As the pace of COVID-19 infections continues to increase rapidly in Wisconsin, a robust group of the state’s leading advocacy organizations have launched a new coalition aimed at combating the growing COVID-19 crisis.
“Stop the COVID Spread!” is a coalition of nearly 30 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, and advocacy organizations who have joined together in a campaign to educate the public about the seriousness of the pandemic and the critical need for preventative measures including social distancing, hand washing, and the use of protective masks.
Co-chairs of the coalition include the Wisconsin Hospital Association, Wisconsin Grocers Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin Counties Association, and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. The coalition co-chairs held a press conference Friday, October 9, addressing the looming public health crisis that is threatening to overwhelm health care systems around the state which drew statewide coverage from more than 30 media outlets.
"The impact of Wisconsin's growing COVID situation is most visible in health care, a sector that touches all our lives and all industries," said Eric Borgerding, WHA President & CEO at Friday's press conference. "But COVID goes beyond health care, and highlight why we are joining with colleagues to launch Stop the COVID Spread! – a collaboration of business, local government and higher education organizations banding together and taking steps to help combat COVID," Borgerding continued.
The new coalition builds on previous statewide efforts to educate Wisconsinites about the public health crisis, including a series of public service announcements launched by various partner organizations encouraging the use of crucial safety measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Coalition efforts will include a new public service announcement on broadcast channels statewide, as well as a digital advertising campaign. These campaigns will urge Wisconsin residents to take preventative measures seriously in order to keep the state’s health care system stable and accessible, protect the health and safety of workers, and prevent further shutdown of Wisconsin businesses and economic functions.
Each of the coalition member organizations will also be engaging their own staff and members on employing preventative measures to help combat the growing public health crisis.
"This diverse, and I predict growing group, rapidly came together, and even more impressive, it's a coalition representing the gamut of industries across Wisconsin – restaurants, realtors, grocers, gas stations, manufacturers, the State Chamber of Commerce, tech companies, telecommunications, county municipal governments, banks, builders, the UW System, and, of course, health care –these are some of the Wisconsin’s most influential organizations now aiming that influence at COVID, and working together to slow this down and turn it around," said Borgerding.
The growing coalition is currently made up of the following organizations:
- Wisconsin Hospital Association, CO-CHAIR
- Wisconsin Counties Association, CO-CHAIR
- Wisconsin Grocers Association, CO-CHAIR
- Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), CO-CHAIR
- Wisconsin Restaurant Association, CO-CHAIR
- Arts Wisconsin
- LeadingAge Wisconsin
- League of Municipalities
- Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)
- Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin
- Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
- UW System
- Wisconsin Association of Health Plans
- Wisconsin Bankers Association
- Wisconsin Builders Association
- Wisconsin Credit Union League
- Wisconsin Dental Association
- Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council
- Wisconsin Health Care Association / Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living
- Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum
- Wisconsin Medical Society
- Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
- Wisconsin Realtors Association
- Wisconsin Safety Council
- Wisconsin State Telecommunication Association
- Wisconsin Technology Council
Initial funding for the "Stop the COVID Spread!" Coalition's public messaging efforts is provided by the WHA-affiliated 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, the Healthy Wisconsin Alliance.
The coalition is currently running a statewide digital ad drawing awareness to the situation and the coalition itself. A series of PSAs are in production to be released in the coming weeks. All of the coalition's initiatives will be shared on the coalition web page at www.wha.org/StopTheCOVIDSpread.