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Chippewa Valley Emergency Department Funding Gets Approved

Chippewa Valley Emergency Department Funding Gets Approved

February 23, 2024 12:12 PM CDT
By: James Kelly

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Proposed legislation to reallocate $15 million to Chippewa Valley emergency departments was approved by the State Assembly and Senate.

The legislation will now be passed on to Wisconsin Governor Evers, who is expected to give it final approval. The funding is meant to provide a temporary solution for Chippewa Valley residents amid the impending closure of all HSHS and Prevea facilities in the region. The additional funding will allow other emergency departments in the area to expand their capacity and ensure that residents have adequate access to needed healthcare.

The $15 million that is being reallocated to the emergency departments was originally meant for HSHS. The funding was approved for them in 2021 to expand their psychiatric bed capacity, but the organization never used the money.

The legislation was fast-tracked through the state assembly and senate, passing the required committees last week and both bodies this week. While legislators from the area were proud to announce the approval, most noted that this funding is only a temporary solution that will give officials more time to work out a permanent solve to the developing healthcare crisis in the Chippewa Valley.

In addition to the emergency department funding from the state legislature, other healthcare organizations in the Chippewa Valley have announced they are stepping up their services. Marshfield Clinic, Mayo Clinic and OakLeaf Medical Network have all announced they will expand their capacity across a variety of fields to fill the gaps as best they can. The organizations have also made it a point to bring in some of the 1,400 employees of HSHS and Prevea that will be losing their jobs with the closure.

OakLeaf Medical Network has also proposed buying the Sacred Heart Hospital and St. Josephs Hospital properties and turning them into independent community hospitals. The status of those talks between OakLeaf and HSHS is unknown at this time.

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