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)
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|
|Hansen, Karen||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Hart, Daniel||Community Memorial Hospital|
|Hattem, Marita||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Hedrington, Brian||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Heinzen, James||Aurora Medical Center in Hartford|
|Hieb, Laura||Bellin Hospital|
|Hill, Nick||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Hinker, Jennifer||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Hinton, George||Aurora Sinai Medical Center|
|Hockers, Sara||Holy Family Memorial|
|Hoege, Beverly||Reedsburg Area Medical Center|
|Holub, Gregory||Ministry Door County Medical Center|
|Huber, Mark||Aurora Health Care|
|Hueller, Julie||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Huemmer, Paul||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Irwin, Ron||Aurora Health Care|
|Jelle, Laura||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Jensema, Christine||HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division|
|Jensen, Russell||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Johnas, Nancy||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Johnson, Eric||ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI|
|Johnson, George||Reedsburg Area Medical Center|
|Jones, Mary||Meriter Hospital|
|Jurenec, Anne||ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI|
|Karow, Deborah||Ministry Health Care's Howard Young Medical Center|
|Karuschak, Michael||Amery Regional Medical Center|
|Keene, Kaaron||Memorial Health Center|
|Kelsey Foley, Kathy||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Kempen, Jacob||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Kepchar, Dennis||Ministry Health Care|
|King, Steve||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Kingston, Mary Beth||Aurora Health Care|
|Klay, Lois||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Klein, Tim||Holy Family Memorial|
|Kleinschmidt, Sherry||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Koch, Doug||Aurora Health Care|
|Kocourek, Cathie||Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers|
|Konkel, John||Aurora Health Care|
|Koss, Gail||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Kowske, Steve||Aurora Health Care|
|Krause, Carolyn||Meriter Hospital|
|Kraut, Lucy||Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Hospital|
|Krueger, Kari||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Lachecki, Therese||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Lambrecht, Randy||Aurora Health Care|
|Lampman, Sandra||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Larson, Teresa||ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI|
|Larson, William||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Leonard, Mary Kay||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Lewandowski, Terri||Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital|
|Logemann, Tim||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Lucas, Roger||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Ludgin, Richard||Aurora Health Care|
|Lynch, Sue||Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare|
|Marcouiller, Don||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Margan, Rob||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Markgraf, Janelle||Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner|
|Mason, Paul||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Maurer, Mary||Holy Family Memorial|
|McMeans, Scott||Holy Family Memorial|
|Meicher, John||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Merrick, Marianne||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Mohr, Carol||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Moon-Mogush, Cindy||Aurora Health Care|
|Moss, Kenneth||Meriter Hospital|
|Murphy, Thomas||Aurora Health Care|
|Neeno, Joan||St. Mary's Janesville Hospital|
|Nelson, Dean||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Nevers, Rick||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Nguyen, Juliet||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Nicklaus, Todd||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Norbin Killoran, Carrie||Aurora Health Care|
|Norton, Marcella||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|O'Hara, Tiffanie||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Ojala, Theresa||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Olson, Bonnie||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Olson, Christine||Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha|
|Olson, David||Froedtert Health|
|Olson, Keri||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Ose, Peggy||Riverview Hospital Association|
|Peck, Lori||Memorial Health Center|
|Peiffer, Susan||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Pempek, Kalynn||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Penczykowski, James||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Pennebecker, Allen||Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital|
|Pinske, Heather||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Pirsig-Anderson, Jane||Aurora Health Care|
|Platt-Gibson, Melanie||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Prunty, Brian||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Quinn, George||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Reinke, Mary||Meriter Hospital|
|Reising, Chris||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Renneker, Jim||Aurora Sinai Medical Center|
|Reynolds, Kristen||Aurora Health Care|
|Richbourg, Mary||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Rocheleau, John||Bellin Hospital|
|Roethle, Linda||Bellin Hospital|
|Roundy, Ann||Columbus Community Hospital|
|Rozenfeld, Jonathan||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Rubenzer, Deanne||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Rudolph, Wade||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Rueber, Joel||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Samuelson, Bonnie||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Saunaitis, Tamara||Meriter Hospital|
|Schaetzl, Ron||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Schneider, David||Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner|
|Schraufnagel, Patricia||Memorial Medical Center - Ashland|
|Schuelke, Susan||Community Memorial Hospital|
|Schwartz, Mary||St. Clare Hospital & Health Services|
