April 19, 2010
Volunteers and employees from Fort HealthCare joined over 600 hospital supporters in Madison April 13 to attend the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day. Advocacy Day is an annual event that connects hospitals with their legislators in Madison so legislators can hear about all that hospitals are doing to improve quality, increase transparency and expand access to care in their communities.
Advocacy Day attendees heard from keynote speaker Juan Williams, NPR Senior Correspondent/Fox News contributor, who provided insight into all that has happened nationally, related to health care reform, and from Governor Jim Doyle who described all that is taking place in Wisconsin.
Advocacy Day attendees told their legislators that Wisconsin is ranked number one again this year, as determined by the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, for the quality of its health care. This is the second time at number one in the past three years. Wisconsin hospitals are also considerable economic engines in their communities, generating some $22 billion annually in economic activity and employing 100,000 people in communities throughout the state.
Legislators were also able to learn during their visits with hospital constituents that hospitals provided $1.4 billion in community benefits, gave uncompensated health care services to over 1 million patients, and participated or sponsored nearly 60 free community clinics across the state over the past year. Fort HealthCare’s community benefit contribution was nearly $2.4 million in 2009. Fort HealthCare is an active participant ni the Rock River Free Clinic.
Many of the hospital volunteers who attended Advocacy Day also highlighted to their legislators the direct impact they, as volunteers, have on their hospitals, including contributing at least 1.3 million volunteer hours in 2009 alone, raising and then donating $2.1 million to hospitals as well as awarding almost $450,000 in academic scholarships to students interested in health careers.
Fort HealthCare Partners is a voluntary organization dedicated to promoting the interests of Fort HealthCare and its patients. Persons interested in Fort HealthCare Partners scholarships or volunteering at Fort Memorial Hospital may call Kari Behling, volunteer services manager, at (920) 568-5276.