Mission: to advance the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting medical education and health initiatives.

Foundation event featured awards and laughs

The Foundation’s Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction, held April 5 in Madison, featured a lighthearted comedy theme and recognition of several outstanding award recipients. Honorees were surprised with a song written and performed specifically for them to make the award presentation fun and memorable.

More than 400 physicians and other guests attended the Foundation’s annual Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction, held April 5 in Madison, to support the Foundation and enjoy an evening of laughs. The fun started with photo booth pictures using silly props and continued with a large silent auction and popular grab bag sale. After dinner, awards were presented before a comedy improv group took the stage to provide some hearty laughs.


Foundation President Claudia Reardon, MD, presented these awards:

  • Superhero of Medicine Award: Ritu Bhatnagar, MD, UnityPoint Health Meriter-NewStart in Madison. Established in 2014, the Superhero of Medicine Award is presented annually to a physician from among those nominated for having superpower-like attributes and using them to go above and beyond the call of their profession. Click here to read more.
  • Kenneth M. Viste, Jr., MD, Young Physician Leadership Award: Gurdesh Singh Bedi, MD, St. Croix Regional Medical Center in St. Croix Falls. This award is presented each year to a young physician who demonstrates commitment to patients, the medical profession and the community. Click here to read more.
  • Champion of Veterans’ Health Award: Matthew Crowe, MD, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. Sponsored by WPS Health Solutions, this award recognizes a physician who goes above and beyond to serve military veterans outside of the clinic. Click here to read more.
  • Presidential Scholar Award: Sierra Tackett, Medical College of Wisconsin. Funded by current and past leaders of the Wisconsin Medical Society and Foundation, the award is presented annually to a student entering his or her final year of medical school who has exemplified the attributes, skills and desire to become a leader in the medical profession in Wisconsin. Click here to read more.

The evening also included recognition of Donald Gore, MD, who, with his late wife Jackie, established the Robert “Jason” Gore Scholarship in honor of his grandson, who was killed in Iraq in 2005. Several of Dr. Gore’s family members attended, and he was joined on stage by five students, residents or young physicians who have been honored with the scholarship in recent years.

The event was emceed by Quan “Coki” Ta, MD, a resident at the University of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry who has improv training. His fiancé, Kathy Groat, joined Joe Thompson, James McDonnell, MD, Ken Lonnquist, and Paul Staszak on stage as the improv group and singers providing entertainment for the evening.

Thank you to all who attended or contributed in any way to the success of this year’s event. Funds raised will allow the Foundation to support more health education and research initiatives across the state. Visit our Facebook page for photos from the evening and mark your calendar to join us next year’s event tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 17, 2020.