George Kerwin of Bellin Health Receives WHA 2018 Distinguished Service Award

October 30, 2018

Each year, WHA honors senior health care executives who have made an exemplary commitment to WHA and the communities they serve. WHA is proud to honor George Kerwin, President and CEO of Bellin Health System, with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award in honor of his distinguished career dedicated to excellence in health care management and community leadership.

Kerwin received the award at the Bellin Health All-Board Workshop at Lambeau Field in Green Bay 
October 23. In attendance were Bellin’s executive leaders, as well as representation from Bellin’s Board of Directors, Oconto Hospital Board of Directors, Psychiatric Center Inc. Board of Directors, Health Partners Board of Directors, and Bellin College Board of Trustees.

“Wisconsin is known for its high-quality, affordable, accessible health care, and that is because we have leaders like George who make a difference not only in their own facility and community, but across the state,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “George’s leadership and vision have improved the health care industry, and his dedication has impacted colleagues statewide.” 

Dan Olson, Senior Vice President of External Relations and Chief Strategy Officer at Froedtert Health, said the following about Kerwin during the nomination process: “Throughout my tenure at Bay Area Medical Center, our two very independent organizations, both collaborated and competed. The constant was always George’s professionalism and friendship. Healthcare in Northeast Wisconsin is far greater because of George Kerwin’s Leadership. His relentless pursuit of improving quality and lowering the cost of health care has turned Bellin Health into one of the greatest values in the region.”

“In addition to his passion for providing high-quality, low cost health care, Mr. Kerwin is committed to developing an active and engaged workforce, along with forging partnerships with community organizations, and serving the community by promoting active and healthy lifestyles…. George Kerwin’s commitment to service is second to none…,” said Bellin Health President/CEO Chris Woleske, Aurora BayCare Medical Center President Dan Meyer, and HSHS Eastern Division President & CEO Therese Pandl.

Among his many accomplishments, Kerwin was one of the founders of the iconic Bellin Run in 1977, which educates community members about the importance of fitness.  It started with fewer than 900 participants in its first year, and has grown to 18,000 or more.  The proceeds fund scholarships for Bellin College students who work in a variety of health care facilities.

Kerwin is well known and respected in the greater Green Bay community, serving on numerous boards and organizations, including Green Bay Packers Board, UW-Green Bay Business Advisory Council, and Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.  

He served on the WHA Board from 2003-2009 and has been a member of WHA’s Audit Committee since 2010. Kerwin served on the WHA Task Force on Access & Coverage in 2006, as well as the Behavioral Health Taskforce in 2010. He also participated in the Council on Medical and Professional Affairs from 1993-1995, along with the WHA Medicaid Re-engineering Group in 2012 and 2014.  

WHA congratulates and thanks George for his dedication and commitment to WHA and health care. We will make a $250 donation to the charity of his choice as the recipient of the WHA 2018 Distinguished Service Award.  

This story originally appeared in the October 30, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter