There Is “Great Untapped Potential” In WISHIN–WISHIN Board Vice Chair Chris Elfner
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There Is “Great Untapped Potential” In WISHIN–WISHIN Board Vice Chair Chris Elfner

“When I look at WISHIN,” WISHIN Board Vice Chair Chris Elfner says, “I see a tremendous amount of untapped potential to lower the cost to deliver healthcare to our state.”

Elfner is the vice president of Bellin Health’s Clinically Integrated Network. He is also an active member of the Brown County Population Health Collaborative. The collaborative “brings together community-based organizations, managed care organizations, insurers, and providers to manage the disabled population in Brown County.”

WISHIN plays a key role in the collaborative work in Brown County. Elfner knows WISHIN can do even more. “Health care is only a piece of what the people in our state need,” Elfner says. “We need to broaden the lens to look at other organizations that should be part of WISHIN beyond health care delivery and health care insurance organizations.

“I think there is more to do than what’s been done,” says Elfner, who was a member of an advisory committee in the early days of WISHIN before his recent appointment to the board of directors. WISHIN provides coalition members access to rosters of members from managed care organizations. Elfner says those rosters can be used to coordinate care among all health and social care providers as part of an expanded look into the social determinants of health. He calls WISHIN “a community information system for the state of Wisconsin and slightly beyond.”

Elfner wants to go more than “slightly beyond” the border. “There are a number of great Wisconsin organizations. We should be sharing with other states.” WISHIN will be doing that soon. “None of our members see the border of a state as the end of their care,” Elfner says.

Elfner says WISHIN “is an organization that helps fill in the picture of the patient. “We need to put all of our data in (WISHIN) so it’s sitting there ready to go.” Elfner looks forward to the day when WISHIN has even more clinical and social information. “The possibilities are infinite,” Elfner says, “and the time to strike is now because everybody is thinking about it.”

For more information on Christopher Elfner and the rest of the WISHIN board, go to