Press Release

Mary Beth Walsh to Chair AHA's Section for Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation

Mary Beth Walsh, M.D., FACP, executive medical director and CEO of The Winifred Masterson Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., is the 2009 chair of the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Section for Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation.

As chair, Walsh will lead the section's governing council which advises the AHA on public policy issues of concern to all post -acute and continuing care providers.   The governing council represents leaders from among the nation's rehabilitation, acute long-term care, sub-acute, skilled, home health and continuing care services.

Walsh has served as the executive medical director and CEO of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital since 1995.  She came to Burke, an affiliate of Cornell Medical School, in 1979 to develop an inpatient service for patients with rheumatic diseases.  Burke currently has three divisions -- a 150-bed medical rehabilitation hospital, an outpatient division and a medical research institute.

Walsh is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and an Associate Dean of Weill Medical College at Cornell University in New York, N.Y.  She is also an attending physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.   Walsh was the recipient of the Hudson Valley Branch of the Arthritis Foundation Founders' Award in 1998, and served on the Foundation's Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee.  She served as president of the New York Rheumatism Association in 2003 and 2004 and as a delegate to an AHA Regional Policy Board from 2005 to 2007. 

James Prister, president and CEO of RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale, Ill., was named as the chair-elect of the section and will assume the role of chair in 2010.  New members joining the governing council are Kevin Conn, vice president of South Florida Health South Corporation & CEO, Health South Sunrise Rehab Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Margaret Crane, CEO of Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles; and Carl Josehart, CEO of TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston.

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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