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December Member Highlight

December 02, 2019 9:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Vickie Wenzel

Director, Learning and Development, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors

President, Sauk Prairie Healthcare Board

Vickie has been a team member of the same organization for many years, joining in 1977 as a college intern. She has been blessed to have a myriad of roles and responsibilities as the company grew as Rowley Schlimgen. The company was sold in 2000 to become a division of Target. She is now privileged to have acquired stock when her team repurchased the organization in 2015, now named Atmosphere Commercial Interiors. In addition to her work responsibilities, Vickie joined Sauk Prairie Healthcare Board of Directors in 2010 and has held several roles including chair of the Quality Committee, Board Secretary and now Board President.

Atmosphere Commercial Interiors is the 3rd largest Steelcase dealer in North America, with 400 team members and over $200M in annual sales. Vickie reports to the CEO, has responsibilities in all of Atmosphere’s regions and serves as a member of the senior leadership team. Atmosphere Commercial Interior’s Madison Office was named one of Madison Magazine’s best places to work in 2019 and the Wisconsin Regional Vice President was named In Business’s Executive of the Year for 2019.

Sauk Prairie Healthcare is an independent acute care hospital with two surgical specialty practices as well as four primary care clinics, a robust wellness center, and an active foundation. They provide care for more than 40,000 people in their service area, which extends from Poynette to Lone Rock and from Plain to Black Earth.

Sauk Prairie Healthcare is well known for their Orthopedics / Sports Medicine practice, providing joint replacement surgeries for patients throughout Wisconsin and beyond. In 2014, the team celebrated opening the newly constructed hospital/campus and they are well-positioned for continued growth. Their vision is to set the standard for community-based healthcare that improves the health and quality of the lives of the people they serve.

Vickie shared, Healthcare boards, like other for-profit or non-profit boards, have oversight over Administration (the CEO) who manage the business. Healthcare boards also oversee the Medical Staff, who are accountable for the quality of the medical care provided.

In general, boards have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of a person or organization. Healthcare boards have a two-way fiduciary responsibility; we must act in the best interests of both the organization and the communities we serve.

Some non-profits are organized for fund development. Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Foundation is a separate entity with a separate board. Their mission is to foster charitable giving that supports the vision of Sauk Prairie Healthcare, provide sound stewardship of contributions and advance the health of our communities. Vickie also functions as a Liasion to the Foundation Board, attending their strategic meeting.

Since joining the board Vickie has been a passionate supporter of behavioral health. The seed was planted early on in her board service when one of the primary care physicians describe profound difficulties in finding solutions for their patients. Behavioral Health is one of the three top underserved needs in the communities served and with the board’s advocacy and support is now one of Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Strategic Initiatives.

For those interested in board service, consider how you can contribute. Board recruitment efforts often focus on finding finance and legal expertise. Also, senior leadership skill sets such as critical thinking, negotiation, communication skills and more are valued. Consider how you can apply the skills you have used in your practice in a new setting. Ask those doing the recruitment what they are looking for; they likely have a skills grid.

Even if your organization supports time spent on a role like this, the amount of responsibility can include a good deal of personal time. There are early morning and/or evening meetings, educational conferences and community events to attend.

Some non-profit boards have clear expectations about financial contributions. In other cases, it is not expected but it is still the right thing to do. It is a good question to ask before committing to a board role.

In the case of Sauk Prairie Healthcare, expectations were set that onboarding can take a few years to learn the interworking (and acronyms!) of healthcare. Therefore, they ask members to fulfill three (3) 3-year term commitments. They also have regular educational sessions for the entire board.

For Vickie, the Sauk Prairie Healthcare mission spoke to her.  “Extraordinary healthcare from the heart, one person at a time.” 

Vickie also shared that 2020 will mark a significant transition in her career. Her board term with Sauk Prairie Healthcare will conclude in April and she will retire from Atmosphere Commercial Interior in August. She looks forward to activities with the Tempo Rewirees!

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