Matt Heywood. (Contributed)

Aspirus CEO Matt Heywood receives honorary degree

Metro Wire Staff

Matt Heywood is now an honorary doctor.

Heywood, President and CEO of Aspirus Health, received an honorary Doctor of Medical Science degree from The Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin (MCW-CW) during the school’s virtual commencement ceremony that was broadcast on May 28.

Heywood also served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker, celebrating the 24 medical doctor (MD) graduates of MCW-Central Wisconsin’s class of 2021.

Heywood received the honorary Doctor of Medical Science degree in recognition of his personal commitment to the success of the MCW-Central Wisconsin campus and his commitment of Aspirus resources to ensuring excellence in the education of MCW-CW’s students.

Lisa Grill Dodson, MD, Sentry Dean and Founding Dean for MCW-CW, recounted her first meeting with Heywood in 2014.

“Matt’s north star is to continue to grow Aspirus into the best rural health system in the country, and mine is to provide locally trained and culturally competent physicians to provide care to our northern Wisconsin communities,” Dodson said. “A partnership formed [between MCW-CW and Aspirus] that is transforming the care available to the communities that Aspirus serves. Throughout the extensive involvement of our students with Aspirus physicians, facilities and services, and initiatives such as the Aspirus Scholars Program that supports student tuition in return for future service, MCW-CW students are learning to care for and about the community that many of them will serve.”

Heywood joined Aspirus Health as its President and CEO in June 2013. He has more than 30 years of experience in health care leadership and consulting. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Government Relations from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Michigan School of Business.

Active in the community, he recently completed his term on the United Way of Marathon County Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Woodson YMCA Foundation Board of Directors and the Wisconsin Hospital Association Board of Directors.

In his keynote address, Heywood discussed the piece of advice he’s kept coming back to throughout his life and career: To live our lives with no regrets. He encouraged graduates to regularly ask themselves what impact they want to leave on the world and outlined five ways to self-reflect on becoming one’s true best self, sharing three instances in his life when he lived this advice.

“You will make many decisions in your life,” Heywood said. “Commit to not go through life on autopilot. Self-reflect—self-reflect often. Be honest with yourself. Be kind to yourself. And live your true best self. Live a life you will not regret. A life that will have made a difference in your own intentional way.”

More than 1,400 students are enrolled in The Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Central Wisconsin. MCW-Central Wisconsin partners with health systems in northern Wisconsin—including Aspirus Health—to train the next generation of physicians for the region.