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A 'hidden constituency' of 2,660 with a big stake in medical center vote

Monday, April 25, 2005

For many Waukesha County residents, this is about career opportunities

A little recognized group of people with a large stake in Tuesday’s medical center vote are those who would like to work there someday.  As of today, they number 2,660.

“In the debate over whether the medical center should be approved, this is really a hidden constituency,” said Amy Rislov, vice president of human resources for Aurora Health Care’s Kettle Moraine Region.  “More than 2,600 people, the vast majority of them Waukesha County residents, are eager to see this project approved because for them it represents new career opportunities.”

Rislov said that her review of the prospective job candidates indicates that many of them are Waukesha County residents who now commute to jobs in Milwaukee County or elsewhere.  “For a good number of these people, the new clinic and hospital would allow them to pursue their health care careers closer to home,” she said.

 About 400 people would be hired to staff the hospital in the Town of Summit.  A wide range of clinical and non-clinical positions would be available.  In addition, more than 300 current Wilkinson Medical Clinic employees would move to the new clinic space on the medical center campus.

There are relatively few current Aurora employees among the 2,660 prospective job candidates because Aurora has yet to encourage employees to express their interest.

“About 3,200 Aurora employees live or work in Waukesha County, and we would expect that many of them would want to explore opportunities at the new medical center,” Rislov said. 
 When Aurora opened a new hospital in Oshkosh in 2003, fully a third of the new staff consisted of people who had transferred from other positions within the organization.

The 2660 people who have filled out forms to express interest in employment at the new medical center have received regular email updates about the governmental approval process.

“This is a special group of supporters of this project, and we do hope that their interests are considered when the County Board votes on Tuesday,” said Greg Banks, president of Aurora’s Kettle Moraine Region.

The new Aurora Medical Center is planned for a site at the southeast corner of Interstate 94 and Highway 67.  This land use proposal has been endorsed by the Town of Summit Plan Commission, the Summit Town Board, Waukesha County’s professional planning staff and the Waukesha County Park and Planning Commission.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care.  Aurora offers care at sites in more than 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Contact: Jeff Squire (414-647-3408)

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