August 20, 2010
Volume 54, Issue 33



WHA Continues to Challenge Newborn Screening Fee Increase
WHA, DHS, and WSLH Meet to Discuss Options

This week, WHA continued to challenge the 57 percent increase in the newborn screening fees charged Wisconsin hospitals when a hospital purchases newborn blood specimen collection cards from the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene (WSLH). The fees for the cards pay for the WSLH costs to analyze the blood and the Department of Health Services (DHS) costs for the Congenital Disorder Program. The WSLH and DHS increased the fees without notifying and seeking input from hospitals, private payers, and other interested organizations. WHA has expressed concern to both DHS and WSLH that the large increase has not been sufficiently vetted outside of the agencies that benefit from the increase and that hospitals have not had time to budget for the increase. (See the August 6, 2010 edition of The Valued Voice for additional details.)

In a productive meeting with Division of Public Health Administrator Seth Foldy and WSLH Director Charles Brokopp, WHA President Steve Brenton observed that the current funding process for the program, as a sustainable business model, is broken. Brenton emphasized, "Our intent is not to dismantle this laudable public health program. We are confident that a broader review and discussion of the WSLH’s and DHS’s identified needs would result in improvements that support a sustainable program."

Eric Borgerding, WHA executive vice president, when suggesting that the program and its fees should be subject to the administrative rule process said, "The administrative rule process would ensure adequate public input, particularly as it relates to the program’s impact on health care costs for both providers and payers."

Foldy and Brokopp apologized for not consulting with what they characterized as their partners before approving the fee increase. They also committed to exploring other funding options for the program and ensuring that hospitals have a meaningful seat at the table when the WSLH Board considers issues affecting hospitals.

After the meeting, Brenton said, "I appreciate their recognition that this fee increase was not handled appropriately. WHA is committed to working with DHS and WSLH to improve the process and address what is becoming an increasingly taxing fee on hospitals."

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Court Will Lead Quality Improvement, Measurement Efforts at WHA, WCHQ
New position helps hospitals, physician clinics transition to integrated measures

WHA and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Health Care Quality (WCHQ) announced this week that Kelly Court, MBA, CPHQ has accepted the newly-created position of chief quality officer for both organizations. Earlier this summer, WHA President Steve Brenton and WCHQ President Chris Queram signed a memorandum of understanding that merged the senior-level performance measures/quality staff position that each organization previously had into a single position.

As the chief quality officer, Court will lead the common interests and vision of the groups and their shared commitment to improving performance via measuring and publicly reporting clinical and other measures.

Court has extensive experience in the design and deployment of quality improvement methods and measurement systems at both the hospital and clinic level. She has operational knowledge of clinic and hospital processes that include implementing successful projects to reduce hospital readmissions, improve patient flow, and improve chronic disease management and patient satisfaction.

Court’s background includes positions as vice president, quality, at Great River Health System in West Burlington, Iowa, and quality improvement-related positions in Eau Claire hospitals. She started her career as a lab manager and quality coordinator in a Wisconsin Critical Access Hospital. While at Luther Midelfort, she developed and directed multi-site quality measurement and improvement activities that encompassed business, service and clinical processes and outcomes. That work also included working closely with the quality directors in three Wisconsin CAHs within the system to coordinate measures and spread improvement. She holds a B.S. in medical technology and also earned an MBA at UW-Eau Claire.

"Kelly’s skill sets match up perfectly with what we were looking for in this collaborative position. Her expertise in quality improvement in both hospitals and clinics will help us move toward integrated measures system wide," said Brenton. "The new health reform legislation will accelerate performance measurement and improvement, thus presenting a real opportunity for Wisconsin to advance its nationally-recognized leadership in quality and transparency."

Brenton noted that Wisconsin has numerous local and regional integrated delivery organizations and that integrated systems require integrated measures. "Health reform will lead to future payment reform that will require the linkage of ambulatory, acute and post-acute measures into episodes of care that examine quality and resource use," Brenton said. "We need to be proactive in anticipating the evolution of the measurement landscape, and this new arrangement positions us for the future."

Court will assume her new position in late September.

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Health Care Reform Implementation Special Committee Holds First Meeting
WHA members serve on committee

Thursday, August 19, marked the first meeting of the Legislative Council Special Committee on Health Care Reform Implementation, chaired by Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Jon Richards, and directed to study and make recommendations on what changes should be made to Wisconsin statutes and administrative rules in response to the recently-enacted federal health reform law. Two hospital CEOs are among the 21 committee members. They are William Petasnick, President/CEO, Froedtert & Community Health, and Ed Harding, President/CEO of Columbus Community Hospitals.

"The work and ultimate recommendations of this Special Committee are exceedingly important as Wisconsin begins to interpret the national health reform law in the context of our well-recognized leadership in the provision of high-quality health care services," said Harding. "It is an honor for me to be appointed to serve on this committee."

At their meeting, Committee members received briefings from a variety of individuals, including: Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake; Commissioner of Insurance Sean Dilweg; Alan Weil, Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy; Amie Goldman, CEO of the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP); and Alice Torti, Great Big Pictures, Inc.

Starting off the presentations were Secretary Timberlake and Commissioner Dilweg. Timberlake indicated Wisconsin is well positioned for health reform due to the state’s #1 ranking in health care quality and #2 ranking for access to coverage. She also indicated the health reform law would draw down $750-900 million in additional federal funds between 2014 and 2019.

Timberlake went on to provide several examples of reforms already underway, including Wisconsin’s temporary high risk pool expansion (Wisconsin will receive $73 million in federal dollars allocated over 3.5 years) and the small business tax credit. She noted items on the horizon for future legislatures to decide, including how to handle coverage for certain Medicaid populations, whether the state would seek a "hardship exemption" from Medicaid maintenance of effort requirements and how to structure the health insurance exchange.

