November 30, 2012
Volume 56, Issue 48

Gov. Walker Tells Business Leaders: "Wisconsin has one of the best health care systems in the country…that is an asset."

Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to improve the state’s business reputation are paying off. Once in the bottom ten, 650 business leaders across the country placed Wisconsin as one of the top 20 states in the nation to do business with, according to a survey conducted by Chief Executive Magazine in 2012. In 2008, Wisconsin ranked 43rd in the same poll, a 23 point jump in the rankings.

Speaking before a standing-room only crowd comprised of Wisconsin business leaders at a luncheon sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce November 28 in Madison, the Governor credits the improvements in Wisconsin’s business climate to a number of factors, including a balanced state budget, regulatory reform and attention to building solid infrastructure. The Governor recognized that Wisconsin’s health care value is a competitive advantage to the state’s employers.

"Infrastructure is roads, clean water, and for us, it is even in lifting up and supporting our health care system, which as much as people talk about costs—which is important—our health care system is one of the best in the country. That is an asset. You can’t put a price on that," Walker said. "We want to continue to make investments in infrastructure, including health care, transportation and clean water technology."

The Governor reminded his audience that Wisconsin avoided cutting Medicaid to balance the state budget, and in fact, "we put more money into the Medicaid budget than any other state."

"We put $1.2 billion into Medicaid, and we put long-term structural reforms in place," Walker said. The Governor said because of those reforms, "we are not on the edge of a fiscal cliff." Walker said he is deeply concerned that the federal government will lose sight of the big picture, and they will create an even bigger economic crisis for the nation.

"Wisconsin is on the right path, with the unemployment rate dropping from 9.2 percent to seven percent. We have had eight to nine percent growth in new business development last quarter, exports are up 6.4 percent. We are doing things right at the state level, but we are still not where we want to be," Walker said. "But the last thing we need out of Washington is for them to put in place new policies that stand in the way of the new economic growth and prosperity that we are heading toward in the state of Wisconsin."

The reforms Walker put into place to balance the state’s budget have helped to create a budget surplus, which is giving the state options that were not possible in the past. One of Walker’s priorities is to cut taxes and put more money back into the hands of the people in the state. He also is focused on workforce development.

Several studies, at least one commissioned by the Governor, have identified a "mismatch" between the skills that job seekers have and the requirements of the jobs that employers have open. The problem is not unique to Wisconsin, and it’s not unique to manufacturing. Hospitals are reporting a similar problem. Walker said he believes that one of the solutions is to transform education to ensure that students are prepared to fill positions that are being created every day as people retire and new jobs are created.

"Employers will invest in education, but they expect accountability in return," Walker said. "We’ll put more money into education, but that investment must align with regional workforce needs. The jobs are there in manufacturing, hospitals and clinics, but these industries need people to fit their jobs."

Workforce development is one of WHA’s biggest priorities, according to WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding. The physician workforce shortage is already a reality, but other health care fields are also in danger of losing workers to attrition and retirement, positions that will be hard to fill as hospitals compete with other industries for a shrinking pool of qualified applicants.

"WHA is very supportive of any efforts that will improve our education system so we have a pipeline of trained professionals ready to work in our health care system," Borgerding said. "It’s also very important to create good-paying jobs in the manufacturing and other sectors so workers can connect to employer-sponsored health benefits. That would have a major impact on reducing enrollment in the Medicaid program and reducing cost-shifting as a result of Wisconsin’s poor reimbursement rates."

Top of page (11/30/12)

Wisconsin Hospitals PAC and Conduit Campaign over 97% of Goal

The 2012 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit campaign has raised more than $243,500 to date, putting the campaign over 97 percent of the annual goal.

Since the last update a few weeks ago, 17 more individuals have participated putting the total number of contributors to the 2012 campaign at 407. So far, this total is the largest amount that the campaign has raised in a single year and just $6,500 away from the $250,000 year-end goal.

Individuals are averaging $598 per contribution, but 55 individuals have chosen to step up their contribution joining the Platinum Club, which recognizes individuals who have personally given more than $1,500 in a calendar year. Platinum Club membership is up six members from last year.

In the last 12 years, the campaign has raised more than $2.1 million and disbursed nearly that much to candidate campaigns of both parties since 2001. The campaign has come a long way due to committed donors since 2001 when a then record $60,000 was raised. Thank you to each of the 407 participants in the 2012 campaign, who are listed on pages 5-6 alphabetically by contribution amount. The last publication of the 2012 contributor list will be in the December 14 edition of The Valued Voice.

