Cathy Buck Named Chair of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Froedtert Hospital President to Head Collaboration of Health Care Leaders
MILWAUKEE (August 10, 2018) – On July 1, Cathy Buck, president of Froedtert Hospital, began a two-year term as chair of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership. A public-private consortium founded in 2007, the Partnership works to improve health care for underserved populations in Milwaukee County. She succeeds Travis Andersen, south region president for Ascension Wisconsin.
“I am honored to step into this role, appreciating how important the Partnership’s work is in this community,” said Buck. “As chair, I look forward to growing greater awareness among health care and civic leaders about the powerful strategies the Partnership’s members are employing – individually and collectively – to tackle some of Milwaukee’s most challenging health care needs.”
Buck will work with Joy Tapper, the Partnership’s Executive Director to advance the consortium’s strategic priorities, which aim to improve health outcomes, reduce disparities and lower the total cost of care.
The Partnership’s members include the four Milwaukee-based health systems – Ascension Wisconsin, Aurora Health Care, Children’s Hospital and Health System, and Froedtert Health; the five federally qualified health centers – Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, Milwaukee Health Services, Inc., Outreach Community Health Centers, Progressive Community Health Centers, and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers; the Medical College of Wisconsin; and the City, County and State health departments.
“Cathy’s career has been distinguished by her leadership in quality improvement,” says Tapper. “Her experience will help guide our collaborative work to expand access to primary care and specialty services, including behavioral health and dental services for vulnerable populations in our community.”
Currently, almost half of Milwaukee County’s population is considered medically vulnerable. Thirty-three percent of county residents are covered by a Medicaid program (forty-seven percent of Milwaukee children are covered by BadgerCare), and seven percent are estimated to be uninsured at any given point in time.
The Partnership’s goals are to: secure adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for all, increase access to health care programs and services, enhance care coordination and navigation across social and health care delivery systems, and to address targeted community health needs such as infant mortality, childhood immunizations and violence prevention.
Since the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership’s formation in 2007, its members have aligned resources to improve care delivery in low-income communities, successfully moved thousands of uninsured individuals into coverage, increased capacity at safety net clinics, and increased access to affordable medications. Its ED to Medical Home initiative has garnered national recognition for successfully referring more than 55,000 uninsured and underinsured emergency department patients to community-based primary care medical homes – demonstrating a 44% reduction in subsequent hospital visits.