Finally, Timberlake provided examples of opportunities under the federal law for payment reform. Those included increased use of medical homes, Accountable Care Organizations, quality and delivery system reforms, comparative effectiveness research, decisions of the Independent Payment Advisory Board and Medicare’s payment bundling pilot program.

Insurance Commissioner Dilweg highlighted a variety of the insurance-related reforms and their effective dates. He then went on to discuss the recent decision by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to set the medical loss ratios for large group coverage at 85 percent and for small group and individual markets at 80 percent. He added he felt most in Wisconsin are already meeting these thresholds.

Goldman provided an overview of the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan, its governance structure and coverage options, including the federal law’s provision for expansion. HIRSP is already administering the latter and has received applications from 153 individuals. For the future, she said one of the larger issues facing HIRSP will be transitioning individuals into the health insurance exchange.

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Political Action Spotlight: 2010 Fundraising Campaign Surpasses $175K Mark

More than three months into the 2010 Campaign, the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit fundraising campaign has raised more than $176,000. The $176,483 total raised to date accounts for 82 percent of the $215,000 goal.

In the last three weeks alone, the campaign has raised more than $25,000 from 74 new contributors. To date a total of 356 individuals have participated.

Individual contributors’ names are published on pages 9-10 by amount categories in alphabetical order. They will be published again in two weeks.

For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.

Contributions ranging from $1 - $499

Anderson, Mark         Sacred Heart Hospital

Appleton, Karl         HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division

Arendt, Kathleen         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Arriola, Josephine         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Ashenhurst, Karla         Ministry Health Care

Axelsen, Kathern         Sacred Heart Hospital

Ayers, Mandy         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Baker, Christine         St. Mary’s Hospital

Ballentine, Anne         Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Barkovich, Catherine         Sacred Heart Hospital

Beckler, Rick         Sacred Heart Hospital

Beglinger, Joan         St. Mary’s Hospital

Bell, Kristine         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Benz, Staci         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Bernklau, Robert         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Biros, Marilyn         SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Bliven, David         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Block, Jennifer         Sacred Heart Hospital    

Bloom, Deborah         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Bosio, David         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Bosman-Clark, Jane         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Boson, Ann         Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Bowman, Andrew         Sacred Heart Hospital

Braddock, Jonathan         WHA Financial Solutions

Braunschweig, Jennifer         Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center

Brenholt, Craig         St. Mary’s Hospital

Brenny, Terrence         Stoughton Hospital Association

Brown, John         St. Mary’s Hospital

Bryans, Richard         Sacred Heart Hospital

Burgener, Jean         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Burtch, Sue         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Buss, Diane         St. Mary’s Hospital

Campbell, Mark         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Campbell-Kelz, Nancy         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Carlson, Carol         Sacred Heart Hospital

Casey, Candy         Columbia Center

Cieslak Duchek, Mary         Aurora Health Care

Clark, Mary Ann         Cumberland Memorial Hospital

Connor, Michael         Aurora Health Care

Conwell, Lisa         WHA Financial Solutions

Coon, Lawrence         Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman

Cox, Tamarah         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Cryns, Janice         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Dalebroux, Steve         St. Mary’s Hospital

Danner, Dean         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Danzinger, Marcia         Sacred Heart Hospital

Davis, Kathleen         Children’s Hospital and Health System

DeMars, Nancy         Sacred Heart Hospital

Derks, Darla         Sacred Heart Hospital

Dettman, Amy         Bellin Hospital

Dietrich, Dean         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Dietsche, James         Bellin Hospital

Dixon, Janet         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Dodd, Petra         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Donlon, Marcia         Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Dorpat, Denice         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Drengler, Kathryn         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Dryden, Shawn         Sacred Heart Hospital

Eady, Diane         Sacred Heart Hospital

Eddy, Lee Anne         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Elliott, Roger         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Erickson, William         Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital

Ertl, Denise         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Evans, Kim         Bellin Hospital

Facey, Alice         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Feldhausen, Mary         St. Vincent Hospital

Fochs, Mary         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Francaviglia, Stephen         Aurora Health Care

Furlong, Marian         Hudson Hospital

Gantner, Sue         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Garavet, Scott         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Gengler, Tim         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Giedd, Janice         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Gjolberg, Skip         HSHS-Western Wisconsin Division

Goffinet, Jo         St. Mary’s Hospital

Govier, Mary         Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Grohskopf, Kevin         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Gruber, Richard         Mercy Health System Corporation

Gullicksrud, Lynn         Sacred Heart Hospital

Gutekunst, Penny         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Habel, Heidi         Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

Hafeman, Paula         St. Vincent Hospital

Haggerty, Peggy         Columbus Community Hospital

Halida, Cheryl         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Hammel, Jennifer         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Hansen, Carrie         Ministry Health Care

Hassemer, Robert         Sacred Heart Hospital

Hattem, Marita         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Hedrington, Brian         Sacred Heart Hospital

Hennessy, Candace         Aurora Health Care

Hessert, Peter         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Hiremath, Satchi         Aurora Health Care

Hoege, Beverly         Reedsburg Area Medical Center

Holmes, Sheri         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Huettl, Patricia         Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Hundt, Pamela         Sacred Heart Hospital

Jelle, Laura         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Jensen, Christopher         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Jensen, Russell         St. Mary’s Hospital

Jentsch, Lisa         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Johnson, Charles         SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Johnson, Kimberly         Sacred Heart Hospital

