AHA Solutions & ASHHRA Announce the 2011 Gary Willis Leadership Award Winners

Prestigious Award Honors HR Professionals Who Achieve Operational Excellence in Health Care

AHA Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) today announced the Gary Willis Leadership (GWL) Award winners for 2011. This year’s honorees are: Kristen Fox, director of human resources for Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Wash., and James C. (Jimmie) Williamson, chief human capital officer for Agape Senior and Hospice, in West Columbia, S.C.

The GWL Award recognizes managers and directors who have made outstanding leadership and operations contributions to their organizations. In addition, it honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to participating in continuous educational opportunities that promote operational excellence. The GWL Award honors the memory of Gary Willis, an ASHHRA board member, who passed away in 2010 after a battle with cancer.

“Both AHA Solutions and ASHHRA have the utmost respect for people such as Kristen and Jimmie who are devoted to advancing the health care human resources profession,” said Anthony Burke, president and CEO of AHA Solutions. “The GWL Award is a tribute to their respective contributions to the field.”

ASHHRA director Stephanie Drake adds, “The individuals honored with the GWL Award should know that being health care human resources professionals of Gary’s caliber is a truly remarkable accomplishment and is something to be extremely proud of. AHA Solutions and ASHHRA have a common goal of enhancing the health care human resources experience, which is something Gary always tried to do.”

2011 GWL Award winners, James C. Williamson and Kristen Fox pictured with Helene Sigrand of AHA Solutions, Inc.

Kristen Fox
As director of human resources, Fox oversees all aspects of her department, as well as employee and occupational health. She was nominated for the award based on her exceptional leadership behavior while serving as the regional representative for ASHHRA.

According to Steve Stahl, president of the Washington State Healthcare HR Association (WSHHRA), “Kristen has brought the affiliated ASHHRA chapters to a higher level of cooperation and collaboration.”

Jeff Clark, vice president of HR at Kadlec Regional Medical Center adds, “Kristen’s role has been expanded to include management training and since then, we’ve made significant gains in the competency of our management staff. We will soon begin providing management training to a critical access hospital in our region, and Kristen will also be a featured presenter at the WSHHRA Rural Hospital Conference.”

James Williamson
Dr. Williamson joined the administration of Agape Senior in January of 2006 and has held positions in various aspects of higher education for 26 years. Dr. Williamson has extensive experience in higher education and has also served as a faculty member or administrator at four community colleges and three universities in South Carolina. He was nominated for the GWL Award by Scott Middleton, CEO of Agape Senior.

According to Middleton, Dr. Williamson successfully implemented a state-wide health care apprenticeship program specifically designed for Certified Nursing Assistants working in Agape facilities. “The partnership and collaboration required for bringing together the Workforce Investment Board and the South Carolina Technical College System and the U.S. Department of Labor was incredible,” stated Middleton.

Applications for the 2012 GWL Award can be submitted online beginning November 1, 2011, at www.aha-solutions.org or www.ashhra.org.

About the AHA
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, who include more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.

About AHA Solutions
AHASolutions, Inc. is a resource to hospitals pursuing operational excellence. As an American Hospital Association (AHA) member service, AHA Solutions collaborates with hospital leaders and market consultants to conduct product due diligence and identify solutions to hospital challenges in several operational areas, including finance, human resources, patient flow and technology. AHA Solutions provides related marketplace analytics and education to support product decision making. As a subsidiary of the AHA, the organization convenes people with like interests for knowledge sharing centered on timely information and research. AHA Solutions is proud to reinvest its profits in the AHA mission: creating healthier communities. For more information, contact us at 800.242.4677.

Founded in 1964, ASHHRA is a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and has more than 3500 members nationwide. It leads the way for members to become more effective, valued, and credible leaders in health care human resources. As the foremost authority in health care human resources, it provides timely and critical support through research, learning and knowledge sharing, professional development, products and resources, and provides opportunities for networking and collaboration. For more information about ASHHRA, visit our website at www.ashhra.org.