At GHC-SCW, we take pride in our eye care services, board-certified optometrists, and qualified optometric technicians staff at our award-winning GHC-SCW Eye Care Center.
We sat down with Dr. Tim Schwefel, optometrist and head of GHC-SCW Eye Care, to learn more about his day-to-day looks at GHC-SCW Eye Care.
What does your day look like with GHC-SCW eye care?
A typical day starts at 7:45 AM. We see 15-16 patients daily with a wide variety of concerns. This could include a straightforward routine eye exam, complex contact lenses, and urgent care cases. The ages can vary from 4-98 years old.
Do you have a favorite part about practicing optometry?
Besides the privilege of helping the member maintain their most important sense, I think that because I’ve been at GHC so long, I’m seeing 3rd generation patients.
What kind of patients do you see?
We have a very diverse population of patients from other countries and backgrounds. They can be pediatric patients to geriatric patients. Some are straightforward for their visual needs, while others can be very complex. I don’t get bored with a typical day.
What’s your favorite part about working at GHC-SCW Eye Care?
I feel the “family” attitude is so beneficial. There is also a deep understanding by employees of our mission to provide an award-winning patient care experience and patient-centered health care delivery.
GHC-SCW is hiring optometrists and optometric technicians to join our 2022 People’s Choice Favorite here in Madison! Apply today: https://us63.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/grouphealth?q=optometrist.
MADISON, WISCONSIN, October 12, 2022 – Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW) welcomes Sally Frings, DNP, MA, BSN, as Chief Nursing Officer.
Frings brings more than 25 years of health care expertise to GHC-SCW, which includes extensive ambulatory, hospital, oncology, perioperative, critical care, and academic medical center experience. In her new role, Frings will work closely with the team of nurses, care team support staff, reception teams, clinic managers, and senior leadership to continually improve patient outcomes through clinical excellence and build on the Cooperative’s unique money-back guarantee to provide exceptional patient care.
“The strong history and foundation of Group Health Cooperative poise us to successfully navigate the headwinds of health care,” said Frings. “Together, we will continue transforming our care model to consistently exceed expectations of our patients, families, and communities.”
“Sally is highly regarded in the local health care community and brings a valuable clinical and leadership perspective to our organization,” said Dr. Mark Huth, GHC-SCW Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to welcome Sally to the GHC-SCW family and know her commitment to providing the highest level of quality and service will be a great fit for our culture and mission.”
Prior to joining GHC-SCW, Frings was the Nurse Director of Ambulatory Services at UW Health and led several key initiatives, including serving as Operations Chief in the COVID-19 Response for UW Health’s System Incident Command, and operational lead for UW Health Integrated Behavioral Health Opioid Response, among others.
“I’ve dedicated nearly three decades to achieving frictionless access to healthcare while serving as a nurse leader in several highly-ranked, even #1, health systems,” Frings said. “Through this experience, I understand that the engagement and wellbeing of the health care team positively correlate to a great patient experience and quality outcome.”
Frings received her bachelor’s degree in Science and Nursing from Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin; a master’s degree in Nurse Executive Leadership & Organization from Columbia University in New York City; and her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership from Edgewood College in Madison.
Dr. Mark Huth, Chief Executive Officer, writes about the updates made to GHC-SCW’s Mission, Vision, and Values.
BY DR. MARK HUTH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
This year marks 46 years that Group Health Cooperative has provided health care as a not-for-profit, member-owned health care cooperative. We started with more than 500 founding members from our community who knew there was a better way to provide health care by bringing together health insurance and health care for the benefit of members.
While we honor our history, we also embrace our responsibility to evolve our organization continually. Over the last several months, the Board of Directors and senior leadership has been working on an update to the Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Pillars that will carry us into the future.
Today, on behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire Senior Leadership Team, I’m proud to share these updates with you, our members.
Our Mission speaks to who we are and why we exist.
Mission: We partner with members and the communities we serve to maximize health and well-being.
Our Vision represents who we aspire to be.
Vision: As a local, not-for-profit, member-owned Cooperative, we are the most trusted resource for lifelong health and well-being in the communities we serve.
Our Values are a set of beliefs that we hold dear that help us identify priorities for the Cooperative and a guide for how we conduct our business.
- We are a not-for-profit Cooperative
- We are member-centered
- We are equitable and inclusive
- We are quality-driven
- We are innovative
- We are community involved
Our five strategic pillars are essential areas of focus, investment and effort that help us advance toward achieving our Vision and fulfilling our Mission:
- Exceptional Quality and Service – We seek excellence by working towards the elements of the quadruple aim, and we strive to be the best in all that we do.
- Meaningful Employee Engagement – We create a culture where employees are involved, enthusiastic and committed to delivering on the GHC-SCW Mission, Vision and Values.
- Continuous Improvement – We actively identify opportunities and initiate change that creates value for the Cooperative and those we serve.
