August 17, 2012
Volume 56, Issue 33

Thompson Wins Senate GOP Primary, Will Face Baldwin
Races set around the state for November general election

Former Governor Tommy Thompson (R) defeated three other Republican challengers in a hard-fought primary election battle and will now face 2nd District Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D) in the November general election to fill the seat of retiring Wisconsin U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D).

Thompson, the four-term, 42nd Governor of Wisconsin and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finished with 34 percent of the Republican primary vote, followed by business developer Eric Hovde with 31 percent, former congressman Mark Neumann with 23 percent and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald with 12 percent.

Baldwin was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 and has been reelected since 2000. The winner of their contest of two political heavy-weights will likely help determine majority control of the U.S. Senate, as a number of races are in play nationwide in the November 6 election.

Petri, Pocan Victorious in Congressional Primaries

In the 6th Congressional District Republican primary, long-time incumbent Congressman Tom Petri (R) easily defeated challenger Lauren Stephens 82-18 percent. Petri now faces Democrat Joe Kallas in the general election.

In the Democratic primary race to fill Congresswoman Baldwin’s 2nd District seat, State Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) defeated fellow Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison) 72-22 percent. Pocan now faces Chad Lee (R) in the general election for the heavily Democratic seat.

Primary Victories Effectively Determine Nominees and New Legislators

In other races around the state, made more interesting in many cases because of legislative redistricting, primary wins determined not only the party nominee, but in some cases the effective new legislator for the 2013-14 Legislative Session as the winner will be unopposed in the general election. Here’s a breakdown of several primary election battles in the State Senate and Assembly.

In the 6th Senate District (SD), Nikiya Harris defeated four Democratic challengers, including State Representative Elizabeth Coggs (D-Milwaukee) in the race to replace Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee). Senator Coggs was recently elected Milwaukee City Treasurer and is not seeking reelection to the State Senate.

In the 12th SD, Susan Sommer defeated Lisa Theo in the Democratic primary and will face Representative Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) to replace Senator Jim Holperin (D-Conover) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 14th SD, incumbent Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) defeated challenger David Eihler in the Republican primary. Olsen will face Democrat Margarete Worthington in the general election.

In the 24th SD, Scott Noble defeated Steve Abrahamson in the Republican primary and will face incumbent Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) in the general election.

In the 30th SD, John Macco defeated Ray Suennen in the Republican primary and will face incumbent Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) in the general election.

In the 3rd Assembly District (AD), incumbent Al Ott (R-Forest Junction) defeated Brandi Lefeber and will face Democrat Kole Oswald in the general election.

In the 7th AD, Daniel Reimer defeated incumbent Representative Peggy Krusick (D-Milwaukee) in the Democrat primary. With no Republican registered in the race, Reimer will effectively become the new representative from the 7th AD.

In the 8th AD, incumbent JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) defeated Laura Manriquez in the Democratic primary. With no Republican registered in the race, Zamarripa will hold her seat.

In the 9th AD, incumbent Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) defeated Jose Guzman in the Democratic primary. With no Republican registered in the race, Zepnick will hold his seat.

In the 10th AD, Sandy Pasch defeated three other challengers the Democratic primary race to fill the seat of Representative Elizabeth Coggs, who ran unsuccessfully for the 12th SD. With no Republican registered, Pasch, who moved out of her current district to run in this race because of redistricting, will become the new representative from the 10th AD.

In the 11th AD, incumbent Representative Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) was defeated in the Democratic primary by Mandela Barnes. With no Republican registered in the race, Barners will effectively become the new representative from the 11th AD.

In the 12th AD, incumbent Representative Fred Kessler defeated Mario Hall in the democratic primary. With no Republican registered in the race, Kessler retains the 12th AD.

In the 13th AD, Rob Hutton defeated two other challengers in the Republican primary and will face Democrat John Parkrandt in the general election to replace Rep. David Cullen (D-Milwaukee) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 15th AD, Cindy Moore defeated Chuck Garrigues in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Joe Sanfelippo in the general election to replace Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 17th AD, LaTonya Johnson defeated three other Democratic primary challengers in the contest to replace Representative Barbara Toles (D-Milwaukee) who is not seeking reelection. With no Republican registered in the race, Johnson will effectively become the new representative from the 17th AD.

In the 18th AD, Evan Goyke defeated seven other Democratic primary challengers in the contest to replace Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) who is not seeking reelection. With no Republican registered in the race, Goyke will effectively become the new representative from the 18th AD.

In the 22nd AD, incumbent Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) defeated Republican primary challenger Nick Oliver. With no Democrat registered in the race, Pridemore retains the 22nd AD.

