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.

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

Aurora Board Member Charles Harvey Receives 2020 WHA Trustee Award

During a virtual meeting on Nov. 18, WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding presented the 2020 Trustee Award to Charles Harvey, a member of Advocate Aurora Health’s board of directors. Many of Harvey’s accomplishments were highlighted, some of which include:

  • Aurora board member since 2013
  • Board member of the Milwaukee World Festival
  • Previous board memberships:
    • The United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
    • Milwaukee Public Policy Forum
    • United Performing Arts Fund
Harvey is a dedicated corporate and civic leader who, among other things, has devoted himself to increasing diversity in corporate America and leading urban economic development in Milwaukee. In 2012, he cofounded the Morehouse Scholars Program, now known as the MKE Fellows, to provide scholarships for academically talented African American men from Milwaukee to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta. MKE Fellows has financed the educations of nearly 150 young leaders to date. In 2014, as cofounder of Partners for Community Impact, Harvey joined four other African American business leaders to buy a share of the Milwaukee Bucks, ensuring the NBA franchise would receive the investment necessary to flourish—and that the resulting economic benefits would reach all city residents. 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.

HSHS Sacred Heart & HSHS St. Joseph’s Jeff Halloin Honored with WHA Trustee Award

WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding recently presented Jeffrey Halloin of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Chippewa Falls, with the 2020 Trustee Award. For more than 60 years, WHA has presented a Trustee Award to an individual who has made an exemplary commitment to his or her hospital and community.
Halloin has served as a board member for HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital for 12 years. He currently serves as chair of the board for both Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals and has helped align the two boards into one unit. He is a member of the HSHS Audit and Integrity Committee and leads the board’s Executive Committee and Governance Committee.
Halloin has served on numerous community boards. He serves as the secretary of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Eau Claire and recently became a member of the Steering Committee of the Greater Chippewa Valley COVID Task Force. Read more.


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

SSM Health’s Boatwright Wins 2020 Distinguished Service Award

Nominated by health care leaders, SSM Health’s Regional President of Operations Damond Boatwright was awarded this week a WHA 2020 Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes senior executives who have made an exemplary commitment to both WHA and the communities they serve.

Boatwright joined SSM Health in Wisconsin as Regional President of Hospital Operations in February of 2014. In this role, Damond is responsible for overseeing all hospital operations within SSM Health’s integrated care delivery network in the Wisconsin Region.

Nominations supporting Boatwright all cited his exceptional leadership:
“Damond has been a proven leader in overseeing the operations and financial stability of initially our Wisconsin hospitals, and currently all of SSM Health’s hospitals, medical groups and affiliate partnerships throughout the Wisconsin region.” – Les McPhearson, President, Dean Health Plan – A Member of SSM Health

“I have worked with Damond since 2016 and have found him to be an exceptional leader who all at once is dedicated to improving our health care system, serves as an inspiring role model for young professionals and promotes humanity at work with each of his interactions.” – Margo Francisco, System Vice President, Strategy, SSM Health Wisconsin

“I have had the opportunity to witness his leadership and service to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. He is a skilled facilitator, orator, and leader whether he is on stage at Monona Terrace during WHA Advocacy Days or chairing a board meeting. Damond is accountable, charitable and leads personally and through advocacy and fundraising to support the Wisconsin Hospital Association Foundation and Advocacy efforts.” – Mark J. Thompson, MD, President, SSM Health Wisconsin Medical Groups; WHA Board Member.

Boatwright has been a member of the WHA Board of Directors since 2015 and was chair in 2019. He is also the current chair of WHA’s Advocacy Committee. He serves on the WHA Board Subcommittee on Health Care Reform, WHA Nominating and Awards Committee, and WHA Budget Committee.

WHA congratulates Boatwright for his dedication to improving Wisconsin’s health care and truly values his involvement in WHA. WHA will make a $250 donation to the charity of his choice as a recipient of the 2020 WHA Distinguished Service Award.


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. Read more.


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.” Read more.

  You can view the award presentation here.


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.