Each year the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) presents several awards to outstanding physicians who go above and beyond for their profession, patients and communities. This year Michelle Clark-Forsting, MD, was presented with the Physician Citizen of the Year Award, Michael Miller, MD, received the Director’s Award and Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, was awarded the Presidential Citation.
2021 Physician Citizen of the Year Award
Each year, this prestigious award is bestowed to one or more Wisconsin physicians who have made tremendous contributions to their community. Michelle Clark-Forsting, MD, was nominated because of her extraordinary efforts but primarily her involvement in many community initiatives throughout her life. She leads by example exploring ways to improve the health and well-being of her community.
The Society Board of Directors commended Dr. Clark-Forsting for her dedication to her community by encouraging community members to provide meals for families struggling financially from the pandemic and providing education on how to stop the spread of COVID-19. She was instrumental in not only successful events like the Community Santa Event and the Cuddle Bear Drive, but also the development of the Hospice Teen Volunteer Program at the Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) that has engaged teens in their communities while they learned about the health care field, leading to ongoing teen volunteerism at BRMH.
Dr. Clark-Forsting is a true inspiration to her peers and has earned the deep appreciation of her patients and their families and the utmost respect of colleagues and community.
The Wisconsin Medical Society asks the people of Wisconsin to nominate physicians for the Society’s Physician Citizen of the Year Award. The Society’s Board of Directors finds it rewarding to read the nominations put forth by community members, patients, colleagues and others.
Congratulate Clark-Forsting via WisMed Community.
The Director's Award was presented to Michael Miller, MD, Madison. Established in 1928, this award is the Society’s highest honor, given to recognize outstanding physicians who have served the medical profession with integrity and honor and who have made numerous and substantial contributions to the profession and the community.
Throughout his career, Dr. Miller has been involved with the Society in many ways, most notably as Speaker. Dr. Miller has also made a longstanding commitment as an AMA Delegate/Alternate along with involvement in the AMA Council on Science and Public Health. He has also served as President and Board Chair of his national specialty society (ASAM), President and Board Chair of his county medical Society (Dane County) and as a Director of his specialty board (ABAM).
Congratulate Dr. Miller via WisMed Community.
Past recipients of the award include: Barbara Hummel, MD (2020); Darold Treffert, MD (2019); Timothy McAvoy, MD (2018); Susan L. Turney, MD (2017); George M. Lange, MD (2016); John Frey, MD (2015); No recipient (2014); No recipient (2013); No recipient (2012); No recipient (2011); Clarence Chou, MD (2010); Carl S.L. Eisenberg, MD (2009); Robert Phillips, MD (2008); Cyril (Kim) Hetsko, MD (2007); Philip Farrell, MD (2006); Mark Andrew, MD (2005); Jack Lockhart, MD (2004); William J. Listwan, MD (2003); Thomas C. Meyer, MD (2002); Sandra Osborn, MD (2001); Richard Roberts, MD (2000); Richard Ulmer, MD (1999); no award in 1998; Timothy Flaherty, MD (1997); J D Kabler, MD (posthumously - 1996); John K. Scott, MD (1995); Kenneth Viste, Jr., MD (1994); Richard W. Edwards, MD and William Harlan (1993); and Gerald Kempthorne, MD (1992).
The Presidential Citation was presented to Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, Madison. The award was established in 1959 to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to medicine and to the public’s health.
Dr. Westergaard is the current Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Division of Public Health, at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Dr. Westergaard has been honored for his leadership in addressing the pandemic of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, exhibited by his communication with both Public Health Agencies and physicians, keeping them abreast of the most current scientific evidence, guidance and resources.
Past recipients include: Christine Sinsky, MD (2020); Robert Jaeger, MD (2019); Alan Schwartzstein, MD (2018); Attorney General Brad Schimel (2017); U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan and Clarence Chou, MD (2016); U.S Congressman Ron Kind and Tom Jackson, MD (2015); U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Congressman Reid Ribble (2014); Sara Finger (2013); Thomas Lewandowski, MD and Anthony DeFranco, MD (2012); Cyril (Kim) Hetsko, MD (2011); Phillip Farrell, MD (2010); T. Michael Bolger (2009); Thomas C. Meyer, MD (2008); Helene Nelson (2007); Paul Wertsch, MD (2006); Raymond Zastrow, MD (2005); DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson (2004); Kermit L. Newcomer, MD (2003); Congressman Tom Barrett (2002); John Chapin (2001); Pauline Jackson, MD (2000); Phil Dougherty, MD (1999); Attorney General James Doyle (1998); State Representative Sheldon Wasserman, MD (1997); Sue Ann Thompson (1996); the Wausau Boy Scout Troop 465, Student Peer Mediation Council-James Madison Memorial High School, Viroqua High School, Students Against Violence of Milwaukee, Positive Youth Development (1995); Patricia Stuff, MD (1994), Kevin Fullin, MD and Patty Fullin (1993); and Thomas Schlenker, MD (1992).
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