Distinguished Alumni Award


Stephen Corbeil 84MA

2017 Achievement Award

Stephen E. Corbeil, 84MA, is an innovative leader of hospitals and health care systems who has charted a stable course through the industry’s turbulent changes.

During his distinguished career—which began with a role as chief executive officer of a 137-bed regional referral center, just five years after his graduation from the University of Iowa College of Public Health’s master of health administration program—Corbeil has earned a reputation as an inspiring mentor and forward-thinking executive.

For more than 25 years, he has successfully managed multiple health care organizations in numerous cities and states. He has held senior management positions with Tenet Healthcare in St. Louis and the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in Nashville. In December 2016, he retired as president of TriStar Health, a division of the HCA comprised of 22 hospitals, nine ambulatory surgery centers, and 275 employed physicians in Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky. He now serves as a consultant with HCA, primarily engaged with its executive development program.

“Fundamental changes sweeping the health care arena have required health systems like those under Steve’s direction to develop new business and patient models,” says Sue Curry, the UI’s interim provost and dean of the College of Public Health. “Amid the changes and challenges, Steve has been a steady and strategic guide for the health systems he has served.”

Such guidance included the creation of new business and patient-care models; the integration of patient populations and technologies; and the expansion, renovation, and consolidation of facilities in the various communities served.

Along the way, Corbeil has stayed true to his Hawkeye roots. He is deeply connected to his alma mater, serving on the alumni board for the UI College of Public Health’s Department of Health Management and Policy from 2000 to 2012 and receiving the college’s 2011 Outstanding Alumni Award. He has been active on the college’s campaign committee, and he and his wife, Mary Kay, generously established a fellowship fund for deserving UI master of health administration students.

Corbeil is passionate about nurturing tomorrow’s health care leaders. Not only was he instrumental in developing the HCA’s executive leadership development programs, but he also has been a professional and personal mentor to many UI health management and policy students—and a preceptor for summer interns and post-graduate fellows.

“A familiar HCA saying…is that ‘good people beget good people,’” says R. Milton Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of the Hospital Corporation of America. “This is clearly evident in Steve’s mentorship of young leaders.”

Corbeil also gives back to his community. A fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives, he has served on numerous boards and service organizations—including the board of trustees for Tennessee State University in Nashville, the Governor’s Foundation for Health in Tennessee, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the American Hospital Association.

With great insight and compassion, Stephen E. Corbeil has helped transform our nation’s health care system and ensured patients’ well-being for years to come.

Corbeil is a member of the UI Alumni Association and the UI Foundation’s Presidents Club.


About Distinguished Alumni Awards

Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.


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The Krause Essay Prize and its $10,000 award is presented annually by a unique panel of judges: UI graduate students. Photo: Tim Schoon/UI Office of Strategic Communication Students in the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program's graduate seminar dug into their weekly reading assignments with particular enthusiasm this past spring?and for good reason. By the end of the semester, they were tasked with selecting the best of the bunch for a prestigious award on behalf of a university known for its literary tradition. This marks the 12th year that nonfiction graduate students served as judges for the newly renamed Krause Essay Prize, a national award presented to an essayist who pushes the boundaries of the genre through experimentation, exploration, and discovery. Thought to be the only national literary honor selected by students, the prize is accompanied by a $10,000 award for the first time this year thanks to a new partnership between the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation. Shawn Wen, winner of the 2018 Krause Essay Prize, is the author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, Seneca Review, Iowa Review, White Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. This year's Krause Essay Prize recipient is Shawn Wen, a San Francisco-based multimedia artist and the author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause (Sarabande Books, 2017), a book-length essay on the life of French mime Marcel Marceau. Wen, whom students selected from a pool of 14 nominees, accepted her award at a ceremony in September in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Nicol?s Medina Mora Perez, a third-year MFA student from Mexico City, was among the prize judges in the spring seminar taught by author and Nonfiction Writing Program director John D'Agata (98MFA). Perez said that beyond discussing the merits of the nominated essays each week, class conversations revolved around how they define essay writing and the type of nonfiction they wanted to champion as representatives of the UI. By serving as judges, Perez says, students had the opportunity to read a broad selection of contemporary nonfiction that they may not have otherwise sought out. "By the end of the semester I had a clearer idea of the sort of work that people are publishing today, which includes stuff that I'd like to imitate and stuff that I'd rather not," Perez says. "I guess it's a bit like watching the World Cup with your soccer teammates: You see moves that you think are cool and want to steal for your own gameplay, but you also notice pitfalls that you should learn to avoid." Wen says she's been "over the moon" since learning she was selected as this year's Krause Essay Prize winner. A producer for Youth Radio in Oakland, California, Wen says discovering essay writing "was very much like falling in love" and has long admired the UI's approach to the genre. "When I started writing essays, I felt like all these dusty windows in my brain were opened, letting in light and fresh air," she says. "It's incredibly meaningful to me that my writing has been recognized by this program and its students." D'Agata dreamed up the prize in 2007 as a way to introduce his students to high-caliber essay writing and the many forms it can take. The professor asked colleagues from around the country to recommend their favorite essays from the past year, which he then compiled into a reading list for his seminar. As an added twist, D'Agata noted that submissions could be from any medium?including radio and film?as long as they were "essayistic." To give class discussions a sense of consequence, D'Agata had students evaluate each piece at the end of the semester and select a single award winner. Author Aaron Kunin received the inaugural Essay Prize, as the award was previously known, and it soon became an annual tradition. D'Agata's seminar students spend the semester dissecting the pieces, giving presentations, and writing critiques for the The Essay Review, the Nonfiction Writing Program's national magazine. Over the years, the class has crowned winners as varied as poet?Claudia Rankine, science writer Oliver Sacks, performance artist Sophie Calle, and the producers of Radio Lab. A current group of 14 writers and artists from around the nation serve as the nominating committee, includes luminaries like Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison (06MFA), and Kiese Laymon. 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"Helping fund the Essay Prize is a rare chance to do both. Eleven Krauses and counting have graduated from the University of Iowa; the Krause Essay Prize is a way to both express our gratitude for all Iowa has given us and be a champion for the arts." The support from the Krause family has not only allowed the program to award a cash prize for the first time, but also to invite winners to campus to present their essays and spend time with students and faculty. When Wen visited in late September, she taught a series of master classes for nonfiction students. D'Agata says that the foundation's support further legitimizes the idea of a student-driven award and its importance to the literary world. "It's also helping to bring attention to the entire genre," D'Agata says. "There are a lot of awards out there for works of fiction and poetry, but very few awards for essays. This award is saying, 'essays are awesome.' If you're an essayist, you don't hear that very?often. The Krause Foundation is helping to fix that." Krause Essay Prize Winners The UI Nonfiction Writing Program has awarded a national essay-writing prize annually since 2007. With support from the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation, the award was renamed the Krause Essay Prize this year. For more on the prize, visit krauseessayprize.org. 2018: Shawn Wen, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause 2017: Peter Middleton and James Spinney, Notes on Blindness 2016: Oliver Sacks, Gratitude 2015: Claudia Rankine, Citizen 2014: Sophie Calle, The Address Book 2013: David Rakoff, Waiting 2012: Lauren Redniss, Radioactive 2011: Judith Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands 2010: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, New Normal? 2009: Mary Ruefle, The Most of It 2008: Joshua Raskin, I Met the Walrus 2007: Aaron Kunin, Secret Architecture

Iowa alumni with shared connections are invited to join an affinity group. Some of these organizations are an extension of student interests, like Alumni Band or Dance Marathon Alumni Group.

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