2012 Global Vision Award Winners

The WHA Foundation has selected the Rural Health Initiative, Inc., nominated by ThedaCare; and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, nominated by Froedtert Health on behalf of the five participating health systems including Aurora Health Care, Children’s Hospital & Health System Inc., Columbia St. Mary’s Inc. and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, as the recipients of the 2012 Global Vision Community Partnership Award.

The "Rural Health Initiative, Inc."(RHI) was formed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2003 by ThedaCare and its Community Health Action Team after identifying and exploring the unfavorable health care circumstances faced by rural Wisconsin farm families. RHI’s mission is to improve access to health care, preventive services and community resources, as well as increase health status, healthy behaviors, and occupational safety for farm families in the rural northeast Wisconsin region. The program delivers free preventive and safety services through a Rural Health Coordinator, who makes health care house calls to the farms to conduct health screenings, perform health risk assessments, make referrals and disseminate health and safety information literally at the kitchen table or in the barn. The initiative currently serves more than 325 farm families in Shawano County, which is about 40 percent of the region’s farming community. Forty percent of the program’s participants were referred to resources with 96 percent following through on those referrals. And maybe the strongest testament to the program’s success is its expansion into neighboring counties, with expansion into Outagamie County and Waupaca County since its inception.

The "Milwaukee Health Care Partnership" (MHCP) was launched in 2007, with a mission to improve coverage, access and care coordination for medically underserved Milwaukee County residents. This mission engendered collaboration among health care providers throughout the county, as the leaders of the five health systems came together to develop a coordinated and collaborative approach to improving care for underserved populations. Today, MHCP also includes collaboration and participation from four federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), the Medical College of Wisconsin, the state, city and county public health agencies, and other collaborating organizations. MHCP serves as the convener, catalyst, clearinghouse, broker and advocate for improving health outcomes, eliminating disparities and reducing total health care costs in Milwaukee County. The efforts of MHCP have led to a more than 20 percent expansion in Medicaid coverage since 2008. The FQHCs have expanded their scope of services to achieve a 9.2 percent increase in patient utilization, providing over 368,000 clinic visits in 2011. And, through emergency department care coordination efforts, there are currently more than 600 patient referrals made from Milwaukee County hospital emergency departments to primary care health homes each month.