Going to the hospital or receiving medical care can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re not feeling well or are in pain. However, it can be more of a daunting experience if you speak a different language or have a diverse cultural background from those at the health care facility.
At Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW), we understand how health care is complicated, but even more so when there are cultural and linguistic barriers. We believe health care should be fair and accessible to everyone, regardless of their background. Having the privilege to serve the unique and vibrant Madison area, we also recognize the need to have providers who reflect the diversity of our community.
We take pride in our commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion with many services, including language accessibility, community outreach and health services. Another key initiative is to promote diversity in health care professions through the Pre-Professional Medical Diversity Scholarship program. This award helps three scholars from diverse backgrounds pursue careers in health care, offering them a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to learn from experienced GHC-SCW providers at our clinics.
Meet the 2023 Pre-Professional Medical Diversity Scholarship Winners
We are thrilled to introduce you to our exceptional scholarship recipients this year. We hope you take the time to read their inspiring stories and what drives them to excellence in the health care field.
Meet Marina Melby
Marina Melby, a Native American woman, has been deeply influenced by her background and experiences in her decision to pursue a career in health care. Her childhood memories of visiting her great grandma’s house on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota exposed her to the loving, yet somber reality of her family’s health struggles, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. She witnessed their distrust of medical providers due to negative experiences, which often led to delayed medical care. Seeing first hand the impact of these health disparities with her loved ones motivated Marina to work towards ensuring indigenous people have positive relationships with their healthcare providers and receive timely and equitable care.
Her own positive experiences at her home Indian Health Services Clinic inspired her to become a Physician’s Assistant (PA). The PA who inspired her to go into the field mentored Marina and allowed her to shadow at the clinic. Marina believes that diverse healthcare providers are crucial in addressing health disparities because representation matters. Her desire to connect with Native people both on and off the reservation as a trusted healthcare provider reflects her dedication to reversing health disparities and improving the lives of her community, as illustrated in a touching encounter she had working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at UW Hospital:
“There was one particular patient that really made a positive impact on me as I pursue my goal to become a PA. He was an elderly gentleman on the general medicine floor… I learned he was a member of the Ho Chunk Nation. When I told him my family is enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at White Earth Nation, he reached out for my hand. I took my gloves off and held his hand in mine… I stood there for several minutes holding his hand. We had a connection and neither one of us wanted to let go, so we held hands a little longer. This meant so much to him. And me. I took care of him like he was my family for the rest of my shift. I could tell from his smile that he was at ease.”
Meet Pa Nhia Vue
Pa Nhia Vue’s background has profoundly influenced her decision to pursue a career in health care. Growing up as the child of Hmong refugees, she witnessed her parents’ unfamiliarity with Western medicine and their struggles to navigate the health care system due to cultural and language barriers. Her mother’s hospitalization experience highlighted the importance of effective communication and cultural understanding in health care. During this time, the family relied on an interpreter who not only bridged the language gap, but provided a much-needed calming presence during a difficult time.
Pa Nhia’s determination to address health disparities, particularly among marginalized communities, led her to become a registered nurse and later pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Her commitment to becoming an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner is rooted in her desire to advocate for health equity, reduce health disparities and provide culturally sensitive care to diverse communities. Pa Nhia also strives to ensure there is support for professionals and students such as herself. During her time at UW Health, she helped create their first Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group. She wanted to establish a supportive environment for employees to foster camaraderie, enhance their professional growth and develop initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“Some may consider this achievement a small drop in a big pond, but I believe it is a step in the right direction of advancing the search for a solution to providing diverse health care to communities made up of people who come from all walks of life.”
Meet Yolanda Davis
Yolanda Davis’ journey into health care began with admiration for nurses, as she witnessed their dedication and compassion in various roles throughout her career. These early experiences, combined with her desire to become a clinical instructor, ignited her passion for teaching and guiding future healthcare professionals. Yolanda recognizes the importance of primary care in the health care system, aiming to serve as a gatekeeper for patients and promote preventive care and knowledge awareness. The decision to pursue a DNP reflects Yolanda’s commitment to improving health care outcomes, fostering diversity and serving as a role model and mentor for future minority healthcare providers.
