WCHQ Celebrates 20 Years in 2024

20th anniversary logo for WCHQ

As WCHQ celebrates 20 years in 2024, it’s a great time to reflect on the important impact WCHQ has made on healthcare quality. What was the genesis of WCHQ? How have we evolved over 20 years? What’s on the horizon for WCHQ?

A Need is Seen

In the early 2000s, several leaders of Wisconsin health care systems identified a specific need. They wanted statewide information that would help the state’s healthcare systems make informed decisions about healthcare quality, cost and value.

The first step was taken by Dr. John Toussaint, then-president of ThedaCare. His vision was to bring together Wisconsin healthcare and business leaders to measure performance. From there, six health systems and physician practices joined in. Quality professionals from those six founding members began to look at possible measures.

The collaborative’s first report was published and released in October of 2003. The ensuing media coverage and credibility of WCHQ’s mission within Wisconsin’s healthcare community encouraged additional involvement. A Board of Directors was formed and the first President and CEO, Chris Queram, was hired in November of 2005.
Gabrielle Rude, CEO of WCHQ
Gabrielle Rude, PhD, President & CEO

Twenty Years Later and Still Going Strong

Our WCHQ founders who laid the groundwork for us 20 years ago would be proud of the impact WCHQ has had on our state’s healthcare quality:

  • Our members represent nearly 80% of our state’s primary care providers.
  • We have 27 publicly reported measures and 64 total measures of quality.
  • Our Value Committee successfully demonstrates the value for the patient, as well as cost benefits, of quality healthcare.
  • We have measured health disparities and shared proven strategies to increase health outcomes for at-risk patient populations.

In addition, because our members join us voluntarily, we are the only quality healthcare organization of our kind in the United States. States with similar organizations mandate their health systems to be members and fund those organizations.

WCHQ's Founding Members

Bellin Health

Froedtert Health & Medical College of Wisconsin

Gundersen Health System

Marshfield Clinic

SSM Health (Formerly Dean Clinic)


What’s Next?

As we reflect on celebrating 20 years of healthcare quality improvement, we also look ahead to the future’s exciting opportunities and challenges.

Addressing Health Disparities
While healthcare disparities have been a focus of our work for some time, until these disparities are resolved, WCHQ will continue to shine a light on them, as well as educate Wisconsin’s healthcare community about how to eliminate them.

Collaboration and Partnerships
WCHQ will continue to work with various stakeholders, including our members and payers, as well as community and state organizations. By joining forces with other entities, we all can leverage diverse expertise, share best practices, and work collectively towards achieving common quality improvement goals.

Technology and Measurement
As technology evolves, we will continue to work with our data experts to bring meaningful and actionable data to our members and the public.

Overall, our future journey will look much like it does now: embracing advancements in technology, prioritizing patient-centered care, addressing health disparities, promoting collaboration, and continuously evolving measurement and improvement strategies. It all adds up to driving meaningful and sustainable change in healthcare.