CELEBRATING 100 YEARS: WHA’s Early Membership Drive Lives on Today

January 23, 2020

In the early years before the Internet, the Wisconsin Hospital Association offered personal memberships in addition to associate, institutional and honorary memberships. Newsletters were mailed to individuals. These memberships continued into the 1980s and 1990s when information could be acquired through electronic venues such as websites and email, so individual memberships were discontinued.

It’s interesting to look at what the early WHA did with some of the proceeds raised via “individual membership:”

"An article from The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin – 27 Dec 1920

Hospital Fund Totals $2,465
410 Persons Have Contributed to Charity Fund to Date
“With the campaign still in progress the charity fund of the Madison General Hospital has now reached a total of $2,465.81. Up to date 410 persons have contributed.  (A list of contributors followed…)

If you have not sent in your subscription, fill out the card which has been mailed to you and mail it to the Madison General hospital. The hospital association is making a mighty effort to enlist the cooperation and support of a large number of citizens of this city by asking them to become members of the association.  A contribution of $5 will entitle you to an active membership in the hospital association and the money will be used to care for some needy person.”

From its earliest formation, WHA was truly conceived as an organization that would “promote the welfare of the people.” That dedication of purpose continues today – just one example is the regular collection and promotion of hospital and health system community benefit efforts in communities from every corner of the state. 

As a reminder, if your organization has historical items – photos, agendas, etc. – that you would like to share as part of WHA’s 100th celebration, contact WHA Director of Communications Tammy Hribar.

This story originally appeared in the January 23, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter