Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – A Precious Community Asset
During Wisconsin’s infancy in the late 1800s, seven women believed children needed better care than what could be found at an adult hospital. At the same time, a minister with a vision of helping poor and orphaned children throughout the state began his work. Those early community leaders built the state’s first children’s hospital in a small row house, and laid the groundwork for what became Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin.
What began in the 1890s today is the No. 4 pediatric hospital in the nation and the state’s most comprehensive health and social service system dedicated to one single purpose: making Wisconsin’s kids the healthiest in the nation.
The vast majority of Wisconsinites will tell you their lives have been touched in some way by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: 7 in 10 families in southeastern Wisconsin have chosen Children’s at least once, and the reach of Children’s touches families from every county – whether at the hospitals in Neenah and Milwaukee, through the community health and child advocacy programs offered in the state, by accessing emergency service through the statewide poison hotline, or at any one of Children’s 40-plus locations in Wisconsin.
No. 4 pediatric hospital in the nation
How did Wisconsin come to build the No. 4 pediatric hospital in the United States, despite having the smallest population base of any top-ranked children’s hospital in the nation? The answer lies in community partnerships. The business community, community leaders and every major medical system in Wisconsin partners with Children’s to be sure Wisconsin kids get the very best care possible.
“By caring for families from all around the state and the region, we are able to sustain the volume necessary to operate one of the best pediatric hospital systems in the nation,” said Peggy Troy, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Families don’t have to leave the state when their child needs lifesaving care. We have the nation’s leading experts right here.”
Having a 100 percent focus on kids is vital. Whether for routine ear tubes or something as serious as heart surgery, kids require expert resources specifically designed for their unique needs. Their still growing bodies, need for pediatric anesthesia, and overall smaller and more fragile anatomy make treating children a far more specialized skill. “Kids are just not the same as little adults,” Troy said.
100% focused on kids
Troy, who also serves as the board president of the Children’s Hospital Association, representing more than 220 children’s hospitals nationwide, noted that nationally only about 10 percent of the nation’s health care dollars are spent on children. Because kids don’t mean as much in terms of health care spending, doing what’s best for them can be overlooked as the health care landscape changes.
With a health system that is 100 percent dedicated to pediatric care, rather than simply a service line in an adult-centric system, Wisconsin’s kids get the benefit of groundbreaking care and prevention:
- Children’s heart surgery program, the only one of its breadth and depth in the state, was recently awarded three stars from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons –the highest possible rating – recognizing that kids treated at Children’s for heart defects beat the odds more often than those treated elsewhere.
- Kids who participate in Children’s statewide e-learning programs for health prevention report better attitudes and behaviors about healthy foods, bullying awareness and overall safety.
- New clinics in the central city of Milwaukee help solve issues of health care access for kids, while also contributing to neighborhood revitalization.
“Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s expertise also translates into our ability to more efficiently manage costs,” Troy said. “In a recent analysis, kids cared for by a Children’s pediatrician have a lower overall cost of care than kids managed by other health systems – as much as 20 percent less when adjusted for risk. Children’s has a unique understanding of how to best and most efficiently help kids heal and get back to the business of being a kid.”
Beyond the hospital walls
Targeting the 90 percent of factors outside of the doctor’s office that affect a child’s health and well-being, such
as his or her living conditions, family history and choices about food, exercise and healthy behaviors, is a vital – yet often overlooked – preventive measure. Children’s is a staunch child protection advocate, serving more than 13,000 at-risk children and families throughout the state at seven Child Advocacy Centers. Children’s community navigators work with families in Milwaukee’s most troubled neighborhoods, providing connections to housing, employment and health care resources. Children’s provides nine full-time registered school nurses free of charge to care for students in Milwaukee Public Schools and, in schools throughout the state, offers e-learning and health education programs to teachers, families and kids. Children’s is also making significant investments in mental health and dental care for children – two of the areas that are most needed by Wisconsin’s kids.
Health care competition in Wisconsin is stronger than ever. Protecting the mission and reach of Children’s is a shared priority.
“Our goal is that Wisconsin’s kids are the healthiest in the nation,” Troy said. “Every day we make groundbreaking strides toward achieving that goal, but we will only be truly successful with the continued support of adult hospital systems, business owners, community leaders, parents and other advocates throughout the state.”
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF WISCONSINBY THE NUMBERS
NICU in the country
Pediatric hospital in the country
Ranked in every major specialtyby U.S. News & World Report
Locations throughout the state
Kids treated at Children’s EmergencyRoom/Level I Trauma Center each year
Kids served by e-learning programs
Visits each year at Children’soutpatient clinics and urgent care sites
Visits at Children’s 20+ primary care sites
Percentage of care provided throughMedicaid
Physicians listed on the2013 Best Doctors© in America list
* As rated by Parents magazine