Johnson, Patricia         Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

Johnson, Roy         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Jones, Linda         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Karow, Deborah         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Kelsey Foley, Kathy         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Kempen, Jacob         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Kerecman, Laura         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Kerfoot, Karlene         Aurora Health Care

King, Steve         St. Mary’s Hospital

Klay, Lois         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Kleaveland Kupczak, Sarah         Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Kluesner, Kevin         Aurora Health Care-South Region

Klunk, Timothy         Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Krueger, Mary         Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital

Krueger, Pamela         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Lange, George         Westgate Medical Group, CSMCP

Larson, William         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Lathrop, Randall         Sacred Heart Hospital

Leonard, Mary Kay         St. Mary’s Hospital

Logemann, Tim         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Lorenz, Bruce         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Lortscher, Loren         Sacred Heart Hospital

Lucas, Roger         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Margan, Rob         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Marsch, Jean         St. Vincent Hospital

Mathews, Larry         St. Vincent Hospital

McKevett, Timothy         Beloit Memorial Hospital

McNally, Maureen         Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital

Meicher, John         St. Mary’s Hospital

Mello, Sadie         Sacred Heart Hospital

Miller, Clint         Spooner Health System

Mohr, Carol         Sacred Heart Hospital

Moon-Mogush, Cindy         Aurora Health Care

Moraski, Kevin         Ministry Health Care

Mourey, Gerald         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Mulder, Doris         Beloit Memorial Hospital

Nelson, James         Fort HealthCare

Nelson, Mark         Sacred Heart Hospital

Nevers, Rick         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Nockerts, Steve         The Richland Hospital, Inc.

Norton, Marcella         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

O’Keefe, Robert         Aurora Health Care

Olive, Willie         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Olkowski, Leland         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Ordinans, Karen         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Osen, John         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Padilla, Gilbert         Sacred Heart Hospital

Page, Alison         Baldwin Area Medical Center

Palecek, Steve         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Pascente, Maria         Aurora Health Care

Paul, Mary         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Milwaukee

Peck, Lori         Memorial Health Center

Pedretti, Julie         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Peickert, Barbara         Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

Peiffer, Susan         Sacred Heart Hospital

Pempek, Kalynn         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Pennebecker,         Allen Ministry Health Care

Perlock, Sandra         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Peterson, Doulas         Chippewa Valley Hospital

Pichotta, Naomi         Aurora Health Care

Piehl, Steven         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Pielhop, Judy         Sacred Heart Hospital

Piper, Barbara         Sacred Heart Hospital

Pirsig-Anderson, Jane         Aurora Health Care

Podhora, Ida         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Polenz, Scott         Memorial Medical Center - Neillsville

Potts, Dennis         Aurora Health Care

Powell, Stacey         Sacred Heart Hospital

Priest, Geoffrey         Meriter Hospital

Proehl, Sheila         Hudson Hospital

Prunty, Brian         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Richbourg, Mary         Sacred Heart Hospital

Roberts, Paula         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Roberts, Phillip         Columbus Community Hospital

Rocheleau, John         Bellin Hospital

Roethle, Linda         Bellin Psychiatric Center

Ross, Forrest         WHA Financial Solutions

Rowe, Jeanne         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Rozenfeld, Jonathan         St. Mary’s Hospital

Rudolph, Wade         Sacred Heart Hospital

Rueber, Joel         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sachse, Kelly         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Schade, Randy         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Schaetzl, Ron         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Schraufnagel, Patricia         Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Schroeder, Larry         Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital

Schweitzer, Susan         Columbus Community Hospital

Scinto, Jeanne         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sczygelski, Sidney         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sheehan, Heather         Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

Skulan-Balmer, Anna         Sacred Heart Hospital

Spieckerman, Jill         Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital

Stanford, Cynthia         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Stelzer, Jason         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Stine, Stephen         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Stone, Stacy         Sacred Heart Hospital

Storing, Sandy         Sacred Heart Hospital

Stout, Johni         WHA Financial Solutions

Strobel, Donald         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Swessel, Catherine         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Tandberg, Christine         Sacred Heart Hospital

Tapper, Joy         Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Tarantino, Jennifer         Aurora Health Care

Todd, Jeffrey         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Turner, Sally         Aurora Health Care

Twinem, Thomas         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Vakoc, Patricia         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Verploegh, Alan         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Voelker, Thomas         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Vogler, Linda         Sacred Heart Hospital

Vogt, Paula         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Walker, Troy         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Watts, Susan         St. Vincent Hospital

Weden, Mary         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Werlein, George         Sacred Heart Hospital

Winter, Jean         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Wise, Richard         Sacred Heart Hospital

Witt, Heather         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Wymelenberg, Tracy         Aurora Health Care

Zeller, Brad         Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

Contributions ranging from $500 - $999

Andersen, Travis         St. Elizabeth Hospital

Anderson, Rhonda         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc.

Anderson, Sandy         St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Bayer, Tom         St. Vincent Hospital

Bonin, Christopher         Aurora Health Care

Borgerding, Dana

Brenton, Mary E.

