Wisconsin Physician Leaders: Vaccination is Key to Moving Past COVID-19

The following important message on COVID-19 vaccinations is made on behalf of physician chief medical officers of Wisconsin health systems and hospitals.

May 06, 2021

COVID-19 has been with us now for more than a year. We’ve been through a lot together—illness, death, economic hardship and the disruption of the lives we cherish, including the close personal interactions that we as humans need to thrive. And while we’ve shown collective resolve in fighting the disease and adapting to its threat, what we all really crave is getting back to the people and things we miss. Vaccines offer us precisely that hope.
 
As physicians and health care providers, we’ve devoted our lives to caring for others. It is our responsibility to review medical studies and weigh risks and benefits to recommend the best treatments to protect the health of our patients. Based on our medical training and judgement, we believe the science and safety behind the COVID-19 vaccines is sound, and we encourage our patients and others to get a COVID vaccine whenever and wherever available in your community.  
 
The dramatic rise of COVID cases in Wisconsin in late 2020 posed many threats to our state and its people. Wisconsinites responded appropriately by adopting recommended mitigation behaviors—wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands—and successfully reversed the COVID surge. And yet, COVID remains with us, stubbornly so. Vaccination offers us the best chance to continue reducing COVID’s grip on our daily lives.  
 
Our voices, we hope, will provide encouragement to anyone who has questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Important, too, are the perspectives of those you know, love and trust who have sought and safely received a COVID-19 vaccine. Why did they do so? What future are they looking forward to now that they are protected against contracting or being severely sickened by COVID? We hope you will join them and us on this path back to the activities and togetherness we long for.

Christopher G Green, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Wisconsin Hospital Association
 
  Gary Stuck, DO, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Advocate Aurora Health
 
  John Misa, MD
Interim Chief Medical Officer
Allina Health System
 
Gregory Brusko, DO, MMM, FACOS
Chief Clinical Officer
Ascension Wisconsin
 
  Ryan Andrews, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Aspirus Wausau Hospital
 
  Brian Johnson, MD, FACP
Chief Medical Officer
Aurora BayCare Medical Center
 
Cynthia Lasecki, MD, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Bellin Health System
 
  Roger Kapoor, MD
Senior Vice President
Beloit Health System
 
  Esteban Miller, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Black River Memorial Hospital, Inc.
 
Blaise P Vitale
Family Physician
Burnett Medical Center
 
  Michael Gutzeit, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Children’s Wisconsin - Milwaukee Hospital
 
  James Heise, MD, MBA
CMO
Door County Medical Center
 
Bill Cannon
Medical Director Fort Medical Group
Fort HealthCare
 
  Jonathon D. Truwit, MD
Enterprise CMO and Sr. Admin. Dean
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin - Froedtert Hospital
 
  Robyn Borge, MD
Chief of Medical/Clinical Staff
Gundersen Health System
 
Edgar (Ted) Collison
Chief Physician Executive
HSHS Wisconsin
 
  William Melms, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Marshfield Clinic Health System
 
  Joseph Krien, MD
Regional Chair of Practice
Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse
 
Richard Helmers, MD
Regional Vice President
Mayo Clinic Health System - Northwest Wisconsin Region
 
  Tim Bjelland, DO
VP/CMO
Mile Bluff Medical Center
 
  Robert Gouthro, MD
Chief Medical Officer
North Central Health Care
 
Matthew Niesen, MD
Chief of Staff
Prairie Ridge Health
 
  Elizabeth Baker, DPM
Chief Medical Officer
Reedsburg Area Medical Center
 
 
  Jerry Halverson, MD, FACPsych, DFAPA
Chief Medical Officer
Rogers Memorial Hospital, Inc.
Kent Kramer, MD
Vice President of Medical Affairs
Southwest Health
 
  Mark Van Etten, MD
Medical Director/Chief of Staff
Spooner Health
 
  Amy Franta, MD
SSM Health Regional CMO
SSM Health
 
Aaron Schwaab, MD, FACS
General Surgeon and Chief Medical Officer
Stoughton Health
 
  Mark Cockley, MD
Chief Clinical Officer
ThedaCare
 
  Jeffrey Cavaness, MD
President, Tomah Health Medical Staff
Tomah Health
 
Pam Wetzel, MD
Chief Medical Officer
UnityPoint Health
 
  Aimee Becker, MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer
University Hospital
 
  Sara Fox, MD
VP-Medical Services Primary Care
Upland Hills Health, Inc.
 
Jeffrey Lawrence, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon/Chief of Staff
Vernon Memorial Healthcare
 
       

 

This story originally appeared in the May 06, 2021 edition of WHA Newsletter