Press Release

Joanell Dyrstad to Chair AHA's Committee on Governance

The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that Joanell Dyrstad will be chairman and Thomasine Kennedy will be chair-elect for the AHA’s 2007 Committee on Governance (COG).  Dyrstad serves as board secretary of the Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services board of directors where she has been a board member since 1997.  She is co-owner of the Red Wing Corner Drug and Clinic Pharmacy in Red Wing, Minn.   Kennedy recently retired as Assistant Director of Eastpointe Human Services.  She is also a retired public school administrator in North Carolina.

The COG, whose membership includes national hospital and health system leaders, supports the AHA's national grassroots advocacy campaigns and spearheads educational activities to encourage governance excellence in health care organizations. The committee is responsible for the oversight of the AHA's trustee programs and initiatives in the areas of policy, advocacy, education and community leadership. 

This December, Dyrstad will complete her term on the Fairview Red Wing Health Services Board where she served as board chair and on a number of committees while also serving on the board of Fairview Health Services.  She is currently on Fairview’s Executive committee, Human Resources committee, Governance committee and the CEO Selection committee.  In addition, she is trustee emeriti of the University of Minnesota Foundation and serves on the board of Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) where she was honored as the MHA Trustee of the Year in 2005.  Dyrstad served three terms as mayor of Red Wing and was Minnesota Lieutenant Governor from 1991-1995. 

Dyrstad earned her undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minn., and a master’s degree from Hamline University in St. Paul.

Kennedy is chair of the board of directors of Duplin General Hospital in Kenansville, N.C., and has served on the board since 1991.  An active participant in activities of the North Carolina Hospital Association, she was recognized in 2004 as the North Carolina Trustee of the 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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