Success is no orphan, so Nicholas Wolter, M.D., chief executive officer of Deaconess Billings Clinic, had a lot of family to credit when the leader of the Billings, Mont.-based integrated health system, accepted the 2004 Physician Executive of the Year Award from the Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Medical Practice Executives.
"It's very rewarding to be recognized by colleagues," said Wolter, a critical-care pulmonologist who since 1994 has led the clinic. The organization includes a 272-bed hospital, a 90-bed long-term care facility, 10 regional clinics, a research center, a 200-physician group practice and the second largest health plan in Montana covering 40,000 people.
"The best part is you have members of your team who might feel you're worthy of something like this," Wolter said. "The success of any organization is the success of a team, and that includes a couple of hundred physicians who are part of this."
Wolter was cited for "outstanding leadership to achieve exceptional medical group performance . . . through personal example and collaborative team management."
For a profile of Wolter, see the October issue of Modern Physician magazine or click here.
Four other awards also were presented Monday at the MGMA's annual meeting in San Francisco.Marshall Baker, an ACMPE fellow, received the Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to healthcare delivery, administration and education in medical group practice through a 35-year career as a practice management leader and consultant. Most recently, Baker served as a consulting executive with Physician Advisory Services of Boise, Idaho.Alan Gieseman, the executive director of the White-Wilson Medical Center, a 47-physician multispecialty group in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was named Medical Practice Executive of the Year. Gieseman spearheaded the turnaround of WWMC from a $1.8 million operating loss to a $600,00 operating profit in one year. Karen Rawlings, chief operating officer of the Department of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, won the Edward B. Stevens Article of the Year Award. Rawlings wrote "Making it Work: Process Improvement in Medical Practices" which appeared in the April 2004 issue of MGMA Connexion.Women's Healthcare Associates of Beaverton, Ore., a 45-physician obstetrics and gynecology practice, which works in partnership with Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, to provide prenatal care and obstetrical services to pregnant, undocumented and uninsured workers, most of whom are Hispanic. The award, sponsored by Pfizer Medical Humanities initiative, includes a $10,000 prize to further the group's work.