Pioneer Award

Pioneer Award

The Texas Hospital Association's Pioneer Award is given to a CEO/administrator of a rural hospital or health care system who demonstrates creative and innovative management achievements and leadership within the organization and the community.

Ollie Jo Bozeman, 512/465-1007

2020 Award Winner

photo of Adam Willmann

Adam Willmann joined Goodall-Witcher Hospital Authority as CEO in 2012. He oversees a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 40-bed nursing facility, two rural health clinics, a home health agency and a wellness center. Willmann has no shortage of responsibilities, and he fulfills each one with creativity, commitment and perseverance.

Willmann was vital in developing a rural collaboration with neighboring hospitals to bring new surgical services to his community. Due to low volumes at each hospital, recruiting surgeons was a challenge. By partnering together and aggregating patients and resources, Willmann piloted a program that successfully recruited surgeons to the area. The collaboration has improved lives and health outcomes along with reduced travel burdens.

Most recently, Willmann led the effort to pass a new hospital district in Bosque County. Through relationships with his community, Willmann was able to advocate for the ballot initiative successfully.

"It is likely the ballot initiative would have failed without Adam's tireless effort and deep community connections. He accepted every invitation to speak at social gatherings to educate the community, and even worked election plugs into an assignment calling at the local bingo hall – that's country," said John Henderson, president and CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals.

Also, Willmann has expanded women's health and psychiatric services, increased net revenue, established a new rural health clinic, implemented a 340B drug program and more during his nine-year tenure.

Willmann serves on THA's council of policy and development, leadership development council and the HOSPAC board of directors. He is also the current chair of the board at TORCH and is active in the Clifton Chamber of Commerce.

A native of Clifton, Willmann was born at the hospital he serves – furthering his dedication to the organization and his community. Willmann received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Health Administration at Texas A&M University.

Please join THA in congratulating Adam Willmann as the winner of the 2020 Pioneer Award.

*This award is sponsored by the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange.

Created by THA’s Rural Hospital Constituency Council, the Pioneer Award honors a rural hospital administrator or CEO who demonstrates creative and innovative leadership in the organization and community he or she serves.

Every year since 2004, THA has honored one rural hospital CEO with the Pioneer Award. Each recipient has set a standard of excellence in leadership and community service that exemplifies THA’s commitment to the health care industry.

Nominees must be a CEO or administrator of a rural/small hospital that is an active Type 1 THA member.

Selection Criteria
Nominees must demonstrate creative or innovative management achievements and leadership within their organizations and the communities served. Nominees also may be recognized for their collective body of work following several years of service as a rural hospital executive.

Nominations may be supported by letters; press releases; financial information; information about patient outcomes, programs and services and any other information that validates the candidate’s leadership achievements (maximum 15 pages, including CV/resume).

Nominations may be submitted by a member of the Rural Hospital Constituency Council, a member of the nominee’s hospital staff, or a member of the community served by the hospital.

Selection Process
The Rural Hospital Constituency Council reviews all nominations and selects the award recipient by majority vote.

The honoree will be featured in THA publications and recognized at the THA 2022 Annual Conference and Expo, Feb. 7-9.

Step 1. Complete the nomination form.

Step 2. Attach up to 15 pages of supporting documents, including a one-page summary of the nominee’s professional achievements and contributions to the health care industry.

Step 3. Be sure all materials are completed and submitted by September 30, 2021.

Questions? Contact Ollie Jo Bozeman at or 512/465-1007.

2020: Adam Willmann, FACHE, CEO, Goodall Witcher Hospital Authority - Clifton

2019: Nathan Tudor, CEO, El Campo Memorial Hospital

2018: Robbie Dewberry, CEO, Mitchell County Hospital, Colorado City

2017: J. Patrick Murray, president/CEO , Peterson Regional Medical Center, Kerrville

2016: Dianne Yeager, RN, CEO, Crane Memorial Hospital

2015: Brian Burnside, FACHE, CEO, Connally Memorial Medical Center, Floresville

2014: Janice Simons, FACHE, CEO, Medina Healthcare System, Hondo

2013: William H. Barnes, FACHE, administrator/CEO, Sweeny Community Hospital

2012: Penny Gray, RN, administrator/CEO, Limestone Medical Center, Groesbeck

2011: James E. Vanek, administrator/CEO, Lavaca Medical Center, Hallettsville

2010: Karen Barber, RN, CEO, Yoakum Community Hospital

2009: Keith Butler, CEO, Lillian M. Hudspeth Memorial Hospital, Sonora

2008: Teresa Callahan, RN, CEO, Iraan General Hospital

2007: Russell Tippin, administrator/CEO, Pecos Memorial Hospital, Fort Stockton

2006: Sandra Jackson, Ed.D., RN, CEO/chief nursing officer, Tyler County Hospital, Woodville

2005: Robert A. Pascasio, administrator and CEO, Bayside Community Hospital, Anahuac

2004: Michael Hare, CEO, DeLeon Hospital and Evan Moore, CEO, Comanche Community Hospital