June 2024

Upcoming Events

“Breaking Barriers: Advancing Care for Chronic Diseases – A Focus on Cardiometabolic Health”

August 15, 2024
8:30 AM to 3:00 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton Madison East

Join us for a day dedicated to the advancement of care for chronic diseases, with a special emphasis on cardiometabolic health.

Event Highlights:

  • Date: August 15, 2024
  • Time: 8:30 AM - 3 PM
  • Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Madison East, 4402 East Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53704
  • Registration: Free for WCHQ Members, $80 for Non-Members. Register by August 7, 2024

This event is your chance to engage with leading experts and peers in the field of cardiometabolic health. The agenda is packed with sessions and networking opportunities designed to equip you with the latest knowledge and tools to improve patient outcomes.

Why Attend?

  • Expert Insights: Gain firsthand knowledge from renowned professionals in the field of cardiometabolic health.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with peers, industry leaders, and exhibitors to exchange ideas and foster collaborations.
  • Comprehensive Agenda: Participate in sessions that cover a wide range of topics, from environmental influences on obesity to practical implementations of chronic kidney disease (CKD) treatments.
  • Personal Stories: Be inspired by personal journeys, including a keynote by former NFL Player Ottis Anderson, sharing his experience with Type 2 diabetes.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be at the forefront of chronic disease care advancements. Register today to secure your spot and contribute to the collective effort of breaking barriers and improving the quality of life for patients with chronic diseases.

Register Today

Register now to secure your spot. WCHQ members can register at no cost, while non-members can register for a nominal fee of $80. Join us as we come together to shape the future of healthcare and build healthier communities for generations to come.

Funding for this event provided in part by Bayer and Novo Nordisk.  

Data Voyager Training

Choose one date:
June 26, July 24 or August 28

Learn about Data Voyager, WCHQ's healthcare data analysis tool. Explore features and get hand-on training. This training is open to employees of WCHQ member organizations only.

"Strategies for Patient Engagement & Health Screening"

Part of the WCHQ webinar series, "Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates and Shared Decision Making"

July 30, 2024

Featuring Kelly Kruse Nelles, MS, RN, APRN-BC, Executive Director, National RN Practice Development Center LLC. Our presenter will:

  • share examples of team-based care that promote health equity and assessment of complex social needs
  • describe evidence-based, patient-centered care strategies that clinicians can use to advance health equity
  • define shared decision-making and how it relates to patient-centered engagement that can support preventative care and cancer screening

Funding provided in part by the Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS) grant through Exact Sciences.

Statewide Quality Improvement Event

November 7, 2024

DoubleTree by Hilton Madison East, Madison, WI

President's Report

Gabrielle Rude, PhD, President/CEO

One of WCHQ’s Fundamentals (the behaviors we expect of our team) is to “Practice the Human Touch.” At WCHQ, one way we demonstrate this fundamental is by using data to identify the unique health needs of the patients we serve.

As a quality professional, I have overseen the bumpy, and to some extent, contentious change from manual chart review to automated abstraction and report writing after an electronic medical record rollout. The  new world of electronic reports and validation felt disconnected from the care team and the patients. Our old process was tactile - flipping the pages back to front to glean the needed information. It also forged a connection between the care team and those abstracting information - the chart itself had to physically be shared one person at a time. The new world of reports, fields and validation felt impersonal. A quality nurse summarized the experience, lamenting that she used to work on quality, but now, “all I do is validate reports.”

While interacting with handwritten clinician notes provided a sentiment of connection, it also provided a very limited view of care quality. Access to comprehensive population data is crucial in illuminating disparities. Such data allows for the identification of where disparities lie and allow the tailoring of interventions to the needs of specific groups. Prior to having an EMR, quality measurement involved abstraction of a very small patient sample and a limited number of data fields. The reports that the quality team initially lamented had information on every patient in the health system, revolutionizing our ability to identify care gaps and giving rise to the entire industry of population health.

For 20 years, WCHQ member organizations have been collecting and publicly reporting measures of quality for the populations they serve. They have committed to providing more granular information so we can truly identify where disparities exist. For example, members began sending more detail about where patients lived so we could compare communities based on their access to healthcare. High-quality and comprehensive data is foundational to shaping policies that can improve the health of all people and serves as a cornerstone for directing resources effectively, measuring progress, and establishing accountability in the pursuit of greater equity. Comprehensive data allows us to practice the human touch by ensuring we truly know the populations we serve.

