September 30, 2016
Volume 60, Issue 39

Wisconsin Hospital Quality Work to Continue in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network

WHA is proud to announce that Wisconsin hospitals’ work to reduce health care costs and improve patient care will be continued through a partnership with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) initiative. The MHA Keystone Center is one of 16 national, regional or state hospital associations and health system organizations to receive a contract to reduce patient harm and readmissions. Under the HIIN contract, MHA is partnering with WHA and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association in the Great Lakes Partners for Patients.

This collaboration will allow the states to pool their resources to offer education, training, data management, and clinical expertise to all hospitals participating in the HIIN. Hospitals that enroll in the HIIN will work with WHA to achieve a 20 percent reduction in harm and 12 percent reduction in preventable readmissions. These shared goals will be achieved through the use of high reliability principles and customized assistance for each hospital.

"The HIIN will continue to expand the work of the previous Hospital Engagement Networks where Wisconsin hospitals were able to improve care for more than 9,000 patients and prevent $87 million in unnecessary health care costs," said Eric Borgerding, WHA president/CEO. "I am confident we will continue to see a high level of participation in Wisconsin. This commitment of hospital leaders and staff to improve quality is what makes us a high-value health care state."

Enrollment for hospitals begins October 3. All Wisconsin hospitals are welcome and encouraged to sign up. Hospital executives, as well as those closest to the point of care, who commit time and resources to this valuable work will enhance their improvement capacity and position their organizations to reduce costs, improve care and save lives.

"WHA has partnered with the Michigan and Illinois Hospital Associations on improvement work in the past. This new partnership in the Great Lakes Partners for Patients HIIN is a natural extension of existing relationships," said Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. "We look forward to continuing our work on these important aspects of hospital care."

Questions about the content of the HIIN work or how to enroll can be directed to Court at

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Elections 40 Days Away: Disburse Dollars Now
Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit campaign update

November 8 is only 40 days away, so disbursing Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit dollars now to candidates for state office who value hospitals and health systems is extremely important.

As a reminder, individuals who contribute to the Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit retain full control over their funds. Once deposited, conduit funds remain until the account holder authorizes the release of those dollars to candidates or party committees of their choosing.

"Now is the time for Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit members to contribute to candidates across the state where support is needed," said Nora Statsick, WHA political affairs.

To check conduit balances or discuss disbursing conduit dollars to candidates, contact Nora Statsick at or by phone at 608-239-4535.

In terms of raising dollars, the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit campaign is at $249,000, raising an average of over $6,300 a week. This amount puts the campaign at 83 percent of its aggressive 2016 goal of raising $300,000. To date, 295 individuals have contributed in 2016.

Join the effort today by making your 2016 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit contribution. You can easily do so online at or by calling WHA’s Jenny Boese at 608-268-1816, or Nora Statsick at 608-239-4535.

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Register Today for Wisconsin GME Summit, November 15

Highlighting work done to expand graduate medical education (GME) in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW) and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Rural GME (WCRGME) are partnering to host a one-day event that will focus on the challenges and opportunities in expanding GME programs in Wisconsin.

"Wisconsin GME Summit: Celebrating Successes & Exploring Opportunities" will be held November 15 at the Best Western Premier Park Hotel, on the Capitol Square in Madison. To register, visit:

The Summit will begin with a "State of the State" on Wisconsin’s GME Efforts, followed by two panel discussions on Wisconsin’s state-funded GME grant programs, one including grantees that have started new programs, and another with those that have expanded existing programs. Using small group discussion format, the afternoon will focus on the topics of garnering broad community support for a GME program, effectively using technology to deliver GME training and support, and developing GME partnerships for efficiency.

For more information, including the day’s agenda and online registration, visit: Registration questions can be directed to Kayla Chatterton at or 608-274-1820.

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Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Opportunities: A Future Leader’s Guide to Wisconsin Health Care
November 16, 2016 *** Marriott Madison West, Middleton

This important one-day event will focus on the role the next generation of health care leaders will play in effectively addressing current health care trends. The day’s agenda features national health care consumerism expert Ryan Donohue of National Research Corporation and national patient experience expert Kristin Baird of The Baird Group.

Register today at

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Second Stephen F. Brenton Scholarship Award Recipient Announced

Joseph Bates has been selected as the 2016-2017 Stephen F. Brenton Health Policy Scholar, which comes with an award of $6,000 that can be applied toward tuition. The scholarship was created in honor of Stephen Brenton (BA ’76, Political Science, UW-Madison) to students who are pursuing degrees at the La Follette School of Public Affairs related to health policy.

