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Madison, WI Health Care Nurtures Ecosystem of Discovery and Care

Learn how the region’s health care centers turn research into bedside applications.

By Teree Caruthers on May 18, 2017

Madison, WI
Madison / Courtesy of University Communications / University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Madison Region is at the crossroads of health care and life sciences discovery. A deep bench of health systems anchor an industry that provides top-notch care and delivers a major economic impact, supporting moe than 70,000 jobs in the region. Madison’s health care and life sciences community, which includes the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, spends more than $500 million per year on life sciences related research, turning research and discovery into bedside applications.

The University of Wisconsin Hospital, part of the University of Wisconsin Health system is ranked the top hospital in the state and among the top 50 hospitals nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. The same organization ranked UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital among the nation’s top pediatric facilities.

“There is a continuous drive to learn more and develop more so that we are delivering care with the highest level of evidence we possibly can,” says Betsy Clough, UW Health vice president for performance excellence. “Wisconsin is also an extremely collaborative state for health care, and we have partnered with other innovative and successful organizations across the state and nation to continue to refine our definition of success and strive for those goals.”

Clough says the university offers significant opportunities for UW Health to collaborate with engineering, pharmacy, nursing and medical students on research projects, a collaborative and evidence-based approach to care that has led to breakthroughs in areas such as cancer treatment. One example is the Precision Medicine Molecular Tumor Board, a resource for any patient in Wisconsin. The Board is a collaboration between the UW Carbone Cancer Center and other state oncology centers, including Green Bay Oncology and Aurora Health Care. Patients’ tumors are sequenced to identify DNA mutations and the UW Carbone Cancer Center experts review the cases and make recommendations for personalized treatment tailored to that patient’s cancer profile.

A Shot to the Economy

The health care industry is also a major economic driver for the region. In addition to UW Health, the region also includes a number of other nationally ranked hospitals such as Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville and St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. Care is augmented by a network of clinics and specialty providers. UnityPoint Health – Meriter operates a hospital in Madison and several primary care and specialty clinics throughout the region. Just south of Madison in Green County, Monroe Clinic operates a 58-bed hospital and 11 clinics serving southwest Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois. The hospital was named one of the 100 Great Community Hospitals by Becker’s Hospital Review and was awarded the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for hospitals in the 95th percentile for patient experience, engagement or clinical quality performance Dr. Mark Thompson, chief medical officer for Monroe Clinic, says workforce development is a priority for the system.

“The fact that we have a very efficient and consumer-friendly campus is an asset that attracts top talent. We have a highly engaged employee-driven organization. We’re in the 88th percentile for overall clinician satisfaction. Our employee satisfaction is in the 83rd percentile. We’re very dedicated to education and training. This really creates an environment of innovation and a culture of learning,” Thompson says.

The clinic invites local employers into its strategic planning process, Thompson says, so they can help drive the agenda of health care that is delivered in the community.

“We’ve formed some unique partnerships with companies to improve quality in their workforce as well as decreasing costs of health care for their workforce,” he says.

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