CEO of Gundersen Health System Receives White House Champion of Change Award
Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today congratulated Dr. Jeff Thompson, CEO of Gundersen Health System of La Crosse, Wis., for being selected by President Obama as one of 11 “Champions of Change” who are working to strengthen public health in a changing climate.
Dr. Thompson is being recognized at the White House this morning for his visionary leadership in environmental stewardship for health care organizations. Under his leadership, Gundersen is poised to become energy independent in 2014, and the first health care organization in the country to achieve this goal. Baldwin nominated Dr. Thompson for a White House Champion for Change award in the area of Climate and Health.
“One of my first visits as a U.S. Senator was to Gundersen to see the innovative “Made in Wisconsin” leadership they exhibit in the areas of health care and energy independence. I was honored to nominate Dr. Thompson for this recognition and it is well deserved - he is a perfect example of our state’s innovative leadership that can serve as a model for the rest of the nation,” said Baldwin. “With significant energy and health care challenges facing our nation, we need more leaders like him. Dr. Thompson is a national leader in creatively lowering the cost of health care and is a strong example of a real Wisconsin visionary. His inspiring efforts are absolutely deserving of recognition as a White House Champion of Change.”
Gundersen’s Envision program first focused on energy conservation efforts, resulting in $1.3 million in annual savings through a 25 percent energy reduction. Gundersen’s renewable energy portfolio has resulted in collaboration with government and private organizations that share the same vision of renewable energy, including Organic Valley and the village of Cashton for a wind turbine project to provide enough electricity for 1,000 homes. Additionally, Gundersen partnered with La Crosse County to use waste biogas from a landfill converting it into electricity and heat to make their Onalaska campus 100 percent energy independent. Finally, Gundersen recognizes the importance of investing locally, providing wind turbine energy in Lewiston, Minnesota, along with wood byproducts from the lumber industry for use in a clean biomass boiler to offset nearly 40 percent of their energy independence goal.
Senator Baldwin serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.