In the 25th AD, Paul Tittl defeated three other Republican primary challengers and will face Jim Brey, who bested three other Democratic primary challengers, in the general election to replace Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer (Ind-Manitowoc) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 26th AD, incumbent Mike Endsley (R-Sheboygan) defeated Republican primary challenger Devin LeMahieu and will face Democrat Mike Helmke in the general election.

In the 34th AD, Rob Swearingen defeated Alex Young in the Republican primary and will face Merlin Van Buren, who defeated Roberta Retrum in the Democratic primary, in the general election to replace Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 37th AD, John Jagler defeated four other Republican primary challengers and will face Mary Arnold, who defeated Laura Cotting in the Democratic primary, in the general election to replace Representative Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson) who is challenging Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) in the 43rd AD.

In the 39th AD, Mark Born defeated two other Republican primary challengers and will face Democrat Jim Grigg in the general election to replace Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.

In the 44th AD, Debra Kolste defeated three other Democratic primary challengers and will face incumbent Rep. Joe Knilans (R-Janesville).

In the 45th AD, incumbent Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) defeated Sheila De Forest in the Democratic primary and will face Beth Schmidt, who defeated Russell Rucker in the Republican primary, in the general election to replace Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) who is running in the 31st AD.

In the 47th AD, Robb Kahl defeated Amanda Hall in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Sandy Bakk in the general election to replace Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) who is now running in the 42nd AD.

In the 49th AD, incumbent Rep. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) defeated Dave Kuhle in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Carol Beals in the general election.

In the 51st AD, Maureen May-Grimm defeated Pat Bomhack in the Democratic primary and will face incumbent Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) in the general election.

In the 53rd AD, Michael Schraa defeated two other challengers in the Republican primary and will face Ryan Flejter, who defeated two other challengers in the Democratic primary, in the general election to replace Rep. Dick Spanbauer (R-Oshkosh) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 55th AD, incumbent Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) defeated Jay Schroeder in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Jim Crail in the general election.

In the 56th AD, Dave Murphy defeated Jim Pleuss in the Republican primary and will face Richard Schoenbohm, who defeated Diana Lawrence in the Democratic primary, in the general election to replace Rep. Michelle Litjens (R-Oshkosh) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 62nd AD, Melissa Lemke defeated Randy Bryce in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Tom Weatherston in the general election to replace Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) who is running in the 66th AD.

In the 65th AD, Tod Ohnstad defeated two other challengers in the Democratic primary. With no Republican registered in the race, Ohnstad will effectively become the new representative from the 65th AD.

In the 70th AD, Nancy Vandermeer defeated Dan Wald in the Republican primary and will face incumbent Representative Amy Sue Vruwink (D-Milladore) in the general election.

In the 71st AD, Katrina Shankland defeated eight other Democratic primary challengers and will face Republican Patrick Testin in the general election to replace Rep. Louis Molepske, Jr. (D-Stevens Point) who is not seeking reelection and running for Portage County District Attorney.

In the 78th AD, incumbent Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) defeated Christopher Fisher in the Democratic primary to replace Representative Mark Pocan.

In the 79th AD, Dianne Hesselbein defeated Ellen Lindgren in the Democratic primary to replace Representative Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Cross Plains) who is running in the 80th AD. With no Republican registered in the race, Hesselbein will effectively become the new representative from the 79th AD.

In the 80th AD, incumbent Representative Pope-Roberts defeated former Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Joe Weineke and another challenger in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Tom Lamberson in the general election to replace Representative Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) who is running in the 45th AD.

In the 85th AD, Mandy Wright defeated Jeff Johnson in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Patrick Snyder in the general election to replace Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 86th AD, John Spiros defeated Wayne Thorson in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Dennis Halkoski in the general election to replace former Rep. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) who was recently elected to the State Senate in the recall election to replace former Senator Pam Galloway (R).

In the 90th AD, David VanderLeest defeated Joel Diny in the Republican primary and will face Democrat Eric Genrich in the general election to replace Rep. Karl Van Roy (R-Green Bay) who is not seeking reelection.

In the 94th AD, Bruce Evers defeated Kevin Hintz in the Republican primary and will face incumbent Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) in the general election.

Top of page (8/17/12)

MEB Debates Revisions to MED 10 – Physician Unprofessional Conduct

The Medical Examining Board (MEB) continued to consider revisions to the administrative rule that defines "unprofessional conduct" for physicians (MED 10) this week during its regular monthly meeting. The Wisconsin Hospital Association testified and provided written comments to the MEB concerning three important issues: self-disclosure of peer review, informed consent, and wrong site surgery. WHA’s written comments are available at

Peer review

An MEB work group has proposed making it unprofessional conduct for a physician to fail to report to the MEB any adverse action, whether final or temporary, taken by a peer review body that results in the limitation or loss of authority for the physician to perform any act constituting the practice of medicine.