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
Bagnall, Andrew St. Nicholas Hospital
Bair, Barbara St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Balzer, John Froedtert Health
Baudry, Sharon Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
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
Bradley, Connie Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital
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
Freiberg, Kerry Community Memorial Hospital
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Fuchs, Thomas St. Joseph's Hospital
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital & Clinics
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
Hamilton, Mark
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
Maroney, Lisa
Mason, Paul Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial
McMeans, Scott Holy Family Memorial
Meicher, John St. Mary's Hospital
Merline, Karen
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
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
Sender, Jon
Sheehan, Heather Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Sio, Tim Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Slomczewski, Constance Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Squier, Jeff Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
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
Stone, Stacy Sacred Heart Hospital
Strasser, Kathy Aspirus, Inc.
Strobel, Donald Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Sullivan, Anne Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Talatzko, Carol Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
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
Wipperfurth, Kay Fort HealthCare
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
Zaher, Beth
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
Borgerding, Dana
Brooks, Alenia Aurora Health Care
Brophy, Michael Aurora Health Care
Bukowski, Cathy Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital
Bultema, Janice
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
Fritsch, Phyllis Upland Hills Health
Fry, William Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Garcia-Thomas, Cristy Aurora Health Care
Guffey, Kerra Meriter Hospital
Gullingsrud, Tim Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Gutsch, Mike Cumberland Memorial Hospital
Hanson, Gail Aurora Health Care
Hart, Shelly Aurora Health Care
Heifetz, Michael SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Hinner, William Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital
Houlahan, Beth
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
Mulder, Doris Beloit Health System
Nelson, Dave SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
Ouimet, Mary Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
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
Rocole, Therese Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sale, Nora Froedtert Health
Samitt, Craig Dean Health
Sanicola, Suzanne Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
Shapiro, David Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital
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
Kelch, Elaine
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
Size, Pat
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
Katen-Bahensky, Donna
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
Bjork, Tanya
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Size, Tim Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc.

Top of page (11/30/12)

AHA Releases "Prepared to Care: The 24/7 Standby Role of America’s Hospitals"

America’s hospitals are vital to meeting the health care needs of the communities they serve by providing a wide range of acute care and diagnostic services, supporting public health needs, and offering a myriad of other community services to promote the health and well-being of the community. While many of these services are also provided by other health care providers, three things make the role of the hospital unique:

These critical functions—collectively known as the "standby" role—while often taken for granted, represent an essential component of our nation’s health and public safety infrastructure. However, the standby role is not explicitly funded, and hospitals face increasing challenges in maintaining this role.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) released a report this week to explore the standby role and its critical importance to the health care system; analyze the nature of demand and the basic and specialized resources required to meet it; outline the capacity and financing pressures hospitals face in maintaining the standby role; and frame critical economic and policy questions that must be addressed to ensure future hospital standby capacity can meet the growing health and public safety challenges.

The American Hospital Association has created a number of resources to assist hospitals in telling their story locally at:

Top of page (11/30/12)

UW System Unveils First Flexible Option Degree Programs

The University of Wisconsin System announced they will offer their first degree programs under a new "UW Flexible Option" starting fall 2013. The UW System is expected to be the first public university system in the nation to offer this kind of competency-based, self-paced learning option.

The UW Flexible Option is designed for nontraditional adult students who often come to college with substantial learning acquired in a variety of venues. The new UW Flexible Option will allow students to earn college credit by demonstrating knowledge they have acquired through coursework, military training, on-the-job training, and other learning experiences. Students will make progress toward a degree by passing a series of assessments that demonstrate mastery of required knowledge and skills.

UW-Milwaukee will offer three health care-related degree programs:

"The Flex Option offers a distinctive value and a unique promise to working adult students. They can start the Flex Option any time, without constraints imposed by the academic calendar. Once under way, students will determine the pace of their learning. Whenever they’re ready to demonstrate mastery of a given subject, they complete the assessment and move on to the next step," said UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross.

Students will be able to take full advantage of free educational resources available online and elsewhere, including the growing number of massive open online courses, or "MOOCs." They will demonstrate their knowledge through assessments designed by UW faculty members, and they will be held to the same standards for all UW degrees.

"It is good news that the program will begin with nursing degrees. With a goal of improving patient care and outcomes, the IOM Future of Nursing Report recommends that 80 percent of nurses have a baccalaureate degree by 2020," according to Judy Warmuth, WHA vice president, workforce. "An additional program for RNs to complete their degree, especially one that allows more flexibility for the learning, is welcome."

WHA is creating a website offering information and guidance for nurses seeking a BSN completion program as another strategy to achieve the goal of increasing the educational level of nurses. That website will be available early next year.

