For the best viewing experience please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

WHA Awards

For more than 55 years, the Wisconsin Hospital Association has honored individuals who have served the health care community. WHA’s annual awards have recognized a broad array of distinguished health care leaders throughout Wisconsin including health care executives, public officials, health care trustees, auxilians, clergy, educators and physicians for their extensive service in support of health care.

Health Care Advocate Award:  presented in recognition of partnership with WHA in supporting issues that enable the delivery of high-quality, high-value health care in Wisconsin.

Sen. Kooyenga earns WHA Health Care Advocate of the Year award

Citing his consistent support for Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems in the public policy arena, WHA has named State Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) the winner of the 2020 Health Care Advocate of the Year award. While the award is usually presented at WHA’s Advocacy Day in front of more than 1,000 health care supporters, this year’s award was presented virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHA Board member and Children’s Wisconsin President and CEO Peggy Troy presented the award via Zoom.  
“Dale’s experience and passion for high-quality care has made him a critical and effective partner for hospitals, health systems and for WHA,” Troy said as she presented the award. “[His] work this year on telehealth reform is the most recent example – though certainly not the only one – of how Dale uses his role as a state lawmaker to improve our hospitals’ ability to have the very best care for our patients.”
Sen. Kooyenga is the vice chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. He also chairs the Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families, and serves on other committees related to education, elections and ethics. He is also personally connected to health care – his wife, Jennifer, is a nurse, and his mother was a pediatric oncology nurse.
While accepting the award. Sen. Kooyenga noted that those special connections to health care give him an important perspective on how hospitals and health systems are vital to local communities.
“I feel like what’s missing right now in politics on both sides is this concept of empathy – the concept of ‘put yourself in their place,’” Sen. Kooyenga said. “And I think that health care is in the role where you really put yourself in the place of individuals who don’t have insurance, individuals that don’t have the right care. I know you as hospitals are constantly trying to balance it out, performing high quality care [while] making sure we’re providing a broad blanket of care that makes sure we’re not leaving anyone behind,” Sen. Kooyenga said.
Troy reiterated how Sen. Kooyenga’s advocacy for updating the state’s telehealth laws helps hospitals and health systems provide more care to a wider population – especially during the current pandemic.
“As we’ve been in the COVID environment, the value of telehealth care been just unimaginable,” Troy said. “And because of this bill, we’re able to do it in a much more comprehensive and effective way. So, Senator Kooyenga, just know that you’ve had a huge impact, particularly in the last four months.”
WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding also lauded Kooyenga for his analytical approach on policy issues important to Wisconsin’s health care system.
“Senator Kooyenga’s ability to understand and act upon issues important to hospitals is greatly appreciated,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said. “This award is for someone who is a true citizen legislator – someone who understands how important it is to support the nation-leading health care for which Wisconsin is so well-known.”
“You can count me as an ally,” Sen. Kooyenga said. “So thanks again for the award. It’s truly an honor and I look forward to working with you in the future.”
First elected to the State Assembly in 2010, Kooyenga served four two-year terms in the lower house. He then won a four-year term to the State Senate in 2018. In 2005, Kooyenga enlisted in the United States Army alongside his two brothers and was later called up to service in Iraq. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service. He remains a member of the United States Army Reserve where he serves as a Major. He and Jennifer have four children.


Advocacy All-Star Award:  recognizes one hospital or health care system each year that exemplifies dedication to grassroots advocacy.

Marshfield Clinic Health System Receives WHA’s 2020 Advocacy All-Star Award

The Marshfield Clinic Health System is the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s 2020 Advocacy All-Star Award recipient – the most prestigious member advocacy honor WHA bestows. The annual award is for demonstrating exceptional dedication to grassroots advocacy in partnership with WHA. While the award is usually presented at WHA’s Advocacy Day in front of more than 1,000 hospital and health system advocates, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the award being presented virtually on June 23.

