Press Release

Thomas M. Fritz to Chair AHA's Section for Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation

Thomas M. Fritz, chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Wash., is the 2006 chair of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation.

As chair, Fritz will lead the section’s governing council which advises the AHA on member service strategies and public policy issues concerning general hospitals and freestanding special hospitals that provide rehabilitation, long-term acute, sub-acute, skilled or home health services to chronically ill, elderly or disabled persons.

St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute is a 75-bed facility providing comprehensive in-patient and outpatient rehabilitation services.  Under Fritz’s guidance and management, St. Luke’s became one of the first comprehensive, free-standing rehabilitation facilities to successfully make the transition from paper files to full electronic medical record keeping. For this effort St. Luke’s has been distinguished as a national leader in applying technology to health care. 

Fitz also serves as chief executive officer of Inland Northwest Health Services in Spokane, Wash.  This joint venture non-profit successfully administers services including acute care rehabilitation, an emergency patient transport service, an expansive telemedicine network with over 55 hospital and clinic sites, a joint community health education program, a regional physician referral program and a patient transport van pool that services over four states up to the Canadian border.  Fritz is currently a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is active at the state and regional level in medical rehabilitation and integrated technology.

Also joining the Section leadership is Mary Blunt, president of Sentara Life Care Corporation, Norfolk, Va.  Blunt was named as the chair-elect of the section and will assume the role of chair in 2007.  Named as 2006 Board Liaison was Vince Conti, current AHA Board member and the president and chief operating officer of Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine.  James B. McCaslin was chair in 2005 and will serve as the immediate past chair.

Also elected to three year terms on the governing council were Patrick Hermanson, president and chief operating officer of Portneuf Medical Center, Pocatello, Idaho; Mary Moscato, senior vice president, HEALTHSOUTH Corporation; and, Karen Ortmann,  chief operating officer and senior vice president, patient care operations, of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, Ill.  Appointed as the Trustee Representative was J. David Newell, PhD, trustee at Chester River Hospital Center, Chestertown, Md.

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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