For more information about the UW Flexible Option, visit

Top of page (11/30/12)

President’s Column: La Crosse Tribune Editorial

The following editorial was published in and is reprinted with the permission of the La Crosse Tribune.

Our view: Region boasts quality health care
November 22, 2012

As Wisconsin talks about attracting and growing more jobs, the state has a critical advantage that can easily be overlooked—and it shouldn’t be.

When you think of infrastructure, it’s easy to think of roads and bridges and other public improvements that are important to the quality of life.

Quality schools are vital to the vitality of a community.

In the La Crosse area, we talk about the beauty of the rivers and bluffs—and how they help us attract visitors and tourists.

Representatives of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and top health care leaders from La Crosse to Prairie du Chien recently visited the Tribune’s editorial board with an interesting message that we need to remember: Quality health care is crucial to our economy and a critical driver of our economy and our quality of life.

And quality health care is a competitive advantage for Wisconsin as it works to grow the economy. As companies look to expand or relocate in our state, excellent health care is one of the best benefits a company can offer to its employees.

The La Crosse area has long been blessed with some of the top health care nationally—something we’ve long touted. But as a state, Wisconsin consistently receives high rankings from an independent federal agency as one of the best in the nation. Our hospitals are well ahead of the national curve when it comes to emphasizing quality outcomes instead of quantity of procedures.

Part of that comes from integrated health care systems that utilize forward-thinking process improvement to boost outcomes while cutting costs.

Of course, it helps that Wisconsin has top-quality universities and colleges that help produce terrific doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who practice in our state.

The state hospital association points out that across Wisconsin, more than 700 low-income or uninsured patients receive care free of charge each day. From free medical and dental clinics to community education health programs, the state’s hospitals provide an estimated $1.4 billion each year in community benefits.

More than 110,000 people are employed by the state’s hospitals—with an estimated economic impact that totals $28 billion.

We should appreciate the transparency that Wisconsin hospitals provide. If you’re looking to compare health care costs, is a valuable tool that has received national acclaim. If you’re looking for quality measures, you can check

Of course, the Health Science Consortium in La Crosse—which includes the two health care systems and the three institutions of higher education—provides excellent collaboration in education and public health.

The consortium’s catalysts for healthier care include the community health scoreboard and initiatives to curb binge-drinking and improve on other community health risks.

Those are healthy partnerships that wouldn’t happen without the leadership of health care providers.

As Wisconsin works to attract business, our region and state should tout the critical advantage of quality health care.

Top of page (11/30/12)

Wisconsin Hospitals Community Benefits: Charity Care

Fear of a bill should never prevent a patient from seeking care at a Wisconsin hospital. Wisconsin hospital charity care programs provided $232 million to more than 700 patients each day last year. The stories that follow illustrate the deep commitment and continuing concern that hospitals have to their patients to ensure they receive the care they need regardless of their ability to pay.

Kasee Hamilton

As a recent college graduate, Kasee Hamilton should be enjoying all the exciting milestones that come with the transition from college to adulthood. Instead, she finds herself dealing with medical issues and mounting health care bills.

Hamilton, 24, earned her degree in communications and public relations from Winona State University and looked forward to things like her first apartment and first professional job. But those "firsts" were derailed two-and-a-half years ago with the diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s is an incurable disease that causes the sufferer to experience chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

A complication of Crohn’s can be the development of abscesses in the body, which is what brought Hamilton into the Lakeview Medical Center (LMC) Emergency Department last spring. She was having complications following an emergency gallbladder removal surgery, found to be caused by an abscess.

The abscess was causing a shut-down of her organs, and so it had to be surgically removed. When a second abscess was discovered, Hamilton’s medical team decided that rather than subject her to a third surgery, they would treat the abscess through antibiotics. Hamilton is allergic to most antibiotics and needed to be treated with one that only comes in IV form. So she found herself needing twice daily IV treatments at Lakeview Medical Center for three weeks.

Hamilton, once covered by her mother’s health insurance, found herself without coverage when her mother’s company closed. And due to her Crohn’s, a chronic, pre-existing condition, she was unable to secure insurance and was left with upward of $10,000 in medical bills following her surgeries and IV treatments. This is in addition to bills from other specialists/hospital stays as well. Her parents, friends and others in the community have helped where they could, for which she is thankful.

"It felt like, instead of being a ‘grown-up’ I was back in high school, needing people to support me," Hamilton said of that frustrating time. "You know, you think you’re going to start this new life after college, and you don’t expect to be dealing with $50,000 in student loans AND $100,000 in medical bills. My plans, my dreams…everything’s changed."

