WHA has awarded its 2021 Distinguished Service Award to Fort HealthCare President and CEO Mike Wallace. The award was presented to Wallace by WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding at Fort HealthCare on Oct. 27.
WHA’s annual Distinguished Service Award honors a senior health care executive who has demonstrated a long-standing and impactful commitment to advancing health care statewide and in their community.
Wallace was nominated for the award by his Fort HealthCare colleagues Carl Selvick, senior director of clinical operations and Lisa Jensen, vice president of nursing services, as well as Fort HealthCare Board Chair Mary Behling. All noted the tremendous work Wallace has done and is doing to improve the health and well being of his community.
“Mike is a tireless champion and voice for hospitals and rural health care, in fact all health care, in front of our elected officials in both Washington, DC and Madison,” Borgerding said in presenting the award. I cannot think of another WHA member leader who has participated in more meetings with elected officials and who has testified in front of more committees, than Mike – many trips to Madison and Washington, D.C, where he is listened to and heard. It’s no surprise that under Mike’s leadership, Fort HealthCare was given the WHA Advocacy All Star Award in 2018.
Borgerding went on to list the many significant contributions Wallace has made to the WHA board of directors. He has served on the WHA board of directors since 2011, and as board chair in 2016. He was the nominating committee and advocacy committee chair in 2017, chaired the public policy council from 2014-2016, in addition to numerous other WHA councils, workgroups and taskforces.
At the national level Wallace is shaping health care policy by representing WHA and Wisconsin on the American Hospital Association’s Region 5 Policy Board, where he is an important and influential voice on the national stage for Wisconsin and rural health care. He’s also a two-time winner of the ACHE’s Regent Award, and under his leadership Fort HealthCare was named a Chartis Center top 100 rural hospital in 2019, 2020 and 2021, a Fortune/IBM Watson top-100 hospital this year, and last year, amid a pandemic, Fort HealthCare received Modern Healthcare’s
Best Places to Work award.
“Mike is a tireless champion and voice for hospitals and rural health care, in fact all
health care, in front of our elected officials both in Washington, D.C., and Madison, where he is listened to and heard,” Borgerding noted. “I cannot think of another WHA member leader who has participated in more meetings with elected officials and who has testified in front of more committees, than Mike – many trips to Madison and Washington, DC, where he is listened to and heard. It’s no surprise that under Mike’s leadership, Fort Health Care was given the WHA Advocacy All Star Award in 2018.”
Nominating Wallace for the WHA Distinguished Service Award, Jenson wrote, “In addition to his genuine compassion and commitment to our health care organization, he is committed to his profession of health care advancement through his extensive involvement with local and state committees and boards too numerous to count. Through his participation he shares his experience, leadership and knowledge with all those that he surrounds.”
Selvick praised Wallace’s impact on health care throughout the state, noting, “As CEO, it is not just about Mr. Wallace’s personal contributions to community and professional organizations, which are extensive, but more so how he motivates the entire health system to advance broad-based health care activities at the community and state level.”
Belling added, “Mike values every member of our organization and has developed a strong and collaborative leadership team. The value of his leadership became even more evident during this past year, as Fort weathered the pandemic with a fierce commitment from every single team member and has worked as one to meet the needs of our community.” – Mary Behling, Chair, Fort HealthCare Board of Directors
Borgerding echoed Behling’s comments, noting how much Wallace has meant to the WHA team during COVID. “There are times in the past 18 months when Mikes words of encouragement, praise and genuinely positive nature have meant more than he knows to the WHA team,” Borgerding said.“
WHA congratulates Wallace for his exemplary commitment to expanding and improving access to health care in the community. Each year WHA makes a $500 donation to the charity of the award recipients choice. Mr. Wallace had selected the Fort Hospital Foundation for his donation.