November 9, 2012
Volume 56, Issue 45
2012 – A Year of Election Contrasts
The conclusion of the November elections brings to an end, for the time being at least, Wisconsin’s run as the near-center of the political universe. In a year that saw changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws become the catalyst for massive protests and a string of recall elections, and one of Wisconsin’s own become a vice-presidential candidate, there was no shortage of national media attention on the Badger state.
The constant flurry of political activity produced a seemingly endless barrage of campaign commercials, passionate speeches and memorable events. In the end, voters made their choices. The results from Wisconsin prove the state remains a microcosm of the entire country—so evenly divided on political views that individuals continue to be compelled to crisscross political party lines when choosing between local, state and national candidates.
Nationally, all remains the same in terms of party control within the different levels of the federal government. President Obama won his second term in office, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney by a 50-48 percent margin (at the time of writing). Democrats retained control in the U.S. Senate helped by a win by Democrat Tammy Baldwin who defeated Republican Tommy Thompson to replace retiring Democratic Senator Herb Kohl for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat. Republicans retained control in the U.S. House with all Wisconsin House incumbents—Reps. Ryan, Ribble, Petri, Moore, Sensenbrenner, Kind, and Duffy—being reelected. Replacing Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District is Democrat Mark Pocan.
"The elections will not alleviate the need to address the immense fiscal challenges facing this country, but will clearly impact the future of Medicare and the degree to which we see real reform, or just more provider payment cuts," said WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding.
"The elections will, of course, influence implementation of the ACA in Wisconsin and Washington, DC. But frankly, our hospitals and health systems were committed to delivering better quality, better value care well before the ACA was enacted," Borgerding added. "In Wisconsin, improving health care quality and value is health care reform, regardless of the election."
Although Democrats carried the high profile Presidential and U.S. Senate races in Wisconsin, the 2012 elections saw Republicans gain back control of the State Senate, where half of the seats were up for reelection, and slightly increase their majority in the Assembly. The 2012 election also marked the first to use the newly-drawn legislative districts.
The Senate here saw two pivotal races change the balance of power. In the 12th Senate District (SD), Representative Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) defeated Democrat Susan Sommer (D-Phelps) to win the seat held by retiring Senator Jim Holperin (D-Conover). Republicans appear to be on the verge of a two-seat majority in the Senate with Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) currently holding a 590 vote lead over incumbent Senator Jessica King (D-Oshkosh) in the 18th SD, pending a possible recount. King previously defeated former Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) in a recall election.
In an unusual scenario, the November 6 general election day was also the date set for a primary election to determine the Republican candidate for the open 33rd SD, made vacant when former Senator Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) left his seat to become Governor Walker’s deputy chief of staff and senior counsel. In that primary, Rep. Paul Farrow (R-Waukesha) defeated Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield). The general election for the seat in that strongly Republican district is set for December 4. With Farrow generally considered the likely winner, Republicans will head into the next legislative session with an 18-15 majority.
In the Assembly, Republicans strengthened their current 59-39-1 margin by one, growing their majority control to 60-39 when the new session begins in January 2013. Among the most watched races were those held by Republicans but considered to be Democratic seats. In the 51st Assembly District (AD), Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) retained his seat, defeating Maureen May-Grimm (D-Mineral Point). But in the 43rd AD, Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) lost to Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson) who left his old 37th AD that had become more Republican to run in the 43rd. And in the 44th AD, Joe Knilans (R-Janesville) lost to Deb Kolste (D-Janesville). Also losing his seat was Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) in the 75th AD who was defeated by Stephen Smith (D-Shell Lake).
Republicans won the 25th AD, made vacant by the retirement of Bob Ziegelbauer (I-Manitowoc) as Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) defeated Jim Brey (D-Manitowoc).
Republicans picked up several other seats formerly held by Democrats, but made more Republican through redistricting. In the 13th AD, made vacant by the retirement of Rep. Dave Cullen (D-Milwaukee), Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) defeated John Pokrandt (D-Wauwatosa). In the 15th AD, made vacant by the retirement of Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis), Joe Sanfilippo (R-West Allis) defeated Cindy Moore (New Berlin). In the 22nd AD, current Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford), formerly of the 99th AD and who previously won in the Republican primary, takes over for Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay). Pasch, who was unchallenged in the general election, moves over to the 10th AD which she moved into and where she won a Democratic primary to replace Elizabeth Coggs (D-Milwaukee) who lost her bid for 6th SD.
Redistricting also lead to Republican pick-ups in the 37th AD, vacated by Jorgensen, where John Jagler (R-Watertown) defeated Mary Arnold (D-Columbus) and in the 42nd AD where Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) defeated Paula Cooper (D-Pardeeville). The 42nd was previously held by Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) who defeated Scott Frostman (R-Baraboo) in the 81st AD, a seat previously held by former Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison). Also winning were Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Genoa City) who defeated Rep. John Steinbrink (D-Pleasant Prairie) in the 61st AD, a redistricted seat made vacant by the retirement of Bob Turner (D-Racine), and Tom Weatherston (R-Racine) who defeated Melissa Lemke (D-Racine) in the 62nd AD, the seat formerly held by Steinbrink.
