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America’s Essential Hospitals Welcomes New Board Leadership

July 1, 2022


WASHINGTON — New member leaders for America’s Essential Hospitals and its research, education, and dissemination arm, Essential Hospitals Institute, officially begin their roles guiding the organizations’ work.

“We welcome this diverse group of leaders who have helped lead the nation’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “As our hospitals confront emergent workforce, health equity, and financial challenges, our board members’ expertise will be crucial to the association’s work.”

Eric Dickson, MD, MHCM, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health, in Worcester, Mass., becomes America’s Essential Hospitals’ board chair. He succeeds Steve Purves, MSHA, president and CEO of Valleywise Health, in Phoenix, who becomes past-chair.

“America’s Essential Hospitals has a rich history of fighting for health systems that care for those most in need,” Dickson said. “Now more than ever, as we try to find our new normal while still enduring the pandemic, essential hospitals need the association’s advocacy to address critical issues, including fair payment for health care services, racial disparities, and workforce shortages. This association saves lives every day by helping its members save lives, and I’m incredibly honored to serve as board chair for the coming year.”

Charlie Shields, MBA, president and CEO of University Health, in Kansas City, Mo., becomes the association’s new chair-elect. Jacob Cintron, MBA, president and CEO of University Medical Center of El Paso, in El Paso, Texas, becomes the board’s secretary. Janice Nevin, MD, MPH, president and CEO of ChristianaCare, in Wilmington, Del., becomes the board’s treasurer.

Stuart Guterman, MA, an independent consultant based in Silver Spring, Md., was appointed chair of the Institute’s board to fill a vacancy in March 2022 and will continue in this position for the 2022–2023 board term. Christine Neuhoff, JD, MBA, system vice president and chief legal officer of St. Luke’s Health System, in Boise, Idaho, served as past-chair from 2021–2022 and will continue in this position for the 2022–2023 board term.

“I feel privileged to serve as chair of this committed and talented group, and the exceptional staff we have the pleasure to work with,” Guterman said. “I look forward to a productive year of informing efforts to improve the care available to the communities that members of America’s Essential Hospitals serve.”

The Institute’s chair-elect and secretary is Susan Cooper, BSN, MSN, chief integration officer and senior vice president of Regional One Health, in Memphis, Tenn. Brenda Battle, RN, BSN, MBA, senior vice president of community health transformation and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer of UChicago Medicine, in Chicago, becomes treasurer. Siegel continues as recording secretary (ex officio).

New and Continuing Directors

America’s Essential Hospitals’ board welcomes these new at-large member directors:

  • Jennifer DeCubellis, MA, CEO, Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis;
  • Chester Kunnapilly, MD, CEO, San Mateo Medical Center, San Mateo, Calif.;
  • Cam Patterson, MD, MBA, chancellor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Ark.;
  • Israel Rocha Jr., MPA, CEO, Cook County Health, Chicago;
  • Albert Wright Jr., PharmD, MHA, president and CEO, West Virginia University Health System, Morgantown, W.Va.

These member leaders continue as at-large association board directors:

  • Kathleen Becker, JD, MPH,CEO, UNM Hospitals, Albuquerque, N.M.;
  • Nina Dusang,MBA, chief financial officer, DCH Health System, Tuscaloosa, Ala.;
  • Sheldon McLeod,CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, Brooklyn, N.Y.;
  • Thomas Quatroche Jr., PhD,president and CEO, Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, N.Y;
  • Florence Spyrow, JD, MHA, MPA, MSN,president and CEO, Northern Arizona Healthcare, Flagstaff, Ariz.;
  • Kate Walsh, MPH,president and CEO, Boston Medical Center, Boston; and
  • Joseph Webb, DSc, MSHA, FACHE,CEO, Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, Nashville.

The Institute board added these new member directors:

  • Michelle O’Keefe, MA, chief communications officer, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis; and
  • Deborah Visconi, MS, president and CEO, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Paramus, N.J.

These member leaders continue as at-large Institute board directors:

  • Rohit Bhalla, MD, MPH,senior vice president and chief clinical and quality officer, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, Conn.;
  • Tim Curtin, MSW, MBA, executive director of community services, Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla.;
  • Melany Gavulic, RN, MBA,president and CEO, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Mich.;
  • Shannon Sale, MHA,executive vice president, chief strategy officer, Grady Health, Atlanta; and
  • Darrell Terry Sr., MHA, MPH,president and CEO, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, Newark, N.J.

These leaders continue as outside, at-large Institute directors:

  • Melinda Abrams, MS,executive vice president for programs, The Commonwealth Fund, New York;
  • Anand Shah, MD, MS,vice president of social health, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.;
  • Dale Shaller, MPA,principal, Shaller Consulting Group, Stillwater, Minn.; and
  • Kevin Weiss, MD, MPH, MHSA,chief sponsoring institutions and clinical learning environment officer, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Chicago.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals dedicated to equitable, high-quality care for all, including those who face social and financial barriers to care. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has advanced policies and programs that promote health, health care access, and equity. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, education, and leadership development. Communities depend on essential hospitals for care across the continuum, health care workforce training, research, public health and health equity, and other services. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead all of health care toward better outcomes and value.

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute is the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

Carl Graziano

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