“This really is a gratifying award to receive because of how much work our health system puts into advocacy, and how important those efforts are to our organization – but also to rural health, particularly,” Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Susan Turney, M.D. said when accepting the award on behalf of her system. “Now more than ever we see the essential role of government and how it plays such a big impact in health care, and we need a seat at the table. And we DO have that by working with WHA – you help us advance our message every day.

“So we are proud to be a member,” Dr. Turney said. “And we are also very fortunate to work with such a strong, such an effective advocacy organization.”
In presenting the award, WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding cited Marshfield Clinic’s long list of grassroots and policy development efforts in the past year. From providing key telehealth information to a packed State Capitol hearing room filled with legislators and staff that helped spur bipartisan passage of important telehealth state law improvements, to regular participation in WHA’s HEAT roundtable events with local legislators, Marshfield Clinic is “always willing to collaborate with other WHA members and staff to move our collective advocacy agenda forward,” Borgerding said.
“The great partnership between WHA and Marshfield Clinic Health System is not just on behalf of our two organizations,” Borgerding said, “but truly a partnership that speaks for and represents all of Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems. For that, all of our members are grateful for the work that you’ve done.”
The system is heavily involved in various WHA workgroups and councils that help advance sound health care public policy, including the Public Policy Council, Physician Leaders Council and WHA’s Medicaid, telehealth and post-acute care work groups. Dr. Turney also serves on the WHA Board of Directors, which helps shape WHA’s advocacy goals throughout the year.
"At Marshfield Clinic Health System, we have really made concerted efforts over the past several years to build our advocacy efforts in government relations,” Dr. Turney said. “We are desperate for policies that can make delivering high-quality care in small communities sustainable. And I know that the effective advocacy efforts that you all have made will continue to create meaningful progress.
“I really want to thank you on behalf of Marshfield Clinic Health System – I’m honored to accept this award for the team,” Dr. Turney said.

  You can view the award presentation here.


WHA Trustee Award:  honors trustees of WHA member organizations who have made an exemplary commitment to their hospital and to the community they serve.

HSHS St. Vincent & St. Mary’s Dan Platkowski Wins WHA 2019 Trustee Award

Praised for the ability to utilize his engineering background in helping to strengthen two hospitals, Dan Platkowski, a nineyear veteran on the boards of HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center – including as chair for the last three years – received the WHA 2019 Trustee Award Dec. 5, 2019 in Green Bay.

Part of WHA’s long history of lauding individuals for serving the health care community, the Trustee Award honors those who have made an exemplary commitment to their hospitals and the communities they serve by serving as a trustee.

An engineer and president of Pine Ridge Engineering in De Pere, Platkowski brought passions for safety and quality to the boards on which he served. In her letter nominating Platkowski for the honor, HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division President and CEO Therese Pandl shared how Platkowski is “very dedicated to committing highly reliable, safe and effective care for our community.” Read more.


WHA Trustee Award:  honors trustees of WHA member organizations who have made an exemplary commitment to their hospital and to the community they serve.

Stoughton Hospital’s Dan Hanson Wins WHA 2019 Trustee Award

Lauded as “exactly the kind of person this award is meant to recognize,” Dan Hanson, chair of the board of directors for the Stoughton Hospital Association, received the WHA 2019 Trustee Award Nov. 25 in Stoughton. WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding presented the award.

Awarded for more than 60 years, this annual honor recognizes a trustee of a WHA member organization who has made an exemplary commitment to their hospital and the community they serve.

“He is committed to improvement through accountability and working with the administration and management to continuously raise hospital performance,” Borgerding said of Hanson as he presented the award, pointing out how Stoughton Hospital has been recognized multiple times for high achievement during Hanson’s seven years on the board. “And looking to the future of Stoughton Hospital, Dan has mentored and developed future board members from within the communities the hospital serves.” Read more.


WHA Distinguished Service Award:  honors senior health care executives who have made an exemplary commitment to WHA and the communities they serve.