Democrats also made redistricting-related gains in seats formerly occupied by Republicans. Rep. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) defeated Beth Schmidt (R-Orfordville) in the 45th AD. Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), who previously represented the 45th AD, won her race in the 31st AD. Also winning for Democrats were Robb Kahl (D-Monona) who defeated Sandy Bakk (R-McFarland) in the 47th AD, previously represented by Ripp, and Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) who ran unopposed in the 66th AD, previously held by Kerkman.
Both new and returning legislators will immediately turn their focus to job creation and budget decisions when the next legislative sessions begin in January. In Washington and in Madison, WHA will work to ensure the voice of hospitals and health systems are a significant part of the debates as lawmakers strive for the best public policy possible.
Top of page (11/9/12)
The 2012 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit campaign has raised $235,317 to date putting the campaign over 93 percent of the annual goal. Since the last update two weeks ago,19 more individuals have participated, putting the total number of contributors to the 2012 campaign at 390. So far, this total is the largest amount that the campaign has raised in a single year and just over $14,000 away from the $250,000 year end goal.
June recall elections coupled with November elections meant contributions to candidate campaigns continued at a strong pace and sometimes a hectic pace these last few weeks before the elections. To date more than $266,000 has been disbursed to candidate campaigns from the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC and by individuals through their Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit accounts.
Thank you to all those 2012 contributors to date who are listed below. Contributors are listed alphabetically by contribution amount category. The next publication of the contributor list will be in the November 21 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|
|Ambs, Kathleen||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Appleby, Jane||Aurora Health Care|
|Arendt, Kathleen||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Ashenhurst, Karla||Ministry Health Care|
|Bair, Barbara||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Balzer, John||Froedtert Health|
|Beglinger, Joan||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Bell, Kristine||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Bernklau, Robert||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Bessen, Paulette||Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital|
|Biros, Marilyn||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Bliven, David||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Bosio, David||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Boson, Ann||Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital|
|Bowers, Laura||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Braun, James||Flambeau Hospital|
|Brenholt, Craig||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Brenny, Terrence||Stoughton Hospital Association|
|Brenton, Andrew||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Buettner, Susan||Aurora Health Care|
|Burgener, Jean||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Busch, Rebecca||Spooner Health System|
|Buss, Diane||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Bychinski, Paul||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Calhoun, William||Mercy Medical Center|
|Campau, Patricia||Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.|
|Carlson, Peter||Aurora Psychiatric Hospital|
|Censky, Bill||Holy Family Memorial|
|Cieslak Duchek, Mary||Aurora Health Care|
|Clark, Julie||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Clesceri, Maryann||Aurora Health Care|
|Coil, Joseph||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Cole-Ouzounian, Denise||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Collins, Sherry||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Coopman, Dianne||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Cox, Tamarah||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Culotta, Jennifer||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Cummings, Mike||Aurora Health Care|
|Dahl, James||Fort HealthCare|
|Dalebroux, Steve||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Danner, Forrest||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Davis, Leslie||Aurora Health Care|
|Debilzen, Mary||Holy Family Memorial|
|DeRosa, Jody||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Dettman, Amy||Bellin Hospital|
|Dietrich, Dean||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Dodd, Petra||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Drengler, Kathryn||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Drexler, Rochelle||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Dufek, Nancy||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Dux, Larry||Community Memorial Hospital|
|Dwyer, Maxine||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Elliott, Roger||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Entenmann, Kim||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Ericson, Allen||Froedtert Health St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Fabich, Robb||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Facey, Alice||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Ferrigno, Sandra||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Fielding, Laura||Holy Family Memorial|
|Francaviglia, Stephen||Aurora Health Care|
|Freimund, Rooney||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Fuchs, Thomas||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Gajeski, Lynn||St. Vincent Hospital|
|Garavet, Scott||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Garibaldi, Isabelle||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Garvey, Gale||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Gates, John||Aurora Health Care|
|Giedd, Janice||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Gigot, Kelly||St. Vincent Hospital|
|Govier, Mary||Holy Family Memorial|
|Grady, Raymond||Aurora Health Care|
|Granger, Lorna||ProHealth Care, Inc.|
|Gresham, James||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Groskreutz, Kevin||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Grundstrom, David||Flambeau Hospital|
|Gulan, Maria||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Halida, Cheryl||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Hansen, Karen||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Hart, Daniel||Community Memorial Hospital|
|Hattem, Marita||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Hedrington, Brian||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Heinzen, James||Aurora Medical Center in Hartford|
|Hieb, Laura||Bellin Hospital|
|Hill, Nick||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Hinker, Jennifer||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Hinton, George||Aurora Sinai Medical Center|
|Hockers, Sara||Holy Family Memorial|
|Hoege, Beverly||Reedsburg Area Medical Center|
|Holub, Gregory||Ministry Door County Medical Center|
|Huber, Mark||Aurora Health Care|
|Hueller, Julie||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Huemmer, Paul||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Irwin, Ron||Aurora Health Care|
