May 11, 2024

Regenstrief Institute President and CEO gives commencement speech at UW-Green Bay

Regenstrief Institute President and Chief Executive Officer Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH, spoke to students graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s associate, undergraduate and graduate programs at 9:30 a.m. on May 11, 2024, during the university’s commencement ceremony. Dr. Patzer is an alumna of UW-Madison.  

The graduation consisted of two commencement ceremonies held at the Kress Events Center on the Green Bay Campus. Dr. Patzer spoke to family, friends and graduates of the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences during the morning ceremony. During the afternoon ceremony the President of the College of Menominee Nation Christopher Caldwell, an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, spoke at the ceremony for the graduates of the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. 

More than 1,100 students gathered for both commencement ceremonies. 

In her speech, Dr. Patzer shared with the graduates four themes that helped her shape who she would become and how each left an indelible mark on her work and personal life. The four themes are: 

  • The importance of listening 
  • People, community and co-creation to solve problems 
  • Lifelong learning and also unlearning 
  • Change is growth 

Dr. Patzer finished the commencement speech with a reference to the Parable of the Trapeze, by Danaan Perry, and the words of affirmation, “With your community as your safety net underneath you, and alongside you, I’m here to tell you that you’ve got this.”   

Regenstrief Institute is an internationally renowned research organization with specializations in health data standards and interoperability and research data management of one of the oldest and largest health information exchanges in the world. The Institute is dedicated to developing, conducting and disseminating impactful research in health systems and across communities, including aging, biomedical informatics and health services research. 

Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH
In addition to her roles as president and CEO and research scientist with Regenstrief Institute, Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH, serves as the Leonard Betley Professor of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Dr. Patzer is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with a strong focus on healthcare access, quality of healthcare delivery and outcomes. Her research centers on such key areas as disparities, social determinants of health, community-based participatory research, predictive analytics, healthcare quality and health policy evaluations. She has been instrumental in reshaping the national organ transplantation paradigm, advocating for a population health approach to inform quality measures, policies and equitable solutions. 

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