For University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Thomas Zoch ’79, of Neenah, the time spent as an undergraduate at UW Oshkosh gave him the foundation he needed to start his medical career and was the home plate for his journey.
His success in the medical field and his leadership of the Network Health HouseCalls program has made him one of this year’s recipients of the 2014 Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.
As a student at UW Oshkosh, Zoch balanced his time between sports and academics. He played on the basketball team from 1974 to 1975, and on the baseball team from 1975 to 1976 and again from 1978 to 1979.
Zoch made the Wisconsin State University Conference (WSUC) All-Conference in baseball in 1979 and the WSUC Scholastic Honor Roll three times.
Academically, Zoch also was highly successful. He made the Dean’s List every year and was named the Biology Major of the Year in 1979. He graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry.
Immediately following graduation, Zoch went to medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin and earned his master’s degree. He then completed his internal medicine residency at Marshfield Clinic and achieved board certification in internal medicine in 1986.
He worked as a staff physician at the Marshfield Clinic until 1995. During his time there, he helped develop the clinic’s emergency department, urgent care department and sports medicine clinic.
As the emergency department education director, he was responsible for teaching surgery, internal medicine, pediatric, dermatology and transitional residents, medical students, EMT and paramedic students, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
In 1995, Zoch began working as a staff emergency physician at Theda Clark Regional Medical Center. He was the medical director of the Theda Clark Regional Medical Center Emergency Department and the president of Fox Valley Emergency Medicine from 1997 to 2003.
Zoch also served as the team physician for the Timber Rattlers from 1995 to 2005, and now serves as one of their associate board members. He became a staff physician with ThedaCare and joined their occupational medicine department from 2003 to 2005, and then their internal medicine department from 2005 to 2008, before joining the ThedaCare orthopedics plus as a sports medicine specialist until 2010.
In 2010, Zoch was recruited by Affinity Health System’s Network Health as their associate medical director. He has since completed his certification as a Healthcare Insurance Executive (CHIE) and works in this position today. He also is the medical director for Network Housecalls.
The HouseCalls program provides in-home health assessments to Network Health Medicare Advantage members. The program sends licensed HouseCalls healthcare professionals to members’ homes, where they complete a review of the patient’s health history, current health status and any health concerns.
“Dr. Zoch has led this program since its launch in Oct. 2011,” Network Health President Sheila Jenkins said. “More than 4,000 exams have been completed and the program continues to grow.”
Zoch’s vision has helped the program provide in-home exams and healthcare for more than 10,000 patients as of 2013.
In addition, Zoch is an executive leader of Ministry Health Care, the medical director for the Fox Valley Technical College Paramedic/EMS program and a board member for Ministry Home Care.
Zoch has been involved in the American Heart Association (AHA). In 2002, he received the Dr. Dean Stueland AHA Award for his dedication to Advanced Cardiac Life Support leadership. He led the National AHA First Aid Guidelines for 2005, received the AHA Above and Beyond recognition award and the Certificate of Appreciation from the National First Aid Science Advisory Board. He also was part of the AHA National Faculty for Advanced Cardiac Life Support, where he represented Wisconsin for four years.
In addition to his extensive involvement in the healthcare community, Zoch has continued to play baseball for the Wisconsin State League, a semi-professional baseball league, in Marshfield, Green Bay and Oshkosh. He was inducted into the Wisconsin State Baseball League Hall of Fame and the Marshfield’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
His athletic ability has been recognized by his coach, Tom Kraus.
“He has demonstrated outstanding character and wisdom throughout his tenure as a baseball player,” Kraus said. “Not only did he use his God-given talent as a greater player, he also made decisions which have done more for the well-being of mankind.”
Despite experiencing an athletic injury early in his college career that affected his confidence in further college athletic participation, he learned a valuable lesson about pursuing and playing the sport that he loves.
“Life has a consistent way of knocking you down, but what really matters is how you get up and move forward,” Zoch said.
Zoch’s success in the medical field has been a home run, but he remembers his time at UW Oshkosh as the foundation for his achievements and accomplishments in healthcare.
“UWO gave me a great start on advanced education and provided many educational opportunities,” Zoch said. “Very few individuals in my extended family were granted these opportunities. Therefore, I have never taken these opportunities for granted and I feel very blessed and deeply appreciative of the education I received at UWO.”
Zoch and nine other award winners will be recognized at the Alumni Award Celebration during Homecoming 2014 on Friday, Oct. 17.
For more information about the alumni awards dinner, please contact the Alumni Relations office at (920) 424-3449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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