Health Care Hall of Fame Past Inductees
Kenneth T. Wessner
Inducted in 1992
A deeply religious man, Wessner adhered to and abided by the principles of ServiceMaster: “To honor God in all we do. To help people develop. To pursue excellence. To grow profitably. ” Wessner didn't join ServiceMaster until 1954 at the age of 32. Before that, he worked for several years for Club Aluminum Co. in Chicago. Twenty-one years later, Wessner had worked his way up to CEO of the company. He eventually would become chairman of ServiceMaster, a provider of management services to hospitals and healthcare businesses. The company signed its first healthcare-related contract in 1962 with Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill., to have its managers direct the hospital's personnel with cleaning services. During the first year of the contract, the hospital reported a 50% drop in bacteria prevalence thanks to ServiceMaster's leadership. Eventually, that success would lead to more and more hospital contracts and the implementation of quality-assurance programs.