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Faculty member receives top honors for commitment to healthcare

By Philip Hadley
University News Service
January 29, 2008


Wayne Sorensen

Wayne Sorensen, associate professor in the school of health administration at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been named the recipient of one of two American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 2008 Gold Medal Awards.

This award is ACHE’s highest honor. It is bestowed on outstanding leaders who, through a career of service, have made significant contributions to the healthcare field. The award recognizes individuals who go beyond the confines of their own organization to continually contribute to the improvement of healthcare services and community health.

Sorensen said he is still in a state of disbelief about receiving the prestigious award. He said he is glad to be bringing this award home to Texas State.

“At first I was shocked,” Sorensen said. “The gold medal award is not casually awarded. You don’t get it for doing ordinary work. I think it’s something that we have as a distinction at Texas State. We have a good program that is recognized as one of the best in the country and I’m proud to be part of that.”

Sorenson has dedicated his life to improving the healthcare industry locally and internationally. In 1998, under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, he traveled with colleagues to the former Soviet Union to help healthcare service providers make a transition from a totalitarian society into one that was more open and democratic.

“We traveled to the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan,” Sorenson said. “We ran workshops to get people to think differently about how healthcare is organized and delivered.  We would bring in doctors and nurses and sit them down and expose them to a different way to look at healthcare delivery.”

Sorensen has also worked with the Commission on Accreditation for Health Management Education to improve health service education in the United States.

“Since arriving at Texas State in 1993 I have worked in the school of health administration and with our accrediting agency to collaborate and try to make this the best possible program and service to the community of healthcare that we possibly can,” he said.

The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. ACHE is known for its prestigious credentialing and educational programs.

Sorensen will receive the award on March 10 in Chicago at the ACHE’s annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership, which draws more than 4,000 participants each year. For more information contact Wayne Sorensen by email at wbsorensen@txstate.edu or by phone at (512) 245-2238.