|Jelle, Laura||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Jensema, Christine||HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division|
|Jensen, Russell||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Johnas, Nancy||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Johnson, Eric||ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI|
|Johnson, George||Reedsburg Area Medical Center|
|Jones, Mary||Meriter Hospital|
|Jurenec, Anne||ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI|
|Karow, Deborah||Ministry Health Care's Howard Young Medical Center|
|Karuschak, Michael||Amery Regional Medical Center|
|Keene, Kaaron||Memorial Health Center|
|Kelsey Foley, Kathy||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Kempen, Jacob||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Kepchar, Dennis||Ministry Health Care|
|King, Steve||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Kingston, Mary Beth||Aurora Health Care|
|Klay, Lois||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Klein, Tim||Holy Family Memorial|
|Kleinschmidt, Sherry||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Koch, Doug||Aurora Health Care|
|Kocourek, Cathie||Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers|
|Konkel, John||Aurora Health Care|
|Koss, Gail||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Kowske, Steve||Aurora Health Care|
|Krause, Carolyn||Meriter Hospital|
|Kraut, Lucy||Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Hospital|
|Krueger, Kari||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Lachecki, Therese||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Lambrecht, Randy||Aurora Health Care|
|Lampman, Sandra||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Larson, Teresa||ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI|
|Larson, William||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Leonard, Mary Kay||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Lewandowski, Terri||Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital|
|Logemann, Tim||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Lucas, Roger||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Ludgin, Richard||Aurora Health Care|
|Lynch, Sue||Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare|
|Marcouiller, Don||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Margan, Rob||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Markgraf, Janelle||Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner|
|Mason, Paul||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Maurer, Mary||Holy Family Memorial|
|McMeans, Scott||Holy Family Memorial|
|Meicher, John||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Merrick, Marianne||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Mohr, Carol||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Moon-Mogush, Cindy||Aurora Health Care|
|Moss, Kenneth||Meriter Hospital|
|Murphy, Thomas||Aurora Health Care|
|Neeno, Joan||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Nelson, Dean||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Nevers, Rick||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Nguyen, Juliet||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Nicklaus, Todd||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Norbin Killoran, Carrie||Aurora Health Care|
|Norton, Marcella||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|O'Hara, Tiffanie||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Ojala, Theresa||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Olson, Bonnie||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Olson, Christine||Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha|
|Olson, David||Froedtert Health|
|Olson, Keri||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Ose, Peggy||Riverview Hospital Association|
|Peck, Lori||Memorial Health Center|
|Peiffer, Susan||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Pempek, Kalynn||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Penczykowski, James||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Pennebecker, Allen||Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital|
|Pinske, Heather||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Pirsig-Anderson, Jane||Aurora Health Care|
|Platt-Gibson, Melanie||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Prunty, Brian||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Quinn, George||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Reinke, Mary||Meriter Hospital|
|Reising, Chris||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Renneker, Jim||Aurora Sinai Medical Center|
|Reynolds, Kristen||Aurora Health Care|
|Richbourg, Mary||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Rocheleau, John||Bellin Hospital|
|Roethle, Linda||Bellin Hospital|
|Roundy, Ann||Columbus Community Hospital|
|Rozenfeld, Jonathan||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Rubenzer, Deanne||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Rudolph, Wade||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Rueber, Joel||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Samuelson, Bonnie||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Sanicola, Suzanne||Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital|
|Saunaitis, Tamara||Meriter Hospital|
|Schaetzl, Ron||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Schneider, David||Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner|
|Schraufnagel, Patricia||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Schuelke, Susan||Community Memorial Hospital|
|Schwartz, Mary||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Scinto, Jeanne||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Sczygelski, Sidney||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Sheehan, Heather||Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home|
|Sio, Tim||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Slomczewski, Constance||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Stapelfeldt, Kimberly||Aurora Medical Center in Hartford|
|Steevens, Alan||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Stelzer, Jason||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Stewart, Jeff||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Strasser, Kathy||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Strobel, Donald||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Sullivan, Anne||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Tapper, Joy||Milwaukee Health Care Partnership|
|Teigen, Seth||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Thornton, Eric||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Thurmer, DeAnn||Waupun Memorial Hospital|
|Tobin, Susan||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Turner, Sally||Aurora Health Care|
|Turtenwald, Robyn||Community Memorial Hospital|
|Tuttle, Kathryn||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Vergos, Kathryn||Ripon Medical Center|
|Voelker, Thomas||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Walker, Troy||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Wanless, Kathy||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Watts, Susan||St. Vincent Hospital|
|Wojciechowski, Gary||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Woleske, Chris||Bellin Psychiatric Center|
|Worrick, Gerald||Ministry Door County Medical Center|
|Wymelenberg, Tracy||Aurora Health Care|
