More than 1,000 hospital leaders, employees, trustees and volunteers, including five from River Falls Area Hospital, descended on Madison on March 30 to participate in the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) Advocacy Day event. Advocacy Day is an annual event that connects hospital supporters from across the state with their legislators in Madison so lawmakers can learn how issues impact local hospitals and communities.
“We are proud of Wisconsin’s reputation of providing some of the highest quality, highest value care in the nation,” said Heather Logelin, director of foundation and community engagement at River Falls Area Hospital. “Advocacy Day provides an opportunity for staff and volunteers to talk with legislators about key health care issues so they know how their policy decisions impact hospitals in our region.”
The crowd heard from the always popular bipartisan state legislative panel of State Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield), State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and State Representative Peter Barca (D-Kenosha). Advocacy Day attendees also heard from morning keynote speaker Rick Pollack, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association.
Governor Walker provided luncheon keynote remarks and signed important WHA legislation – the Wisconsin Health Care Data Modernization Act – into law in front of attendees.
This year 550 attendees spent time in the afternoon meeting with elected officials in the State Capitol. Advocates made sure their legislators were aware of the role hospitals play in communities across the state in providing high quality, high value health care and how the legislature can support those efforts through the policies it enacts.
Advocacy Day also provides attendees an opportunity to thank legislators for their work on behalf of community hospitals. As an example, the recently passed Interstate Medical Licensure Compact will make it easier for physicians from Minnesota to get licensed in Wisconsin. “It was great to have an opportunity to thank Sen. Harsdorf and Rep. Knudson for their support of this legislation, which will help us continue to provide high-quality care here in River Falls,” said Logelin.