Statement from Peggy Troy, President and CEO, Children’s Wisconsin

“Jay Rothman served as chair of the board of directors for Children’s Wisconsin from 2014-2018, during a critical strategic planning process that continues to guide us. Before that, he served as chair of Children’s Quality Committee and of our Foundation board. In these voluntary roles, Jay dedicated significant time to know our organization inside and out—our physicians and staff; our mission and culture as an academic medical center that provides care and conducts research; as well as our complex business environment. I consider him a lifelong advisor, a mentor and a friend.

The UW System is getting a leader of high intellect, integrity and exceptional work ethic. What I appreciated most about Jay as board member was that his leadership always started with mission: how can we better serve the kids of Wisconsin? Before anything else, that was the question that drove his counsel and his decision-making. Much like higher ed, while the health care competitive environment can feel like a tough business, Jay understood that it’s truly about people—whether the families we serve, or the faculty, providers and staff who make up the organization.

Jay models patience and wisdom: no matter the situation Children’s faced, Jay asked thoughtful questions, wanted to hear different perspectives and avoided jumping to conclusions. Importantly, Jay seeks out differing opinions and really listens.  And yet, when the time came for a vote or a decision, everyone knew where he stood–and as CEO, I knew that he would be there after the hard calls.

We made so many important decisions as a health care system during his time, from recruiting an internationally-known heart surgeon for our Herma Heart Institute, to expanding our investment in community health and access to care through our health plan, to accelerating our fund raising to record levels. Children’s Wisconsin is better today because of his engagement as our Board Chair and I for one, am excited to see what he will bring to the UW System.”