1998 Annual Report

President's Report - Times Change; Mission Does Not

  • Future Needs in a Changing Society
  • Managers Adapting to Changing Times
  • Developing a Quality Assurance Program
  • Working with a Governing Board

This list sounds familiar. They are current concerns and issues within our long range plan or perhaps a few of the topics that will be addressed by WAHSA's next conference. Actually these were the titles of a few of the sessions at WAHSA conferences in 1978 and 1979 -- twenty years ago.

Sometimes we are overwhelmed at the pace of change and how so many major developments have a dramatic and profound impact on our services. But if we look at the overall picture of long term residential and nursing care throughout the past twenty years, it appears our core issues have not changed that much after all. We still are not-for-profit long term care service providers. We still have a mission calling us to provide quality care for the frail elderly and the disabled. We still have the commitment and conviction to fulfill that mission.

Mission has been and always will be our focus. Mission always will be the beacon of light that guides us safely on our way through the waves of change in the future. It provides the focal point that gives us direction and points out the channels for safe passage and the dangerous rocky shoals.

Long term care redesign, electronic transmission of MDS, and PPS will become reality. We have come a long way in a very short period of time.

Whereas we once shuddered at the thought of computers, e-mail and the Internet, we now wonder how we would survive without them. Twenty years ago we had not yet heard of HIV, but now caring for medically complex patients has become routine. We once wondered whether managed care would threaten our existence and now we are building bridges and nurturing partnerships with entities we once considered our competitors. And we have become stronger.

What does this mean for our future?

We do face challenges such as negative publicity for our industry, challenges to our tax exempt status, cuts within our reimbursement system, multiplying rules and regulations, an increasingly aging society, and a dwindling work force. But are any of these really new issues? We have encountered these issues before, and we have become stronger as service providers. These are not factors that will weaken us, nor with these challenges be the demise of our services.

These are challenges that foster our opportunities for today and tomorrow. They encourage us to stretch further, to try harder, to reach wider. They demand our creativity and our ingenuity just as the past challenges have demanded our best solutions. These challenges are disguised opportunities that will keep our services close to our mission. Opportunities nurture our mission and our mission enables us to capture and enhance our opportunities.

For all these reasons, I am enthusiastic and excited when I think about what lies ahead for our organization and for our common mission. WAHSA's focus on quality has put us in the national spotlight. With continued new initiatives, we will remain in that spotlight for years to come. Each new initiative will lead us to more opportunities. We are sharing solutions more than ever so that each of us can benefit from the collective wisdom of many individuals working on similar challenges. Our focus on mission and quality will generate support from the law-making entities and will enable us to address our relationships with our communities. Keeping our eye focused on the beacon of our mission will attract people to our industry who want to be part of new and exciting ventures, will enable us to remain financially secure, and will build for us a strong position within the alliances and partnerships of a managed care future.

In retrospect, I have to admit in the past twenty years there has been dramatic change -- not so much in the issues we face, but in the type of facilities and services we have become.
WE have become stronger, more creative, more resourceful -- better.

In a few years the major issues today will be replaced by other major issues. Times have changed and will continue to change, but our mission remains strong. As we remain true to our individual and collective missions, we will have the needed focus to meet all challenges. We are ready.

Respectfully submitted,
The Rev. David G. Yochum

Areas of Mission-Driven Achievement

Mission continued to guide the direction of WAHSA throughout fiscal year 1997-98. Following that mission, WAHSA weathered the storms of change and made significant accomplishments in many areas. These accomplishments reflect the collective hard work of the membership and its committees, the Board of Directors, and the association staff. This 1997-98 Annual Report highlights the areas in which WAHSA's guided efforts resulted in a stronger association committed to serving the interests and needs of its members and the people they serve.

Public Policy

  • Represented member interests related to reimbursement rate calculations

  • Negotiated for member interests relating to Medicaid labor regions

  • Strengthened the member database to serve as a powerful advocacy tool

  • Improved bed banking options

  • Expanded the Intergovernmental Transfer Program

  • Led the fight to significantly modify Chapter 150 requirements

  • Negotiated for improved language related to criminal background checks legislation

  • Worked through AAHSA's Payment Committee on members' behalf in areas

related to implementation of the new Medicare PPS, consolidated billing, and new fraud and abuse provisions

  • Advocated for the creation of the Benevolent Retirement Home for the Aged Task Force to better represent member interests related to property tax exemption legislation

  • Lobbied to amend AB 500, the whistleblowers bill, to balance the rights of employers and employees

  • Negotiated a compromise on minimum nurse staffing requirement legislation

  • Formed an organized labor/nursing home industry coalition to address issues related to Medicaid reimbursement and the future role of ICFs-MR and nursing facilities

  • Pushed to introduce legislation to redefine "CBRF" and "nursing home"

