MADISON, WI. (October 1, 2020) – Today, at The Alliance Fall Symposium & Annual Meeting, four awards were handed out to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to transforming health care in their community.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • Matt Ohrt, VP of HR and Medical Services at Merrill Steel, Schofield, WI, has greatly improved high-value health care accessibility and delivery at Merrill Steel through implementing an on-site clinic, a company-sponsored mobile clinic, and encouraging and supporting his workforce to engage in their health benefits programs – all while saving his organization $4 million in health care costs over four years. In addition to no-cost prescription fulfillment and physical therapy, the clinic offers MRI’s for just $100. Ohrt also started a Local Best Practices group to help bring employers together and learn from one another.
  • Tena Hoag, CFO at Advanced Laser, Chippewa Falls, WI, has greatly expanded her 160 employees’ access to high-value health care through no and low-cost solutions – including physical therapy, behavioral health, and primary care – using a shared near-site clinic that she championed. Additionally, Hoag has continually supported and educated other employers and local government entities through speaking engagements, radio segments, and other hosted events. In January, she spoke to Governor Evers’ Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drugs to influence change on issues that negatively affect employee health and prescription spend.
  • Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), in Fitchburg, WI., was recognized for providing transparency in health care by sharing important data and informational insights used to standardize industry measurements and improve the value of care. The WHIO information system obtains claims data from commercial health plans, self-funded employers, Medicare and Medicaid, cleans and integrates the data, and then organizes it into high-quality, accessible, and user-friendly products. The WHIO data and information is used by health systems to benchmark and improve the care they deliver. It also helps health plans and employers identify high-value providers to include in networks and feature in benefit plans.
  • Traci Rothenburger, Clinic Manager at Nordic PrivateCare, Baraboo, WI, has been pioneering health care transformation for three decades by creating high-value health care programs and clinics throughout her career. At Nordic PrivateCare, she’s made health care more affordable and accessible by offering medical, prescription, chiropractic, massage therapy, physical therapy, and mental health services in an on-site clinic setting. Additionally, the success of her clinic has significantly reduced health care spending through an overall reduction in emergency and specialty care.

The Alliance presented the Health Transformation Awards during its 30th anniversary celebration of their Fall Symposium & Annual Meeting, where innovative health care leaders shared their expertise on health care topics, including payment reform, transparency, and benefit plan design. The event annually attracts an audience of employers and health care providers as well as brokers, agents, and other professionals who support employers that self-fund their health benefits.

Health Transformation Award recipients must demonstrate their commitment to promoting change in the health care marketplace based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • High-Value Health Care
    • Is taking action to significantly improve the quality and/or affordability of health care
  • Transparency
    • Is achieving significant gains in the availability and/or use of meaningful information to compare price and quality
  • Payment Reform
    • Is developing, testing or implementing value-based payment approaches to encourage high-quality, affordable care
  • Provider Network Design
    • Is developing, testing or implementing approaches to make high-value health care providers easily accessible to employees
  • Benefit Plan Design
    • Is developing, testing or implementing approaches to support the appropriate use of high-value providers and treatments by consumers

The Alliance serves as the voice for self-funded employers who want more control over their costs by providing transparent, creative approaches to network and benefit plan design to unlock savings where others can’t – or won’t – using Smarter NetworksSM and sophisticated data mining and analysis.

Celebrating 30 years as a mission-driven, not-for-profit cooperative, The Alliance is employer-owned and remains a trusted, objective partner for employers and their brokers who seek improved access to high-quality healthcare, working with more than 275 employers across the Midwest, and contracting with over 34,000 health care providers and specialists in the region.

We can connect journalists with award winners, CEO/President, and The Alliance Board of Directors upon request.


Jennifer Austin
Director of Marketing
Phone: 608.210.6639