Press Release

Federal Hospitals Section Honors Two Leaders

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) and its Section for Federal Hospitals today presented two leaders with awards recognizing their outstanding service in the health care field.  “The hard work of these individuals is evidenced by the successes and innovations they have orchestrated in the health care field,” said Barbara Lorsbach, AHA’s senior vice president of member relations. 

The recipient of the 2005 Award for Excellence is Captain Matthew L. Nathan, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital Pensacola, in Pensacola, Florida.  As commanding officer, Nathan was responsible for rebuilding the naval hospital, its branch clinics, and assisting the local communities after the devastating effects of several hurricanes.  He was instrumental in arranging for special psychiatric intervention teams to assist area military families in coping with the tragedies and arranged for Navy portable operating rooms for contingency surgical use and tent wards for as many as 120 displaced staff members. 

In 2004, under Nathan’s leadership, Naval Hospital Pensacola earned its third consecutive Gold Star Award for Navy and Marine Corps Command Excellence in Health Promotion, recognizing the highest level of achievement and commitment to military families.  In addition, Naval Hospital Pensacola received the 2005 TRICARE award for being the top-rated medium size Department of Defense medical facility in the nation for patient satisfaction. It also became the first military treatment facility, and Florida hospital of any kind, to implement a unique anesthesia information management system into its operating rooms which integrates with an intravenous medication system to help decrease medical errors and increase patient safety.

Nathan received his bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his medical doctorate from the Medical College of Georgia.  He also received a master of sciences degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University in Washington, D.C.  Nathan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners, and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

The winner of the 2005 Special Achievement Award is Robert M. Kolodner, MD, Chief Health Informatics Officer, Veterans Health Administration Office of Information, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Washington, D.C.  Kolodner is the chief advisor to the VA Under Secretary for Health on information technology issues and is responsible for information and related systems throughout the veterans’ health system – the nation’s largest integrated health system.  As chief advisor, Kolodner oversees the development of the VA’s internationally known Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) applications, software and systems, and provides maintenance for over 140 national databases and customer support for information technology to VA facilities and offices nationwide. 

Since 1997, Dr. Kolodner has also been involved in overseeing, promoting and guiding VA activities related to the establishment of a comprehensive, computerized clinical record for military personnel and veterans.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Federal Health Information Exchange program – an interagency health technology initiative that enabled a secure, one-way transmission of protected electronic health information from the Department of Defense to the VA. 

He also oversees the Bidirectional Health Information Exchange initiative – a major step to achieving electronic health record interoperability between the Department of Defense and VA.  In addition to fostering a strong working relationship with the Department of Defense, Kolodner has been instrumental in implementing collaborative information sharing efforts with the Indian Health Services. 

Dr. Kolodner received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, and his doctorate of medicine from Yale University School of Medicine.

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

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