WSHA presents husband-wife pair Renee and Tom Jensen with annual Joe Hopkins Award

October 14, 2015

Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, WSHA, (206) 216-2894,

WSHA presents husband-wife pair Renee and Tom Jensen with annual Joe Hopkins Award

WSHA presents Joe Hopkins Award to two health care leaders for the first time

SEATTLE— For the first time in its history, the Washington State Hospital Association awarded the prestigious Joe Hopkins Memorial Award for outstanding leadership to two CEOs: Renee Jensen, CEO of Summit Pacific Medical Center, and Tom Jensen, CEO of Grays Harbor Community Hospital. The two leaders were identified by the committee of past recipients for their excellence in serving their communities.“Through their tireless commitment, their creativity, and their sheer determination, Renee and Tom have ensured that their communities will have health care,” said WSHA board chair Gregg Davidson. “The awards committee was unanimous in their desire to see both of them honored. It’s always risky to make an exception, but exceptional people deserve to be recognized.”

The Joe Hopkins Award is named after the former hospital association chair and hospital administrator who lost his battle with cancer in 1987. The award was created in honor of Hopkins’ outstanding leadership and special qualities of warmth, persistence, insight, hardworking attitude and humor. Winners are chosen by a committee of past winners who are seeking to recognize those who represent the Hopkins leadership, commitment and spirit.

“It is humbling to receive such a prestigious award and an honor to stand beside an amazing CEO who just happens to be my husband,” said Renee Jensen. “We are dedicated to improving healthcare and making a difference in Grays Harbor.  It is truly an honor to share my passion, my work and my family with our community.”

“It is an honor to be acknowledged by my peers and to share this accolade with Renée,” said Tom Jensen. “Although I am the CEO of Grays Harbor Community Hospital, my success is gained through the support of the entire team of hospital commissioners, medical providers and staff. Grays Harbor is a great place to live and work. I am proud to be a part of a medical community that is making a difference.”

Fittingly, Joe started as a lab technician at Mark Reed Memorial Hospital, which was built in McCleary in 1954. Under Renee’s leadership, in 2013 the public hospital district built Summit Pacific Medical Center, a state-of-the-art facility which houses emergency, urgent and primary care services.

The Joe Hopkins Award is always announced at WSHA’s Annual Meeting, and is a closely guarded secret until its announced. In his introductory remarks, Davidson said: “As with past winners, this year’s selection embodies the Joe Hopkins qualities of:

  • Working your way up;
  • Creative problem solving in a community with significant economic and health resource challenges;
  • Active engagement in leadership roles beyond their organization;
  • A passion to ensure quality health care for a rural population;
  • The courage to craft a bold vision for the future which engaged staff, providers, community members, funders and elected officials to buy in to that vision;
  • And finally, extraordinary, above and beyond commitment to bringing that vision to reality, and securing the future of health care for their community.

It was a unanimous decision by our selection committee of past Hopkins winners, on who this year’s winner should be this year.  And that decision was that there are TWO extraordinary leaders, equally deserving of this year’s Joe Hopkins award.”

About Renee Jensen
Renée has served as CEO since 2007, beginning at Mark Reed Hospital in McCleary. The hospital district was struggling, but Renée managed a successful financial turnaround.

Renée secured the first USDA loan for hospital construction in Washington State for $19.5 million. In 2013 the $23 million green-field build of Summit Pacific Medical Center was complete and open to the public, and the former hospital was closed.

“With the opening of the new hospital in Elma, modern health care services will be available to the local community for decades to come,” said Ron Hulscher, Fiscal Associate at Summit Pacific in his nomination. “Expansion or services means more citizens receive health services close to home. The only fully-staffed Urgent Care Service in Grays Harbor County is now provided seven days a week.”

Prior to her tenure at Summit Pacific Medical Center, Renée worked for the Columbia County Health System in Dayton, WA and held positions of Associate Administrator, Director of Quality Improvement and Laboratory Manager. Renée has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, a Certification as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry.

She is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a board member for the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), President of the Southwest Washington Hospital Council, member of the WSHA policy committee, President of the Western Washington Rural Healthcare Collaborative and an involved volunteer for many other organizations including the local Chambers.  Renée actively participates in advocacy efforts in Olympia and Washington, D.C. and recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal to receive their 40 under Forty Award for 2014.

About Tom Jensen
Like many local Washington residents, Tom worked in commercial fishing during and after college. He then became involved in construction of healthcare facilities. While working on a hospital project, he was recruited by their Chief Financial Officer and in 1998, he became the director of finance for Inland Northwest Health Services in Spokane. From there, he became director of operations for St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. In 2008, he was recruited as the CEO for Coulee Medical Center. He has been President/CEO of Grays Harbor Community Hospital since 2010.

“Tom has led a financial and structural turnaround of Grays Harbor Community Hospital in just 5 years as CEO,” said hospital board member Pete Scroggs in his nomination of Tom Jensen. “His mix of skills in leadership, finance, and thinking outside the box were exactly what our hospital needed.

“In fact, I’m not sure any other CEO would have had the creativity to think of, as well as the determination to implement the ideas that restored financial stability at the hospital. It’s impossible to put a number on the value of a full-service hospital to a community that would be drastically impacted by the loss of services.”

About WSHA
The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) represents all of Washington’s community hospitals. The association takes a major leadership role in issues that affect delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of health care, with the mission to improve the health status of the residents of Washington State. WSHA is online at

About Grays Harbor Community Hospital: Grays Harbor Community Hospital (GHCH) Aberdeen, Washington, is a comprehensive regional medical center providing quality care to a community of over 90,000 residents covering the 3,000 square miles of Grays Harbor and Pacific counties within Grays Harbor Public Hospital District II.  Established in 1959 Grays Harbor Community Hospital is a 501c 3 nonprofit sole community hospital.  Licensed for 140 beds; services including a level-three trauma designated emergency department, critical care unit, surgical services, and Family Birth Center.  GHCH’s outpatient services include diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation therapies, wound healing center, surgical services, and physician clinics.  Learn more at or


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