Troy of Children’s Wisconsin Wins 2019 WHA Distinguished Service Award

Nominated by a wide array of public officials, health care leaders and the grateful mother of a patient, Children’s Wisconsin President and CEO Peggy Troy was awarded this week a WHA 2019 Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes senior executives who have made an exemplary commitment to both WHA and the communities they serve.

“I’ve seen Peggy in action many times, and can unequivocally say that I’ve never met or worked with anyone more committed to expanding and improving access to health care for underserved kids, and there is no stronger advocate for the resources to do that work – including successfully advocating for increased and sustained funding for the CHIP program in Washington and the DSH program here in Wisconsin,” WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding said when presenting Troy with the award on Nov. 19 at a meeting of 500 Children’s Wisconsin staff leaders in Waukesha. “She is a tireless champion and impactful voice for children and their families in front of the media and our elected officials.

“And not just in southeast Wisconsin,” Borgerding continued, “but across the state and, quite frankly, the country.”        Read more.


WHA Distinguished Service Award:  honors senior health care executives who have made an exemplary commitment to WHA and the communities they serve.

Pandl of HSHS-Eastern WI wins 2019 WHA Distinguished Service Award

Cited as one who “embodies the spirit of this award,” HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division President and CEO Therese Pandl was recently awarded a WHA 2019 Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes senior executives who have made an exemplary commitment to WHA and the communities they serve. Pandl received the award from WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding at an HSHS senior leadership meeting earlier this month.</p>

“For more than 60 years WHA has recognized those who are dedicated to leadership and participation not only in WHA but in their home communities,” Borgerding said when presenting the award. “I’m very proud to be able to present this award to someone I’ve known a long time and have seen how much she cares about her community and WHA.”

The HSHS-Eastern District of Wisconsin includes HSHS St. Vincent Hospital (Green Bay), HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center (Green Bay), HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital (Oconto Falls) and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital (Sheboygan).        Read more.


The AHA Grassroots Champion Award was created to recognize those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital and who are tireless advocates for hospitals and their patients.

David Lally Presented with AHA "Grassroots Champion" Award

Following a meeting with Congressman Glen Grothman on August 28 in Mequon, WHA Director of State and Federal Relations Jon Hoelter presented HSHS Director of Business Development David Lally with an American Hospital Association (AHA) “Grassroots Champion” award. The award is given out each year by AHA to one individual in each state. Lally received the award for Wisconsin for his dedication and commitment to grassroots advocacy.

“WHA is pleased to present this AHA Grassroots Champion award to David Lally for his advocacy efforts in support of hospitals and health systems,” said Hoelter in presenting the award. “David is committed to the hospital mission and is a leader in promoting the value of hospitals to legislators, other influence leaders and to his community. Whether it’s heading to Washington, D.C., the state capitol in Madison, or joining us for meetings with legislators in their own communities, David is always jumping at the opportunity to advocate on behalf of his hospital, and Wisconsin health care as a whole. WHA truly appreciates his passion and dedication to advocacy.”

“We depend upon strong local voices to help tell the story of hospitals,” said Eric Borgerding, WHA President & CEO. “This award is recognition of the strong advocacy and dedication David Lally brings to his community and his hospital.”


WHA Lifetime Achievement Award:  given to a member in recognition of leadership, service and partnership with WHA in advocating for better health care for Wisconsin communities.

Jerry Worrick Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

The President and CEO of Door County Medical Center, Gerald “Jerry” Worrick, was honored with WHA’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Rural Health conference.  Door County Medical Center is a critical access facility serving approximately 29,000 people from Door and Kewaunee counties year-round. That number explodes when more than 1.25 million visitors descend upon Door County every summer.

Worrick received the award in recognition of his leadership, service, and partnership with WHA in advocating for better health care for Wisconsin communities—serving a combined 45 years for WHA.  He served on the WHA Board for eight years, including serving as chair in 2003.  Worrick has been part of the Nominating and Awards, Council on Public Policy, the Property, Financial Solutions and Advocacy committees—and last but certainly not least, on the Council on Rural Health for 14 years.