Dean History: Today- Dean - WI

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Dean Medical Group's History

A Tour Through The Decades

  • Featured: St. Clare Hospital and Dean Clinic in Baraboo. SSM Health’s three Wisconsin hospitals, the Dean Clinic sites and Dean Health Plan have always worked closely together.  In 2013, SSM Health and Dean Health System make it official by merging, becoming one integrated health system.
  • Dean Clinic’s 2013-2014 Be a Buddy, Not a Bully campaign in partnership with WISC TV 3 educates children in area schools about bullying, asking them to take a pledge to prevent it and wear a bracelet showing their commitment to being kind to others.
  • Crash Helmet ® lives on since its inception in the early 1980s and continues to educate children about the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike.
  • Dr. Philip Bain, Internal Medicine, travels to Africa to partner with other physicians and care for local residents, bringing the clinic setting to an area in need. Dean Clinic – Africa is our farthest honorary location (in mileage) from our central offices in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Dr. Trent Thompson, Family Medicine, travels from Waunakee to Honduras to provide care to generations of families who live in the region.
  • Former President & CEO of Dean Clinic Dr. Craig Samitt presents Tom Mooney and the American Red Cross a check for disaster relief to assist in relief efforts for the Haiti Earthquake in 2010.
  • Dean & St. Mary’s employees, families and friends gather in downtown Madison after the 2012 March of Dimes walk to raise funds for healthy babies. A sea of red and purple signifies the two colors – purple and red – of Dean and St. Mary’s, respectively.
  • Dean Clinic Corporate Office employees unite outside in May of 2014 to celebrate breast cancer awareness month by wearing pink.
  • Dean Clinic – Portage presents an AED (automated external defibrillator) to its municipality so that it can save lives, if ever needed.

Today: Shared History Leads to Solid Future as SSM Health 

Dr. Joseph Dean, who founded Dean Clinic in 1904, was instrumental in the 1912 founding of St. Mary’s Hospital as well. For more than a century, Dean and St. Mary’s have collaborated to provide quality health care throughout south-central Wisconsin. Some highlights of their century-old connections and collaborative ventures:

A High Level of Care Expertise

From the start, the partnership between Dean physicians and St. Mary’s Hospital has been the engine for such a high level of care. The partnership is also credited with the growth and expansion of service lines.

  • Maternal-Child Services
    For example, the Dean and St. Mary’s partnership gave birth to routine delivery of babies in the hospital setting, a regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a specialty clinic to assess and manage high-risk pregnancies.
  • Heart Care
    A cardiology program that is coordinated among St. Mary’s emergency room, inpatient hospital, affiliated hospitals and clinics became the precursor to today’s regionally renowned Dean & St. Mary’s Cardiac Center and Level One Heart Attack Program.
  • Neurosciences
    Dean and St. Mary’s built expertise in head and spine surgery, which today is supported by a hospital intensive care unit specifically for neurosciences, including stroke, and an outpatient Neurological Institute and Spine Center.
  • Orthopedics
    An active and aging community called for new expertise, so Dean and St. Mary’s stepped up to offer comprehensive services for the musculoskeletal system. Joint replacement and sports medicine, perhaps meeting the greatest needs, are complemented by therapy services.
  • Hospital-Based Physicians
    As the model of health care continues to change, St. Mary’s Hospital now offers ’round-the-clock Dean hospitalist coverage and medical continuity for hospitalized patients while also freeing up primary care physicians to focus on their clinic patients.

For a full listing of medical specialties provided by Dean physicians, visit

Strength and Growth of an Integrated System

Along the century-old path of collaboration, new ideas took shape for providing better care for everyone, ranging from primary care and medical specialties in the clinics to hospital care. Dean and St. Mary’s paved the way to become one of the nation’s first integrated health systems, where the risks and benefits are shared equally among physicians, hospital and insurer, resulting in a leaner organization that delivers quality and value. A sampling of that business growth and strength:

  • 1983: Dean Health Plan Inc., an HMO insurance company, was founded as a subsidiary of Dean Health Insurance Inc. SSM Health became a partner in 1995.
  • 1989: St. Mary’s Dean Ventures (SMDV) was formed, creating a regional network of community clinics and surgery centers linked to hospital care in Madison, Baraboo, and later Janesville.
  • 1995: St. Mary’s parent organization, SSM Health, purchased 47% of Dean Health Plan and 5% of Dean Health System, marking the official start of Dean’s and St. Mary’s integrated health system that encompasses clinic, hospital and health insurer.
  • 2003: Navitus Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager was established with another insurer, and in 2007, Dean Health Plan became the sole owner.
  • 2013: SSM Health, parent of St. Mary’s Hospital, purchased Dean Health System (including all Dean Clinics and SMDV sites, Dean Health Plan and Navitus), becoming a completely integrated health system. SSM Health is one of the nation’s largest Catholic health systems.

Today, Dean and St. Mary’s Hospital are members of SSM Health, which is based in St. Louis, Missouri, and operates 19 hospitals in four states (Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma). Additional members of Wisconsin’s SSM Health family are St. Mary’s Care Center in Madison, St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital and St. Clare Hospital and St. Clare Meadows Care Center in Baraboo. They are affiliated with four rural hospitals (Columbus Community Hospital, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, Stoughton Hospital and Upland Hills Health in Dodgeville). In addition, SSM Health is part-owner of Home Health United, providing home-care nursing and hospice services.

In support of these foundational areas of care are the following services within the health care delivery system:

  • Wisconsin Integrated Information Technology & Telemedicine Systems (WIITTS), which pioneered implementation of the electronic health record in south-central Wisconsin.
  • Dean Retail Services, which includes Davis Duehr Dean optical, Dean pharmacy and medical equipment sales.
  • Dean Export, an initiative of Dean Health Plan to spread the health care model across the United States.

As the landscape of health care continues to change, it will be Dean’s and St. Mary’s 100-year history together, along with collaboration and vision, that will serve our community well into another century.

Fostering A Healthy Community

Dean Clinic, Dean Health Plan, Dean Foundation and St. Mary’s Hospital support and partner with organizations that improve the community’s health beyond the clinic and hospital walls. Their official Community Health Needs Assessment focuses on health care access and health education. In 2013, Dean and St. Mary’s supported hundreds of local organizations through community partnerships, sponsorships, volunteerism, in-kind donations and much more, including visits by the popular Crash Helmet safety mascot and Happy Heart health mascot.

One very visible partnership is the “Time for Kids” project, a series of television stories and community events that focuses on health topics affecting children and families. Recent campaigns have focused on childhood obesity and bullying. Our “Time for Kids: Buddy Project” campaign invited people to take a stand against bullying, and Southern Wisconsin responded. Dean Clinic distributed more than 290,000 orange wristbands saying “Be a Buddy Not a Bully.”

For more than 15 years, Dean and St. Mary’s have joined forces to improve the physical health of uninsured and underinsured community members through the Dean & St. Mary’s Neighborhood Asthma Clinic. Since 1998 they have provided free asthma screening, treatment and education in effort to improve people’s lives, strengthen their performance at work and school and reduce the number of visits to the emergency room. Similarly, the Dean Foundation runs a free clinic for secondary and specialty health care to uninsured and low-income patients.

Providing these important pieces to a giant health care puzzle, Dean and St. Mary’s show their commitment to the bigger picture: health care and education that truly serve the entire community. The legacy of Dr. Joseph Dean lives on.

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