In her essay, Yolanda also acknowledges the importance of medical diversity in health care to build trust amongst patients:
“It is important to see people who look like us in healthcare. There are people of color who are very skeptical of the health care system. It is deep rooted and valid, and in some fashion continues to manifest and confirm their beliefs.”
A touching encounter reinforced Yolanda’s belief in the importance of representation amongst her peers:
“Several months ago, I was in the hospital cafeteria and a young employee came and stood next to me. Initially quiet, then all of a sudden he said, “You are the first black Nurse I’ve seen since I started working here”. We went on to have a good discussion about diversity in healthcare.”
Breaking Down Barriers in Health Care
At GHC-SCW, we are proud to support individuals from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to pursue careers in health care. We recognize that diversity is not just a goal; it’s essential to providing quality health care to all. By offering scholarships and guidance to students like Yolanda, Marina and Pa Nhia, GHC-SCW aims to create a more diverse pool of role models and leaders in the health care field.
Salma Salama, a previous scholarship recipient, says, “I’m incredibly thankful for organizations like GHC that not only acknowledge the importance of diversity in healthcare but also take concrete steps to support students like me. I eagerly look forward to becoming a role model for minority children, students, and professionals alike.”
The Pre-Professional Medical Diversity Scholarship is a testament to GHC-SCW’s support in making health care more accessible and approachable in the community. By providing financial assistance and guidance to students from various backgrounds as they pursue careers in healthcare, GHC-SCW is helping them turn their dreams into reality. Moreover, we ensure that our healthcare system comprehensively understands and serves the unique needs of the communities it cares for. With trailblazers like Yolanda, Marina, and Pa Nhia leading the way, we can confidently look forward to a future where healthcare is more inclusive, accessible and equitable.
As a Member-Owner of South-Central Wisconsin’s only not-for-profit cooperative health plan, you have access to world-class primary care and an elite specialty and hospital care network. But now, as a GHC-SCW Member-Owner, you get access to our brand new and unique Member-Owner Rewards (MOR) Program, which opens a bunch of doors for you and your path to health.
Think of MOR as a way to maximize your GHC-SCW membership and customize your path to health and well-being. And you don’t even have to sign up for it; your membership card already makes you eligible.
We understand this is a new program and we’re here to answer some questions!
What is included in MOR?
With MOR, you get access to convenient and money-saving discounts. This includes:
- Quick-Access Virtual Care Options
- Beyond the traditional exam room, GHC gives Member-Owners fast and convenient options like GHCMyChart Video Visits, GHC CareOnDemand, virtuwell and GHCNurseConnect.
- GHC Experience Guarantee
- With our exclusive Experience Guarantee, you can decide if your experience was worth what you paid. We think that’s the right thing to do.
- With MOR, you get access to ManageWell, where you can get rewarded for working towards your health goals!
- Eye Care Discounts
- As a Member-Owner, you get a discount of 10% off a 12-month supply of contacts and 20% off on retail eye care products such as frames, non-prescription sunglasses, reading glasses, solutions and drops at our GHC-SCW Hatchery Hill Eye Care Center!
- A Voice in your Cooperative
- With MOR, you get a voice and vote on managing your health plan. This means you can attend the Annual Meeting to see financials and provide member feedback, run for the Board of Directors, vote at the annual election of Board Members, and apply to be on the Member Advisory Council.
How do I activate MOR?
Just by being a GHC-SCW member! No activation is required.
Is MOR free?
Access to MOR is included in your membership, making it free of charge! Although some services you receive access to, such as Complementary Medicine and Eye Care Discounts, may have an additional cost.
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.
Earth Day 2022 is here. In 2022 it is essential to take steps to take care of our planet more than ever. Whether by composting your leftover fruits and veggies, reusing your old recyclables, or even picking up litter you see when walking your dog. Celebrating Earth Day benefits all of us.
At GHC-SCW, this Earth Day, we are doing our part by going paperless in our pharmacies with a new program launching soon called Meds on Cue.
