Ellinger, Hofer Join WHA Government Relations Team

February 16, 2018

WHA is adding two new members to its government relations team. Lisa Ellinger will serve as the new vice president, public policy and Kari Hofer will be WHA’s new vice president, advocacy.

“The deep knowledge and experience Lisa and Kari bring to WHA will have an immediate impact on our robust policy and advocacy program,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “We are very pleased to welcome these highly regarded professionals to the talented WHA team. Along with their new colleagues and WHA’s members, they will help craft, grow and deliver a WHA agenda that enables Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems to continue delivering some of the best quality of care in the country.”

Ellinger joins WHA from the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (DETF) where she has served as director of the Office of Strategic Health Policy since 2011, responsible for policy development and implementation of the health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance programs for state and local government employees across the state of Wisconsin. Prior to joining DETF in 2008, Ellinger served as the assistant director of the Wisconsin Health Project and worked as a policy advisor for the Milwaukee-based New Hope Project. Ellinger also served on Governor Jim Doyle’s staff as the Health and Human Services Policy Advisor and worked in the state Legislature as a legislative research assistant in both the state Senate and state Assembly. Ellinger has a B.S. in journalism and political science from UW-Madison and a master’s degree from the UW-Madison LaFollette School of Public Affairs. 

“I am excited to be joining a leading, mission-driven organization focused on providing quality health care across Wisconsin,” Ellinger said. “WHA’s policy and advocacy work helps drive the health care agenda in Wisconsin, and I look forward to being a part of this great team.” 

Hofer comes to WHA from the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) where she has led the WMC Foundation as executive director since November 2016, responsible for all fundraising efforts needed to implement the WMC Foundation’s programs and annual events, including corporate sponsorships and corporate and private foundation grants. Hofer also has an extensive background in political fundraising, including serving as the Wisconsin finance director for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s successful 2016 re-election campaign, the deputy finance director for the Linda Lingle U.S. Senate Committee, finance director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Hawaii Republican Party. Hofer graduated from UW-Madison with a B.A. in communication arts and political science, earned her MBA from the University of Wisconsin in 2015 and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Madison Chapter.

“I am thrilled to be taking on this new role and joining the WHA team. WHA has a strong, engaged advocacy network that empowers the success of their policy initiatives,” Hofer said. “I look forward to continuing this approach and giving voice to the Wisconsin hospitals and communities these issues impact most.”

Both Ellinger and Hofer will join the WHA team this month.

This story originally appeared in the February 16, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter