Former health care CEO and prominent Wisconsin businesses and public policy leader Terri L. Potter recently passed away
in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Potter devoted more than 30 years to health care administration, starting his career at Madison General Hospital in 1971. He was instrumental in the creation of Meriter Hospital and Meriter Health Services from a merger of Methodist Hospital and Madison General Hospital in 1987. He chaired the WHA Board of Directors in 1994 and served on the Wisconsin Quality Steering Committee thereafter. He was recognized with a WHA Lifetime Achievement Award upon his retirement in 2006, the same year that Meriter Hospital, led by Potter, received WHA’s All Star Grassroots Advocate Award.
In addition to his service to WHA, Potter served on the boards of directors of the Morgridge Institute for Research, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Bank Advisory Board, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Association and the Wisconsin Patient Safety Institute. He was also a member of the State of Wisconsin Governor’s Business Council and several United Way of Dane County campaign cabinets.
Reflecting on his tenure as WHA board chair, Potter wrote in a 2020 100th
anniversary column in WHA’s newsletter
, “…1994 was a special time to be in health care management. WHA’s agenda was vibrant and laid the foundation for future work.”
“Terri’s lasting impact on the health care industry extends well beyond the hospitals he led during his distinguished career in health care management,” said WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “The period of time in which Terri helmed Meriter Hospital and served on WHA’s board was full of meaningful health care reforms, both here in Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C. Terri’s perspective and leadership on issues with far-reaching implications for hospitals and the patients they serve had a direct effect on the quality of care delivered in our state and beyond.”
Potter is survived by his wife Carla; two daughters, Sarah and Suzanne; a son, Eric; and seven grandchildren.