Pharmacies are required by law to provide medication monographs or pamphlets of information. Some medications also require additional information called medication guides. One medication monograph can be 4-6 pages long. When a patient receives this after their first fill of a prescription, they’ll throw it away or recycle it. Because of this, we end up wasting a LOT of paper.
This is where Meds on Cue comes in.
Meds On Cue is a new pharmacy service that uses QR code technology to offer patient-friendly, prescription-specific medication education on demand. The information won’t provide just written medication information but educational videos explaining usage, benefits, and potential side effects. The program ensures patients understand how to take their medications safely and limit avoidable reactions, but it also helps GHC-SCW take steps to go green. Using Meds on Cue technology, we estimate that we will reduce our paper usage in the pharmacies by 75% annually!
So how do you use Meds on Cue?
Meds on Cue is user-friendly and only requires a smartphone with a camera. You can either use your camera on your smartphone to scan the QR code directly or download a QR reader from Google Play or App Store. Once you’ve scanned the QR code, a Meds on Cue link will pop up with everything you need to know about your medication! Whether it’s a question on side effects or proper usage/dosage, Meds on Cue answers all your questions about your prescription right in your hand!
And no need to worry. If you still want the paper version of your medication monograph, paper versions will still be available by request!
GHC-SCW is excited to be taking the first steps as a cooperative to go greener and paperless. Stay tuned for more information on Meds on Cue in the coming weeks.
Let us know what you’re doing this Earth Day to help the planet go greener!
In December of 2021, Dr. Ann Hoyt headed to Seoul, South Korea, to participate in the 33rd World Cooperative Congress. The Congress brings together more than 300 cooperative federations and organizations from 109 countries. The conference this past year worked under the theme “Deepening Our Cooperative Identity,” where the conference focused on the current COVID-19 crises and held discussions aimed to deepen the cooperative identity. Dr. Ann Hoyt brought back immense knowledge that will help GHC-SCW work towards being Better Together for everyone.
By Dr. Ann Hoyt, GHC-SCW Board Chair
Early last December, 500 brave souls from around the world got vaccinated, boosted and tested to stand up to the pandemic and attend the 33rd World Cooperative Congress sponsored by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). An additional 1500 people joined the conference online. What, you might ask, would generate such a high level of international participation in a cooperative conference. It was an opportunity to explore how to live the values and principles that are the shared identity of the cooperatives throughout the world.
ICA is the global steward of the internationally accepted Statement of Cooperative Identity, which describes cooperative businesses’ values, principles, and definitions. The goal of the Congress was to focus the cooperative movement on exploring and deepening its identity by “examining its values, strengthening its actions, committing to its principles and living its achievements.” The statement combines fundamental moral and ethical values and principles that guide all cooperators when we need to make difficult decisions, and it is the essence of who we are.
Martin Lowery, the Chair of ICA’s Identity Committee and the force behind the Congress, has explained, “there’s something unique about people who are attracted to the cooperative enterprise that doesn’t show in any obvious way; it shows more in the subtlety of [their] relationships. There’s a sense of wanting to collaborate, a sense of kindness, a sense of caring for one another…. There’s a commonality there, a commonality of humanity, of a sense of belonging and caring for one another that one doesn’t always find in society.”
In focusing on our identity, the Congress was informative and inspiring. We learned of the many opportunities to increase inclusivity throughout our co-ops; we have increased needs for culturally relevant education and training regarding our cooperative identity in various formats; and climate change demands a new socio-economic model that lies in multilateralism and cooperation. These and other themes were consistent with the nearly 100 year ICA commitment to fostering peace. That is, not only ending overt violence but creating communities of cooperation and integration, reconciliation, and equality.
To quote one of our speakers, “The time for talking is done, and the time for action is now.” And to quote a wise teacher, “I wish we could learn to love ourselves less and our children’s future more.”
This is our moment!
