Carleen Riemer (red jacket), manager of health information for Theda Clark Medical Center, and Beth Malchetske, director of health information (second from right) are with Traci Kreuziger (left) from Group Health and Marianne Baumgarten from Reedsburg Area Medical Center.
A record-breaking 850 hospital leaders, employees, trustees and volunteers, including from ThedaCare, participated in Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) Advocacy Day event in Madison April 23. Advocacy Day is an annual event that connects hospital supporters with their legislators in Madison so lawmakers can learn how issues impact local hospitals and communities.
This year Advocacy Day attendees heard from keynote speakers U.S. Representative Paul Ryan and Dr. David Rehr of the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University. Attendees also heard from a bipartisan legislative panel, including State Senators Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) and Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and State Representatives Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and Jeff Stone (R-Greendale). During the luncheon keynote address, attendees heard from Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades.
This year over 500 attendees spent time in the afternoon meeting with elected officials in the State Capitol to discuss important issues pending in the state budget. Advocates made sure their legislators were aware of the importance to hospitals across the state of providing health insurance coverage under the Medicaid program to low-income individuals making less than $15,300 a year. Doing so would provide more coverage at less cost for the state while at the same time provide stability for patients and hospitals.