|Wysocki, Scott||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Zaverl, Kimberly||Froedtert Health|
|Zeller, Brad||Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home|
|Contributors ranging from $500 to $999|
|Arca, Marjorie||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Bard, Jeffrey||Aurora Health Care|
|Bonin, Christopher||Aurora Health Care|
|Brooks, Alenia||Aurora Health Care|
|Brophy, Michael||Aurora Health Care|
|Bukowski, Cathy||Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital|
|Buser, Kenneth||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Carlson, Dan||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Chess, Eva||Aurora Health Care|
|Chumbley, Bud||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Clough, Sheila||Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital|
|Dietsche, James||Bellin Hospital|
|Eckels, Timothy||Hospital Sisters Health System|
|Ewing, Thomas||Aurora Health Care|
|Fields, Mary||Aurora Health Care|
|Fry, William||Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.|
|Garcia-Thomas, Cristy||Aurora Health Care|
|Guffey, Kerra||Meriter Hospital|
|Hanson, Gail||Aurora Health Care|
|Hart, Shelly||Aurora Health Care|
|Heifetz, Michael||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Huettl, Patricia||Holy Family Memorial|
|Hyland, Carol||Agnesian HealthCare|
|Jacobson, Terry||St. Mary's Hospital of Superior|
|Joyner, Ken||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Just, Lisa||Aurora Medical Center in Hartford|
|Kellar, Richard||Aurora West Allis Medical Center|
|Kerwin, George||Bellin Hospital|
|Klimisch, Ronald||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Larson, Margaret||Mercy Medical Center|
|Lentz, Darrell||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Mantei, Mary Jo||Bay Area Medical Center|
|May, Carol||Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital|
|McDonald, Brian||Aurora Health Care|
|McKennie, Randall||Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center|
|McKevett, Timothy||Beloit Health System|
|McNally, Maureen||Froedtert Health|
|Miller, Jim||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Nelson, Dave||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Nelson, James||Fort HealthCare|
|Pollard, Dennis||Froedtert Health|
|Potts, Dennis||Aurora Health Care|
|Rakowski, Mark||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Richards, Theresa||Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital|
|Rickelman, Debbie||WHA Information Center|
|Roberts, Paula||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Sale, Nora||Froedtert Health|
|Samitt, Craig||Dean Health|
|Selberg, Heidi||HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division|
|Shabino, Charles||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Simaras, James||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Skowlund, Kathleen||Aurora Health Care-South Region|
|Statz, Darrell||Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative|
|Stuart, Philip||Tomah Memorial Hospital|
|Swanson, Kerry||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Talley, Barbara||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Taplin Statz, Linda||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Trenschel, Robert||Aurora Health Care|
|VanCourt, Bernie||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Wilk, Leonard||Aurora Medical Center in Grafton|
|Zenk, Ann||Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital|
|Zorbini, John||Aurora Health Care|
|Contributors ranging from $1,000 to $1,499|
|Anderson, Sandy||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Bablitch, Steve||Aurora Health Care|
|Bailet, Jeffrey||Aurora Health Care|
|Banaszynski, Gregory||Aurora Health Care|
|Bedwell, Elizabeth||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Britton, Gregory||Beloit Health System|
|Buck, Catherine||Froedtert Health|
|Court, Kelly||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Deich, Faye||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Edwards, Susan||ProHealth Care, Inc.|
|Falvey, Patrick||Aurora Health Care|
|Fischer, Edwin||Fort HealthCare|
|Francis, Jeff||Ministry Health Care|
|Frank, Jennifer||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Garcia, Dawn||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Gunn, Veronica||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Gutzeit, Michael||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Herzog, Mark||Holy Family Memorial|
|Hilt, Monica||Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital|
|Hymans, Daniel||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Johnson, Charles||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Klein, Richard||Aurora Health Care|
|Kosanovich, John||Watertown Regional Medical Center|
|Lappin, Michael||Aurora Health Care|
|Loftus, Philip||Aurora Health Care|
|Martin, Jeff||Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital|
|Mattes, Dan||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Mohorek, Ronald||Ministry Health Care|
|Niemer, Margaret||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Peterson, Douglas||Chippewa Valley Hospital|
|Radoszewski, Pat||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Reynolds, Sheila||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Ricci, Anthony||Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington|
|Robertstad, John||ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital|
|Roller, Rachel||Aurora Health Care|
|Runge, Charles||Froedtert Health|
|Russell, John||Columbus Community Hospital|
|Sanders, Robert||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Schafer, Michael||Spooner Health System|
|Sohn, Jonathan||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Tempelis, Eric||Gundersen Lutheran Health System|
|Uhing, Michael||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Westrick, Paul||Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital|
|Wolf, Edward||Lakeview Medical Center|
|Contributors ranging from $1,500 to $1,999|
|Alig, Joanne||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Barney, Steven||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Bloch, Jodi||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Boese, Jennifer||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Byrne, Frank||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Canter, Richard||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Clapp, Nicole||Grant Regional Health Center|
|Coffman, Joan||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Eichman, Cynthia||Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital|
|Geboy, Scott||Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman|
|Gorelick, Marc||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Grasmick, Mary Kay||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Hahn, Brad||Aurora Health Care|
|Harding, Edward||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Kammer, Peter||The Kammer Group|
|Lewis, Gordon||Burnett Medical Center|
|Maciver, Carolyn||Aurora Health Care|
|Meyer, Daniel||Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay|
|Natzke, Ryan||Marshfield Clinic|
|O'Brien, Mary||Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center|
|Postler-Slattery, Diane||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Potter, Brian||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Stanford, Matthew||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Wallace, Michael||Fort HealthCare|
