Press Release

Richard Slusky To Chair Association's Small Or Rural Hospital Governing Council

Richard Slusky, CEO of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor, Vt. will lead the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Small or Rural Hospitals in 2006.  The 23-person governing council represents small or rural hospitals in the AHA’s policy process and member services initiatives.

Slusky has served as CEO and administrator of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center since 1982.  Mt. Ascutney Hospital is a critical access hospital, with 23 acute (medical/surgical) and swing beds; 10-bed distinct-part rehabilitation unit; and 50 nursing home beds.  The hospital is a unique and progressive community hospital, with all its physicians either board certified or board qualified in their specialties.

Over the past fifteen years, Mt. Ascutney Hospital has developed highly regarded programs in rehabilitation medicine. The hospital has also been recognized for many years as a leader in community health education, providing health education and prevention programs in the region.  Mt. Ascutney Hospital was a finalist for the Foster G. McGaw Prize in 2002.

Brian Shockney, president and CEO, Memorial Hospital, Logansport, Ind., is the 2006 chair-elect.  Susan Fitzgibbon, president, Annie Penn Hospital, Reidsville, N.C., is immediate past chair.

The Section’s governing council advises the AHA on federal policy issues.  Elected members serve three-year terms.  New members include: Trudy Chittick, CEO, Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital, Thermopolis, Wyo.; Robert Houser, CEO, Blue Mountain Hospital District, John Day, Ore.; Robin Lake, CEO, Great Plains Regional Medical Center, Elk City, Okla.; and Jim Mayo, administrator, Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Fernandina Beach, Fla.  Also, appointed for a one-year term is Wayne Hellerstedt, NRHA representative and CEO, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, Newberry, Mich.

The new governing council members join the following current members: Kathleen Hoeft,  administrator and CEO, Ashley Medical Center, Ashley, N.D.; Michael Lawson, administrator, Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital, San Andreas, Calif.; Michelle McEwen, president and CEO, Speare Memorial Hospital, Plymouth, N.H.; Steven Millard, president, Idaho Hospital Association, Boise, Idaho; Ernest Parisi, administrator and CEO, East Texas Medical Center, Quitman, Texas; Brenda Schye, trustee emeritus, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, Glasgow, Mont.; Harry Wolin, administrator and CEO, Mason District Hospital, Havana, Ill.; David Avery M.D., AAFP representative, Grand Central Family Medicine, Parkersburg, W.V.; H.J. (Jimmy) Blessitt, administrator, South Sunflower County Hospital, Indianola, Miss.; Charles Fahd, II, CEO, Massena Memorial Hospital, Massena, N.Y.; Edward Hannon, president and CEO, Clarion Healthcare System, Clarion, Penn.; Marla Shelby-Drabner, administrator and CEO, Allen Memorial Hospital, Moab, Utah; Susan Starling, president, Marcum and

Wallace Memorial Hospital, Irvine, Ky.; Gale Walker, president and CEO, Avera St. Benedict Health center, Parkston, S.D. and; George Miller, president and CEO, Provena St. Mary’s Hospital, Kankakee, Ill. who serves as the AHA board liaison to the section.

About the AHA’s Section for Small or Rural Hospitals
The AHA's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals provides representation, advocacy and educational opportunities to help the nation's small or rural hospitals better serve the health needs of patients and communities.  The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations that are committed to health improvement in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care.  Founded in 1898, AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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