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Stephen Bablitch to Join Aurora Health Care's Senior Leadership Team

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Steve BablitchMilwaukee, Wis. -- Stephen Bablitch, a former top official in Gov. Jim Doyle's administration and a former chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin, will join Aurora Health Care's senior leadership team.

Bablitch, currently a partner in the Milwaukee office of the law firm Quarles & Brady, will join Aurora later this month as a senior vice president, overseeing government affairs, legal services and compliance for the not-for-profit organization. He also will serve as secretary of the organization.

"We are very excited to have Steve join us," said Nick Turkal, M.D., Aurora's president and chief executive officer. "He is a person of great integrity who has earned the respect and trust of leaders throughout Wisconsin. He brings a unique background of business, government and legal experience to this position. The patients and communities we serve will benefit from his leadership."

Bablitch served as secretary of the Department of Administration in Gov. Doyle's cabinet. Previously, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Wisconsin's largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin, and its publicly traded parent company, Cobalt Corp.

Dr. Turkal said that Bablitch would take a lead role in Aurora's efforts to help shape health care reform.

"We are eager to work with state and federal officials to fix what is broken in our nation's health care system," Dr. Turkal said. "Steve's work in the health care arena and his knowledge of government will be invaluable. Additionally, his business knowledge will be a great asset to us as we look to become even more efficient in the delivery of health care."

Bablitch said he looked forward to the challenge.

"Health care reform is one of our society's most pressing issues," he said. "We need to find ways to ensure that all of our citizens have access to affordable, high quality health care. Aurora will be a leading voice in this effort."

Bablitch said he also was attracted to Aurora Health Care because of its model of care.

"Aurora's approach to care delivery, coordination of patient care across many different services and sites, is driving fundamental improvements in the efficiency and quality of health care," Bablitch said. "There is much in Aurora's experience that can inform the public policy debate."

Before becoming chairman and chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Cobalt Corp., Bablitch served as general counsel and corporate secretary of both organizations. Earlier in his career, he was a partner in the Madison law firm DeWitt, Ross & Stevens and served in the cabinet of Gov. Tommy Thompson. He began his career as a prosecutor in Madison.

Bablitch currently serves on the boards of the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, as well as on the Board of Visitors of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's College of Letters and Science. Bablitch also is chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. He previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

Bablitch is a native of Stevens Point and received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives with his family in Whitefish Bay.

Bablitch will begin his role at Aurora on March 23.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Jeff Squire
414-647-3408

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