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Association Announces New Leadership

July 7, 2014

WASHINGTON – America’s Essential Hospitals and its research arm, Essential Hospitals Institute, have elected new members and officers to governing committees that help guide association advocacy, education, and quality improvement work.

“The vitality of our association reflects the dedication and expertise of its member leaders,” said America’s Essential Hospitals President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH. “We look forward to working with our new and continuing board members to improve hospital care for all people.”

America’s Essential Hospitals Board of Directors

On July 1, William B. Walker, MD, director and health officer, Contra Costa Health Services, became chair of the association’s board of directors. He replaced immediate Past-Chair Thomas P. Traylor, vice president, federal, state, and local programs, Boston Medical Center.

Other new officers include Chair-Elect Johnese M. Spisso, RN, MPA, chief health system officer, UW Medicine, and vice president for medical affairs, University of Washington and UW Medicine; and Treasurer Reginald W. Coopwood, MD, president and CEO, Regional One Health.

The board welcomed these new at-large member directors:

  • John M. Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System
  • Wright L. Lassiter III, CEO, Alameda Health System
  • Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA, president and CEO, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • Donna K. Sollenberger, MA, executive vice president and CEO, UTMB Health System, the University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Roxane A. Townsend, MD, vice chancellor for clinical programs and CEO, UAMS Medical Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The board also includes these continuing at-large directors:

  • Michael B. Belzer, MD, medical director and chief medical officer, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Steven G. Gabbe, MD, senior vice president for health sciences and CEO, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Timothy M. Goldfarb, CEO, UF Health Shands Hospital
  • George B. Hernandez Jr., JD, president and CEO, University Health System
  • Michael Karpf, MD, executive vice president for health affairs, UK HealthCare
  • Santiago Muñoz, chief strategy officer, UCLA Health System
  • Sheldon M. Retchin, MD, MSPH, CEO, VCU Health System

UHC President and CEO Irene M. Thompson continues as ex officio member.

Essential Hospitals Institute Board of Directors

On the Institute board, the chair’s gavel passed to Caroline M. Jacobs, MPH, MSEd, senior vice president, safety and human development, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. She succeeds immediate Past-Chair Clifford Wang, MD, hospitalist, Division of Medicine, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Other new Institute officers include Secretary and Chair-Elect Anna M. Roth, RN, MPH, MS, CEO, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center; and Treasurer Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, executive associate dean, clinical services, Grady Health System, and chief medical officer, Emory Care Foundation.

The Institute board also welcomed new member Director Delvecchio S. Finley, MPP, CEO, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; and new outside directors Ann Scott Blouin, PhD, RN, executive vice president of customer relations for The Joint Commission, and Erica Murray, MPA, president and CEO, California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems.

These member directors retain seats on the board:

  • Susan Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, chief quality and patient safety officer, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Christine Neuhoff, JD, system vice president and chief legal officer, St. Luke’s Health System
  • Reuven Pasternak, MD, MPH, MBA, CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital

The board also includes these continuing outside directors:

  • Donald A. Goldmann, MD, chief medical and scientific officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Alan Weil, JD, MPP, editor-in-chief, Health Affairs
  • Winston F. Wong, MD, MS, medical director, disparities improvement and quality initiatives, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans

Julie Cerese, MSN, RN, senior vice president, performance improvement, UHC, continues as exofficio member.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals, formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. It supports members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our more than 200 members are vital to their communities, providing primary through trauma care, disaster response, health professionals training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care. Visit to learn more.

Carl Graziano


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