The last time Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin completed a major addition to its Wauwatosa campus, Peggy Troy had just taken the helm of the organization.
It was 2009, the year Troy became chief executive officer of CHW, and the hospital opened a new 12-story tower at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
This year, the hospital announced an even larger project: a $265 million planned expansion and renovation to its campus.
It marks a major investment in the health system’s flagship hospital during a time when health care systems, including Children’s, are increasingly investing in community-based outpatient facilities.
For her leadership of a nationally-ranked, nearly $1 billion pediatric health system as it expands both on its main hospital campus and throughout the community, Peggy Troy is the BizTimes Best in Business 2018 CEO of the Year.
Troy said the project will allow CHW to upgrade its technology and improve the patient experience with the addition of amenities such as private prep and recovery spaces.
The most visible project will be a planned six-story addition that will connect the hospital to the Children’s Clinics building on West Connell Court. It will house specialty clinics and allow the hospital to consolidate all surgical services onto one floor. Children’s operating rooms are currently on two different floors within the hospital.
“We started thinking about this about two years ago,” Troy said. “We have world-class surgeons doing some of the most complicated surgeries in the country, and we needed to figure out what it would take to have a contemporary OR.”
The hospital also plans to renovate and enlarge its emergency department and trauma center by about 11,000 square feet to accommodate the hospital’s growth in emergency department visits, which have increased by 14 percent over the past decade. CHW sees more than 60,000 patients in its emergency room and trauma center every year. The project will add 10 more treatment rooms, bringing the hospital’s total to 44.
The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2024.
CHW has also opened or announced plans for several new outpatient facilities in recent years, including a new 30,000-square-foot clinic in Kenosha, a 40,000 square-foot primary and specialty care clinic in Mequon and an outpatient clinic at Midtown Center on Milwaukee’s north side.
“One of our main strategic goals is to take care closer to home,” Troy said. “We know coming on to the campus for families from different areas around southeast Wisconsin is difficult and it’s a disadvantage for families having to take off work and school. We realized we had an opportunity to live up to our stated goal of care closer to home … it aligns closely with our strategy and it has created a high satisfaction among parents.”
Troy, a former nurse whose first position after graduating was with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, said her clinical experiences influence the way she leads.
“I’ve been in a clinical environment; I know that world very well,” Troy said. “I have a keen sense of how you arrange a team of individuals to allow them to give their very best to the kids. But I also understand it from the lens of a parent. I’m a mom; I’m now a grandma. So my north star is, ‘What would I want for my own children and now grandchild?’”
Troy said her team is focused on not only providing high-quality medical care, but also providing wraparound services that allow for holistic care.
Children’s Hospital launched Children’s Community Health Plan in 2005 as an HMO for patients who qualify for BadgerCare Plus, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents. In 2017, the hospital began offering its plan on the Affordable Care Act exchange in Wisconsin. It’s one of only a few pediatric hospitals nationally to have its own plan.
The health system reported a 53 percent increase in operating income in the first half of 2018, driven largely by enrollment growth in the health plan, along with higher neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient volumes, and a lower government payer mix compared to a year prior.
Managing its own health plan allows Children’s to offer more continuity in its care for patients, Troy said.
“Data will show that kids with insurance, including Medicaid, will get well baby checks and immunizations and will use the emergency department less,” she said. “The power of this is being able to truly manage care with the families and getting them at the right time by the right providers and have better outcomes.”