Press Release

William Petasnick to Receive AHA Distinguished Service Award

WASHINGTON (April 5, 2016) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to William Petasnick, president and CEO, emeritus, Froedtert Health in Milwaukee. This award recognizes significant lifetime contributions and service to health care institutions and associations. Petasnick will receive the award at a ceremony on May 2 at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Petasnick served as chair of the AHA Board of Trustees in 2008 and was instrumental in developing AHA’s positions on delivery system organization and integration through his chairmanship of several AHA task forces. He currently chairs AHA’s Health Forum.

“Bill brought a keen understanding of the health care field and deep policy expertise to his tenure on the AHA board,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “His strong record of collaboration and commitment to improving health care exemplified effective hospital leadership.”    

As president and CEO of Froedtert Health, Petasnick created an extensive health care network that balanced the needs of many types of communities, patients and hospitals, including community hospitals, academic medical centers and public hospitals. He was a founder of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to improving coverage and access for Milwaukee-area’s vulnerable patients and communities. 

Prior to becoming the CEO and president of Froedtert Hospital, Petasnick served in other professional roles as administrator of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic in Iowa City, Iowa; director of operations, University of North Carolina Hospitals and Clinics in Chapel Hill, N.C.; associate director, University of Wisconsin Hospitals & Clinics in Madison, Wisc.; special assistant to the director, University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, Mich.; and commissioned officer, United States Public Health Service in Washington. 

He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor’s of arts from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in health care administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 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. For more information, visit the AHA website at

About AHA


Member Constituency Sections

Key Relationships

News Center

Performance Improvement

Advocacy Issues

Products & Services


Research & Trends


155 N. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60606

800 10th Street, N.W.
Two CityCenter, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20001-4956