While the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted significant social distancing in everyday lives across Wisconsin, WHA members have embraced tools to ensure hospitals and health systems can connect with their elected officials – especially during these important times.
WHA’s Government Relations and Advocacy teams been hosting “Virtual Roundtable” meetings this past week, allowing hospital and system leaders to share what health care is experiencing in local communities. Using Zoom teleconferencing technology, WHA has helped hold 12 virtual roundtables with 45 legislators covering the steps hospitals are taking to safely reopen services and return to a normal level of care.
“These virtual roundtable discussions have been an effective way to continue important conversations between policymakers and their hospital and health system constituents,” WHA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kyle O’Brien said. “Even though hospitals can’t invite their elected officials into their facilities for face-to-face meetings right now, we are making sure that the state legislature hears from their community’s health care leaders about the challenges they’re facing and how state government can help.”
As hospitals begin to transition into rescheduling non-emergency, essential procedures, challenges still remain including patient perception in seeking care, ongoing supply chain constraints for PPE and testing supplies, and further care delays due to supply shortages. Lawmakers are partnering with WHA and member hospitals to remind patients that hospitals and clinics are safe, clean places that are taking all necessary precautions to care for patients.
There are at least three more “Virtual Roundtables” scheduled to take place in the next week with plans to continue hosting them all around the state.