "WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference." The 2015 event is scheduled Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 at The American Club in Kohler. The full conference brochure, with agenda, registration and resort information, is in this week’s packet. Register online at http://events.SignUp4.net/15PLD.

This year’s conference will include a full-day session focused on the tools, techniques and skills to not just manage, but lead strategic innovation and change within your organization, presented by William "Marty" Martin, PsyD, one of this events most popular faculty. In addition, the half-day session, presented by Barry Silbaugh, MD will focus on changing perspectives 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, and both will discuss important and practical leadership skills that help physician leaders move beyond their clinical training and take a new approach to managerial decision-making and problem solving.

A discounted "early bird" registration fee is 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. Each year, attendees express to WHA the value of attending the conference as a team—physician leader and management leader—allowing for invaluable informal, one-on-one conversation and team building during the event. WHA encourages you to consider taking advantage of this opportunity at the 2015 event.

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Guest Column: Close the Gap in Behavioral Health Treatment
By: Nick Turkal, CEO, Aurora Health Care | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Sept. 27, 2014

Today, one in four adults will suffer from a diagnosable behavioral health disorder. Behavioral health disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States, and, by comparison, anxiety disorders are more common than diabetes.

Health care providers are better able to recognize, diagnose and treat behavioral health conditions than at any other time in our history.

Still, there is a significant gap between the number of people suffering from behavioral health disorders and the number who are receiving treatment. Those who do seek treatment from public programs often find that care is delayed, inefficient, fragmented and uncoordinated—if accessible at all.

This problem is dire in most American communities. Our families, schools, businesses, criminal justice system and other facets of our society are under incredible stress from people suffering from behavioral health issues, from severe mental health disorders to addiction problems. And there is still social stigma even though these conditions are highly treatable. As a first step, it’s critical that we begin conversations to diminish this stigma and shine a brighter light on behavioral health issues.

This affects everyone, and we must make significant changes.

Health care providers must be on the leading edge on this issue, but we can’t own it alone. Based on abundant research and Aurora’s own experience, I offer three imperatives for meaningful, sustainable change regarding behavioral health care:

Improve overall access: Provider shortages throughout the field—psychiatrists, psychiatric advanced practice nurse practitioners, psychologists and psychotherapists—are creating significant access problems. Our industry needs to support workforce development through residency and student placements and providing training opportunities. We must bring the supply of providers up to meet demand.

The recent government grant to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for youth-oriented substance abuse and trauma counseling is a good example. Other components of improving access include shifting capacity and associated reimbursement levels from inpatient to outpatient settings and leveraging technology to improve access. There needs to be community coordination and the appropriate support from a number of entities.

Integrate behavioral health with primary care: Behavioral health and physical health are interconnected, and the care should be as well. It’s been estimated that up to 70 percent of primary care visits stem from psychosocial issues, even though the patient presents with physical complaints. Integration helps ensure we treat the whole person.

Delivering behavioral health services in a primary care setting improves the access point crisis, facilitates monitoring of patients over time, helps prevent hospital re-admissions, is more cost-effective and reduces the stigma of behavioral health issues. Emerging evidence suggests that various care models can successfully support integration of behavioral health with primary care.

Share the right information to coordinate care: The recently-passed HIPAA Harmonization bill removes a major barrier. The new law is more in line with HIPAA privacy rules. This gives health care providers faster access to more useful information about the individual’s diagnosis, enabling more appropriate and effective treatment overall. All the better if this sharing is done as part of an integrated primary care model, via a common electronic health record.

Aurora is the largest private provider of behavioral health services in Wisconsin. We have a stake in how we fix the problems; more important, we have a responsibility to lead and support transformation. Untreated and undertreated behavioral health disorders harm individuals, families, communities, businesses and society. As a community we must stay engaged as we, collectively, engage in this vitally important work.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by JOURNAL/SENTINEL, INC.. Reproduced with permission of JOURNAL/SENTINEL, INC. in the format Post on the Internet via Copyright Clearance Center.

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WHA Health Law Manual Webinar: Special Issues Facing Tax-Exempts, Oct. 9

WHA will continue its complimentary webinar series October 9 from 12–1:30 p.m. with a presentation of the "WHA Special Issues Facing Tax-Exempts Manual." This webinar will cover various issues facing tax-exempt hospitals, including community health needs assessments; financial assistance policies, limitation on charges, and billing and collection; and the IRS rebuttable presumption framework as applied to executive compensation.

WHA members are encouraged to register for this webinar as well as the last webinar remaining in the series (on October 30). Sign-up information and more information about each of the webinars in the series can be found at http://events.SignUp4.net/HealthLawManual. Attorneys in attendance may earn CLE credit.

This webinar will be presented by David J. Edquist and William O. Jackson of the law firm of von Briesen & Roper.

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

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Five Wisconsin Health Plans Ranked in Top 50 for Quality

The National Committee for Quality Assurance, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, ranked five Wisconsin health plans in the top 50 nationwide for health care quality out of more than 500 plans.

The five plans named were: Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, HealthPartners Administrators, Unity Health Plan, Security Health Plan of Wisconsin and Network Health Plan.

"Wisconsin is fortunate to have a pluralistic and competitive health insurance market that facilitates consumer choice," said WHA President Steve Brenton. "The fact that Wisconsin has five health plans that ranked among the 50 best in the country in health care quality is a reflection on our entire health care delivery system that is nationally-known for delivering high-quality, high-value care."

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WHA Advances "Patient Engagement in Health Care" in Statewide Workshop

Encouraging, receiving and taking action based on direct, and honest patient feedback is the next frontier to improving the hospital experience.

The WHA Patient-Family Engagement workshops held September 11 in Eau Claire and September 24 in Wisconsin Dells drew more than 150 staff members and seven patient "guests" from 49 of WHA’s member hospitals.

"We wanted to build awareness and give hospitals the tools they need to effectively collaborate with their patients in an effort to improve the value and safety of their care," according to Tom Kaster, WHA quality improvement advisor and one of two WHA staff who facilitated the workshop. "We want to create an environment where patients and families depend on nurses and providers to be experts in delivering care, and hospitals depend on patients and families to help them improve how the care is delivered."

The workshop began with Rosie Bartel, a Wisconsin resident who lost a leg to a hospital-acquired condition, sharing her experience. Rosie’s story helped provide a "North Star" that set a patient-centered tone for the workshop that brought everything into focus for the participants.

From there, hospitals were engaged in identifying their "Golden Moments" or encounters in a hospital stay or clinic visit that heavily influence a patient’s opinion of his or her experience.

Groups also simulated a patient sharing their story with hospital staff members of a "less than ideal experience," and the teams practiced methods of dialogue that would help a hospital learn about opportunities for improvement.

"We realize that there is much more to interacting with patients than just conveying a message of apology. It requires skill and practice to create an environment that facilitates dialogue with patients and family members that will allow the hospital to learn and improve," according to Stephanie Sobczak, WHA quality improvement manager.

Participating hospitals gained many new strategies that will help them gain leadership support for this new patient role, prepare and train their staff for these encounters, and help build patient and family advisory committees in their organizations.

Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer, believes that Wisconsin can set a national example on how to incorporate patient feedback into hospitals’ quality improvement efforts.

"We hope Wisconsin hospitals will lead the way in translating patient feedback into improvement in our clinical quality work," Court said.

WHA has developed a series of quality improvement and cultural transformation onsite training and assessment modules, including Patient and Family Engagement, to meet the individualized needs of Wisconsin hospitals. The modules provide effective and efficient hands-on, on-site training. For more information visit the WHA Quality Center On-Site page or contact Tom Kaster, WHA quality coordinator, at 608-274-1820.

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Robertstad and Neville Honored by Wisconsin ACHE Chapter

On September 29, during their annual meeting and awards dinner, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) honored several Wisconsin health care leaders with annual awards.

