Partners of WHA Celebrate Volunteer Excellence at Annual Convention

October 09, 2018

Partners of WHA, Inc. celebrated hospital volunteerism and recognized volunteer excellence at its recent 2018 annual state convention. Partners hosted nearly 300 volunteer members from hospitals across Wisconsin October 2-4 in Stevens Point. 

The hospital CEO panel discussion is an annual highlight of the convention. This year’s panelists included hospital leaders:

  • David Hartberg of Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics in Boscobel
  • Mary Beth White-Jacobs of Black River Memorial Hospital in Black River Falls
  • Dawn Gapko of Ascension Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Stanley and Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill
  • Darrell Lentz of Aspirus Wausau Hospital in Wausau

The panel was moderated by WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding, and discussion topics included workforce needs, the opioid crisis, rural community issues affecting health care, and the role volunteers play in the ecosystem of health care. 

Partners of WHA also awarded their annual Wisconsin Award for Volunteer Excellence (WAVE Award) to four volunteer member organizations, honoring outstanding programs in the categories of community service programs, fundraising, in-service hospital volunteer programs, and community outreach/collaboration. WAVE Award recipients included:

  • Partners of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls for its Babysitting Clinic program;
  • SSM Health-St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary in Madison for its Patient Comfort Hand Massage program;
  • Aurora West Allis Medical Center Women’s Auxiliary in West Allis for its Snowflake Bazaar program; and
  • Aurora Meical Center of Burlington Volunteers in Burlington for its Healthy Kids Club program. 
In addition, WHA’s own Vice President of Education & Marketing, Jennifer Frank, was honored with the Everyday Hero Award in appreciation for her service and dedication to Partners of WHA. Jennifer has served as WHA’s liaison with Partners for the past 15 years.

Partners of WHA is made up of approximately 9,000 volunteers and auxilians at 63 Wisconsin hospitals. Founded in 1951 as Wisconsin Hospital Association Auxiliaries, Partners of WHA, Inc. emphasizes volunteer service and participation in grassroots advocacy, public policy and community health education, and health career programs for Wisconsin hospitals. 

Additionally, Partners promotes leadership development by offering resources and educational seminars to local hospital volunteer and auxiliary groups.  It shares information on successful community health education initiatives, advocacy and fundraising activities, and trends on volunteerism through a variety of channels, including its quarterly newsletter, Reaching Out. More information can be found at

This story originally appeared in the October 09, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter