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Wisconsin Medical Society names Abrams new CEO

Release Date: February 2, 2012
Contact: Lisa Hildebrand - 608.442.3765 lisa.hildebrand@wismed.org

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) has named William “Rick” Abrams as its new chief executive officer and executive vice president. Abrams, who will join the organization in early April, has served as executive vice president/executive director of the Medical Society of the State of New York since 2004.

The Society’s Board of Directors confirmed Abrams unanimously on Saturday following a national search conducted by a professional search firm under the guidance of member leaders.

Abrams has nearly 25 years of experience in health policy, including eight years addressing federal and state issues that specifically impact physicians.

“Health care is in the midst of tremendous change that is sure to impact every physician and patient in Wisconsin,” said Society Board Chair Kevin Jessen, MD. “Under Rick’s leadership, MSSNY has taken the lead on important issues like the elimination of health care disparities and the implementation and use of health information technology—issues that are every bit as relevant in Wisconsin as they are in New York. We are confident in and look forward to the leadership, expertise and vision Rick brings to the Society as we continue to work to ensure that our patients have access to the high quality, cost-effective care Wisconsin is known for.”

Before joining MSSNY, Abrams served as chief operating officer of the American Health Care Association from 2000 to 2003. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as vice president and then president and CEO of the New Jersey Association of Health Care Facilities. He also worked for New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean in a variety of assignments, including Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, Director of Government Relations in the New Jersey Department of Health, Deputy Attorney General and Assistant Counsel to the Governor. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a juris doctor, cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law.

“I am honored to succeed Dr. Turney and to serve the physicians and patients of Wisconsin,” said Abrams. “The Society has been at the forefront of health care delivery in the great Badger State for more than 170 years. It is a privilege to now be part of this wonderful enterprise.”

Abrams succeeds Susan L. Turney, MD, who became CEO of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), in October 2011. MGMA is the largest national professional association representing medical practice managers and executives.

MSSNY is the largest physician organization in the state of New York, representing over 21,000 physicians. It is also the third largest state-based physician professional organization in the country.

With more than 12,000 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.