Press Release

Gary A. Mecklenburg to Receive AHA Distinguished Service Award

The American Hospital Association (AHA) will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Gary Mecklenburg, CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago.  This award recognizes significant lifetime contributions and service to the nation's health care institutions and associations.  Mecklenburg will receive the award at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 2 at the AHA Annual Membership meeting in Washington.

“Throughout his distinguished career, Gary’s clear vision, outstanding leadership and extraordinary people skills have made him a dominant national force in health care delivery and health care associations,” said AHA President Dick Davidson.  “This award honors Gary’s leadership and commitment in the health care field.”

Mecklenburg has been serving hospitals across the country for over 35 years and has held the role of president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial for more than 20 years.  Under his leadership, Northwestern Memorial has become one of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals with a reputation for both clinical and management excellence.  It was recently named as the sole recipient of the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and eight medical specialties at Northwestern are listed in this year's U.S. News & World Report's issue of "America's Best Hospitals."

Mr. Mecklenburg is a nationally recognized leader in the health care field.  He is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on the Advisory Board for the Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University.

Other professional activities include serving as a past chairman of the board of the trustees of the American Hospital Association and the Illinois Hospital Association.  He is currently chairman of the board of the Health Forum and was founding chairman of the National Alliance for Health Information Technology.

Mr. Mecklenburg received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago.

Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, RSM, Chair of the Sponsor Council of the Sisters of Mercy Health System also will receive the Distinguished Service Award this year.

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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