Bukowski, Cathy         Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center

Butler, John         St. Mary’s Hospital

Callies, Julie         WHA Information Center

Carlson, Dan         Bay Area Medical Center

Chess, Eva         Aurora Health Care

Clapp, Nicole         Grant Regional Health Center

Clough, Sheila         Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center

Coffman, Joan         St. Joseph’s Hospital

Deich, Faye         Sacred Heart Hospital

Farkas, David         Aurora Health Care

Frank, Jennifer         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Geboy, Scott         Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman

Grundstrom, David         Flambeau Hospital

Heifetz, Michael         SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Hinton, George         Aurora Sinai Medical Center

Jenks, David         Aurora Health Care

Just, Lisa         Aurora Medical Center in Hartford

Kerwin, George         Bellin Hospital

Klein, Rick         Aurora Health Care

Klimisch, Ronald         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Korom, Nancy         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Mahoney, Lorelle         Aurora Health Care

Mantei, Mary Jo         Bay Area Medical Center

McDonald, Brian         Aurora Health Care

McDonald, Mary Beth         Aurora Health Care

McKennie, Randall         Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center

Merline, Karen

Miller, Jim         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Moulthrop, David         Rogers Memorial Hospital

Normington, Jeremy         Moundview Memorial Hospital and Clinics

Postler-Slattery, Diane         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Potter, Brian         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Richards, Theresa         Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Russell, John         Boscobel Area Health Care

Selberg, Heidi         HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division

Shabino, Charles         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Ship, Mark         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Size, Pat         Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Smith, Linda         Aurora Health Care

Staffileno, Gerri         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Ozaukee

Strasser, Kathy         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Stuart, Phil         Tomah Memorial Hospital

Swanson, Kerry         St. Mary’s Janeville Hospital

Taplin Statz, Linda         SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Topinka, Ralph         Mercy Health System Corporation

VanCourt, Bernie         Bay Area Medical Center

Van Meeteren, Bob         Reedsburg Area Medical Center

Wallace, Michael         Fort HealthCare

Worrick, Gerald         Ministry Health Care’s Door County Memorial Hospital

Contributions ranging from $1,000 - $1,499

Bazan, Bill         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Birkenstock, Timothy         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Boese, Jennifer         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Britton, Gregory         Beloit Memorial Hospital

Brooks, Alenia         Aurora Health Care

Brophy, Michael         Aurora Health Care

Buser, Kenneth         Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Byrne, Frank         St. Mary’s Hospital

Chapin, Rocklon         St. Mary’s/Duluth Clinic Health System

Christensen, Cinthia         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Devermann, Robert         Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh

Duncan, Robert         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Dunigan, Thomas         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Eichman, Cynthia         Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital

Fale, Robert         Agnesian HealthCare/St. Agnes Hospital

Falvey, Patrick         Aurora Health Care

Friberg, Deb         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Milwaukee

Garcia, Dawn         Sacred Heart Hospital

Greenberg, Beverly         Aurora Health Care

Hahn, Brad         Aurora Health Care

Hilt, Monica         Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital

Kief, Brian         Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Kryda, Michael         Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Lappin, Michael         Aurora Health Care

Levin, Jeremy         Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Loftus, Philip         Aurora Health Care

Marciano, Karol             Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Milwaukee

Martin, Jeff         Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital

Nauman, Michael         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Nelson, Dave         SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Niemer, Margaret         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Park, Dr. Joon         Aurora Health Care

Petasnick, William         Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital

Radoszewski, Pat         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Reynolds, Sheila         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Robertstad, John         ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Mem. Hospital

Roller, Rachel         Aurora Health Care

Ronstrom, Stephen         HSHS-Western Wisconsin Division

Sanders, Robert         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Schafer, Michael         Spooner Health System

Sexton, Bill         Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital

Stanford, Matthew         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Titus, Rexford         ProHealth Care

Troy, Peggy         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Warmuth, Judith         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Westrick, Paul         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Milwaukee

Wolf, Edward         Lakeview Medical Center

Woodward, James         Meriter Hospital

Contributions ranging from $1,500 - $1,999

Bailet, Jeffrey         Aurora Health Care

Banaszynski, Gregory         Aurora Health Care

Bloch, Jodi         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Capelli, A.J.         Aurora Health Care

Grasmick, Mary Kay         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Herzog, Mark         Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Johnson, Peter         Aurora West Allis Medical Center

Kachelski, Joe         WHA Information Center

Kosanovich, John         UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center

Leitch, Laura         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Mettner, Michelle         Children’s Hospital and Health System

Morgan, Dwight         Aurora Health Care

O’Brien, Mary         Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center

Olson, David         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Ozaukee

Contributions ranging from $2,000 - $2,499

Bablitch, Steve         Aurora Health Care

Merline, Paul         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Neufelder, Daniel         Affinity Health System

Oliverio, John         Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Sanders, Michael         Monroe Clinic

Starmann-Harrison, Mary         SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Contributions ranging from $2,500 - $2,999

Brideau, Leo         Columbia St. Mary’s, Inc. - Columbia

Ela, Susan         Aurora Health Care

Erwin, Duane         Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Tyre, Scott         Capitol Navigators, Inc.

Contributions ranging from $3,000 - $3,999

Borgerding, Eric         Wisconsin Hospital Association

Desien, Nicholas         Ministry Health Care

Turkal, Nick         Aurora Health Care

Contributions ranging from $4,000 - $5,000

Size, Tim         Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Contributions $5,000 or more

Brenton, Stephen         Wisconsin Hospital Association

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Guest Column: Healthiest Wisconsin 2020: A Road Map to Improve Community Health Status
By Frank Byrne, MD, President, St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison

Dr. Byrne represented WHA on the Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Leadership Planning Team.

Every ten years, Wisconsin is, by law, required to develop a public health plan. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) just released the state public health plan for the next decade—"Healthiest Wisconsin 2020." According to DHS, "Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 will become the policy roadmap to protect health and safety, eliminate inequalities in health, and transform our public health system to achieve our shared vision of Healthy People in Healthy and Safe Wisconsin Communities."

More than 1,500 people statewide participated in the development of the plan, with implementation scheduled to begin this fall. Plan objectives will be integrated into the work of foundations, universities, state and local government agencies, private industries, hospitals and many others.

