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Vernon Memorial Healthcare, SSM Health Monroe Hospital and Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics Receive Quarles & Brady/Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Community Engagement Award

News Release

Madison, Wis. — The national law firm of Quarles & Brady and Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) are proud to jointly announce the winners of the eighth annual Community Engagement Award. The first-place $2,500 grant was awarded to Vernon Memorial Healthcare (VMH) and honorable mention $500 grants were given to SSM Health Monroe Hospital and Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics.

“Every year, it is a privilege to read inspiring stories of health care organizations working with many different partners to address the challenges within their community,” said Tim Size, executive director of RWHC. “It is an honor to recognize and reward them with the Community Engagement Award.”

Located in Viroqua, Wis., VMH’s winning proposal was to use the funds to continue to meet the needs of an early childhood development center by expanding its facility and capacity by 2025. In partnership with Viroqua School District, VMH helped open an early childhood development center in March 2023 with 70 new children being served. Childcare remains an issue for Viroqua and the proposed expansion will increase the childcare capacity to 110 and continue to help the issue of low-income housing.

SSM Health Monroe Hospital’s proposal contained three different housing initiatives with various community partners to address the housing challenge in Green County. SSM Health Monroe has pledged $10,000 to add more bathrooms and bedrooms for a men’s resource center and a men’s homeless shelter. Additionally, the hospital has donated a property to Green County Development Corporation (GCDC.)

The proposal from Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics was to help address food insecurity issues in three contiguous communities. Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinic, in partnership with Second Harvest, is committed to expanding its monthly delivery service of healthy food and recipes to those in need. The hospital’s strong relationship with Second Harvest and local food pantries has also provided it with the opportunity to discuss building a food pantry in a local school and supporting it with cooking classes and nutrition education. 

“At Quarles, we emphasize the need to serve the communities in which we live and work, and the Community Engagement Award is about recognizing rural hospitals that are doing great work for their community,” said Sarah Coyne, Health & Life Sciences partner in the firm’s Madison office. “I’m delighted to see so many hospitals do wonderful work to address critical issues and thank them for their commitment to making Wisconsin a better place to live.”

About Quarles

Quarles & Brady LLP, founded in 1892, is a full-service Am Law 200 firm with approximately 520 attorneys offering an array of legal services to clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small entrepreneurial businesses to individuals. The firm has practices focused in bankruptcy, restructuring and creditor’s rights; business law; energy, infrastructure and environment; estate, trust and wealth preservation; health and life sciences; intellectual property; labor and employment; litigation and dispute resolution; product liability; public finance; and real estate and land use. Its 12 U.S. offices are in Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Naples, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Tucson and Washington, D.C. Additional information can be found at quarles.com, as well as on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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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