Opposing the work group’s proposal, WHA stressed that a robust local peer review program relies on procedures and protections created by the state and federal governments. The procedures and protections encourage strong programs by reducing disincentives for physicians and other practitioners to participate in the programs. For example, during the last legislative session, WHA advocated for and Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature passed Act 2, which updated what had become an antiquated peer review statute, encouraging hospitals and other providers to strengthen their peer review programs. WHA asked the MEB not to take action that could create disincentives for participation and reverse the progress providers have made. WHA suggested the MEB consider an alternative proposal that would require reporting that is consistent with the existing National Practitioner Data Bank reporting standards and timeframes, helping to ensure that the MEB receives timely reports while preserving local peer review. The MEB intends to vote on this provision at its September meeting.

Informed Consent

WHA and the Wisconsin Medical Society stressed that it is important that the informed consent provision in the rule cross-reference the informed consent statute to ensure that the statutory and regulatory standards for physicians are consistent. WHA argued that standards of conduct that are confusing and potentially inconsistent do not advance and actually can frustrate the goal of excellent patient care. WHA and the Society are currently working to clarify the statutory standard to address the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions in Jandre and other cases (see May 25, 2012 edition of The Valued Voice at A cross-reference to the statute would better ensure that the statute and the rule are consistent regardless of whether the legislature amends the statute. The MEB intends to vote on this provision at its September meeting.

Wrong Site Surgery

The MEB discussion draft includes as unprofessional conduct performing any surgical or invasive procedure on the wrong patient or at the wrong anatomical site or performing the wrong procedure on any patient. In written comments, WHA and the Medical Society asked the MEB not to include this provision in the rule. WHA said it believes the broad proposal would sweep in conduct that the MEB should not consider to be "unprofessional conduct" by a physician and that the MEB could address conduct that leads to wrong site surgery (e.g., negligence, incompetence) through other provisions in the rule.

The MEB voted unanimously that the rule should state that it is unprofessional conduct for a physician to perform any surgical or invasive procedure on the wrong patient or at the wrong anatomical site or to perform the wrong procedure on any patient.

The promulgation of an administrative rule requires a number of steps that include a public hearing, final approval by the promulgating agency, and review by the legislature. Watch The Valued Voice for updates as this important rule moves through the process.

Top of page (8/17/12)

WHA’s "Protect Hospital Care" Highlights

The Wisconsin Hospital Association’s "Protect Hospital Care" campaign continues to educate hospitals and Members of Congress on how federal decisions on health care programs will impact access to care in Wisconsin communities.

Top of page (8/17/12)

Political Action Fundraising Campaign Reaches 66 Percent

Totals for the 2012 Wisconsin hospitals state political action funds fundraising campaign continue to climb. More than $15,000 has been raised in the last two weeks from 32 more participants putting the total raised to date at $165,030 from 235 individuals. This puts the 2012 campaign at 66 percent of the goal to raise $250,000 by year’s end. If the goal is reached, it will be the highest total ever raised.

So far individuals are contributing an average of $702, well above last year’s average of $575. The campaign is also ahead of last year’s pace in terms of total dollars raised by $35,000 and ahead of the record-breaking pace of 2010 by $4,000. Of the total contributors so far, 46 are members of the Platinum Club who have contributed $1,500 or more to the 2012 campaign.

All individual contributors are listed in The Valued Voice by name and affiliated organization on a regular basis. Thank you to the 2012 contributors to date who are listed below. Contributors are listed alphabetically by contribution amount category. The next publication of the contributor list will be in the August 31 edition of The Valued Voice.