Speaking as a member of the Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Leadership Planning Team, it was an honor to represent Wisconsin hospitals and participate in the process of developing our state’s agenda for a healthier future. The process was inclusive, with diverse health interest groups advocating passionately for specific health concerns that helped us identify gaps that required consideration in the plan. It also made us all aware of the infinite nature of the health needs in our state and limited resources that are available to meet them.

"Healthiest Wisconsin 2020" is an important document in a number of ways. It acts as a litmus test that can either challenge or affirm our assumptions as we determine the health priorities in our communities. It also can serve as a roadmap and support hospitals as they implement community needs assessments, which is now an IRS requirement.

What really struck me was the fact that our population in Wisconsin has changed in many key demographic dimensions. Public health needs have changed, too, as obesity and chronic disease rates have soared. While we have made progress in some areas of population health, others still threaten our ability to meet the significant needs with ever shrinking resources. As hospital leaders, we will continue to dedicate financial and human resources to our mission of improving the health status of our communities. "Healthiest Wisconsin 2020" is the roadmap that can help direct that journey.

Lastly, I would like to recognize the work of several key staff members at the Wisconsin Department of Health. Margaret Schmelzer, State Health Plan Director; State Health Officer Seth Foldy, MD; Pat Guhleman, MS, director, Office of Policy and Practice Alignment; and DHS Secretary Karen Timberlake.

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Register Today for 2010 WHA Annual Convention
Online registration available at www.wha.org; Hotel cut-off August 25

The 2010 WHA Annual Convention offers health care leaders and their board members an opportunity to network with colleagues from around the state. This year the WHA Convention is being held September 15-17 at the Marriott Madison West Hotel. The group rate discount expires Thursday, August 25, so WHA urges those that require overnight stays to reserve a room as soon as possible.

This year the convention agenda includes the following sessions:

The conference brochure and online registration are now available at www.wha.org. For registration information/questions, contact Lisa Littel at 608-274-1820 or email llittel@wha.org.

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WHA HIT Task Force Sees Good, Bad, and Ugly in Final Meaningful Use Rule
Task Force also discusses member education plans

WHA’s Health Information Technology (HIT) and State-Level Health Information Exchange Task Force focused on the new electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use and certification final rules implementing the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs enacted in the 2009 Federal stimulus bill during its August 13 meeting. While there are improvements in the final rule compared to the rules proposed in January, the Task Force identified several provisions in the rules that will make it challenging to meet the goal of widespread adoption of EHR technology.

The "good:"

The "bad:"

The "ugly:"

WHA has had an active early advocacy strategy on the incentive programs since the release of the final rule. The Task Force was updated on WHA’s contacts with Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation, including both letters and visits discussing the new final rules. The Task Force was also updated on newly-introduced legislation aimed at addressing the multi-campus hospital issue.

The Task Force also discussed WHA plans for member education and communication on the final rules, with particular focus on providing information that can help hospitals strategically plan for the EHR incentive programs. WHA is planning member webinars in September on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, as well as the release of an EHR Incentive Program toolkit on the WHA Web site.

Look for more detail on these developments in next week’s Valued Voice.

A copy of the final meaningful use rule can be found at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-17207.pdf . A copy of the final EHR certification rule can be found here: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-17210.pdf.

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Study: Calculation of EHR Quality Measures Will Challenge Even Early Adopters

Hospital EHRs that meet the functional requirements for meaningful use will not necessarily have the functionality necessary to meet "hidden" functionality requirements implicit in the meaningful use quality measure requirements according to a study by Computer Sciences Corporation. The study found that even hospitals with core systems such as reg/ADT and laboratory who have met the explicit data capture requirements under the meaningful use final rule will only have 35 percent of the data needed for the hospital measures. The remaining 65 percent are the hidden requirements of meaningful use.

According to the study, the 15 initial quality measures for hospitals under the meaningful use rule require data capture functionality beyond the initial EHR functional requirements. For example, data sources for the quality measures include physician documentation, medication administration, computerized provider order entry and discharge instructions. Further, data elements for quality reporting must be in structured formats that are not widely used.

A copy of the Computer Sciences Corporation study can be found at www.csc.com/health_services/insights/51442-hospital_quality_reporting_the_hidden_requirements_in_meaningful_use.

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Literacy Project, Quality Seminar Announcement Shared with WHA Medical & Professional Affairs Council

The ability of patients and their families to successfully navigate the health care delivery system is wholly dependent upon their comprehension. At their August 5 meeting, the WHA Medical and Professional Affairs Council heard an overview of a Wisconsin-based case study that describes a collaborative model to evaluate the health literacy environment of hospitals. Sue Gaard from Confident Conversations presented the findings to the Council. Gaard said the project identified health literacy barriers and provided recommendations for improving document readability and hospital way-finding for patients and families.

The case study involved St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison, and Omega School students, who are largely adult learners. To identify health literacy barriers, there was an assessment of written materials that are provided to patients at admission, a hospital navigation/walk-through and roundtable dialogue among all participants in the study.

Gaard noted that once the case study is published, a project report will be disseminated to Wisconsin hospitals and literacy organizations. Gaard is working with WHA on details related to sharing the results with Wisconsin hospitals.

Julie Callies from the WHA Information Center (WHAIC) discussed the collection of the Present on Admission (POA) indicators with the Council. Callies reported WHAIC, a subsidiary of WHA that is responsible for collecting discharge data in Wisconsin, required Wisconsin hospitals to submit the POA indicator on all hospital inpatient discharges effective with January 1, 2008, dates of service. Callies noted Wisconsin hospitals are well positioned to understand POA and its emerging landscape.

