A record-breaking 850 hospital leaders, employees, trustees and volunteers, including from Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital, participated in Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) Advocacy Day event in Madison on 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.
“We are committed to attending WHA’s Advocacy Day event,” said Monica Hilt, president of Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital. “We believe it is important to talk with our legislators about important health care issues, like Medicaid provisions pending in the state budget. Advocacy Day provides us with the education and motivation to make our voices heard.”
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 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 Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) and Sandy Pasch (D-Shorewood). During the luncheon keynote address, attendees heard from Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades.
More than 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 would provide stability for patients and hospitals.
“We are proud of Wisconsin’s reputation of providing some of the highest quality, highest value care in the nation,” said Hilt. “Advocacy Day allowed us to the chance to reinforce this message with legislators and remind them that proposals like important Medicaid coverage in the state budget will help patients, hospitals and communities.”