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

Contributors ranging from $1 to $499
Ashenhurst, Karla Ministry Health Care
Bair, Barbara St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Beglinger, Joan St. Mary's Hospital
Biros, Marilyn SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Boson, Ann Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Bowers, Laura SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Brenholt, Craig St. Joseph's Hospital
Brenton, Andrew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Buss, Diane St. Mary's Hospital
Censky, Bill Holy Family Memorial
Coil, Joseph St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Culotta, Jennifer St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Dahl, James Fort HealthCare
Dalebroux, Steve St. Mary's Hospital
Dettman, Amy Bellin Hospital
Dufek, Nancy Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Elliott, Roger St. Joseph's Hospital
Entenmann, Kim St. Joseph's Hospital
Facey, Alice St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Fielding, Laura Holy Family Memorial
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Fuchs, Thomas St. Joseph's Hospital
Gajeski, Lynn St. Vincent Hospital
Garibaldi, Isabelle Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Garvey, Gale St. Mary's Hospital
Giedd, Janice St. Joseph's Hospital
Groskreutz, Kevin St. Joseph's Hospital
Grundstrom, David Flambeau Hospital
Halida, Cheryl St. Joseph's Hospital
Hamilton, Mark
Hedrington, Brian Sacred Heart Hospital
Hieb, Laura Bellin Hospital
Hill, Nick St. Joseph's 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
Hueller, Julie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Huemmer, Paul St. Mary's Hospital
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Jensema, Christine HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Jensen, Russell St. Mary's Hospital
Johnson, George Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Jones, Mary Meriter Hospital
Karow, Deborah Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Keene, Kaaron Memorial Health Center
Kepchar, Dennis Ministry Health Care
King, Steve St. Mary's Hospital
Klay, Lois St. Joseph's Hospital
Klein, Tim Holy Family Memorial
Krause, Carolyn Meriter Hospital
Lachecki, Therese Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Lambrecht, Randy Aurora Health Care
Lampman, Sandra St. Mary's Hospital
Larson, William St. Joseph's Hospital
Leonard, Mary Kay St. Mary's Hospital
Lynch, Sue Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Marcouiller, Don Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Margan, Rob Wisconsin Hospital Association
Maroney, Lisa
Mason, Paul Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial
Meicher, John St. Mary's Hospital
Merline, Karen
Merrick, Marianne St. Mary's Hospital
Moss, Kenneth Meriter Hospital
Nelson, Dean St. Mary's Hospital
Nguyen, Juliet Sacred Heart Hospital
O'Hara, Tiffanie Wisconsin Hospital Association
Olson, Bonnie Sacred Heart Hospital
Olson, Keri St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Ose, Peggy Riverview Hospital Association
Peck, Lori Memorial Health Center
Peiffer, Susan Sacred Heart Hospital
Penczykowski, James St. Mary's Hospital
Pennebecker, Allen Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Platt-Gibson, Melanie St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Quinn, George Wisconsin Hospital Association
Reinke, Mary Aurora Health Care
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
Sanicola, Suzanne Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital
Saunaitis, Tamara Meriter Hospital
Schaetzl, Ron St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Schraufnagel, Patricia Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Schwartz, Mary St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
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
Statz, Darrell Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Steevens, Alan St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Stelzer, Jason St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Stewart, Jeff Children's Hospital and Health System
Sullivan, Anne Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Tapper, Joy Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Teigen, Seth St. Mary's Hospital
Thurmer, DeAnn Waupun Memorial Hospital
Turner, Sally Aurora Health Care
Tuttle, Kathryn Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Walker, Troy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Woleske, Chris Bellin Psychiatric Center
Wysocki, Scott St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Zeller, Brad Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Contributors ranging from $500 to $999
Bablitch, Steve Aurora Health Care
Banaszynski, Gregory Aurora Health Care
Borgerding, Dana
Brooks, Alenia Aurora Health Care
Bultema, Janice
Carlson, Dan Bay Area Medical Center
Chess, Eva Aurora Health Care
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
Guffey, Kerra Meriter Hospital
Hart, Shelly Aurora Health Care
Heifetz, Michael SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
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
Kerwin, George Bellin Hospital
Larson, Margaret Mercy Medical Center
Lewis, Gordon Burnett Medical Center
Mantei, Mary Jo Bay Area Medical Center
McDonald, Brian Aurora Health Care
Miller, Jim Children's Hospital and Health System
Nelson, Dave SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
Potts, Dennis Aurora Health Care
Richards, Theresa Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Rickelman, Debbie WHA Information Center
Roberts, Paula Children's Hospital and Health System
Russell, John Columbus Community Hospital
Samitt, Craig Dean Health
Schafer, Michael Spooner Health System
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
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
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
Bailet, Jeffrey Aurora Health Care
Bedwell, Elizabeth Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Britton, Gregory Beloit Health System
Buck, Catherine Froedtert Health
Byrne, Frank St. Mary's Hospital
Canter, Richard Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Court, Kelly Wisconsin Hospital Association
Deich, Faye Sacred Heart Hospital
Falvey, Patrick Aurora Health Care
Francis, Jeff Ministry Health Care
Frank, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Garcia, Dawn St. Joseph's Hospital
Gunn, Veronica Children's Hospital and Health System
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
Kosanovich, John Watertown Regional Medical Center
Lappin, Michael Aurora Health Care
Loftus, Philip Aurora Health Care
Mattes, Dan Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Niemer, Margaret Children's Hospital and Health System
Peterson, Douglas Chippewa Valley Hospital
Radoszewski, Pat Children's Hospital and Health System
Reynolds, Sheila Children's Hospital and Health System
Ricci, Anthony Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington
Robertstad, John ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Roller, Rachel Aurora Health Care
Size, Pat
Tempelis, Eric Gundersen Lutheran Health System
Uhing, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Westrick, Paul Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital
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
Clapp, Nicole Grant Regional Health Center
Coffman, Joan St. Joseph's Hospital
Eichman, Cynthia Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital
Gorelick, Marc Children's Hospital and Health System
Grasmick, Mary Kay Wisconsin Hospital Association
Hahn, Brad Aurora Health Care
Harding, Edward Bay Area Medical Center
Levin, Jeremy Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Maciver, Carolyn Aurora Health Care
Meyer, Daniel Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay
Natzke, Ryan Marshfield Clinic
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.
Duncan, Robert Children's Hospital and Health System
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
Merline, Paul Wisconsin Hospital Association
Mettner, Michelle Children's Hospital and Health System
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
Size, Tim Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Turkal, Nick Aurora Health Care
Contributors $5,000 and above
Bjork, Tanya
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc

Top of page (8/17/12)

Rasmussen Featured Speaker at WHA Leadership Summit

Independent public opinion pollster Scott Rasmussen will deliver the keynote presentation at the 2012 WHA Leadership Summit September 21 at the Marriott Hotel in Madison. Rasmussen will review the latest public opinion data on the November 2012 elections, as well as a perspective on public attitudes toward health care and the political environment.

A pollster since 1994 and frequent guest of major media outlets, Rasmussen is the founder and president of Rasmussen Reports, one of the nation’s premier sources for public opinion information.

The WHA Leadership Summit is a one-day event focused on sharing examples of innovative and bold leadership, sharing actionable strategies, and gaining valuable insight on ways that Wisconsin can continue to be a national leader in providing high quality, high value and affordable health care in Wisconsin.

CEOs, administrators, vice presidents, CFOs, nurse executives, physician executives, department and service line managers and board of trustee members should register today at:

A block of rooms is being held at the Marriott Madison West Hotel for the evening of September 20. Reservations in the WHA block can be made by calling 888-745-2032 or 608-831-2000 before August 31.

Top of page (8/17/12)

President’s Column: Ryan Selection Means Medicare in the (Hot) Spotlight

I’m an unabashed fan of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Paul is smart, energetic, charismatic and a "big idea" guy when it comes to health care. Other than Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), who shares many of those attributes, no one in our current delegation has shown a greater interest in supporting measures that will truly transform health care by rewarding VALUE—a dynamic that is essential if we are to successfully move away from a delivery system framed by fee-for-service (FFS) payments to payment designed to incent delivery with a population health focus.

I also conceptually support Congressman Ryan’s call for transforming Medicare from the broken status quo model to a defined contribution that will engage tomorrow’s seniors as thoughtful consumers. And the fact that Ryan has attracted a few Democrats to the cause should not go unnoticed. In fact, former Bill Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, whom Obama appointed to head a budget deficit reduction commission, has called the plan "sensible, honest, and serious."

If done right, defined contribution could be particularly good for providers (and beneficiaries) in low spending and high quality states like Wisconsin. Integrated provider organizations, either through their own health plans or with commercial plan junior partners, would be especially well-positioned to market themselves directly to future Medicare beneficiaries. The key will be to successfully manage risk by taking a more population health-oriented delivery approach and better coordinating care. Contrast this to the alternative vision of a 15-member Board (IPAB) empowered to arbitrarily reduce provider payments (and ONLY provider payments) in order to balance Medicare spending with available revenue.

Now having said all of that, like most complex matters, the Devil will be in the details…

The next 80 days or so will see some, but probably not enough, serious discussion about Medicare’s future. Unfortunately, we will hear way too much hyper hysteria and falsehoods that will be rightly labeled "pants on fire" by media fact-checkers. The wild claims will be aimed at scaring seniors (none of whom are actually affected by the Ryan plan) into voting against the GOP ticket on November 6. And they may be successful.

But remember this: 1) Medicare is already broken and unsustainable. The SGR (doc payment formula) is a case in point, as was the scheme that recently jacked up MASSACHUSETTS’ hospital payments by over eight percent, paid for by hospital cuts in the rest of the country. 2) Major new Medicare cuts are inevitable—as is an annual global spending cap. 3) The choices as to how 1 and 2 will be addressed are limited. It is a very short list.