John Robertstad, FACHE, president of ProHealth Care Hospital Division, was presented with the 2014 Wisconsin Regent’s Senior Level Executive Healthcare Leadership Award. This award is presented annually to an ACHE Fellow who exhibits the executive capability to develop his organization and promote its growth and stature in the community; contributes to the development of others in the health care profession; and demonstrates leadership in local or state hospital associations, community and ACHE activities. In his current role, Robertstad is responsible for both Oconomowoc and Waukesha Memorial Hospitals. Before joining ProHealth in 2011, he served as president and CEO of Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital since 2003. During his career, he served as a health care executive for health systems in Ohio and Michigan. Robertstad has served on more than 25 community and professional boards during his career.

The 2014 Wisconsin Regent’s Early Career Healthcare Executive Award was presented to Ryan Neville, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville. Established in 1996, this award is given to ACHE affiliates who have shown exceptional professional development, leadership ability, innovative and creative management, and participation in local or state hospital association activities, civic/community activities, and in ACHE activities. Neville began his career as an occupational therapist at Marietta Memorial Hospital in Marietta, Ohio. During his 10 years in Marietta, Neville developed new programs focused on improving the quality of life for patients following stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries. He also led community efforts focused on disability awareness, which included the region’s first competitive wheelchair basketball team. He was recognized with Ohio’s 2006 Healthcare Worker of the Year award. In 2007, Neville joined Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin, as patient care director of rehabilitation, where he was instrumental in heading their primary stroke program, hyperbaric medicine, inpatient pediatric rehabilitation, and the Bariatric Center of Excellence. He joined Memorial Medical Center in August 2013 as chief operating officer with a six-month succession plan under then interim CEO David Baltzer, and is currently the president and CEO.

In addition, the Wisconsin Chapter of ACHE presented two Exemplary Service Awards to Barb Knutzen, FACHE, vice president of performance and excellence for Agnesian HealthCare, and to Brett Norell, FACHE, director of decision support for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Chapter also honored Francis Finley, FACHE, central regional director of the Marquette General Medical Group in Marquette, Michigan, with a Distinguished Service Award.

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Member News: Watertown Regional Medical, LifePoint Hospitals form Joint Venture

The Board of Directors of UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) selected LifePoint Hospitals to form a joint venture partnership.

"Our decision to partner with LifePoint continues the journey we embarked on several years ago to transform WRMC and advance health care in our community," said Jeff Baum, chairman of the WRMC Board of Directors. "We believe a partnership with LifePoint will only help accelerate our ability to fulfill our vision to build the community health system of the future, focused on keeping people well and designing an ideal patient experience."

While details need to be finalized, LifePoint indicated it will invest more than $100 million in WRMC; ensure equal representation on the hospital’s governing board; preserve a strong local voice in the operation and strategic direction of WRMC; and continue the clinical affiliation with WRMC’s tertiary care partner UW Health.

Following completion of due diligence and receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals, the parties expect to finalize the joint venture partnership in early 2015.

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Member News: ProHealth Care Joins Statewide Accountable Care Network

ProHealth Care announced October 1 that it will join a new Wisconsin accountable care network that includes Aspirus, Bellin Health Services, Gundersen Health System, ThedaCare, UW Health and Aurora Health Care.

Together, the organizations’ service areas provide access to health care for about 90 percent of Wisconsin’s population. They also serve people in neighboring Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.

The partnership is open to expanding its membership to include other health organizations that have a demonstrated record of delivering quality, value-based care.

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Community Health Improvement in Action: Funding Available

Hospitals are invited to apply for funding to assist with the implementation and evaluation of community health improvement plans from the Community Health Improvement in Action (CHIA) Community of Practice. Up to $2,000 are available to fund expert-facilitated training and technical assistance to 20 funded-partner communities. The funding period is from January, 2015 through December, 2016. Applications are due November 10, 2014.

CHIA will host an informational teleconference on the Community of Practice funded-partner opportunity October 7, 2014 from 1 -2 pm. Participating in the call is not mandatory for applicants. However, those interested in participating on the call must pre-register.

The Request for Applications (RFA) and application form are now available on the CHIA webpage.

For more information, contact Julie Willems Van Dijk, UW academic partner, at julie.willemsvandijk@match.wisc.edu, 608-263-6731.

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