|Warmuth, Judith||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Contributors ranging from $2,000 to $2,999|
|Brenton, Mary E.|
|Desien, Nicholas||Ministry Health Care|
|Duncan, Robert||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Erwin, Duane||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Jacobson, Catherine||Froedtert Health|
|Kachelski, Joe||Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network|
|Kief, Brian||Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital|
|Leitch, Laura||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Levin, Jeremy||Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative|
|Little, Steven||Agnesian HealthCare|
|Manas, Julie||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Merline, Paul||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Mettner, Michelle||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Neufelder, Daniel||Affinity Health System|
|Normington, Jeremy||Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics|
|Oliverio, John||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Pandl, Therese||HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division|
|Sanders, Michael||Monroe Clinic|
|Sexton, William||Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital|
|Starmann-Harrison, Mary||Hospital Sisters Health System|
|Taylor, Mark||Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.|
|Woodward, James||Meriter Hospital|
|Contributors ranging from $3,000 to $4,999|
|Borgerding, Eric||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Fish, David||Hospital Sisters Health System|
|Turkal, Nick||Aurora Health Care|
|Contributors $5,000 and above|
|Brenton, Stephen||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Size, Tim||Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative|
|Tyre, Scott||Capitol Navigators, Inc.|
Governor’s Task Force on College, Workforce Readiness Makes Progress
Top of page (11/9/12)
The intense focus on workforce issues and jobs continues with Governor Scott Walker taking steps on multiple fronts to remove barriers that are keeping employers from growing their workforce and creating new jobs. John Zorbini, Aurora Health Care senior vice president, human resources, a member of the Task Force, reported to at the WHA Workforce Council meeting November 8 that the Task Force is making progress. Zorbini, a WHA workforce council member, was nominated by WHA and serves on the task force as an employer representative.
Zorbini said the Task Force is formulating a response to statewide concerns from employers that there is a mismatch between applicants’ job skills and the skills required to perform the work. Governor Walker created a Task Force on College and Workforce Readiness to recommend policies and programs that align Wisconsin’s education system with workforce needs.
WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding focused his election update specifically to its implications on workforce-related issues. The Council members’ feedback to Borgerding included examples of the complexity of sorting and reconciling the provisions of different employer mandates at the state and federal level, which has been an ongoing problem for WHA members. These differences are costly to administer, complex and confusing to hospitals and employees alike. Council members also provided feedback on possible changes to licensure processes, education efforts for registered nurses and potential administrative rule changes.
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Governor Scott Walker noted this week that Wisconsin has an independent streak when it comes to elections. How true that was Tuesday for a state that handed President Obama and Dane County Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin convincing wins at the top of the ticket while increasing the Republican majority in the Assembly and returning control of the State Senate to the GOP.
Nationally, the Obama victory is seen in some quarters as a reprieve for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obamacare. But in reality, the reform law was never facing extinction given that Republicans were never remotely in a position for securing the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster that would have occurred with a repeal bill in the Senate. The reality is that the law will be implemented, but not without opportunities for improvement, especially at the state level.
States like Wisconsin still control much of the destiny of the ACA. The Supreme Court’s decision in June relating to state-level decisions around Medicaid expansion means that Wisconsin will develop its own plan designed to distinguish Medicaid eligibility from participation in the subsidized insurance exchange for thousands of low-income individuals between 100 and 133 percent of the federal poverty level. WHA’s own Medicaid Re-engineering Group is charting the Association’s position on this important issue and will soon have meaningful recommendations that align with already established coverage principles (see www.wha.org/medicaid/MRGguidingPrinciples.pdf.)
Speaking of exchanges, Governor Walker must soon decide whether or not Wisconsin will develop and run its own exchange or default to federal bureaucrats. Most stakeholders, including WHA, instinctively prefer the later and are eager to deploy resources to meet tight timelines for an exchange that must be up and running on January 1, 2014. Regardless of one’s politics, it is difficult to fathom how Wisconsin would be better off with Washington D.C. running our new virtual insurance marketplace.
Perhaps it is too much to ask but given the inevitability of ACA/Obamacare implementation, it would be helpful if a level of pragmatism and compromise prevails as we move ahead toward 2014. And compromise must include taking another look at features of the law requiring redress (the Massachusetts wage index boondoggle and repeal of the IPAB for example).
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Licensed professionals that dispense drugs identified as state or federal controlled substances and Tramadol to patients will need to begin collecting data to report to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) on January 1, 2013. Every licensee of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) that has prescriptive authority will be notified by letter of the program requirements. Those licensees that do not dispense monitored drugs should request to be made exempt from the program requirements. All program information and the request for exemption form can be found on the DSPS website at: http://dsps.wi.gov/PDMP.
2009 Wisconsin Act 362 created the PDMP and placed it under the authority of the Pharmacy Examining Board (PEB). Since that time, the PEB has requested and received funding for the program and developed the Administrative Rule (PHAR 18) that provides program guidance.
Effective January 1, 2013, dispensers are required to collect and submit specific data within seven days of dispensing a monitored prescription drug. A vendor has been selected to manage the online database, but the contract is not completed and the data collection portal will not be available on the program start date. Dispensers will be notified when the site is operational and that they must submit all data collected since the program start date.
