The Wisconsin Biohealth Summit, held on October 17, 2023, at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, was more than just an opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange; it was a stage for honoring those whose exceptional contributions have pushed the boundaries of innovation in the biohealth sector. The ninth annual Wisconsin Biohealth Awards recognized outstanding scientific and business accomplishments in an industry that continues to thrive and flourish in the state.

BioForward Wisconsin, the driving force behind these prestigious awards, is dedicated to fostering innovation and success within the state’s biohealth sector. The lunchtime awards ceremony was attended by the Summit’s 550 guests, including co-workers, staff, and loved ones of the awardees, in addition to biohealth and associate industry professionals, who gathered to celebrate and honor the exceptional achievements of the awardees.

This year’s recipients were:

Hector F. DeLuca Scientific Achievement Award

Presented to: Dr. Thomas Grist – Professor and Chair, Department of Radiology, UW School of Medicine and Public Health by Fred Lee

Dr. Thomas M. Grist, with a remarkable background in biomedical engineering and medicine, has spent four decades making significant contributions to the field of medical imaging. His leadership as Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has led to remarkable growth in research, education, and clinical practice. Dr. Grist’s pioneering work has resulted in multiple accolades, patents, and the foundation of several Wisconsin-based companies. His dedication to translating imaging technologies into clinical applications has been instrumental in advancing precision diagnostics and treatment.

Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award

Presented to: Chris Miskel – CEO & President, Versiti by Tony Watkins

Chris Miskel, CEO & President of Versiti, has exhibited exemplary leadership in the healthcare industry. Under his guidance, Versiti has achieved significant milestones, expanded its reach, and achieved impressive annual revenue. Miskel’s deep-seated dedication to patient advocacy and fostering an innovative work environment has left an enduring mark on the biohealth business landscape. His strategic vision has played a pivotal role in promoting innovation and progress within Versiti.

Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward, gave a brief history of the awards and acknowledged past recipients, several of whom were present in the room. Lisa then expressed her admiration for this year’s awardees, saying, “These two recipients exemplify and embody what these awards represent. Dr. Thomas Grist’s groundbreaking work in cardiovascular imaging seamlessly aligns with this year’s summit theme, ‘The Next Generation of Personalized Medicine.’ His contributions have been instrumental in advancing precision diagnostics and treatment.”

She also praised Chris Miskel’s “exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to his team,” acknowledging that he was a truly deserving recipient of the Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award.

The Wisconsin Biohealth Awards serve as a reminder that the state is at the forefront of scientific innovation and business leadership in the biohealth sector. The ceremony also highlights the pivotal role played by the Wisconsin Biohealth Summit in fostering collaborative synergy and knowledge exchange among industry experts.

The awards ceremony is a celebration of excellence in the biohealth industry, marking a tradition that began in 2015. It is an occasion to recognize and honor the leadership and innovation that have placed Wisconsin among the top leaders in health solutions.

The awards themselves are more than just tokens of recognition; they are pieces of art designed by local artisan Tim Killinger Design LLC. The Hector F. DeLuca Scientific Achievement Award is inspired by Hector DeLuca’s work with Vitamin D, while the Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award represents the seed of invention and discovery. These awards embody the essence of innovation, wisdom, and growth that characterizes the biohealth industry.

The 2023 Wisconsin Biohealth Awards were not just a recognition of the past but a celebration of the future, where innovation and excellence continue to drive the state’s biohealth industry to new heights.