Larson Lecture - History

"Most of us are humanists. We came into this business because of our feelings about human beings and their needs and certain social and human values that we had, or have."
Roger G. Larson, Health Care Systems Leadership Retreat, Carefree, AZ, 1982.

The Roger G. Larson Memorial Lectureship was established in 1983 as a lasting tribute and memorial to the late Roger G. Larson, former president of Metropolitan Hospitals, Inc. in Portland, Oregon (now Legacy Health System). The lectureship was endowed by the membership of the Associated Hospital Systems, a nationally prominent coalition of not-for-profit, multihopsital systems in the U.S. (of which Roger Larson had been a founding director). The lectureship is also supported by the efforts of the Health Care Systems Governing Council of the American Hospital Association, formerly the Advisory Panel on Multi-Institutional Arrangements, which Mr. Larson served on from 1978 to 1982 and was chairman of in 1981 and 1982.

This memorial recognizes Mr. Larson's numerous contributions to the field of health services administration; his consummate skill as chief executive officer and his wisdom and foresight in being at the "cutting edge" of innovations in the organization of health services delivery. In March 1983, Merlin K. DuVal, president of Associated Hospital Systems presented a Distinguished Service Memorial Award to Mrs. Janet Larson. The award stated that Roger Larson:

  • exemplified the ideal of community service;
  • contributed particularly enlightened leadership to the cause of improving health care in the state of Oregon;
  • demonstrated an especial and particular excellence in his advocacy of service to the public through private, not-for-profit hospitals;
  • contributed greatly to the growth, development, maturation, and impact of multi-institutional systems across the United States; and
  • pursued these activities consistent with his own highly held principle and with an unusual blend of wisdom, compassion, courage, and good humor.

The Roger G. Larson Memorial Lecture was endowed to honor Mr. Larson's contributions in the field of multihospital systems and thereby recognize outstanding performance and innovative achievements in the practice of administration of multihospital systems. The lecture also provides a forum for the sharing of ideas and best practices for multihospital system administration.

Originally held in conjunction with the Health Care Systems Annual Leadership Retreat, the lecture was moved to the AHA Annual Convention to reach a wider audience after it was so well received. After the last Convention, AHA honored its commitment to the Lecture by adding it to the Annual Membership Meeting held each year in Washington, DC, where it entertained an audience of over 500 this past year.

Each year a distinguished practitioner, academician or other advocate for health care is invited to present. The speakers have ranged from professors to business leaders to public officials, each chosen by the Larson Lecture Advisory Committee to present on current issues and trends in health care. It was fitting that at the first lecture held in conjunction with the annual meeting, with its focus on advocacy, that the featured speaker was former Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon.



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