Partners of WHA, Inc. celebrated hospital volunteerism and recognized volunteer excellence at its recent 2017 annual state convention. Partners hosted nearly 300 volunteer members from hospitals across Wisconsin October 3-5 in Green Bay.
An annual highlight of the convention is the hospital CEO panel discussion. This year’s panelists included hospital leaders Andrew Bagnall, FACHE, of HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; Ed Harding, FACHE, of Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette; Charisse Oland, FACHE, of Rusk County Memorial Hospital in Ladysmith; and Chris Woleske of Bellin Health System in Green Bay. The panel was moderated by WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding, and discussion included the topics of planning for the constant changes in health care, the impact of technology on health care, health care workforce issues, and the value and impact of volunteers in the health care setting.
Partners of WHA also awarded their annual Wisconsin Award for Volunteer Excellence (WAVE Award) to four volunteer member organizations, honoring outstanding programs in the categories of community service programs, fundraising, in-service hospital volunteer programs, and community outreach/collaboration. WAVE Award recipients included River Falls Area Hospital Auxiliary in River Falls with their Dignity Quilts program; Ascension Ministry Good Samaritan Volunteers in Merrill with their Discharge with Dignity program; Flambeau Hospital Auxiliary in Park Falls with their Rag Cutters program; and Partners of St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend with their Santa’s Workshop – Enchantment in the Park program.
The convention closed with an address from Rep. John Nygren, who addressed health care workforce issues in Wisconsin, as well as the history and current state of his HOPE legislative agenda.
Partners of WHA is made up of over 10,000 volunteers and auxilians at 71 Wisconsin hospitals. Founded in 1951 as Wisconsin Hospital Association Auxiliaries, Partners of WHA, Inc. emphasizes volunteer service and participation in grassroots advocacy, public policy and community health education, and health career programs for Wisconsin hospitals. Additionally, Partners promotes leadership development offering resources and educational seminars to local hospital volunteer and auxiliary groups, and shares information on successful community health education initiatives, advocacy and fundraising activities and trends on volunteerism through a variety of channels, including its quarterly newsletter, Reaching Out. More information can be found at www.partnersofwha.org.