Dave Breitbach, chief financial officer, Crossing Rivers Health, was honored with the 2017 WHA Distinguished Service Award for his commendable and impactful career in health care. Dave, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year, was a highly respected and engaged health care leader.
WHA annually pays tribute to individuals who have served the health care community and who have made an exemplary commitment to WHA, to their own organizations and to the communities they serve. WHA Senior Vice President, Finance, Brian Potter presented the award to Dave’s wife and family at a beautiful event at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien December 3.
Dave actively served on the WHA Council on Finance and Payment. Dave’s knowledge and expertise in the finance area made him a go to resource not only for WHA, but also for other organizations. The state Medicaid program invited him to participate in a workgroup designed to improve reimbursement methodologies for rural providers. Dave was also very active in the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative CFO roundtables and in the Healthcare Financial Management Association where he shared his incredible knowledge and expertise for the benefit of others. In Wisconsin, there is a rich history of collaboration in health care and he helped foster that environment, leading by example.
Throughout his long and storied career, Dave led Crossing Rivers Health through several monumental events. In 2003, he was instrumental in converting the organization to a critical access hospital. Dave also oversaw the master facilities plan that evolved over the years to meet the needs of the community. His biggest accomplishment in this area came just a couple years ago with his coordination of the construction project that produced the new Crossing Rivers Health facility, which opened in June 2015.
A staunch advocate for the community, Dave collaborated with other local organizations to make sure health care services were available to meet the area’s greatest needs. A prime example of this was his leadership in establishing greater behavioral health resources in their community. Dave helped create a telemedicine program using local behavioral health professionals linked to a psychiatrist, which has been very successful.
In presenting the award, Potter said Dave’s leadership was evident not only to the organization and area he served, but also in the contributions he made to the broader health care community in Wisconsin.
“WHA is very fortunate that we have such committed health care leaders who work tirelessly to provide the highest quality health care to their local communities and who have engaged in making WHA one of the state’s leading advocacy voices. Dave Breitbach was one of those leaders,” according to Potter. “We are grateful to Dave for his impactful career in health care, his contributions to WHA, and his generous mentoring of current and future health care financial leaders. He made a lasting impact on health care in Wisconsin, and it goes without saying that he will be greatly missed.”