Progress continues to be made on the WIRED State-Level Health Information Exchange Project, according to Matthew Stanford, WHA associate counsel. The deadline for the state to submit a strategic and operation plan to the federal government is August 31. The group is still discussing what will be shared, who will be sharing, and how a state-level health information exchange (SLHIE) will be paid for. A State Designated Entity (SDE) will assume the planning and implementation of SLHIE beginning in February 2011, having an operational network by 2012.

Some concerns of the proposed plan are value and sustainability. Will the SLHIE provide enough value to providers to justify participation? Another concern is flexibility. Does the plan provide enough flexibility as EHR and health policy rapidly evolves?

WHA, Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Collaborative for Health Care Quality and the Wisconsin Health Information Organization will be applying to serve as the SDE. The objectives of the "4 Ws":

Wisconsin Medical Society Vice President Tim Bartholow, MD, provided an overview of the analysis of the WHIO Data Exchange. He noted that the data is de-identified for name, and assigned a unique identifier across the different payers within WHIO. Variable and self-insured claims are also contributed. The current contributors to WHIO are Humana, United, Anthem, Wisconsin Physician Services and Wisconsin Education Association Trust. New contributors on the next WHIO update will be Gundersen Lutheran and Medicaid – fee for service.

WHA Quality Seminar Set October 19: New Focus on Relationship between Finance, Quality

The Quality & Safety Forum is changing formats this year and now becoming a one-day workshop targeted at CFOs, CNOs and quality improvement leaders, said Jennifer Frank, WHA vice president, education. The 2010 workshop is scheduled Tuesday, October 19. The location has yet to be determined, but most likely it will be in Stevens Point. The seminar is still in its early stages of planning, but learning objectives will include:

The next meeting of the Council is October 28 at WHA headquarters in Madison.

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Ground Broken to Build Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin
Comprehensive cancer care coordinated by hospitals throughout the region

At a ceremony August 3, representatives from eight collaborating organizations broke ground on the Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin. The new facility, centrally located in New Richmond, will anchor a regional care delivery system specializing in cancer treatment services for patients in the western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota region.

Six hospitals are building the new cancer center and creating a cancer care delivery network that brings high-end cancer treatment closer to patients and enhances the hospitals’ abilities to provide local cancer care at each of their facilities. The hospitals, Amery Regional Medical Center, Baldwin Area Medical Center, Hudson Hospital & Clinics, Osceola Medical Center, St. Croix Regional Medical Center and Westfields Hospital, in partnership with others, are committed to improving health by providing high-quality cancer care that meets the needs of growing communities.

The new Cancer Center will be staffed by specialists from Minneapolis Radiation Oncology P.A. and the HealthPartners Medical Group’s medical oncology department. The team will also provide support at each of the six hospitals on a routine basis, providing coordinated cancer care prevention, treatment and supportive services.

During the groundbreaking event, speakers representing the group highlighted the unique collaborative approach of eight organizations—all with the identical vision of bringing more convenient local access for patients during the challenging times of cancer treatment.

The facility and care system is expected to open next spring.

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Wisconsin Hospitals Community Benefits: Access to Primary and Preventive Health Services

Hospitals do what they can to move health care services out of the clinical setting into the heart of the community. Community health screenings and education classes help raise awareness of small, and sometimes, large steps that individuals can take to improve their health. When people learn more about how their lifestyle decisions affect their health, they make changes that ultimately lead to better health, which raises the health status of the entire community.

Almost off the charts

In the summer of 2007, Joseph Filas, 76, of Westboro, began noticing that his legs felt heavier than usual and that they were feeling uncomfortably cold at night. He was concerned, but thought he was just experiencing side effects of aging. After all, he was having a check-up every six months following a pacemaker implant and his exams showed nothing out of the ordinary.

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, Filas and some friends attended the Senior Health, Wellness & Safety Fair co-sponsored by the Taylor County Commission on Aging and the Kraft Pizza Company. The event included a number of presentations and health screenings, including a FREE blood glucose screening by Memorial Health Center.

"I figured I’d just go to see what’s going on and I saw Memorial Health Center was having a diabetes check, so I figured that I might as well do that," Filas says. "I’m glad I did."

When Odessa Syryczuk, Memorial Health Center registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, tested Filas’ blood glucose level, she discovered it was extremely high.

"My results were higher than heck, off the charts almost," he says. "[Syryczuk] told me results that high were a big deal and that I might even need insulin. I kind of believed it, so I went to the doctor right after."

Filas left the health fair and immediately drove to Memorial Health Center’s satellite clinic in Rib Lake where it was confirmed he had diabetes.

"They gave me insulin and pills right away," he says. "The people at the clinic worked fast. I had good connections, I guess. That, or I was really bad off."

With medication and hard work, Filas is now controlling his diabetes. And, while discovering that one has a health condition is never a joy, Filas is grateful for Memorial Health Center and its free blood glucose screening.

"It’s a good thing they have things like health fairs and that places like Memorial Health Center do free screenings," he said. "I didn’t have any idea that I had diabetes until I had that blood check. I was under the influence of figuring that when I went for my check-ups, my blood was being checked for things like diabetes. I thought I was covered. I’m just glad Memorial Health Center was there to catch it before things got any worse."

Memorial Health Center, Medford

OLVH serves hundreds at its fourth annual Senior Week

Hundreds of local residents accessed important health and wellness screenings at Our Lady of Victory Hospital (OLVH) in Stanley during its fourth annual Senior Week, Nov. 3-7, 2008.

Nearly 800 people received flu/pneumovax vaccines; 727 people got their shot during Senior Week. Another 44 received their shots at the Victory Medical Group clinic in Owen, and 25 at the Thorp clinic.