WCHQ Releases Public Reporting Trends, Recognizes Member Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers

Member update

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers is publicly reporting with WCHQ for the first time and is the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to do so. We recognize that underserved populations have been underrepresented in our data. This is a big step towards creating a complete picture of Wisconsin’s healthcare quality for all of Wisconsin.

Priority Measure Trends

  • Adolescent Immunization Status
    • No change in rate compared to the previous reporting period.
    • All-time high rate: 89.13% in the period ending in Q2 2020
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
    • Second consecutive reporting period with improvement
    • Up until the previous reporting period, this measure had been consistently decreasing since COVID-19
  • Childhood Immunization Status
    • First time this measure has improved since the reporting period ending in Q2 of 2020
    • All-time high rate: 83.04% in Q2 of 2020
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening
    • This measure was expanded to include patients starting at age 45 (previously was age 50)
    • Based on internal numbers, the estimated decrease in this measure’s rate due to the increased population was expected to be much higher (10% decrease), suggesting organizations are already doing well in closing the gap for 45-50 year olds.
  • Controlling High Blood Pressure
    • The 82.00% goal was met for a second straight reporting period.
    • Despite the slight decrease, 82.29% is still the second highest rate since COVID-19.
  • Diabetes: Blood Sugar (a1c) Control
    • 75.39% marks the highest rate ever observed for this measure (previous high was 73.99%)
    • Third straight reporting period of meeting the 73% goal.

Other Measure Trends

  • Diabetes: Blood Sugar (a1c) Testing
    • Measure rate: 72.29%
    • Measure rate decreased for a fourth consecutive reporting period.
    • Testing was consistently above 75% prior to COVID-19
  • Screening for Clinical Depression
    • Measure rate: 82.63%
    • Most improved measure from previous reporting period
    • Second highest rate ever observed (all-time high: 83.64% in Q4 of 2021)WCHQ has recently released the latest public reporting data trends, as well as a hearty congratulations to WCHQ member Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers for publicly reporting for the first time.

SPOTLIGHT: Review of Depression and Colorectal Cancer Screenings in Men’s Health

As WCHQ celebrates its 20th anniversary, we review the results achieved over that time. With June marking Men’s Health Month, we review the recent trends regarding depression screenings and colorectal cancer screenings for the male population.

There has been a prominent shift in how men approach their health over the past 20 years. There is increased awareness of the importance of preventive care (e.g., regular checkups, cancer screenings, and lifestyle assessments) as well as a greater focus today on mental health. Conditions such as depression and anxiety don’t hold the same stigma for men as they did 20 years ago.

Even in just the past five years, we are seeing signs of men participating more in their health. Regarding preventative health (specifically colorectal cancer screenings), there has been a small and steady growth in the percentage of men included in the measure. Among WCHQ members, in 2019, the measure consisted of 45.5% men and has increased each reporting cycle to 46.5% in 2023. This increase has resulted in an additional 15,650 men getting screened for colorectal cancer screening.

There are similar trends among WCHQ members with depression screenings. Men have started to make up the majority of this measure as of 2022. As shown on the adjacent graph, 2023 marks the first time in recent years where men have been screened for depression at a higher rate than women.

Member Profile

In recognition of the WCHQ 20th anniversary in 2024, we are planning a member profile each month.

Member Name: The Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin health network

Member Background: Froedtert Health, a founding member of WCHQ, is a Milwaukee-based integrated health care system providing a variety of health-related services including hospitals and health centers, home care, laboratory, pharmacy services, health insurance, employer health services and workplace clinics, and digital health solutions.

Gina Kinsey, Executive Director, Quality

The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network is a partnership between Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin supporting a shared mission of patient care, innovation, medical research and education. The health network operates eastern Wisconsin's only academic medical center and adult Level I Trauma Center at Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, an internationally recognized training and research center engaged in thousands of clinical trials and studies.

Number of Providers: The Froedtert & MCW health network has more than 2,300 physicians.

Member of WCHQ Since: 2004

Current Quality Goals: “We are keenly focused on high-value care delivery. Our ambulatory quality goals are designed to support community health outcomes and respond to the priorities established by the Clinically Integrated Network and our Accountable Care Organization: diabetes A1c, high blood pressure control, colorectal cancer screening, breast cancer screening, depression screening for adolescents and adults and pneumococcal vaccination for adults 65+,” said Gina Kinsey, executive director, Quality. “The overall goal is to provide high-quality, efficient care delivery.”