From a big picture perspective, the November choice comes down to: The FFS status quo run by IPAB—or—Medicare largely paid for and delivered via a defined contribution. The latter, if consistent with the bipartisan Ryan/Wyden proposal, would include a "traditional" Medicare option.

Go ahead and determine on your own which option best aligns (or could align) with WHA’s reform principles ( Let me know what you think.

Steve Brenton

Top of page (8/17/12)

Twenty-three Hospitals to Participate in Second WHA Transforming Care at the Bedside Initiative

WHA announced that 23 hospitals will participate in Wisconsin’s second Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) initiative. Lead by the Wisconsin Hospital Association and supported by Wisconsin’s statewide participation in an Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) grant, 25 hospital units from 23 Wisconsin hospitals will begin an 18-month improvement strategy. The initiative will formally begin with a kick-off event at the end of September, but will begin immediately doing pre-work and data collection for that meeting.

TCAB is an innovative model that calls for nurses to lead unit and hospital-wide team efforts to improve the quality and safety of patient care. It focuses on nurses’ creativity, teamwork and focus on patients.

Participating hospitals/units are:

Agnesian HealthCare, Fond du Lac 5 South Med

Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington 2 West (med-surg)

Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn Med/Surg

Boscobel Area Health Care Outpatient/Clinic

Calumet Medical Center, Chilton Inpatient

Fort HealthCare, Fort Atkinson ICU/IMCU

Fort HealthCare, Fort Atkinson MSP

Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee ICU

Froedtert-Community Memorial, Menomonee Falls Medical

Froedtert-Community Memorial, Menomonee Falls Orthopedic

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital Med/Surg

Howard Young Medical Center, Woodruff ICU/IMCU

Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Eau Claire Med Surg 4

Mayo Clinic Health Systems, La Crosse 9 Center

Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville Peds Surgical

Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh PCU 1

Middleton Veterans Hospital, Madison 4B

Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, Franklin Inpatient

Richland Hospital, Richland Center Med surg

St Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton 2 South

Spooner Health System Med Surg

Tomah Memorial Hospital Not stated in App.

Westfields Hospital, New Richmond Med/Surg

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Franklin Intermediate Care

Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee CLC

"The beauty of TCAB is that quality becomes practical in the hands of bedside nurses who are given the tools to conduct small tests of change, then adapt, adopt, or abandon those tests until an innovation becomes a new way of doing things," according to Judy Warmuth, WHA vice president, workforce.

The 25 TCAB units are also charged with spreading their improvement strategies to the entire hospital.

In Wisconsin, Aligning Forces for Quality is a joint project by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, Wisconsin Hospital Association, and other organizations. It is funded by RWJF.

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Grassroots Spotlight: Hospitals Host New Redistricted Legislators
Rep. Ballweg at Moundview Memorial; Rep. Bernier at Our Lady of Victory

State Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) visited Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics in Friendship and visited with its managers and supervisors on August 10. Ballweg is the new state representative for central and southern portions of Adams County following redistricting.

"Representative Ballweg is well versed on rural health issues as she previously served on the governing board of a critical access hospital in Waupun," noted Jeremy Normington, CEO at Moundview. "During her visit we educated her on the health needs of Adams County, Moundview’s history and the services we offer. We also discussed current and future challenges for Moundview including federal and state budget cuts, health care reform, and the impending physician shortage in Wisconsin."

Ballweg shared a recent story about a personal experience she had with a family member at a Wisconsin hospital, noting that health care in our state is "excellent." She spoke very positively about the Wisconsin Hospital Association and stated that she has worked well with the Association since becoming a legislator. Ballweg also demonstrated an understanding of key health care issues and of the many challenges that are particular to rural health in the state. She is very engaged in workforce development and higher education, both of which will benefit health care in Wisconsin.

"We enjoyed our visit with Representative Ballweg," said Normington. "It was a good opportunity to build a relationship with our new legislator and discuss with her the issues we are facing which will help her to make informed decisions on behalf of our hospital and community."

Ministry Our Lady of Victory (Stanley) Hosts Rep. Bernier

State Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) recently visited Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital (OLVH). Bernier was hosted by OLVH president Cindy Eichman. She toured the hospital and met with hospital leaders.

Due to redistricting, Rep. Bernier now represents two critical access hospitals, including OLVH, and hospital staff was able to provide insight into the importance of small, critical access hospitals in rural Wisconsin communities. In addition, the group discussed other important issues like Medicaid funding.