Bates will receive master’s degrees in both public administration and public health from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2017.

"The La Follette School is delighted that Joe will receive this award," said Donald Moynihan, director of La Follette School of Public Affairs. "The scholarship is an investment in a hard-working student who is dedicated to improving health outcomes in the state of Wisconsin. It is also partnership with the Wisconsin Hospital Association we are very proud of, and an enduring way to recognize the contributions Steve Brenton made to health care policy in this state."

"Being the recipient of the 2016-17 Brenton Award is an integral part to my pursuit of a career in health care and health policy in Wisconsin," Bates said. "With this scholarship, I hope to build on the success that Mr. Brenton has fostered as a global leader in the health care landscape. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Borgerding, the WHA, and the La Follette School of Public Affairs for their support and recommendation to receive this award. With my MPA and MPH from UW-Madison, I aspire to work as a health professional in Wisconsin and promote the mental and physical well-being of the residents in the community."

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WCMEW and AHEC November 10-11 Conference – Reminder

The Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW) and the Wisconsin Area Health Education Council (AHEC) are jointly planning a conference on Interprofessional Education and Clinical Practice, scheduled November 10 and 11 at the Madison Marriott West, Middleton, WI. The goals of the conference are to foster collaboration, innovation, and momentum around Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in Wisconsin.

Conference Objectives:

Click to see a detailed agenda and conference registration information.

If you have questions, email George Quinn, WCMEW executive director, at

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Three Wisconsin Physicians Receive Awards from the AAFP

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) announced the recipients of its most prestigious awards this week at its annual meeting. Four family physicians from across the nation were recognized for their outstanding contributions to family medicine and public health. Three of the four recipients are Wisconsin physicians.

Each of these awards recognizes family physicians who have made exceptional advances in furthering the health of their communities through service and education.

David Gaus, MD, a family physician in Madison, was awarded the AAFP’s Humanitarian Award. The Humanitarian Award honors extraordinary and enduring humanitarian efforts by AAFP members, both within and beyond the borders of the United States.

Gaus is founder and executive director of Andean Health & Development (AHD) in Ecuador, based at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The mission of AHD is to provide quality, sustainable health care for rural Latin America.

Nick Turkal, MD, a family physician in Milwaukee, received the Robert Graham Physician Executive Award. This award is reserved for AAFP members whose executive skills in health care organizations have contributed to excellence in the provision of high-quality health care and demonstrated that family physicians can have an impact on improving the overall health of the nation.

Turkal is president/CEO of Aurora Health Care and was a member of WHA’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2012, serving as chair in 2011.

Turkal leads the strategic vision and daily operations for Wisconsin’s largest integrated health care provider and largest private employer. He oversees clinical quality work that is recognized nationally. Aurora is the top performing health system in the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration Project.

John Beasley, MD, a family physician in Madison, received the Thomas W. Johnson Award. The award recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to family medicine education in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education spheres.

Beasley currently serves as clinical professor at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has contributed more than 40 years of service toward the advancement of family medicine education on local, regional, national and international stages.

Read AAFP’s press release.

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Member News: Mayo Clinic Health System President/CEO Linton Announces Retirement

Randall Linton, MD, president/CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System for northwest Wisconsin, is announcing his retirement in April 2017. Linton has served as president and CEO for the past 15 years. Prior to that, he served as a pediatrician for more than 20 years.

"During my career, I have had the honor of providing health care to young children and watching them grow into adults," Linton says. "I also had the honor of being a part of establishing Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin and watching it develop into one of the region’s leading health care organizations. I am truly grateful for a very rewarding career. Today, the organization is financially strong and positioned to continue to meet the needs of our patients well into the future. It’s a good time to transition out of this leadership role, and I know the mission and vision of Mayo Clinic will continue to be upheld."

"Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin has thrived under Dr. Linton’s leadership," says Bobbie Gostout, MD, vice president, Mayo Clinic. "He and his team have built an organization that is a health care leader within the region, with a strong patient focus, sound business practices and clear focus on serving communities in the region. He leaves northwest Wisconsin well positioned for his successor, and we thank him for his many years of outstanding service."

Planning and organizing the process for selecting a successor will begin immediately, and a final selection is anticipated by January to allow for an appropriate transition period. Linton will assist his successor to ensure a smooth and seamless leadership transition.

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