"Seniors are such a vital part of our community. We’re pleased at how this event has grown and expanded in the last four years, and are already planning what we’d like to do in 2009," said Cindy Eichman, president of OLVH.

OLVH offered the following screenings to community members with no insurance or high deductibles:

Medication List Screening and Patient Record Preparation - free medication list preparation and copies with individual folder were provided.

The hospital also offered a Wellness Education program during Senior Week. The topic, "Planning for Alternative Living Options in Retirement," was presented by Sue Hebert from the Chippewa County Aging & Disability Resource Center. Sue discussed how and when to downsize a household, future living options to consider as a person ages, and talking to one’s children about planning.

Ministry Health Care – Our Lady of Victory Hospital, Stanley

Exceptional athletic trainer goes the extra mile for kids

For athletic trainers, notoriety is a catch 22. Most would rather go unnoticed on the sideline at an event or work at the school with athletes and coaches to prevent injuries. It’s when the game stops and everyone holds their breath that the athletic trainer is on center stage. Richland Hospital’s, Athletic Trainers Sharon Panske & Kyle Berra bring their respective schools a sigh of relief and have put the Hospital’s Sports Medicine Program into the spotlight in a good way.

Debbie O’Connell is the director of rehabilitation services at the Richland Hospital and oversees the sports medicine program and Panske. "Our Sports Medicine program is a very important part of the overall care we provide to the community," O’Connell said. "School budget constraints would make it difficult, if not impossible, for schools to have athletic trainer coverage on a regular basis. It is the hospital’s commitment to the community and to the partnerships with the schools that makes the services available regularly."

Heather Fitzloff is the Athletic Director at Richland Center High School (RCHS). She works very closely with Richland Hospital Athletic Trainer, Sharon Panske, ATC. She speaks highly of Panske and her relationship with the school.

"Her professionalism and passion for the safety of student-athletes goes above and beyond the call of duty. The student-athletes all like and respect Sharon, because of her gift of connecting with the students. Sharon interacts easily with students, parents and staff. She is part of our RCHS family," Fitzloff said.

Prior to each sports season, RCHS has a registration night for parents, coaches and students. Panske speaks to the entire group at these spring, fall, and winter events and outlines the services that she provides. At events, Panske is diligent in making sure she or another member of the event coverage team is on-site.

"She (Panske) often arrives 30 minutes to an hour early before practice or a home athletic event. If Sharon is not going to be able to attend an event, she makes sure she communicates with me and leaves all supplies and communication for the doctor or substitute Athletic Trainer. This is all done on hospital time," Fitzloff said. "We could not ask for a better Athletic Trainer than Sharon Panske. Our students and entire RCHS community are very fortunate to have her working with us. She is an exceptional person/professional."

The Richland Hospital, Richland Center

Gundersen Lutheran offers free sports physicals

Gundersen Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, Wis., understands that participation in school athletics builds teamwork, strategic thinking, physical fitness and many other positive attributes. They don’t want to see any student miss an opportunity to participate in sports because they cannot afford the cost of a required sports physical.

That’s why Gundersen Lutheran Pediatrics and Family Medicine teamed up annually to offer vouchers for students who need financial assistance to cover the cost of a sports physical not covered by insurance.

Area coaches and athletic directors are asked to help identify and discretely distribute vouchers to students who need them.

Gundersen Lutheran Health System, La Crosse

Getting your bell rung – beware of the chime!

When an athlete gets his or her bell rung, the "shake it off and play through it" mentality is wrong. Concussions for school age athletes are more serious than has been recognized in the past. Dr. Kevin Whitney is a Primary Care Physician at Richland Medical Center and Richland Hospital and is a member of the Richland Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic.

"Young brains are still developing, making them more susceptible to debilitating second concussions. When a young athlete returns to action before their brain is properly healed, a second concussion could mean permanent brain damage or even death," Whitney said.

Richland Sports Medicine provides all athletes at the schools they cover with a free initial/baseline impact test. In fall of 2009, approximately 80 percent of our athletes completed a baseline test that was free of charge," Panske said. "In the future, if we find that an athlete has suffered a concussion, we can administer a follow-up test to see if his or her results have changed from the baseline. If we see someone who did not have the initial baseline test, we can still compare the data to a standard measures."

Sue Sharpe is the mother of a Richland Center High School soccer player who has benefited from the concussion clinic and ImPact testing in 2009. She said that she feels very lucky to have had her son, Kane, tested before the season began. "Now they have some data to compare," She said. "There’s a huge difference between guessing and really having the knowledge that our kids are healed and ready to get back into the game."

Richland Hospital, Richland Center

ImPACT concussion screening for student athletes

The Fort Memorial Hospital Foundation is supporting an initiative within local schools that provides student athletes with the opportunity to receive ImPACT concussion testing free of charge. This is the second year of funding encouraging innovative ideas from Fort HealthCare employees, and this year there was $40,000 in grants awarded.

ImPACT testing is conducted on a computer at the beginning of a sports season and then after a concussion has been detected to aid in difficult return-to-play decisions. The test measures an athlete’s symptoms and assesses attention, memory, processing speed and reaction time. If the athlete scores the same as they did pre-season they are perceived as ready to return to the game. If they score lower than they did pre-season, the concussion is presumed to still exist and therefore it is not safe to return to play.

As more children are participating in organized athletics, concussions are becoming increasingly common. Some can even be difficult to assess, leaving an athlete at risk for multiple concussions. However, the problem occurs when a student athlete wants to return to play and tells the athletic trainer pre-maturely he/she is not having symptoms anymore.