You and read more about the Congress at https://icaworldcoopcongress.coop/stories/
You can find the Cooperative Identity Statement at https://www.ica.coop/en/cooperatives/cooperative-identity
Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW) Sauk Trails clinic is closed due to flooding from Monday’s rainfall.
The clinic is located on Excelsior Drive on the west side of Madison, which was hit extremely hard with the August 20 torrential downpours. Services affected at the Sauk Trails Clinic include: Primary Care, Mental Health, Complementary Medicine, Chiropractic, Pharmacy, Central Lab and Call Center. GHC-SCW clinic staff worked well into the night last night to combat the rising waters and today staff are pulling together to respond timely to patient needs and requests.
Patients with appointments scheduled for today and the rest of the week will receive calls from the clinic and GHC-SCW staff will continue to call patients for cancelations and reschedules as needed. Anyone with questions can call (608) 828-4853 or toll-free at (800) 605-4327 and request Member Services.
Patients who have prescriptions at the Sauk Trails Pharmacy and would like to transfer them to a different GHC-SCW Pharmacy should call (608) 831-1766. Patients who would like to transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy outside of GHC-SCW should have the outside pharmacy call (608) 831-1766.
GHC-SCW patients with urgent needs are asked to call the GHC-SCW NurseConnect line at (608) 661-7350. If you have an emergency, call 911.
Stay tuned to your email and check ghcscw.com for further updates.
Group Health Cooperative is happy to be partnering with the Madison Mallards in 2018! With our sponsorship comes many exciting things not only for Group Health Cooperative, but for the entire Madison Community!
Salute to Madison Night at the Madison Mallards – July 11th, 2018
On July 11th, the Madison Mallards players will be wearing one-of-a-kind jerseys that focus on the great city we live in, Madison. After the game, these jerseys will be auctioned off and all the money raised will be donated to Project Home.
Project Home is a Madison based non-profit that’s mission is to improve the quality and affordability of housing for low-to-moderate income residents in Dane and Green County, WI. They perform home repairs, accessibility modifications and energy improvements to make homes healthier, safer and to ease the financial burden of high energy bills for people who are struggling financially.
There will also be an opportunity for children and adults to pay $1 for a coloring page to draw what “Home Means to Them”. The money raised from this will also be donated to Project Home, and the individual will be entered into a drawing to win a special prize!
So come out and join us on July 11th to salute the great city of Madison and all the hard work Project Home does to make it a better place to live.
Goat Yoga at the Madison Mallards – July 17th, 2018 starting at 5:30
Have you ever heard of Goat Yoga?! Well now is your chance to find out what it is all about:
GHC-SCW will be sponsoring Goat Yoga in the outfield of the Mallard’s stadium on July 17th before the game! Participants will have the chance to do yoga alongside live goats, and the goats may even jump up on your back! How cool is that?!
Stay tuned if you would like to sign-up for this unique experience. There is only room for 100 participants!
GHC-SCW Project Home-Run
All season long, every time a Madison Mallards player hits a homerun, GHC-SCW will donate $100 to Project Home! Just another reason to cheer for your hometown team this summer!
Written By: Dr. Mark Huth, Chief Executive Officer at GHC
Welcome to GHC-SCW’s new blog! Our blog will give us a unique opportunity to share news, updates and healthy living content, while also offering a place for us to interact with our members and the community. If you’re wondering what you can expect from the content you find on our blog, and how the information here differs from the information you may find on our website, read on.
Our blog will allow us to leverage social technologies to engage in two-way communication with our community and to take your feedback into consideration as we move through the ever-changing health care and insurance landscape. Here you’ll find patient stories, resources for members, local event updates as well as details on opportunities to engage with GHC-SCW. In addition, we’ll use the blog to share multimedia, such as videos, photo albums and more.
You’ll also find news articles penned by our very own providers and staff. The posts will cover a range of topics from “Screen Time and Your Child” to “5 Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Sun” – all designed to give you and your family the tools and tips you need to lead healthy lives.
As we continue to build our blog, we’ll also create health care and insurance-specific content so you can learn more about the latest news and research.
We look forward to growing with you as we embark on this new journey. Thanks for stopping by!