IHA honors award winners at convention

Gathering after a three-year pause during the height of COVID, the Idaho Hospital Association members from across the state met October 3-6 in Sun Valley to educate, encourage, and energize Idaho hospital leadership with renewed purpose and focus.  Part of that meeting was to recognize the outstanding contributions of key individuals during the most challenging time in modern healthcare memory. 

“These award winners guided our healthcare systems – large and small – through the stress, the uncertainty, and the challenges of the pandemic,” said Brian Whitlock, president and CEO of the Idaho Hospital Association.  “We cannot fathom the impact that the contributions these individuals made to keep the hospital doors open, their staff supported, their patients safe, and their communities resilient.”

Outgoing IHA Chairwoman Betsy Hunsicker, CEO of West Valley Medical Center stated, “Our hospitals face steep challenges in the coming months and years, but these award recipients are the people who encourage and inspire us to continually do better.  I’m so grateful for their contributions and the examples they set for all of us.”

Idaho Governor Brad Little was honored with IHA’s highest award, the 2021 Steven A. Millard Star Garnet Award, for his continuing support of hospitals, health systems and frontline healthcare workers throughout the pandemic.  Governor Little joined IHA President, Brian Whitlock, in presenting awards to all of the 2021 and 2022 recipients.

Not pictured: 2021 Trustee of the Year, Eldon Koon, Boundary Community Hospital; 2022 Award of Excellence in Patient Care, Dr. Terry O’Connor, St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center; 2022 Leader of Volunteer Excellence (LOVE), Rio Setty, Kootenai Health; 2021 Jr. Volunteer of the Year, Defne Yuksel, Gritman Medical Center; 2022 Jr. Volunteer of the Year, Gracyn Kautzman, Kootenai Health; and, 2022 Special Recognition of Retirement, Betty Watson, Syringa Hospital & Clinics

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