UW Health announces CEO to retire

Hospital spokesperson will not comment on email
UW Health announces CEO to retire
Donna Katen-Bahensky

The president and CEO of UWHC will be retiring after her position was eliminated.

A release from UW Health said Donna Katen-Bahensky’s retirement will be effective Sept. 1.

“Ms. Katen-Bahensky explained that, as part of the ongoing and important effort to bring UWHC and its physicians group, the UW Medical Foundation, into a single integrated organization, the decision was made to eliminate her position,” an email sent to employees said. “As a result and after careful consideration, she has decided to retire.”

Katen-Bahensky started as CEO and president of UWHC in February 2008.

Prior to that, she served as CEO at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, as well as the senior associate vice president for Medical Affairs at University of Iowa Health Care. Katen-Bahensky also served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and Clinics.

In a statement, Katen-Bahensky said she was proud of the work done while she was there.

“Most of the core goals I have set for UWHC have been achieved and I am proud of what we have done,” she said. “I feel I have set the stage for this organization to continue its success as a high-performance hospital, an outstanding workplace and an environment where physicians and staff can thrive and grow their careers.”

“UWHC has just been named to top hospital in the State of Wisconsin by U.S. News and World Report for the third straight year. Donna has continuously demonstrated her commitment to staff members and worked diligently to develop and maintain an outstanding work environment,” Chair of the UWHC Authority Board David Walsh said in the email. “We are grateful for her years of service and for the legacy that will serve the people of Wisconsin in the future.”

UW Health and SwedishAmerican Health announced a merger in April to broaden the Rockford, Illinois, health system’s reach, reduce costs and get access to capital and technology.

UW Medical Foundation President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Grossman said UW Health wanted to partner  with SwedishAmerican because they share a commitment to promoting the health of the communities they serve.