Key points regarding the program:
The value of the PDMP to providers will be the ability to review an individual patient’s history of having monitored drugs dispensed to them. This function of the program will not be available until there is an accumulation of information in the database. Practitioners authorized to prescribe will be notified when the look up function becomes available and will be provided information on how to access that component of the database.
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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced November 8 that it will delay the implementation of the new EAPG methodology for paying Medicaid outpatient fee-for-service claims until April 1, 2013. Originally scheduled for a January 1 implementation date, the EAPG timeline has been pushed back in order to ensure accurate modeling and to give hospitals adequate time to review the new methodology.
DHS has two Medicaid Advisory Group meetings coming up as part of the annual rate setting process. The agendas have changed since originally announced with the EAPG information and discussion being moved back to December 12.
The New Timeline for Rate Setting is as follows:
Nov. 16 Meeting – Discuss Policy Decisions for 2013 Rate Year and Overview of Inpatient and Outpatient Rate Methodology
Dec. 12 Meeting – Present 2013 EAPG Weights and Rates, Inpatient DRG Rates and Outpatient Per Diem Rates
Jan. 1, 2013 – 2013 Inpatient and Outpatient Per Diem Rates effective for both HMO and FFS claims
April 1, 2013 – Implement EAPG pricing for Fee-For-Services Outpatient Claims
The November 16 meeting will be held at 1 W. Wilson Street in Room 751 starting at 10 a.m. For anyone wishing to participate by phone, the call-in number is 877-402-9753, Access Code: 1703775.
Materials from previous Medicaid Advisory Group meetings can be found on the WHA website atwww.wha.org/MAG.aspx.
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CMS Adopts Medicare Outpatient Payment Rules for CY 2013
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the calendar year (CY) 2013 final rule for the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). The final rule reflects the annual update to the Medicare fee-for-service outpatient payment rates and policies based on regulatory changes put forward by CMS and legislative changes previously adopted by Congress.
The rule also includes provisions that update the payment rates and policies for Ambulatory Surgical Centers, update quality reporting program requirements for inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, update the Electronic Quality Reporting Pilot that is part of the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program and update the Quality Improvement Organization regulations.
A copy of the final rule and other resources related to the OPPS are available on the CMS Web site at www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HospitalOutpatientPPS/Hospital-Outpatient-Regulations-and-Notices-Items/CMS-1589-FC.html.
The major hospital OPPS-related sections of the final rule are summarized below. Program changes are effective for services provided on or after January 1, 2013.
OPPS Payment Rate: CMS’ final rule rate updates, along with adjustments for budget neutrality, result in an outpatient conversion factor of $71.313 for CY 2013 compared to $70.016 for CY 2012, a 1.9 percent increase. The final rate is the result of a 2.6 percent market basket increase (proposed at 3.0 percent), an Affordable Care Act (ACA)-mandated productivity market basket reduction of 0.7 percentage points (proposed at 0.8 percentage points), an ACA-mandated pre-determined market basket reduction of 0.1 percentage point, and slightly positive adjustments to maintain program budget neutrality.
Absent from the final rule is guidance as to how CMS will implement the 2.0 percent sequestration reduction to all lines of Medicare payment authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and set to take effect in 2013 unless congress intervenes.
Wage Index and Labor-Related Share: The labor-related portion of the OPPS conversion factor is adjusted for differences in area wage levels using a wage index. CMS did not propose and is not adopting any major changes to the wage index and labor share used under the OPPS. CMS will use the federal fiscal year 2013 Inpatient PPS (IPPS) wage indexes including all reclassifications and add-ons, application of the rural floor, and adjustments for budget neutrality. CMS will continue to apply the wage index to a labor-related share of 60 percent.
Changes to the APC Payment Weights: CMS is adopting its proposal to change how the Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) payment weights are calculated for CY 2013. The change modifies the basis of the weight calculation from median-based hospital costs for services in the APC groups to geometric mean-based costs. CMS believes this change will make the weights more reflective of service costs and bring greater consistency between the methodologies used to calculate weights under the OPPS and IPPS, allowing the agency to make better cross-system comparisons and examine issues of payment parity between the two payment systems.
A comparison of the current APC payment rates to the newly adopted rates shows that the rates for 38 percent of the 426 APCs with payment weights will change by plus 5 percent or more. The payment rates for 13 percent of the APCs with payment weights will change by minus 5 percent or more. The remaining 49 percent have payment rates that change by less than +/-5 percent when compared to the current rates. This comparison factors in all changes to the APCs for CY 2013, including the adopted change that modifies the basis of the weight calculation to mean-based costs.
Outlier Payments: To maintain total outlier payments at 1.0 percent of total OPPS payments, CMS will maintain the CY 2012 outlier fixed-dollar threshold of $2,025 for CY 2013. Outlier payments will be triggered when the cost of furnishing a service or procedure by a hospital exceeds 1.75 times the APC payment amount and exceeds the APC payment rate plus the fixed-dollar threshold.
