boss looking at workers during a business meeting

Visionary Leadership Award

Missouri’s hospitals and health systems increasingly have embraced various strategies to improve the health, clinical and safety outcomes of the patients and communities they serve.

Created in 1999, the Visionary Leadership Award recognizes outstanding achievements in clinical and health outcomes led by the nominee. This award does not focus on building or service line expansion.

Beginning in 2023, to acknowledge the multidisciplinary contributions toward health improvement and support meaningful recognition of the health care workforce, eligibility was expanded to include members of hospital or health system senior leadership.

The award is presented at MHA’s Annual Convention to the selected winner and their chief executive whose organization has demonstrated sustained improvements.

Recipient Selection

The recipient of the Visionary Leadership Award will be selected from all nominations. The MHA Board of Trustee’s chair officers, with support from MHA staff, will review nominations. Nominations will be kept anonymous to the best extent possible. The award winner is announced at MHA’s Annual Convention. The recipient will receive the following.

  • complimentary registration for MHA’s Annual Convention
  • complimentary tickets to the Celebration of Achievement Awards Dinner for the recipient and two guests
  • recognition in a news release to the area and statewide media


Nominations for the 2024 Visionary Leadership Award will be accepted Monday, Feb. 12, through Friday, May 3.


Past Recipients

Click the links to view the winners’ award videos.

2023 Award Winners

Sean J. Hogan
Mercy South
St. Louis


Niki Lee Donawa
Chief Community Relations Officer
University Health Kansas City
Kansas City, Mo.

2023 — Sean J. Hogan and Niki Lee Donawa
2022 — Alan Greimann and Richard Liekweg
2021 — Steven D. Edwards
2020 — Due to the impact of COVID-19 on hospital and health system staff, the 2020 Visionary Leadership Award was suspended.
2019 — Jodi Fincher, R.N.
2018 — Darren Bass
2017 — Laureen K. Tanner
2016 — Ranee C. Brayton and Jeffrey A. Johnston
2015 — John M. Dawes and Col. Peter Nielsen
2014 — Sean J. Hogan and Thomas Keim
2013 — Todd Krass and Ronald A. Ott
2012 — Leah Osbahr and Gary W. Pulsipher
2011 — Marcia R. Dial and James M. Sanger
2010 — David Carpenter and Steven Bjelich
2009 — Denny DeNarvaez and Ed Farnsworth
2008 — Paula Baker and John Grossmeier
2007 — Joseph W. Crossett and James W. Wente
2006 — Crystal Haynes and Wesley E. Murray
2005 — Nancy C. Arnold and Michele Schaefer
2004 — G. Richard Hastings and Michael E. Henze
2003 — John W. Bluford and John W. Richmond
2002 — Gary R. Olson and Michael B. Shirk
2001 — Ralf Salke (Rural) and Kevin F. Kast (Urban)
2000 — Randy S. Wertz (Rural) and Gary D. Duncan (Urban)
1999 — Donald J. Babb (Rural) and Lowell C. Kruse (Urban)

Nomination Forms

Nominations for the 2024 Visionary Leadership Award will be accepted until noon Friday, May 3.


Contact An Expert

Jackie Gatz

Jackie Gatz

Senior Vice President of Quality, Safety and Research

Send Email

573-893-3700 | ext. 1330

Laura Lewis

Laura L. Lewis

Assistant to Senior Vice President of Quality, Safety and Research

Send Email

573-893-3700 | ext. 1307

Back to Top