Julie Neppl, athletic trainer and physical therapist for Fort HealthCare’s Therapy and Sport Center says, "The Fort HealthCare Foundation has given us a great opportunity to serve our high school athletes with the latest technology for the treatment and prevention of head injuries.

Fort HealthCare, Fort Atkinson

Ministry’s Sports Medicine offers on-site concussion testing

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), a computer-based program that tests the cognitive ability of the brain, is offered free to local student athletes by Ministry Health Care’s Point Sports Medicine Center.

ImPACT, uses a series of tests done by the athlete to obtain baseline cognitive data (working memory, sustained and selective attention time, response variability, non-verbal problem solving and reaction time) which is referenced after the athlete sustains a head injury. Results provide specific information regarding the severity of injury and a standard for evaluating recovery from injury.

It is estimated that approximately 1,450 local high school and junior high school aged athletes would reap the positive health benefits from ImPACT provided by Ministry’s Point Sports Medicine Center if they all participated.

"We are excited about being able to offer ImPACT in addition to our other on-the-field services we provide to local athletes," stated Dr. Dan Kraeger, sports medicine specialist for Ministry Health Care’s Point Sport Medicine Center. "We believe in the importance of obtaining this information and hope that schools agree to provide this testing for all athletes involved in contact sports."

Concussions are very common in high school athletics and many times the criteria to return athletes to the game are not objective enough. The long-term consequences of returning to play too soon and sustaining additional damage to the brain can be life-long and very debilitating. ImPACT testing can be done ahead of time and used as a comparison reference after an injury to determine if the brain is still impaired.

Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital, Ministry Medial Group, Stevens Point

Diabetes education group gives community long-term support

Needles, blood sugar, diets, insulin. Diabetes is a chronic, life-altering illness that can be scary and confusing. And, according to the American Diabetes Association 1.6 million people 20 years and older are diagnosed each year.

That’s why Riverside Medical Center (RMC) in Waupaca has continued to expand its community-based Diabetes Education Group. Since its inception 15 years ago, the ThedaCare program has given people diagnosed with diabetes a place to learn about their illness and how to manage it, and connect with other diabetics.

"A lot of what they need to do to keep their diabetes in control depends on their lifestyle, taking medications and insulin," said Marci Reynolds, RN and certified diabetes educator with RMC. "It’s really a hassle to have diabetes, and they need a lot of support."

The diabetes support group meets three times each in the fall and spring and features topics that boil down to healthy living — including speakers, T’ai Chi classes and supermarket tours to help diabetics shop more healthfully. All classes are free to participants.

The supermarket tour is a new addition and proved immensely popular its first session. Group members met a dietician there, and she helped them read labels and talked about recipes. "We had 20-some people show up, and they kept her there for more than three hours," Reynolds said.

The program’s presence in Waupaca is vital also because of a strong tendency for crossover between diabetes and other chronic illness like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Its popularity continues to rise. "Research is showing the best support is each other, which is why our support group is so important to people," Reynolds said.

Riverside Medical Center, Waupaca

Flambeau Hospital begins series of "Health Talks"

Starting monthly in 2010, Flambeau Hospital began a series of Health Talks. Sessions are held in Park Falls and Phillips, giving people in the community two different days and locations to attend the free monthly educational series.

"The mission of Flambeau Hospital is to create healthier communities while improving the health and well being of the people. These health talks are one more way we can accomplish our mission," stated David Grundstrom, chief administrative officer of Flambeau Hospital.

Flambeau Hospital, Park Falls

Clergy Health Fair

St. Nicholas Hospital held its annual Clergy Health Fair on October 30. All area clergy were invited to attend to learn more about health issues and receive a variety of free health screenings such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Flu shots and a health risk appraisal questionnaire were also offered for free.

"This is a small token of appreciation for area clergy because of all that they have done for the Hospital," said Susie Runaas, Community Education Lead. "It is an opportunity to provide quality health care screenings for them and give them information about the services that we have available to the community such as smoking cessation classes, diabetes and nutrition information and the Sheboygan Surgery Center."

St. Nicholas Hospital, Sheboygan

Free health screenings and health fairs

Bellin Health routinely offers free health care services in and around the Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula communities it serves. Doing so is part of the Green Bay-based health system’s continued focus on encouraging wellness and prevention while gradually steering patients away from predominantly reactive health care.

Between October 1, 2009 and July 27, 2010, Bellin Health offered 93 free health screenings and 23 free health fair events.

"It’s important for us to regularly offer these free services," said Bellin Health community outreach coordinator Debbie Leoni. "Anything that gets us in front of people and helps us to share the message of preventive health care, routine checkups, proper nutrition and regular exercise is a step in the right direction.

"This doesn’t always translate to a new patient, but that’s not the goal," Leoni said. "We do this simply to encourage people to take charge of their health. Free screenings are a great way to start teaching people how to take that first step in taking better responsibility for their health and overall well-being."

The free health screenings, which drew 1,821 people, were held in Bellin Health Family Medical Centers across Northeast Wisconsin. They featured a wide variety of tests, including screenings for: Glucose (diabetes); vein; skin; hernia; blood pressure; heart health; osteoporosis; peripheral arterial disease; and balance and dizziness issues.

The free screenings are valued at about $36,400.

The free health fair events offered the same preventative tests as the free health screenings but were held in venues like Green Bay-area businesses, schools and sports arenas. The health fairs drew 2,414 people between fall of 2009 and summer of 2010.

The 23 health fairs have an estimated value of $36,200.

Bellin Health, Green Bay

Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at mgrasmick@wha.org.

Read more about hospitals connecting with their communities at
www.WiServePoint.org.

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