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Association Announces Changes to Governing Boards


WASHINGTON – New board leaders for America’s Essential Hospitals and Essential Hospitals Institute begin work this month to guide the association’s advocacy, education, research, and quality improvement work over the next year.

“With the depth and breadth of experience they bring to our governing boards, our member leaders make invaluable contributions to our work to improve care for all patients,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals.

Johnese M. Spisso, RN, MPA, chief health system officer of UW Medicine in Seattle, becomes America’s Essential Hospitals’ board chair, replacing William B. Walker, MD, director and health officer of Contra Costa Health Services in Martinez, California.

John M. Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System in Atlanta, becomes the association’s new chair-elect. The association’s new treasurer is Roxane Townsend, MD, vice chancellor for clinical programs and CEO of University Medical Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock. And Michael Karpf, MD, executive vice president for health affairs at UK HealthCare in Lexington, Kentucky, continues as the board’s secretary.

The new board chair of Essential Hospitals Institute, the association’s quality and research arm, is Anna Roth, RN, MS, MPH, CEO of Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, California. She succeeds Caroline Jacobs, MPH, MSEd, senior vice president of safety and human development for New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

The Institute’s new secretary and chair-elect is Leon Haley, MD, MHSA, executive associate dean of clinical services and chief medical officer at Emory Care Foundation, Grady Memorial Hospital. Susan Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, chief quality and patient safety officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, becomes the Institute’s new treasurer.

New At-Large Directors

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

  • Akram Boutros, MD, president and CEO, The MetroHealth System, Cleveland
  • Stan Hammack, CEO, University of South Alabama Medical Center, Mobile, Alabama
  • Carlos Migoya, president and CEO, Jackson Health System, Miami
  • Sam Ross, MD, CEO, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System

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

  • Michael B. Belzer, MD, medical director and chief medical officer, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis
  • George B. Hernández Jr., JD, president and CEO, University Health System, San Antonio
  • Wright L. Lassiter III, president, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit
  • Sharon O’Keefe, president, University of Chicago Medicine
  • 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, Galveston
  • Irene M. Thompson, president and CEO, UHC (ex officio)

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

  • Delvecchio S. Finley, MPP, CEO, Alameda Health System, Oakland, California
  • Dennis Keefe, president and CEO, Care New England Health System, Providence, Rhode Island
  • Christine Neuhoff, JD, system vice president, general counsel, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, Idaho
  • L. Reuven Pasternak, MBA, MD, MPH, CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, New York

These external leaders also continue as at-large Institute board directors:

  • Ann Scott Blouin, PhD, RN, executive vice president of customer relations, The Joint Commission
  • Donald A. Goldmann, MD, chief medical and scientific officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Erica Murray, MPA, president and CEO, California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
  • Winston F. Wong, MD, MS, medical director, disparities improvement and quality initiatives, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan

Julie Cerese, MSN, RN, senior vice president, performance improvement, of UHC continues as an Institute board ex-officio member.

# # #

About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals 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. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our more than 250 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional 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.

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute, first established in 1988 as the National Public Health and Hospital Institute, is the private, nonprofit research arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute researches and promotes best practices in health care, especially for vulnerable populations and underserved communities. It uses data analysis and lessons learned to help members of America’s Essential Hospitals and the larger health care industry improve quality and efficiency. The Institute, which also educates and trains senior administrators and clinical leaders, comprises a Research Center and the Transformation Center, a catalyst for innovative change to improve quality and safety.

Carl Graziano


About the Author

Graziano is senior director of communications for America's Essential Hospitals.

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