Professional Experience

Michelle RathmanPresident & CEO, Impact! Communications Inc.

Michelle Rathman Batschke founded Impact! Communications, Inc., in 1989. Impact! is a leader in healthcare strategy and communications specializing in critical access and rural health systems, hospitals, clinics and provider practices.


Prior to her work in rural healthcare, she spent seven years as a sole source provider of community engagement and communications outreach for the University of Illinois Medical Center, which included the introduction of the system’s Federally Qualified Health Clinics in some of Chicago’s most underserved communities. Impact’s work at rural healthcare facilities across the United States includes: strengthening hospital identity, brand and value; engaging community and strategic partners; identifying opportunities to decrease outmigration; improving culture; developing leadership and teams; reducing risk and increasing provider alignment; improving communications practices and customer service; and helping organizations achieve a higher level of success around meeting important strategic goals.


Michelle’s unique facilitated process is engaging, inspiring and eye-opening. She is a Certified Master PeopleMapTM Facilitator, and holds certifications in Emotional Intelligence, Organizational Leadership and Business Intelligence. She has written hundreds of articles and blogs on a variety of these subjects, and is a former radio talk show and freelance news producer. She is also a four-time Pinnacle Award recipient for Excellence in Healthcare Communication and has been recognized as one of “Chicago’s Very Own,” a prestigious profile reserved for those making a difference in their community, specifically for the development of a self-esteem-building program for girls ages 9-14 in underserved communities.


Michelle wrote and produced an educational documentary about Critical Access Hospitals and the vital role they play in our nation’s healthcare delivery system through a grant awarded to the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network. She was a contributor to the HRSA Critical Access Hospital Replacement Process Roadmap and a number of business books, including a body of work on the subject of creating strategic alliances. She is the creator of “Excellence in an Instant,TM” a series of tools designed to help caregivers at every level be and do their best in every moment. She is also currently writing two books: the first is a memoir about her interesting and unexpected life journey; the second is on the subject of organizational culture, teamwork, leadership and communications.


Professional experience aside, Michelle is a cancer survivor. Her experience as a patient is the catalyst for her work and passion to improve healthcare culture – both for caregivers and receivers. She hopes to provide healthcare leaders with new insight into the patient’s personal experience and explore what needs to be done to ensure that others don’t experience what she endured.