Dr. Bill Gorski who for the past 16 years has been president and CEO of SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, will retire from his position effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Michael Born, currently SwedishAmerican’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer, will succeed Dr. Gorski as president and CEO.
“Dr. Gorski has been an incredible CEO for SwedishAmerican focusing on quality healthcare, greater access, and community service and need,” said Dan Ross, SwedishAmerican Board chairman. “I have been impressed with Dr. Gorski’s steady demeanor and vast knowledge and understanding of healthcare and its many stakeholders as he has led Swedes to great achievement in a time of dynamic change. In addition, he has built a deep and broad management team who are ready and able to succeed him.”
Dr. Gorski and his wife Sue moved to Rockford in 1977, as he began his residency in family practice at the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Rockford. Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Gorski joined the Five Points Family Medicine practice where he served thousands of patients over the next 20 years.
Five Points was one of the original practices that came together to create the SwedishAmerican Medical Group in 1994, and Dr. Gorski was named the Medical Group’s first president, serving in that role from 1994-2001. He later served concurrently as SwedishAmerican’s Chief Medical Officer in 2000 and 2001. He was named CEO in 2001, following Dr. Bob Klint.
“It has been the honor of my professional life to serve as the President and CEO of SwedishAmerican Health System,” Dr. Gorski said. “Together we have built the largest and most preferred health system in our region. Most importantly, we have done so while always remaining true to our mission, vision and values, and in so doing honoring the trust that our patients place in us.”
Under Dr. Gorski’s leadership, SwedishAmerican has achieved numerous awards and recognitions for quality healthcare outcomes, high patient and employee satisfaction, successful physician recruitment and relationships, market leading volumes and preference, and solid financial growth. Major capital expansions and technology investments totaling more than half a Billion dollars have been added to the Health System.
On the SwedishAmerican flagship hospital campus in downtown Rockford, a four-story heart hospital opened, modern emergency room expanded, East State Street outpatient concourse and Charles Street lobby were built, renovations in surgery and patient floors completed, and new physician office towers including the Renaissance Pavilion and Ninth Street Center were built and occupied.
The acquisition and renovation of a community hospital medical center in Belvidere with a focus on cost effective ambulatory services, and 24-hour emergency care started serving patients in 2010. The SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center opened in 2013 in conjunction with the internationally recognized University of Wisconsin Health and served as a catalyst for SwedishAmerican’s merger with UW Health in 2015. In addition, major outpatient facilities, physician offices, and home health care were provided in communities across Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle Counties.
Dr. Gorski has led SwedishAmerican in mutually beneficial partnerships with local agencies and independent physicians. In the area of mental health, SwedishAmerican and Rosecrance have worked cooperatively to provide behavioral health in our region with SwedishAmerican investing more than $5 million annually in inpatient behavioral health services.
During Dr. Gorski’s tenure, SwedishAmerican continued neighborhood redevelopment through fund raising and project coordination by its Foundation. Twenty-six new homes have been constructed, and another 120 houses and two apartment buildings have been renovated in the hospital neighborhood. This past year, SwedishAmerican and its Foundation rehabbed and opened a Strong Neighborhood House in conjunction with Rockford Police Department and in cooperation with local agencies including the United Way.
A native of Naperville, Dr. Gorski received his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in Ohio in 1973, where he was elected to Phi Betta Kappa national honor society and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati.
A frequent public speaker, Dr. Gorski is currently on the Transform Rockford Steering committee, a member of the Board of Alignment Rockford, member of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, past chairman of the Rockford Health Council, as well as a member of numerous community boards. He has chaired successful local fund raising campaigns for Rockford Public Schools, United Way, and Rock Valley College Foundation.
He and his wife, Sue, have been married 44 years. They have four adult children and three grandchildren with a fourth on the way. They plan to remain in Rockford as Dr. Gorski will provide consulting assistance to incoming CEO Dr. Born and the SwedishAmerican and UW Boards on special projects, as well as remain active in the community.
With Dr. Born becoming the SwedishAmerican CEO on July 1, Dr. Mike Polizzotto will become the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Medical Information Officer. Dr. Thomas Schiller, currently Chief Clinical Integration Officer, will add Chief Quality Officer to his title.