- Financial Strength – We ensure the Cooperative’s long-term viability by reinvesting earnings generated by controlling health care costs and consistently growing revenue.
- Impact – We advance health and well-being by nurturing connections with our member-owners and the communities we serve.
So, what’s next? The update to our Mission, Vision and Values and introduction of the new Strategic Pillars now form the foundation for the strategic plan. Over the coming months, we will be developing the goals that will help us measure progress toward our Strategic Pillars as well as the tactics that will make a measurable impact on those goals.
What has been completed so far is only the beginning as we look ahead to our next chapter for Group Health Cooperative. I’m looking forward to sharing with you as we fill in those future chapters and continue to build on our 46-year history.
This week, we are excited to highlight Cinnamon Rudd-Haack, the new Employee Engagement Coordinator, a brand new position with GHC-SCW.
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
College Major: Fine Arts with a minor in Art History and a Certificate in Culture and Community
Why did you decide to come to GHC-SCW?
I felt like GHC was a great fit. I love that GHC is a nonprofit organization that invests in the community it serves. I want to be part of an organization that changes lives, and I feel GHC is working in that direction.
What are you most looking forward to at GHC-SCW?
I look forward to meeting new people, learning more about our community partners and doing the work.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I started at GHC as a pharmacy technician and got to know some utterly amazing people. My coworkers became more than just coworkers; they became close friends. With their support, I was able to learn, grow and pursue my interests in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Having a safe space during this chaotic time has been incalculable.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love my audiobooks and anything to do with the public library. I also like to play with my art supplies, everything from watercolor and gel pens to glitter and finger paint. If I’m lucky, my son works on his creations while I work on mine. And now that it finally feels like summer, I can’t wait to get near the beach!
Is there a fun fact you’d like other people to know?
My sister and I were some of the first children adopted by lesbians, with two women listed on their birth certificates. This was 21 years before gay marriage was legalized!
May is Women’s Health Month! At GHC-SCW, we have a wide variety of providers passionate about women’s health and ensuring the best care for our patients, both young and old. In honor of Women’s Health Month, we will be highlighting two GHC-SCW providers that are currently accepting new OB patients and what makes them passionate about women’s health.
First, we sat down with Dr. Katherine Porter, D.O, to find out more about her practice and what makes her passionate about women’s health.
Hometown: Madison, WI
Education & Training (Undergraduate, Med School, Residency Locations):
Undergraduate – University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Medical School – Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency – University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine
What’s your ultimate goal in working in OB/Women’s Health?
To provide high-quality low-risk obstetrics to patients within our GHC home. As a Family Medicine Doctor, I enjoy taking care of the whole family. Being able to provide help to pregnant people and then immediately care for their newborns is a really fun circle of life to witness.
What influenced you to want to work in OB/Women’s Health?
I am a woman, so I am naturally curious about women’s bodies and health. Taking care of the female reproductive lifespan is an extraordinarily important issue for our community and our planet. Making that care accessible and approachable by all is near and dear to my heart.
Do you have a favorite part of your OB/Women’s Health practice?
I enjoy all parts of OB and women’s health, from the early years of menarche and discussing reproductive health through post-menopause. The female body is so complex and interesting. Everyone is different, and this poses a great challenge, which constantly keeps me intrigued and striving to learn more.
Is there something you wish more patients knew about reproductive health?
There are always options and choices. I encourage patients to have the confidence to ask questions.
If your patients could know one fun fact about you, what would you tell them?
I am a mother of two squirrely little boys who keep me on my toes. In becoming a mother, I experienced being an OB patient in our local healthcare system. I think my firsthand experience gives me experiential knowledge about how to care for my patients.
Meet David Kwon, DO one of our Family Physicians in Urgent Care and OMT [osteopathic manipulation treatment] at GHC-SCW!
What does your typical day look like at GHC?
In urgent care, we are quite busy attending to patients of all ages with a wide variety of symptoms. Our urgent care team strives to provide efficient and excellent care, which can include diagnostic testing done in clinic as well as outside of the clinic, coordinating follow-up care with primary care and specialist providers in both the outpatient and hospital settings when needed, and offering treatment procedures that are appropriate and helpful – such as treatment of cuts, skin infections, removing foreign bodies, splinting sprain and fracture injuries, and providing evaluations for patients who have suffered various kinds of injuries. Our unique scheduling system of having appointments, which is understandably surprising at first to people new to our clinic, allows for much greater efficiency and substantially shorter in-clinic wait times for patients as opposed to having a walk-in process, where wait times could be routinely measured in hours rather than minutes. Once per week I am able to offer osteopathic evaluation and treatment for patients, which involves assessing symptoms and hands-on manipulation treatment as well as discussion about modifying activities for healing and prevention of further injury.
What is your favorite part of your job?