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Oak Creek Tragedy Illustrates Importance of Emergency Preparedness Training

Hospitals and first responders participate on a regular basis in regional training exercises to prepare for the unimaginable. Last October, the Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program (WHEPP), in conjunction with the Urban Area Security Initiative through the Department of Homeland Security, sponsored a national tactical emergency medical specialists (TEMS) training program. Held at the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee, the exercise brought 40 members of law enforcement agencies together with emergency medicine professionals from across Wisconsin to learn how medics can respond with SWAT teams and render lifesaving critical care on the scene of an active shooter.

On Sunday, August 5 their training was put to the test. A mutual aid call was placed that alerted multiple emergency medical service personnel, including police, fire and EMS, to the situation that was unfolding at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. At the same time, a WiTrac alert was sent to 33 hospitals and other response partners in southeastern Wisconsin. Oak Creek’s TEMS unit was first on the scene, with Milwaukee’s TEMS unit responding as a back-up, when a lone gunman took the lives of six people, and his own, and severely injured four others, including a police officer. Both the Oak Creek and Milwaukee TEMS units had participated in the first WHEPP-sponsored TEMS training in Milwaukee last fall.

Elizabeth Corneliuson, RN, MS, a WHEPP project manager, said WHEPP continues to fund TEMS training through Waukesha County Technical College. TEMS courses have been held in Superior and Madison, along with a course later this month in Wausau. Courses are scheduled in La Crosse and Green Bay later this year.

"The TEMS training was essential in preparing our first responders for the dangerous situation they faced at the Sikh Temple," according to Corneliuson. "We had practiced a TEMS response to an active shooter scenario on a regional basis to ensure that if there was ever an incident with mass casualties, as was the case in the theater shooting in Colorado this summer, we could respond at the scene and provide treatment to the injured as quickly and safely as possible on a regional basis."

In a letter submitted to the Milwaukee Journal, Lynn Schubert, manager of facilities safety at Aurora Health Care, and chair of WHEPP Region 7, said:

Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson did an excellent job in his August 12 story ( that chronicled Froedtert Hospital’s response to the tragic events of August 5. In Wisconsin, we have a tiered response system in place so that as an event escalates, other hospitals know when to get involved and what they need to do. This spirit of teamwork has been forged through years of training and by participating in local, regional and statewide exercises. Many hospitals in Southeastern Wisconsin were on alert and were standing by to assist on that day.

As chairperson of the Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program, Region 7, Southeast Wisconsin, I help coordinate emergency preparedness training exercises for all the hospitals in this part of that state. I know how well prepared all of them are to respond to a mass disaster.

We are fortunate in the state of Wisconsin to have had the leadership and vision to create systems and partnerships among our health care providers that ensures we are ready to respond to natural in every part of the state.

Lynn Schubert, chair
Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program
Region 7, SE Wisconsin

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Member News: Ericson Named Froedtert Health St. Joseph’s Hospital President

Froedtert Health has appointed Allen Ericson as president of St. Joseph’s Hospital, West Bend, and chief operating officer of the Community Hospital Division of Froedtert Health. In these positions Ericson will lead St. Joseph’s Community Hospital, West Bend, and oversee daily operations of the Froedtert Health Community Hospital Division, which includes St. Joseph’s Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital, Menomonee Falls. He will join the health system in early September.

Ericson has served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of Catholic Medical Center, Manchester, NH for the past seven years. Catholic Medical Center is a 330-bed facility in the largest city in New Hampshire.

Ericson succeeds David Olson, who is serving as interim president of St. Joseph’s. Olson joined Froedtert Health in fall 2011 as the system’s chief strategy officer.

Ericson earned a master’s of business administration from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s in economics from Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey. He’s also a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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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.

Sue’s story

"Without this program there’s a good chance I’d be dead," said Sue Heins, a respiratory therapist who faced a respiratory crisis of her own when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. The program that had such an impact on her life is ThedaCare’s "Caring Hearts."

Sue is a mom who had to quit working to care for her disabled son. When she developed shortness of breath, her training told her that she needed to see a pulmonologist. The tests at a Green Bay clinic cost $6,000, and when she was unable to make payments, the pulmonologist would no longer see her. She didn’t qualify for state or federal programs. So she waited.

Several months later, Sue’s shortness of breath returned—so severely that she came to the Shawano Medical Center (SMC) emergency department. It was at SMC that she learned about the ThedaCare Caring Hearts Program. Caring Hearts is the "payer of last resort" for patients who meet income guidelines. It allows ThedaCare hospitals and clinics to provide care for patients who have no other way to pay for services.

