River City Six: Shawn Wills
Established in 1958, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital (www.madonna.org) is a national leader in specialized rehabilitation programs. With a $93.6 million expansion project currently underway in Omaha, the new 110-bed, freestanding rehabilitation hospital is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, effectively doubling Madonna’s footprint in the Midwest. Shawn Wills is the Director of National Sales at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.
How did you get started in the business? – I started working at General Casualty Insurance in the mailroom part time while going to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. When I graduated, I started handling workers’ compensation claims for them. I then went on to working in the case management business with a national company, Concentra, and next, The ALARIS Group, where I worked as their National Account Manager for 9 years. I have been at Madonna now for 3 years, with the role of helping to grow our inpatient Worker’s Compensation business. I absolutely love it!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – I really stepped out of my comfort zone professionally when I came to Madonna. Not a lot of carriers fully understood the resources available at Madonna and how we could not only help them locally and regionally, but nationally as well. By sending catastrophic cases to Madonna, carriers are seeing better outcomes and fewer dollars spent in the long run. We are now (finally) seeing the results of our efforts by way of incremental growth.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – There are a lot that I’m proud of; however, I have several in mind that I still want to reach.
Tell us a little about your family. – I grew up in North Platte, NE and am the oldest of three children. I have two children, Dawson (17) and Hanna (15). They both go to Millard West High School.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Working at Madonna has really changed my life. Seeing the severity of the injuries, the impact they have on the lives of our patients and their loved ones, and the struggles to overcome really puts things in perspective. It has made me very thankful for many things and along the same lines, has made the issues I face in my daily life seem much more trivial.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – If I’m not watching my kids’ activities, I really enjoy golfing and am a member at Tiburon.
What are you the most proud of? – I’m most proud of my children and how I have helped raise them. They are both very hard working, responsible, respectful kids who would do anything for their friends and family. I’m biased, but I think they are pretty awesome.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – I actually got it from a conference where Tom Osborne spoke. He said, “Every tragedy or adverse situation you face in life is an opportunity.” I try to remember that when I face tough situations.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – I am on the Board of Directors for a charity called Kids’ Chance of Nebraska (www.kidschanceofne.org). We provide scholarship opportunities to children whose parents have suffered a catastrophic work comp injury or death.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Jams! I love the food and the ambiance.