Press Release

Deborah Freund to Receive AHA Board of Trustees Award

The American Hospital Association (AHA) today presented Deborah Freund with its 2007 Board of Trustees Award.  The award is presented to individuals or groups who have made substantial and noteworthy contributions to the work of the AHA.   

Freund is distinguished professor of public administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in New York.  She is currently visiting professor of business at the Simon Graduate School of Business, and also visiting professor of community and preventive medicine at the School of Medicine, both at the University of Rochester, also in New York.  Previously, Freund served for seven years as vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at Syracuse University.  She is an internationally known health economist, recognized particularly in the areas of Medicaid, health care outcomes, and pharmoeconomics, a field she is credited with founding.

"Deborah has displayed integrity and dedication in advancing the health of individuals and communities," says AHA President Richard Umbdenstock.  "Her focus on including business, academic and health care leaders as part of the AHA Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) has helped expand the organization's research and impact.  Her leadership will have a positive impact on patient care for years to come." 

Freund's expertise and leadership greatly influenced the work of AHA's Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) where she was board chair for two years and a member of the board for a total of ten years.  During her tenure, HRET expanded its focus on improving community health through research into such areas as emergency preparedness, coverage and access, quality and safety and HIV. 

Previously, Freund taught at Indiana University-Bloomington and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was director of the Finance and Economic Research Program at the Sheps Center for Health Services Research.  She earned her bachelor's degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a master's in public health in medical care administration, a master's in applied economics and doctorate in economics, all from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Michael Stephens, former president and CEO of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, will also receive the Trustees 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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