• Cheryl DeMars, president and CEO of The Alliance, took the stage at Disrupt Madison to talk about how employers can join together to “disrupt” health care and create positive change. This speech was a prelude to the unveiling of The Alliance’s High-Value Health Care initiative at the cooperative’s annual meeting, and a call-to-action for employers to get involved to help change health care.

Have you watched the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz 

Then you probably remember Dorothy’s ruby slippers 

Do you remember what Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy about the slippers? 

She said, “You’ve always had the power my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.” 

The Power Within Alliance Members 

Dorothy trying to find her way home reminds me of employers trying to change health care. You have the power, you just have to learn it yourself. 

The Alliance is a cooperative of 240 ruby-slipper wearing employers who are taking control of health care through self-funding.  

  • In Baraboo, Wis., Flambeau opened its own health care clinic for employees. The clinic provides free care to employees many of whom were not getting routine preventive care. Over the course of the next five years, Flambeau’s health care costs rose less than one percent – not per year, but IN TOTAL – IN 5 YEARS. 
  • In Westfield, Wis., Brakebush Brothers did even better. In 2014, they began self-funding their benefit plan, opened an on-site health care clinic and made other investments in employee well-being. Four years later, their health care costs are less than they were in 2014. Yes, that is correcttheir health care costs went down. 

The Alliance helps employers realize the power of their ruby slippers. And, together, we are making a difference in this market. Alliance members are moving their business to doctors and hospitals that provide good care and cost less. In the process, they are creating a market that recognizes and rewards better value – just like every other industry. 

We invite you to join us – the more the merrier. Because after all, there’s no place like The Alliance . . . There’s no place like The Alliance . . . There’s no place like The Alliance.  

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Cheryl DeMars

Cheryl DeMars

President & CEO, The Alliance

Cheryl DeMars joined The Alliance in 1992, assuming several roles before becoming CEO in December 2006. Cheryl works with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team to establish the strategic direction of the cooperative. 
Cheryl participates in a number of national and regional initiatives that align with The Alliance’s mission of controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the board of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. 
Prior to joining The Alliance, Cheryl was a program manager at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Read more blog posts by Cheryl