Contribute to Health Care HR’s Brighter Future

Are you a mid-level HR manager or director who has made outstanding contributions to your organization? If so, you could be the next recipient of the prestigious Gary Willis Leadership Award.

Awarded by AHA Health Forum in partnership with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), the Gary Willis Leadership Award is given to two people each year who have shown a strong commitment to leadership and operational excellence. Each winner will receive a Conference Award supporting his or her attendance at ASHHRA 2017, with ASHHRA covering full ASHHRA 2017 conference registration, 3 nights’ hotel, and airfare.

This year’s winners were announced at the ASHHRA 53rd Annual Conference & Exposition, Sept. 16 – 19, 2017, in Seattle.

Are YOU eligible? Read the application criteria

You must meet these criteria to qualify:

  • Have at least 5 years of health care HR experience Be an ASHHRA member for at least 1 year
  • Hold a mid-level to director position
  • Not be a current ASHHRA board member or past president
Submission Requirements - Important please read

To apply for the Gary Willis Leadership Award, you must submit:

  • Your full contact information
  • A summary of your role at your organization
  • An example of how you contributed to its operational excellence


You will also be required to upload these documents:

  • Resume
  • Reference letter
  • Brief biography (at least 300 words)
The Gary Willis Legacy

Gary Willis believed in the power of Human Resources and Workforce Development. He felt it was the key to building partnerships — the kind that attract the best talent to organizations across the entire health care spectrum. As a member of the ASHHRA Board of Directors and past president of the Montana Society of Healthcare Human Resources Administrators, he won the ASHHRA Outstanding Chapter Achievement Award for 2004, 2005, and 2010.

"Gary Willis loved ASHHRA and his work in human resources. This mountain of a strong Montana man had a heart of gold and a passion for making a difference in our world of HR! His style of leadership and strong values and ethics forged a significant impact on the state of ASHHRA and his footprint remains in the strategies that have become reality and those that are still a work in progress. Although he has passed on, his spirit remains with ASHHRA, and his dedication and passion for our membership will live on."

Bob Walters, ASHHRA Board
Vice President Corporate Director, HR Operations
Health First

Gary Willis, in his own words

Headshot"I believe very strongly in Human Resources and Workforce Development in building a partnership in all areas of health care to ensure that hospitals and health systems are employers of choice. I understand the challenges that we as HR professionals face. We must continue to support the growth of ASHHRA and its members by being on the cutting edge of new technology. We need to pull together a network of partners and build a reputation of trust and respect not only for our CEOs and Boards but for present and future generations going into the health care Workforce."