Inducted Saturday, October 8, 2016
Ron Wiisanen graduated from Moorhead High School in 1970. During high school he was an honor student, student council member, sophomore class president and active in orchestra, Apollo Strings and band. Wiisanen studied pre-medicine at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and attended medical school at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and Minneapolis. He graduated with his M.D. degree in 1978 and completed a residency in family medicine at the University of North
Dakota School of Medicine in 1981. He became board certified in family medicine in 1981 and obtained board certification in obesity medicine in 2013.
Wiisanen practiced as a family physician in Valley City, N.D., from 1981-88 and was the department chairman for Valley City Clinic from 1985-88. He moved to Fargo in 1988 to serve as the associate program director for the UND Family Practice Residency from 1988-91. He served as program director for the residency from 1991-97. He was also the City of Fargo Health Officer from 1991-97. From 1997-99, Wiisanen worked for Dakota Heartland Health System at the EasTen Clinic in Moorhead and at the Pelican Rapids, Minn., clinic. From 1990-99, he also worked part-time at Concordia Student Health Service.
Wiisanen joined MeritCare Health System in 1999 and practiced family medicine through 2013. He served as medical director for chronic disease management at MeritCare from 2009-11. He was department chairman for MeritCare/Sanford family medicine in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo from 2002-12. He currently practices bariatric medicine as a senior physician at Sanford Eating Disorders and Weight Management Clinic in Fargo. He is also a clinical associate professor at the UND School of Medicine.
While at Sanford, Wiisanen has received two Guardian Angel awards for compassionate care and work with his patients. He has served on the board of governors for Sanford Health System, Fargo region, including two years as chairman. Wiisanen has served on the Dakota Medical Foundation Grant Committee and is still affiliated with DMF as a member-at-large. He has served on the board of directors at Bethany Homes, Fargo, and served as medical director at the FirstChoice Clinic in Fargo for many years. Wiisanen assisted in writing the original grant for funding of Family HealthCare Center in Fargo. He was the first medical director at Family HealthCare and later served on the board of directors, including two years as board chairman.
Ron and his wife, Vicki Garnas Wiisanen, also a Moorhead High Class of 1970 graduate, live in Fargo. They have four adult children, Matthew, Michael, Amanda and Jeffrey, and six grandchildren.