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Grant Regional Health Center and Southwest Health Inc. Receive Quarles & Brady/Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Community Engagement Award

News Release

September 15, 2022 (Madison) — The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP and Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) are proud to jointly announce the winners of the sixth annual joint Community Engagement Award. The first-place $2,500 grant is awarded to Grant Regional Health Center and the second-place $500 grant goes to Southwest Health Inc. The awards are provided by Quarles & Brady.

RWHC is a cooperative of 43 rural acute, general medical-surgical hospitals throughout Wisconsin. The award recognizes two RWHC member hospitals demonstrating excellence in strengthening community health and wellness partnerships.

“Rural hospitals in Wisconsin are doing critical work in partnering with their communities to improve mental health and encourage healthy lifestyles for members of the community,” said Tim Size, executive director of RWHC. “It is a true privilege to once again reward the health care organizations that are making a meaningful difference in their communities.”

Grant Regional Health Center's winning proposal was to use the funds to continue their pilot Aqua Fitness Program in the Lancaster, Wis., community that began its limited-time run on September 21, 2021. The program was initially funded by the Wisconsin Obesity Grant to allow classes for adults with literacy, health and fitness challenges to work with a highly skilled instructor to safely engage in water exercise using a local pool. A recent survey of participants revealed significant increases in strength, endurance, balance and mobility among other benefits. While the hospital has kept class prices the same despite the program's significant growth, the hospital was faced with financial challenges to continue the program, and the Community Engagement Award will be put to good use.

Southwest Health's proposal was to provide a three-pronged strategy to address health care and child care workforce limitations in the Platteville, Wis., community. The program addresses the pipeline of childcare workers through recruitment and training via higher education partners in the community; addresses operational needs by partnering with the UW-Platteville Children's Center and addresses the need for financial support through partnership with local businesses. The work is also coordinated with the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Childcare Taskforce.

“Quarles & Brady is proud to support the Community Engagement Award,” said Sarah E. Coyne, a Health & Life Sciences partner in the firm’s Madison office. “While it is always difficult to select the winners for this award, this year we were motivated by two hospitals who proposed to use the funds targeted clearly identified community needs. We are delighted to be a part of this award and value our work with the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative and its hospital members." 

About Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC)
Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC), headquartered in Sauk City, Wis., has been providing affordable and effective services to healthcare organizations since 1979. RWHC is owned and operated by 43 rural acute, general medical-surgical hospitals. The Cooperative's emphasis on developing a collaborative network among both freestanding and system-affiliated rural hospitals distinguishes itself from alternative approaches. RWHC offers a variety of programs and services to its members, as well as other clients across the nation.

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