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Cody Regional Health's Keith Ungrund Honored with WHA Healthcare Leadership Award

Cody Regional Health's Keith Ungrund Honored with WHA Healthcare Leadership Award

Cody Regional Health is thrilled to announce that Keith Ungrund, our esteemed Chief Clinical Officer, has been recognized with the prestigious Wyoming Hospital Association (WHA) Healthcare Leadership Award. This distinguished honor was presented during the WHA's 2023 Annual Meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming, held on August 30th and 31st.

The WHA Healthcare Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to healthcare leadership in the state of Wyoming. This year's award ceremony celebrated a select group of outstanding recipients, including Governor Mark Gordon, Rick Pollack (President and CEO of the American Hospital Association), and four remarkable nurse leaders from across the state.

Rick Pollack, a renowned figure in the healthcare industry, received the inaugural Healthcare Leadership Award for his exceptional leadership and advocacy during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. His tireless efforts ensured that hospitals had the necessary resources to combat the pandemic's effects and supported the delivery of healthcare in every community. Rick Pollack's commitment to protecting vital healthcare programs like the 340b program, fighting for fair Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, and opposing site-neutral payments demonstrates his unwavering dedication to healthcare access in Wyoming and beyond.

Governor Mark Gordon was also honored for his remarkable leadership during the pandemic and his pivotal role in securing essential funding for various healthcare sectors. His support stabilized staffing in hospitals, nursing homes, EMS services, and other healthcare areas, preparing them to respond to the evolving challenges of the virus. Governor Gordon's advocacy extended to crucial legislative actions, such as Plans of Safe Care for newborns and Medicaid postpartum coverage extension, benefiting Wyoming's children and mothers. Furthermore, he facilitated the largest Medicaid rate increase for nursing homes in decades, vital for the well-being of Wyoming's aging population.

The final WHA Healthcare Leadership Awards were bestowed upon four courageous nurses, including Keith Ungrund, who tirelessly advocated for enhanced criminal penalties for violence against healthcare workers. Despite facing numerous challenges and indifference, these nurses dedicated themselves to drafting legislative language, engaging policymakers, and sharing their real-life experiences of workplace violence. Their efforts highlight the urgent need to create safe working environments in healthcare settings, where healthcare workers are five times more likely to experience violence. Although victory was not achieved in the 2023 legislative session, the fight for safer workplaces in Wyoming hospitals continues, thanks to the commitment of Tracy Garcia, Nicole Rooney, Arlene Campeau, and Keith Ungrund.

Cody Regional Health extends its heartfelt congratulations to Keith Ungrund and all the honorees for their unwavering dedication to healthcare in Wyoming. Their exemplary work and compassion have made Wyoming a better place and have reinforced the importance of safe working environments in healthcare. We are proud to have Keith Ungrund as a member of our leadership team and commend him for this well-deserved recognition.