The co-op has been approved to receive a $56.4 million loan from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish an organization to help southeastern Wisconsin small businesses and nonprofit organizations provide affordable health insurance for their employees. The loan was provided through President Barack Obama's Affordable Care.
The Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative will be based in Milwaukee and serve the seven-county area (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Washington and Walworth counties).
Wisconsin-based health insurance executive Cathy Mahaffey will serve as the interim chief executive officer of the cooperative. Mahaffey was instrumental in the development and successful implementation of Farmers' Health Cooperative of Wisconsin. Bob De Vita, former senior vice president and chief operating officer with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group, will serve as the company's interim chief operating officer.
The organization will also be governed by an 11-member board of directors, consisting of leading physicians, educators, business leaders and attorneys throughout Wisconsin, including:
- T. Michael Bolger, J.D., president and emeritus of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
- Robert Connolly, president and co-owner of The James Company.
- Dr. Susan Giaimo, visiting assistant professor at Marquette University in the Department of Political Science.
- Kevin Kane, a health care organizer for an affiliate of Families USA.
- Michelle Puzin Mooney, treasurer, an activist involved in social justice issues.
- Harry Moseley, retired director of information services at Aurora Medical.
- John Neuberger, director of client partnership at Quad/Graphics Inc.
- James Rabbitt, director of government relations, Cooperate Network, and former head of the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Affairs.
- Theresa Tobin, secretary, an assistant professor of philosophy at Marquette University.
- Timothy Vellinga, M.D., a cardiovascular interventionist at numerous hospitals in southeastern Wisconsin, including Aurora St. Luke's, West Allis Memorial, The Wisconsin Heart Hospital and St. Francis Hospital.
- James Wesp, vice president, a small businessman who has developed and run businesses for 35 years.