|Scinto, Jeanne||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Sczygelski, Sidney||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Sheehan, Heather||Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home|
|Sio, Tim||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Slomczewski, Constance||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|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|
|Zaverl, Kimberly||Froedtert Health|
|Zeller, Brad||Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home|
|Contributors ranging from $500 to $999|
|Arca, Marjorie||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Bard, Jeffrey||Aurora Health Care|
|Bonin, Christopher||Aurora Health Care|
|Brooks, Alenia||Aurora Health Care|
|Brophy, Michael||Aurora Health Care|
|Bukowski, Cathy||Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital|
|Buser, Kenneth||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints|
|Carlson, Dan||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Chess, Eva||Aurora Health Care|
|Chumbley, Bud||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Clough, Sheila||Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital|
|Dietsche, James||Bellin Hospital|
|Eckels, Timothy||Hospital Sisters Health System|
|Ewing, Thomas||Aurora Health Care|
|Fields, Mary||Aurora Health Care|
|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|
|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|
|Klein, Richard||Aurora Health Care|
|Kosanovich, John||Watertown Regional Medical Center|
|Lappin, Michael||Aurora Health Care|
|Loftus, Philip||Aurora Health Care|
|Martin, Jeff||Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital|
|Mattes, Dan||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Mohorek, Ronald||Ministry Health Care|
|Niemer, Margaret||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Peterson, Douglas||Chippewa Valley Hospital|
|Radoszewski, Pat||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Reynolds, Sheila||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Ricci, Anthony||Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington|
|Robertstad, John||ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital|
|Roller, Rachel||Aurora Health Care|
|Runge, Charles||Froedtert Health|
|Russell, John||Columbus Community Hospital|
|Sanders, Robert||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Schafer, Michael||Spooner Health System|
|Sohn, Jonathan||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Tempelis, Eric||Gundersen Lutheran Health System|
|Uhing, Michael||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Westrick, Paul||Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital|
|Wolf, Edward||Lakeview Medical Center|
|Contributors ranging from $1,500 to $1,999|
|Alig, Joanne||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Barney, Steven||SSM Health Care-Wisconsin|
|Bloch, Jodi||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Boese, Jennifer||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Byrne, Frank||St. Mary's Hospital|
|Canter, Richard||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Clapp, Nicole||Grant Regional Health Center|
|Coffman, Joan||St. Joseph's Hospital|
|Eichman, Cynthia||Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital|
|Geboy, Scott||Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman|
|Gorelick, Marc||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Grasmick, Mary Kay||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Hahn, Brad||Aurora Health Care|
|Harding, Edward||Bay Area Medical Center|
|Kammer, Peter||The Kammer Group|
|Lewis, Gordon||Burnett Medical Center|
|Maciver, Carolyn||Aurora Health Care|
|Meyer, Daniel||Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay|
|Natzke, Ryan||Marshfield Clinic|
|O'Brien, Mary||Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center|
|Postler-Slattery, Diane||Aspirus Wausau Hospital|
|Potter, Brian||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Stanford, Matthew||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Wallace, Michael||Fort HealthCare|
|Warmuth, Judith||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Contributors ranging from $2,000 to $2,999|
|Brenton, Mary E.|
|Desien, Nicholas||Ministry Health Care|
|Duncan, Robert||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Erwin, Duane||Aspirus, Inc.|
|Jacobson, Catherine||Froedtert Health|
|Kachelski, Joe||Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network|
|Kief, Brian||Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital|
|Leitch, Laura||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Levin, Jeremy||Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative|
|Little, Steven||Agnesian HealthCare|
|Manas, Julie||Sacred Heart Hospital|
|Merline, Paul||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Mettner, Michelle||Children's Hospital of Wisconsin|
|Neufelder, Daniel||Affinity Health System|
|Normington, Jeremy||Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics|
|Oliverio, John||Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare|
|Pandl, Therese||HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division|
|Sanders, Michael||Monroe Clinic|
|Sexton, William||Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital|
|Starmann-Harrison, Mary||Hospital Sisters Health System|
|Taylor, Mark||Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.|
|Woodward, James||Meriter Hospital|
|Contributors ranging from $3,000 to $4,999|
|Borgerding, Eric||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Fish, David||Hospital Sisters Health System|
|Turkal, Nick||Aurora Health Care|
|Contributors $5,000 and above|
|Brenton, Stephen||Wisconsin Hospital Association|
|Size, Tim||Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative|
|Tyre, Scott||Capitol Navigators, Inc.|
AHA Releases "Prepared to Care: The 24/7 Standby Role of America’s Hospitals"
Top of page (11/30/12)
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: www.aha.org/research/reports/preparedtocare.shtml.
Top of page (11/30/12)
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 www.flex.wisconsin.edu.
Top of page (11/30/12)
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, www.WiPricePoint.org is a valuable tool that has received national acclaim. If you’re looking for quality measures, you can check www.WiCheckPoint.org.
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)
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.
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
Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at
Top of page (11/30/12)