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Tommy ThompsonTommy Thompson

Heritage Foundation

Tommy G. Thompson

2002 Heritage Foundation Award Winner

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is the fifth recipient of Marshfield Clinic’s Heritage Foundation Award.

Wisconsin’s former governor and his wife Sue Ann were in Madison Sunday, November 17, to receive the honor. This annual award is traditionally presented at a meeting of Marshfield Clinic’s National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC serves as a consultant to Marshfield Clinic and its Division of Research and Education.

Thompson, the 19th individual to serve as HSS secretary, was honored by his friends, family and colleagues, including emcee Mark Bugher, director, University Research Park and chair of the NAC; Marshfield Clinic Executive Director Reed Hall; Chuck Thompson, former secretary, Department of Transportation; University of Wisconsin Chancellor John Wiley; Melvin R. Laird, former 7th District representative from Wisconsin and former Secretary of Defense in the Nixon Administration, via videotaped comments; and Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Marshfield Clinic President Frederic P. Wesbrook, M.D., presented Thompson with the award.

Dr. Wesbrook said: "We are in the presence of America’s first family of health care. Not only does the Secretary lead the world’s largest health care organization, but Sue Ann leads the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation." Dr. Wesbrook continued, "Secretary Thompson has always been a champion for reform. He has an extraordinary track record for finding innovative solutions for solving big problems, previously in the state of Wisconsin and now in the nation. He clearly has been an American of major influence with Wisconsin roots. He’s got this track record of innovations and solutions for complex social problems. In my view, when the nation needs health care reform, he is the perfect person to be leading the world’s largest health care agency."

In a videotaped tribute, Melvin R. Laird, the 1998 recipient of the Heritage Foundation award, thanked Thompson and paid tribute to him and his work at HSS. "The job you’re doing is appreciated by all of us in Wisconsin and at Marshfield Clinic. You have a big job and you’re doing it well. We salute you."

Thompson, as he accepted the Heritage Award, said that "I live in Washington, D.C., but my heart, my home, my passion is always in Wisconsin. It’s also no accident that a state as full of great people as Wisconsin is home to Marshfield Clinic, this great institution of healing, hope and compassion."

Read Secretary Thompson's biography.

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