Editor’s Note: The following was provided by Fort HealthCare.
The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) hosted their WCHQ Quality and Value Improvement Event and Diabetes Summit on June 22, 2022, at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. Among the featured speakers was the 2022 WCHQ Quality Leadership Award Recipient and Fort HealthCare President and CEO, Michael Wallace, FACHE. His presentation shared Fort HealthCare’s approach to quality and community health improvement.
The annual WCHQ event focuses on sharing opportunities for health systems to improve care for patients with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, as these chronic diseases have been linked to other more serious conditions that can develop in patients over time. Fort HealthCare works continuously on developing methods to help improve high-quality chronic disease management at both individual and system levels.
The WCHQ presented Fort HealthCare with its top award for excellence in quality improvement leadership. WCHQ annually recognizes a select number of member organizations for superior clinical performance and patient outcomes.
A June 22, 2022 press release from the WCHQ states, “This award, however, honors one organization for exceptional quality improvement, active engagement with WCHQ’s work, and mentorship of other organizations. One of the attributes that is considered for this award is Fort HealthCare’s notable improvement across many of the WCHQ measures and their participation on and willingness to serve in leadership positions on committees, work groups, and on the WCHQ Board of Directors.”
WCHQ President and CEO, Gabrielle Rude, Ph.D., presented the award to Fort HealthCare. She comments, “Fort HealthCare performs well across many of the quality measures that WCHQ scores, but it is their willingness to share what they know with other organizations that is truly invaluable.”
According to Dr. Rude, “Sharing with other organizations how they are improving patient care demonstrates their commitment to ensuring that everyone in Wisconsin has access to high-quality care, no matter where they live.”
Chris Barron, Fort HealthCare Executive Director of Population Health and Clinical Services, notes, “Our teams are very committed to quality improvement and I’m really proud to have their hard work recognized. We want the best health outcomes for our community.”
Fort HealthCare developed the Improving Diabetes Care for Healthier Communities program in 2019. The internal multi-disciplinary program is designed to improve clinical outcomes and process measures for patients, increase community access to health care services, and improve the understanding of how social determinants of health impact people living with diabetes in the Jefferson County, WI area. Overall, the program works to positively impact the quality of life for patients with diabetes.
“Improving Diabetes Care for Healthier Communities is a great example of population health in action, tying together programming that addresses both health outcomes and health factors,” Barron adds.
The program includes many facets for improving diabetes self-management education and support, comprehensive care management, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community partnerships.
Barron continues, “Our vision with the program was ambitious, encompassing nine subprojects that innovated care delivery for patients with diabetes and began to build a foundation for future work, particularly within the realms of health disparities and social determinants of health. Despite a global pandemic, the team did a phenomenal job of executing on our vision. Fort HealthCare is well-positioned to build on this work with future projects.”
The Improving Diabetes Care for Healthier Communities program is supported by a grant awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HRSA grant allows Fort HealthCare to better serve patients with diabetes and bridge gaps in the system to ensure residents receive high-quality diabetes care, while also improving chronic disease management at both the individual and system level. Fort HealthCare chose to focus on diabetes care because it is one of three chronic conditions that impact a significant percentage of the local population.
About the WCHQ
The WCHQ is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals improve the quality and value of health care through collaboration, sharing best practices, and publicly reporting information that healthcare organizations can use to benchmark and compare their performance. WCHQ’s membership includes Wisconsin’s integrated health systems, hospitals, medical and dental clinics, and independent physician groups. Visit WCHQ.org for more information.
Improving Diabetes Care for Healthier Communities
This program was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $600,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA,HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
About Fort HealthCare
Fort HealthCare is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities, with a vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin. As the leading healthcare provider in the region, it is our goal to reach as many members of the community as possible with health and wellness messages, providing tools and resources to help individuals improve their health and quality of life while collaborating with several partners to positively improve the population’s health overall on a long-term basis. FortHealthCare.com.