Carl Vaagenes, chief executive officer at Alomere Health in Alexandria, recently received a state award for his efforts in improving health care.

He was the recipient of one of 11 awards presented by the Minnesota Hospital Association May 31 that honored innovative programs and outstanding leaders in health care.

Awards were given for extraordinary achievement in categories ranging from advocacy on behalf of hospitals and volunteerism to innovation and improvement in patient care and patient safety.

Vaagenes, the winner of the MHA Stephen Rogness Distinguished Service Award, has served as Alomere Health's CEO since 2011 and is a longtime active member with Minnesota Hospital Association.

"Throughout his extensive career as a Minnesota health care leader, Carl has made a tremendous impact on advancing health in the communities he has served," the association stated in a news release announcing the award. "He has led his organizations with a focus on improving quality and patient safety through continuous improvement.

"Carl has also been a workhorse for MHA with many years of service and leadership in shaping state and federal health policy. Always willing to step up to do what needs to be done to advance health care in Minnesota, Carl is truly deserving of this award."

Vaagenes currently participates on the association's Small, Rural Hospital Committee and the Minnesota Hospital PAC Board. He served as chairman of the association's board of directors in 2015 and 2016, was a board member from 2009 to 2017 and served on the board's executive committee from 2011 to 2017.

Vaagenes also chaired the association's Policy and Advocacy Committee and chaired its annual meeting task force in 2015. In addition, he served as a member of the association's Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota CEO Council, the Independent PPS Hospitals Work Group, the Health Care Reform Task Force and the MHA Charity Care Task Force.