Long-time Wisconsin health care and WHA leader Bill Petasnick passed away Nov. 8, 2022. Bill was an active member of WHA, serving as chair in 2001, and he received WHA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005. He was chair of the American Hospital Association in 2008 and received AHA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.
Petasnick joined Froedtert Hospital of Wauwatosa in 1993 as Milwaukee County was grappling with significant and unsustainable deficits at its county hospital. He worked closely with Milwaukee County leaders to change the model of care, with Milwaukee County becoming a purchaser of care and Froedtert Hospital expanding to a full-service academic medical center in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“During his 19 years of service to Froedtert Health, Bill took our organization from a half-hospital operating in partnership with Milwaukee County to an academic medical center, health system and an integrated academic health network. While driving growth through partnership, he never lost sight of the patient and was an early champion of data-driven quality efforts, leading the way to several Vizient top-performer recognitions and serving as a founder of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership. He fostered collaboration among competitors, building organizations to drive quality and safety improvements and enhance access and coordination for underserved patients,” said Froedtert Health President and CEO Cathy Jacobson.
Petasnick will be remembered as a mentor, friend, and inspiration to many.