Expiration of Hold-Harmless Payments to Small Rural Hospitals and Continuation of the 7.1 percent Add-On for SCHs and EACHs: The outpatient hold-harmless payment policy applicable to rural hospitals with 100 or fewer beds that was extended for one-year by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 will expire on December 31, 2012. CMS does not have the authority to extend these payments beyond CY 2012 without authorizing legislation. Sole Community Hospitals (SCHs) and Essential Access Community Hospitals (EACHs) will continue to receive the 7.1 percent payment increase established by CMS in CY 2006 for all services and procedures paid under the OPPS, excluding drugs, biologicals, brachytherapy sources, and devices paid under the pass-through payment policy.
Physician Supervision Requirements for Outpatient Services in Hospitals and CAHs: CMS is adopting its proposal to extend, through CY 2013, the non-enforcement of the direct supervision requirement related to outpatient therapeutic services for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and small rural hospitals with 100 or fewer beds. CMS first adopted this non-enforcement policy in CY 2011 when the agency revised and further defined several policies related to the physician supervision of outpatient services. The delay in enforcing this supervision requirement on CAHs and small rural hospitals will provide the Federal Advisory APC Panel, established in CY 2012, with additional time to continue its assessment of the appropriate supervision levels for individual hospital outpatient therapeutic services. CMS does not plan to extend the non-enforcement policy beyond CY 2013.
Updates to the Hospital OQR Program: CMS did not propose and is not adopting any major changes or expansion to the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program for CY 2014 payment determinations and beyond. CMS is confirming the suspension of data collection for the measure OP-19: Transition Record with Specified Elements Received by Discharged Emergency Department Patients. Also, CMS is adopting its proposal to defer data collection for one year, until January 1, 2014, for the measure OP-24: Cardiac Rehabilitation Patient Referral from an Outpatient Setting. This measure will be used for CY 2015 payment determinations rather than CY 2014 determinations as previously adopted.
As adopted in previous rulemaking, for CY 2013 payment determinations, hospitals were required to successfully report on a total of 23 quality measures. As a result of previously and newly adopted OQR Program changes, hospitals must successfully report on a total of 24 measures for CY 2014 payment determinations and 25 measures for CY 2015 payment determinations. A complete list of QQR Program measures for CY 2014 and CY 2015 payment determinations is available on pages 915-916 of the display copy of the final rule Federal Register. Hospitals that do not successfully participate in the OQR Program are subject to a 2.0 percentage point reduction to the OPPS market basket update for the applicable year–the reduction factor has not changed.
A full detailed analysis of the 2013 OPPS rule will be available in the coming weeks on the WHA website at www.wha.org/pps_outpatient.aspx.
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Hurricane Sandy ripped a path of destruction across the east coast and forced the evacuation of several hospitals. The storm tested the veracity of the hospitals’ emergency preparedness plans and their emergency communications systems.
The Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program (WHEPP) is working with 128 Wisconsin hospitals to connect them to the Wisconsin Interoperability System for Communications, known as WISCOM. WISCOM is a network of 74 towers and supporting infrastructure that serves 95 percent of the state. The network will serve all public safety and public service users and disciplines, which will enable hospitals to communicate locally, regionally and statewide with EMS, air ambulances and with other hospitals.
Hospitals are often only able to communicate with nearby facilities. Likewise, field personnel can only communicate to the nearest hospitals, or in some instances, only to county hospitals. Inter-facility transports, including ground and air, can only communicate for a few miles from the departure and a few miles prior to their arrival at a hospital. Hospitals and EMS are required to have a VHF radio and EMS-B capabilities, but these radios have very limited range. Regional and statewide alerting is only available if the Internet and other communications platforms, such as cell phones that depend on fiber lines, are functioning and available.
When it is fully implemented, WISCOM will provide a much broader range and more reliable way for responders and hospitals to communicate.
"Wisconsin is one of the first states to utilize the communications network as a hospital preparedness tool," according to Paul Wittkamp, Wisconsin’s EMS communications coordinator.
Wittkamp said installation is expected to begin soon. Hospitals will be contacted to arrange details. When this is done, a few pilot installations can begin when the hardware inventory starts to arrive, which should be in a matter of weeks. The program must be fully in place and operational by the end of June 2013.
For more information contact: Kevin Wernet, Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program Director, at 608-266-3128 orKevin.Wernet@dhs.wisconsin.gov, or Paul Wittkamp, State EMS Communications Coordinator, at 608-261-9306 or Paul.Wittkamp@dhs.eisconsin.gov.
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Member News: Spooner Named President of Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Division
Allan Spooner has been appointed president of Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Division including Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee, Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee, Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, and Columbia St. Mary’s Women’s Hospital. Spooner assumes the position from interim president, Marion Purdue. Spooner began his role October 29, 2012.
"I am delighted to welcome Allan Spooner to the leadership team at Columbia St. Mary’s," said Mark Taylor, president/CEO, Columbia St. Mary’s Health System. "Some years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Allan at St. John Providence Health System in Detroit, MI, where he served as vice president of business and corporate development. During that time I witnessed Allan’s strong leadership skills in clinical program development, engaging communication style and demonstrated success in managing a multi-hospital environment. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber and solid track record join our team, advancing our mission and our deep commitment to patient care."
