William “Bill” Petasnick, former Froedtert Health president and CEO, died Nov. 8 at age 76.
Petasnick led the Milwaukee-based health system from 1993 to 2012, during which he worked on long-term development, physician integration, fundraising and government-relations duties, according to a Froedtert Health news release. He was succeeded by Cathy Jacobson, who continues to lead the system.
“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,” Jacobson said in a statement. “He fostered collaboration among competitors, building organizations to drive quality and safety improvements and enhance access and coordination for underserved patients.”
While at Froedtert Health, he served as chair of the American Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees in 2008. “Throughout his career, Bill was always focused on efforts to improve the lives of patients and create healthy communities,” AHA president and CEO Rick Pollack said in the news release.
Petasnick also served as chair of the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
He was presented the AHA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2016, and the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005.
Before joining Froedtert Health, Petasnick was administrator and chief operating officer at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and director of operations at University of North Carolina Hospitals and Clinics in Chapel Hill.
In addition to guiding healthcare organizations, Petasnick taught as an adjunct associate professor of health management at the University of Iowa.