Hamilton was made aware of LMC’s charity care program, for which she applied and was accepted. Through the care, the hospital covered her recent LMC bills.

"It was a blessing for me, for sure," said Hamilton, who hopes to get healthy enough to not only be able to start a career, but also to be able to give back to the hospital in some way. "I feel indebted to the hospital, and like I want to help someone else who’s in my shoes. It’s just nice to know there’s help out there for people."

Lakeview Medical Center, Rice Lake

Patient grateful for charity care

A patient at Aspirus Wausau Hospital was being treated for a type of brain cancer, and her insurance would not cover her care. Her outstanding balances at Aspirus and other medical facilities were totaling more than $135,000. With very little equity in her home and no other assets to make payments, Aspirus covered this patient’s services through charity care. The patient was so grateful, she wrote a letter to Aspirus that reads:

"When I received your letter regarding the 100 percent reduction of eligible services, I was overwhelmed! Not only the best care in the hospital, but now I was blessed again. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I am truly grateful!!!"

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

"Going the extra mile"

The relationship between people and their team of health care providers is often personal. In most cases, it involves regular visits to the doctor, a therapist or advanced health clinician who helps develop a game plan to combat chronic disease or other items as they come up.

But there are also cases when an emergency can set the wheels in motion for a relationship that launches the potential for a new lease on life, often between people who don’t even know each other. That was the case recently of a 40-year old that was treated at Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill after sustaining injuries in a fall.

Upon admission to the emergency department, it became clear to staff that the fall injuries needed to be treated, but so did a number of health issues as the result of a lifelong battle with obesity. Weighing in at nearly 700 pounds, Ministry Good Samaritan staff quickly realized they needed specialized equipment to safely care for him as an inpatient.

"We knew we had a bariatric wheelchair, but we were not well equipped to care for this patient," said Ministry Good Samaritan Case Manager Cindy Lezotte. "Within short notice we were able to secure a specialized bariatric bed and shower chair to ensure his safety while he was here."

Once a safe haven was established in the hospital, Lezotte and fellow case manager Colleen Schuett then began to turn their thoughts to another challenge—what to do with the man upon discharge.

"From our conversations with him, we knew that going back to his current home was not an option," says Schuett. "It just wasn’t safe. He needed help, and we were determined to find someplace for him to go that could meet his needs."

Schuett and Lezotte knew he needed a rehab facility with access to psychological support and other health services, but just as they had experienced at Ministry Good Samaritan, who had a facility that could safely care for him?

What happened next might be considered a wild goose chase, as after a quick survey of other area facilities, no one locally could take a patient of this size. They expanded their search regionally and statewide. Eventually after contacting 24 different facilities, they found a facility in southwestern Wisconsin that had a program that was a perfect fit, but had no rooms available.

By this time the patient was ready to be discharged, and his limited insurance coverage had run dry. That’s when staff engaged hospital leadership to advocate for keeping him in the hospital until a room opened up at the specialized bariatric facility.

In the end, it turned out to be an 18-day odyssey with Ministry Good Samaritan covering the costs of several hospital days and the specialized equipment through its Charity Care program.

Ministry Good Samaritan staff were recently contacted by the man’s family who indicated that he was doing well with the program and was nearing a point where he could likely return to a facility closer to home.

All this made possible by a hospital with staff willing to go the extra mile.

Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center, Merrill

Charity Care story

Needing charity care for health care expenses is not an expectation of most individuals. Yet life can bring unexpected twists and turns that leave people in great need of financial assistance. Such was the case for one woman who visited St. Nicholas Hospital, incurring out-of-pocket expenses exceeding $35,000 for her care. A genetic blood clotting disorder complicated her stay and required the use of expensive medications to prevent post-surgical complications. The hospital and orthopedic surgeon who performed her surgery helped her acquire them as well.

"Your donors’ charitable contributions…astounded me," she said. "The medical and administrative staff of St. Nicholas was compassionate, attentive, and supportive. Even though I was an uninsured patient, everyone involved in my care went ‘above and beyond’ to assist me. From my arrival in the emergency room to my discharge five days later, the hospital’s medical professionals kept me informed of my condition, treatment options and recovery plan. The Chaplain provided the emotional support and spiritual encouragement I desperately needed. The Financial Services staff thoroughly explained the available financial assistance options and followed up with me after discharge. Everyone I encountered at St. Nicholas treated me as though I was the only person in his or her care."

St. Nicholas Hospital, Sheboygan

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