Spooner has more than 18 years experience in health care leadership including his most recent role as president and chief executive officer at the Rose de Lima Campus of Dignity Health’s St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Henderson, Nevada. Prior to joining St. Rose, Spooner served as a vice president for Ascension Health, St. Louis, MO. He also served as vice president, business and corporate development at St. John Providence Health System in Detroit, MI. Spooner’s past experience includes tenure at Tenet Health System and a consulting role at KPMG Peat Marwick. Spooner received an AB in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and an MBA in Finance and Policy Studies from the University of Chicago School of Business.
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A contingent from the Wisconsin-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (WI-1 DMAT) was deployed November 3 to the East Coast to assist in relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy. This Hurricane Sandy emergency strike team consists of a number of medical professionals from across the state of Wisconsin.
WI-1 DMAT is part of a federally-coordinated system that provides medical capabilities in the event of a large-scale emergency that overwhelms normal local and state medical resources. A Disaster Medical Assistance Team consists of medical, logistical, and administrative personnel, as well as all of the equipment required to deliver medical care in an austere environment. Volunteers from hospitals, clinics, and EMS agencies throughout the state make up the WI-1 DMAT.
For more information about WI-1 DMAT, visit the team website at www.wi1dmat.org.
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Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease and death in Wisconsin. More people die of tobacco-related disease than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, motor vehicle accidents and HIV/AIDS combined. Wisconsin hospitals offer a variety of education and smoking cessation classes to help people kick the habit. In addition, all Wisconsin hospitals are tobacco free, campus wide, to signal their support of creating an environment that promotes wellness.
Joining forces to ‘Shine a Light on Lung Cancer’
More than 2,000 fifth and sixth grade students in La Crosse and Trempealeau Counties received a helpful reminder of the dangers of smoking last November, thanks to Gundersen Lutheran Health System’s efforts to "Shine a Light on Lung Cancer."
Gundersen Lutheran’s mission focuses on improving the health of the communities we serve. Knowing that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is expected to grow by more than 13 percent over the next five to 10 years, Gundersen Lutheran’s Lung Cancer Task Force took action during National Lung Cancer Awareness Month – November 2011.
In addition to a community-wide educational event, they encouraged local school districts to incorporate anti-smoking and lung cancer awareness lessons into their health curriculum. To help with this effort, they distributed lung cancer awareness glow bracelets and educational posters stating, "Smoke free is the way to be!"
Local school districts were very receptive to incorporating these lessons into their curriculum. Teachers say that something as simple as a bracelet can get kids thinking about what they’re learning and keep them thinking about it. "The bracelets are a reminder [for the students] to think about the decisions that they make and how tobacco can have a negative effect on their life," says Justin Running, a teacher from the West Salem School District.
"These glow bracelets not only served as a conversation piece but empowered the students to act as educators," reports Kristen Marcou, project manager, Gundersen Lutheran Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders. "We were very pleased to learn that the kids spread the message about the dangers of smoking to their friends and family."
Gundersen Lutheran Health System, La Crosse
Making tobacco free a reality
Gundersen Lutheran Health System understands that breaking tobacco dependence is difficult, and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. For those struggling with a nicotine addiction, Gundersen Lutheran’s Community & Preventive Care Services offers a free Journey to Freedom Nicotine Cessation and Relapse Prevention Support Group.
This is a free support group for individuals of all ages who are thinking about quitting tobacco use, are currently working on it or need help in coping once they’ve quit. It is intended to be one tool among many offered at Gundersen Lutheran that can provide tobacco users with ongoing support and relapse prevention. A different health and wellness topic is offered each month.
Not only does this group save participants hundreds of dollars, but it offers users helpful tools such as free quit packs and carbon monoxide screenings just for attending. However, its rewards have a far greater impact down the road, such as saving thousands of dollars in health care costs due to chronic illnesses such as asthma, COPD and cancers of the lung and mouth.
Gundersen Lutheran has formed a partnership with community organizations, including the County Health Department and neighboring hospitals. Interested tobacco users often receive referrals to this free monthly support group, which is unique to our area. Those who have taken advantage of the support group and Gundersen Lutheran’s Journey to Freedom Nicotine Cessation Clinic have an increased chance of success with an average 40 to 50 percent cessation rate—much higher than a smoker quitting on their own, which is about 3 to 5 percent.
Gundersen Lutheran Health System, La Crosse
No ifs, ands, or butts about it: Tobacco-free class changes lives
In April 2012, Mayo Clinic Health System – Northland began offering an eight-session smoking cessation program at no charge.
Sara Peterson, 32, is one of the several participants who benefited from the program. Ever since her first cigarette at age 14, she had made multiple attempts to quit. When Peterson began smoking upwards of a pack a day, she realized the habit had become a source of tension in her life. An avid runner, her stamina declined. Cigarette breaks interrupted family gatherings. Meanwhile, the expensive addiction was straining her pocket book.
"I just couldn’t rationalize smoking anymore," Peterson says. "I was trying to quit, and I wasn’t succeeding until I took this class. Before this group all of my quit attempts were horrible. The difference is like night and day."
"Every day is a choice to be a non-smoker," she says. "I got some top-notch help for free. This class has been so life-changing."
Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland, Barron
Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at
Read more about hospitals connecting with their communities at www.WiServePoint.org.
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