Mark Lodes, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President

WCHQ Engagement: “WCHQ Improvement Advisory Committee meetings are a great way to partner with others in like positions across the state,” said Greta Hutterer, Ambulatory Quality continuous improvement specialist (CIS), and member of the advisory committee. “They provide opportunities for our CISs to learn, share best practices and develop new discussion topics on quality metrics focus areas and tactics.”

In addition, Dr. Mark Lodes, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, serves on the WCHQ Board of Directors.

How WCHQ has impacted health care at the Froedtert & MCW health network:

“WCHQ webinars provide opportunities for our providers to grow their knowledge and skills. Online toolkits help our quality triad team and work groups, which are designed to support and improve quality metrics,”shared Jenna Boyd, Ambulatory Quality CIS.

WCHQ's Data Voyager Tool: Discover trends, Customize Reports, and Improve the Quality of Patient Care

Data Voyager is more than our member’s healthcare data platform; it's a dynamic data search engine designed to empower healthcare professionals to navigate through your organization’s complex datasets with ease. Providing a user-friendly interface and powerful capabilities, Data Voyager opens doors to discover trends and patterns for members. Data Voyager provides the ability to create customizable reports within your own healthcare data sets, helping you drive meaningful quality improvements in patient care and operational efficiencies.

Date Voyager Features

  • Data Voyager's user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate through datasets, enabling you to uncover valuable insights.
  • Discover trends, create customizable reports, and track WCHQ performance metrics with a couple clicks using our filtering features. Data Voyager equips you with the tools to turn your organization’s data into actionable insights that drive informed quality decision-making.
  • Fuel innovation and research within your organization. With Data Voyager, researchers and healthcare professionals can accelerate discoveries and gain new perspectives to improve on the quality patient outcomes and treatment effectiveness by analyzing WCHQ’s measures in Data Voyager.

Ready to harness the power of your healthcare data? Join us in embracing Data Voyager and unlock the potential of your data to transform patient care and operational excellence.

To gain access to the Data Voyager platform reach out to the WCHQ’s support team at support@wchq.org

Enhancing Health Equity with WCHQ’s Health Disparities Improvement Toolkit

Megan Timm, MPH, SSM Health

Health disparities continue to be an area of focus for WCHQ member health systems, community partners, and WCHQ. Healthy Metric, a partnership between WCHQ, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Public Health, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), and the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), collaborate to report on health disparities across Wisconsin and use those reports to influence care across the state. All this work, including this new toolkit, is made possible by a grant through the Wisconsin Partnership Program and Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.

As a result of the analysis, we have done on disparities, The WCHQ Disparities Improvement Team has created an actionable toolkit with resources to support the work that organizations are doing to reduce healthcare disparities.

Chris Barron, RPh, MBA, Fort HealthCare

“We don’t claim to know it all,” said Christopher Barron, RPh, MBA, Executive Director of Population Health and Clinical Services at Fort HealthCare. “We are working to offer a place to start.” Both Barron and Megan Timm, MPH, CLC, Regional Director of Community Health at SSM Health, were main contributors to WCHQ’s Health Disparities Improvement Toolkit. The toolkit includes a list of resources, or as Timm remarks “a virtual rolodex,” to direct disparities reduction. The toolkit also highlights quality interventions with specific populations to improve health outcomes. These WCHQ member highlights explain the interventions and allow for replications. At WCHQ, sharing what works is at the core of our work.

We are excited to add this toolkit to our toolkit library, Health Disparities Toolkit We hope to continue to add resources to the toolkit over time and are interested in highlighting any work that member health systems and community organizations are doing in collaboration. If you are interested in this work, or want to share the work you are doing, please reach out to Renee Sutkay, rsutkay@wchq.org.

Thank You to Our WCHQ Partners for Their Support of Our Work


Novo Nordisk







AboutHealth • The Alliance • Alliance of Health Insurers (AHI)

Bayer • Business Health Care Group • Epic • Exact Sciences

GSK • Health Payment Systems • MetaStar • Moderna

Otsuka  • Rogers Behavioral Health

Sanofi • WellStack • Wipfli • Wisconsin Hospital Association