Health headlines: New WHA leadership; rise in NPs & PAs and flu reports

Along with health topics across Wisconsin, we introduce you to Kelly Court, Chief Quality Officer at Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). To watch the video, scroll down or CLICK HERE.

New leadership at WHA • Borgerding to succeed Brenton at WHA helm

On Jan. 1, Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) executive vice president Eric Borgerding will succeed Steve Brenton as president and CEO. Brenton will remain on with the organization as senior policy advisor. He’s worked with WHA for 23 years.

Borgerding spent the past 12 years leading WHA’s advocacy efforts. He rejoined the organization in 2002 when he was named vice president of government affairs. Borgerding was promoted to senior vice president in 2003 and executive vice president in June 2007. He first started working for WHA in 1992 as director of legislative affairs, but left in 1994 to became the chief state lobbyist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was named director of legislative relations at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce in 1997.

Brenton served as senior vice president for government relations for WHA until 1988, when he became president of the West Virginia Hospital Association. In 1992, he was named president of the Iowa Hospital Association. He took over at WHA in 2002.

Congrats, Eric Borgerding! More details HERE.

VIDEO: Kelly Court reports on new WHA quality initiatives

Demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants on the rise

A predicted shortage of primary care physicians is being partly addressed by incorporating more nurse practitioners and physician assistants into hospitals and clinics, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s annual workforce report.

While vacancy rates for most health care occupations have slowly declined over the past five years, hospitals reported a 7.6% vacancy rate in 2012 for advanced practice professionals. Of the 17 clinical occupations included in the survey, only four had vacancy rates above 5% physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants. The survey includes all hospitals in Wisconsin.

The report also found that registered nurses remain the largest occupation group in health care with 90,000 RNs currently in Wisconsin. Nearly 30% of the nurses are over the age of 55, and almost one-third say they expect to retire in the next 9 years.

To read the report, CLICK HERE.

Influenza reports available on

Wisconsin has an increasing presence of influenza according to weekly reports provided to WHA by Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD. Temte, a professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, serves on the U. S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Throughout the influenza season, he shares his weekly updates with WHA. Temte’s updates are posted in the emergency preparedness section of WHA’s website HERE.

According to the state influenza report from the week of December 16, 12.5% of the 762 influenza specimens in Wisconsin were positive. There have been 146 reported influenza-associated hospitalizations across Wisconsin (71% were for individuals aged 18-64) with 21 ICU admissions (81% for persons aged 18-64). Bottom line so far—this is an A [H1N1] season, hitting younger folks more than usual.

The prevalence of influenza-like illness (fever of 100 degrees F or higher and either cough or sore throat) among Wisconsin’s primary care patients is estimated to be 1.9% and is increasing, while 12.1% of the primary care patients seen the week of December 16 had all-cause respiratory infections. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

In partnership with the WHA, this blog features headlines and hot button issues concerning Wisconsin hospitals, clinics and organizations. Here, you’ll read and watch videos about new legislation, hospital measurement and performance initiatives and the tools and resources you need to understand and manage today’s current, complex and controversial health care issues.

If you have other news, resources or links to share, please comment below or email Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS, at

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