  • Partnered with SAGE to promote improved and innovative physical environments for older persons

  • Successfully aided in the reinstatement of Medicaid funds to the direct care cost center and withstood legislative efforts to divert those funds elsewhere

  • Served on the Nursing Home Appeals Board to support grants for facilities that are adversely impacted by the reimbursement formula

  • Endorsed a voluntary disclosure statement to promote "truth in advertising" related to special care units offered by nursing facilities

  • Prompted BQA to issue an opinion stating single-task employees who are not certified may be utilized by facilities to assist with resident feeding

Member Services

  • Expanded the MDS Quality Indicator Project to 100 members

  • Worked through AAHSA's Public Relations Task Force to nurture a national focus on quality in all public relations initiatives

  • Developed and nationalized the second round of community education programs

  • Refined and promoted WAHSA's web site

  • Attracted 3,280 attendees to 14 educational offerings

  • Expanded sponsorship and tradeshow opportunities to advance educational revenues to $330,000

  • Developed and implemented the membership satisfaction survey series

  • Streamlined WAHSA's long range action plan to focus on issues of greatest interest to members

  • Initiated programs to emphasize education and policy development for members of WAHSA's Board of Directors
  • Further developed efforts to educate members' boards of directors via mailings and programs

  • Realigned the efforts of the Health Issues Committee to focus on specific issues related to recruitment, retention, ethics, quality, PPS, and the future

  • Developed and strengthened networking forums for long term care professionals in the areas of administration, nursing, finance, housing, human resources, public relations, marketing, development, and social services

  • Developed a new publication to recognize the Memorable Moments in long term care

  • Recruited four new corporate members bringing the total membership to 227 corporations representing 200 nursing facilities, 102 unlicensed residential living facilities, 62 community based residential facilities, 31 HSS-134 facilities, and 22 residential care apartment complexes


  • Served on workgroups and committees to lead long term care redesign discussions

  • Assisted members in strategic planning efforts

  • Served as a resource on members' behalf to major media outlets

  • Increased WAHSA's interest income

  • Encouraged members and staff to serve on national task forces and committees

  • Shared projects, resources and information with other state associations to better serve members' diverse interests and needs

  • Developed a three-year financial plan for WAHSA

  • Expanded the MRA salary survey to include 110 facilities

  • Completed a comprehensive review of WAHSA's insurance coverage to ensure adequate coverage for the association

WAHSA's 1997-98 Executive Committee

The Rev. David Yochum
Fairhaven Corporation

Vice President of Operations
Fran Anderson
Countryside Home

Vice President of Member Services
Steve Seybold
Homme Home for the Aging

Vice President of Public Policy
Mike Basch
Sheboygan Retirement Home

Mary Ann Kehoe
Good Shepherd Services

Kyran Clark (President Elect)
Marquardt Village

Immediate Past President
Charlene Lowe
Park View Health Center

AAHSA Delegate Liaison
Sheila Gibbs
Grace Lutheran Foundation
Eau Claire

WAHSA's 1997-98 Board of Directors

Directors at Large

Fran Anderson, Countryside Home, Jefferson
Kyran Clark, Marquardt Memorial Manor, Watertown
Kurt Graves, St. Francis Home, Superior
Steve Jaberg, Cedar Lake Health Care Center, West Bend
Dan Krejci, Juliette Manor, Berlin
Charles Nelson, Congregational Home, Brookfield
Steve Seybold, Homme Home for the Aging, Wittenberg
Mary Lou Stuenzi, Bethany Lutheran Homes, La Crosse
The Rev. David Yochum, Fairhaven Corporation, Whitewater

AAHSA Delegates

Mike Berry, St. Anne's Home for the Elderly, Milwaukee
Sheila Gibbs, Grace Lutheran Foundation, Eau Claire
David Keller, Luther Manor, Milwaukee
Fred Schlosser, Knapp Haven Nursing Home, Chetek
Trudey Peterson, Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home, Green Bay
Anne Whalen, Attic Angel Nursing Home, Madison

Regional Directors

Region I
Phyllis Williams, Lakeland Nursing Home, Elkhorn

Region II
Jennifer Bieno, Divine Savior Nursing Home, Portage

Region III

Jim Ertz, Hillview Health Care Center, La Crosse

Region IV

Rod Gilles, Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home, Elmwood

Region V

Mary Ann Kehoe, Good Shepherd Services, Ltd., Seymour

Region VI
Mike Basch, Sheboygan Retirement Home, Sheboygan

Immediate Past President

Charlene Lowe, Park View Health Center, Winnebago


John Sauer, Executive Director

Yvonne Mick, Executive Secretary

Deborah Philippi, Project Assistant

Tom Ramsey, Director of Government Relations

Brian Schoeneck, Director of Financial Services

Janice Mashak, Director of Member Services

Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
204 South Hamilton Street
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: (608)255-7060