Sue was hospitalized several times. In April, a surgeon at Appleton Medical Center removed a baseball-sized tumor and a section of her lung. She started chemotherapy. Sue knows that she is only in the beginning of her survival journey, but she believes that without this program, that journey would never have begun. Sue wrote about her experience:

"I am so very grateful, as without these services I truly would not be alive today. I continue to use this at AMC for chemotherapy that may save my life and at the least buy me some time. I have also had to come to ER at Shawano for issues regarding chemotherapy…"

Sue added that professional fees by the pathologist and radiologists have also been waived or reduced, and the staff is working with her to reduce the cost of medications.

Sue has also discovered that the gift of "Caring Hearts" is more than just a financial one.

"I have been treated as if I was the most important of patients at both AMC and SMC, even though I do not have insurance. It can be both humiliating and embarrassing when you do not have a means to pay for services that you need so badly. I have never been made to feel that way at your hospitals. At your hospitals you would never know the difference between my care and the care of someone fortunate enough to have great insurance," Sue wrote.

Sue now faces other medical complications that resulted from her cancer. She continues to receive care at ThedaCare hospitals and clinics.

"I have my son to take care of," Sue said.

Shawano Medical Center

Support for those who cannot afford to pay their medical bills

As part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, River Falls Area Hospital is committed to providing high-quality medical care regardless of one’s ability to pay. Toward that end, staff at the hospital helps connect patients with the wide range of services Allina offers for patients and their families who cannot afford to pay their medical bills.

MedEligible Services provides advocacy support to patients who have difficulty paying their medical bills. MedEligible Services staff members educate patients and help them apply for federal, state and county services like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veterans Administration.

Allina’s Partners Care Program was established to assist patients who do not qualify for Medical Assistance or BadgerCare and whose annual incomes are at or below 275 percent of the federal poverty level. If patients meet the guidelines, their total Allina Hospitals & Clinics balance will be zero, with the exception of balances for some elective services. An eligible individual will be covered by the program for up to one year barring any significant change in income.

Through Allina’s Uninsured Discount Program, patients without health insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid or Allina Partners Care receive a substantial discount on medically necessary hospital charges.

In addition to these defined programs, we know that there are times when patients experience catastrophic events that put them in devastating financial positions. In these special circumstances, staff works with these patients to determine how to best support them financially.

River Falls Area Hospital

What stress can do

A 49-year-old female from Walworth County came into the Emergency Department at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center for extreme vomiting, abdominal pain, persistent reflux, severe heartburn and fever. Tests revealed that she had multiple problems within her intestinal tract. She was diagnosed with colon diverticulitis, intestinal abscess, paralytic ileus, esophageal reflux and anemia NOS, requiring immediate surgery.

The patient, a single mother who lives with her 22-year-old disabled son, was unemployed and uninsured. Her most valuable asset, her home, was in the process of foreclosure. As her son’s primary caretaker, her only source of income is his Social Security Supplemental Income.

Financial Counselor Tom Grenell met the patient in her room to provide resources and options. Tom provided her with the Aurora Helping Hand Patient Financial Assistance Program application. The patient needed a wound vacuum-assisted closure machine upon discharge from the hospital in order to heal completely. This device is used to treat chronic, difficult-to-heal wounds. Tom had to deal directly with the supplier to order it, which required signatures from Wound Care Specialist Suzie, as well as the patient’s primary doctor.

Tom was determined to relieve some of the stress for this patient. Within a few days, Tom received positive news that he was able to deliver to her. Although her hospital bills totaled $70,164, she was approved for a 100 percent discount through the Aurora Helping Hand Patient Financial Assistance Program.

Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn

Patients grateful for Community Care

Memorial Health Center’s Community Care program is devoted to providing compassionate health care services of the highest quality to people who cannot afford them otherwise.

Here are two of the many thank-you notes sent by grateful Community Care recipients to Memorial Health Center in the past year:

"Mary & Whom It May Concern:

Thank you so much for helping us out. This is just what we needed to get back on track. Thanks for letting us know about this program and everyone’s generosity. We greatly appreciate it!"

"To Erin and Others at the Community Care Program, Memorial Health Center:

We just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the ways that you have seen and understood our financial situation, and been as generous as to completely forgive our bill. I am a bit at a loss for how to adequately express how much this has meant to us. Thank you for your compassion. We also feel so grateful for the care that our daughter received while she was there. In those moments of stress it was so good to know we could trust the doctors, nurses and staff at Memorial to take good care of her.

So, with gratitude and humility, we thank you! May God bless you ALL and continue to help you serve those who come through your doors!"

Memorial Health Center, Medford – An Aspirus Partner

Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at

Read more about hospitals connecting with their communities at

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