With respect to both areas of practice – that is to say urgent care and the osteopathic manipulation clinic – being present with and listening to patients and offering insight, diagnostic and treatment options and information so that they can choose amongst various treatment options with the goal ultimately achieving the highest state of well-being possible for them. It feels rewarding to understand what patients’ priorities are first and foremost as the foundation to developing the most helpful course of action in a collaborative manner.
What is your favorite thing to do in Madison?
Hard to narrow down to one, so I’ll provide some highlights: Exploring bike routes with my children, picnicking by the lakes, checking out the farmers markets [yes, markets is plural! :)] enjoying local cafes and restaurants, and alongside with my wife and children getting involved in grass roots community activities.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
I would like to think finishing the Boston Marathon, after having healed from knee surgery. What is something interesting about you that most people do not know? I have been to Nepal twice – first for a semester as part of a college student exchange program, and then as a patient advocate helping people from rural villages access medical treatment in the capital city, Kathmandu.
What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
Groundhog Day – in addition to the hilarity, it provides a good reminder to take the opportunity to approach each moment with fullness and to appreciate the richness of life. Also, Groundhog Day happens to be my birthday, so I can imagine what it would be like to experience a birthday repeatedly :).
What is your favorite part about GHC?
I am constantly in awe of the collegiality and teamwork that I observe and experience. It is such a unique organization in so many ways, especially with the openness and curiosity that so many of our leaders display when planning strategically and the shared unified mission to walk the walk of providing excellent care for our patients while understanding that this is intertwined with provider and staff enjoyment and well-being.
Meet Chris Leslie, one of our Senior IT End User Computing Technician at GHC-SCW!
What does your typical day look like at GHC?
My day starts with a cup of coffee and checking for any new tickets in ITS Self-Service. If we have any new tickets, my coworker Dane McLean and I review them and split them accordingly, and make plans to visit any of the clinics throughout the Madison area. Otherwise, I’m working on various projects aimed at helping everyone do their jobs easier.
What is the coolest thing you are working on right now?
For the last few months, I’ve been working on upgrading our GHC computers to running Windows 10! Upgrading an operating system is a huge undertaking and not something most people look forward to since it’s such a huge change to our daily workflow. It presents a great challenge for me in building an experience for everyone that eases the pain of learning something so radically new, while at the same time, allowing us to take advantage of newer technologies.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
As a “tech-y” kind of person, most folks would assume that I’m just a big ol’ nerd that likes his computers and video games… and they’re half right! But, I also love to go hunting and fishing up north with friends and family, and break out the 4-wheeler or the snowmobile depending on the season. I’m an avid hiker, I enjoy attending concerts and festivals, I play a mean saxophone, and I love to travel to new cities (I’ve been to Los Angeles and New York City in the past year, both for the first time). I also take part in a yearly 54-hour long Trivia contest at my alma mater, UW-Stevens Point. This year, my Trivia Team placed in the top 10% (out of 500+ teams!)
Oh, and also, I lived in Japan for 2 months teaching English to kids aged 4 to 17. That was a pretty great experience.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
So far, it’s my appearance on The Price is Right game show this past October. I grew up watching The Price is Right with my Grandma. I idolized this show – it wasn’t just the bright lights and fantastic prizes, it was the idea that someone like me could win big for knowing the price of a box of Rice-A-Roni. I spent countless nights imagining what it would be like to hear the words “Christopher Leslie, Come On Down!”.
Yet for the longest time, I did not go. And after failing to attend the traveling “The Price is Right Live!” show in February of last year, I took it upon myself to go to Los Angeles and see the real thing. And against all expectations, I heard the announcer George Gray yell “Christopher Leslie, COME ON DOWN!”. I cannot fully describe to you just how amazing it felt to hear those words – it echoed through my soul. And as if that wasn’t enough, I made it up on stage, hugged Drew Carey, beat the Yodeling Guy in the Cliffhangers game, and spun the Big Wheel!
Favorite restaurant in Madison?
Smoky Jon’s: #1 BBQ on the East Side has the most phenomenal ribs I’ve ever tasted. You know how your mouth waters when you’re looking forward to eating some really good food? Smoky Jon’s food will do that to you all throughout the meal. It’s a problem, but a good problem to have!
Banzo: Which is also on the East Side, has the best Mediterranean food. Their falafels and hummus are ridiculously addicting. Banzo makes the kind of food that even if you finish their massive plate, you’ll walk away feeling “happy-full”, instead of “oh-I-need-a-nap-after-that-full”.
What is your favorite part about GHC?
Undoubtedly, it is the community of people I get to work with every day. Together, we’re providing an experience that other health care organizations cannot match, and it takes a combination of being fiercely-dedicated, fun-loving, and kind-heartedness personalities to make that happen. And I truly feel that everyone in GHC embodies these qualities.