WHA Wins National Award for Improving Health Care Quality and Safety in Wisconsin

Will Receive AHA Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Association Leadership

Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 575-7516

WASHINGTON (June 10, 2014) – The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) is slated to receive the 2014 Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Allied Association Leadership for its work to improve health care quality, the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced today.

The award, given to state, regional or metropolitan hospital associations that demonstrate leadership and innovation in quality improvement and contribute to national health care improvement efforts, will be presented in July.

“Improving quality and patient safety is a never-ending quest for America’s hospitals and health systems,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president/CEO, noting that Wisconsin’s efforts “exemplify the key role now played by hospital associations across the country in convening and supporting their members in the critical work of quality and safety collaboratives.” 

According to the AHA, WHA demonstrated a comprehensive quality portfolio supported by strong leadership and governance. Along with 108 of its member hospitals, WHA developed strategic partnerships to advance quality care statewide.  One example of their success was to prevent a recently discharged patient from an unplanned return to the hospital within 30 days. WHA and their hospitals successfully reduced readmissions by 22 percent, exceeding the government’s goal of a 20 percent reduction. This eliminated readmissions for more than 3,500 patients and reduced health care spending by more than $34 million.

WHA also worked with birthing hospitals in Wisconsin to reduce Early Elective Deliveries (EED), or babies born at the request of the mother or for non-medical reasons before 39 weeks gestation. Since mid-2012, Wisconsin hospitals have reduced EEDs by 78 percent, with an associated estimated cost savings of more than $210,000.

“Wisconsin is a recognized leader in health care quality and value. Our goal is to ensure that every patient in our state receives the finest care possible no matter where they go for that care. Through our collaboration on quality improvement, that goal is in range,” said WHA President Steve Brenton. “As much as hospitals have been able to significantly improve care, however, Wisconsin health care leaders are keenly aware that their work is far from over.” 

The award is named for AHA President Emeritus Dick Davidson, who strongly promoted the role of hospital associations in leading quality improvement during his tenure as AHA president and as president of the Maryland Hospital Association. Wisconsin and the Connecticut Hospital Association were the only two state hospital associations to receive the award this year.


About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations that are committed to health improvement in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care.  For more information, visit the AHA website at

About the WHA

The Wisconsin Hospital Association’s mission is advocating for the ability of the more than 130 hospitals and health systems that it represents to provide high-quality, high-value health care to people living in Wisconsin communities. Learn more at