State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) received the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) Health Care Advocate of the Year Award April 19 at WHA’s Advocacy Day event in Madison. Kyle O’Brien, WHA senior vice president, government relations, presented this year’s award to Sanfelippo in recognition of his partnership with WHA in supporting issues that enable the delivery of high-quality, high-value health care in Wisconsin.
In accepting the award, Sanfelippo said he was proud to be in a state that has some of the best hospitals and health care systems in the country, and he recognized the dedicated efforts health care professionals bring to their work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
"We have great health care, and you are all at the forefront of providing that care," according to Sanfelippo. "As we go forward, we will work on ideas that we can bring here to Wisconsin that are working in other states, and build upon the collaboration of working with WHA and their members."
O’Brien said Sanfelippo has been a partner with WHA since he was first elected to the state Legislature in 2012, quickly rising to be one of the Assembly’s top health care policy leaders. In 2014, Sanfelippo was appointed by Speaker Robin Vos to chair the Assembly Committee on Health, a position he has now held for two terms.
"Representative Sanfelippo has worked closely with WHA and member hospitals to enact public policy that protects and strengthens high-quality, high-value health care in Wisconsin," according to O’Brien. "Sanfelippo’s accomplishments during his time in the Legislature include mental health care reform, legislation to give health care providers additional population health tools and encouraging additional investments in our state Medicaid program like the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program."
O’Brien said Sanfelippo understands the impact of Wisconsin’s Medicaid reimbursement on hospitals, health care providers and private payers of health care—especially employers—and has supported efforts to mitigate Medicaid losses for Wisconsin hospitals, recognizing roles for hospitals to better coordinate care for Medicaid patients.
Sanfelippo has also been a leading state voice to federal policymakers as well, as demonstrated by a recent statement with Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairman Rep. John Nygren encouraging Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to treat Wisconsin "equitably" on health care reform and to provide additional Medicaid resources to the Badger State.
Sanfelippo represents Wisconsin’s 15th Assembly District and was first elected in 2012. Among other committees, Sanfelippo chairs the Assembly Committee on Health and serves on the mental health reform and transportation committees.