Press Release

AHA Recognizes Grassroots Champions

The American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with the state hospital associations, today awarded 52 individuals with the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award.  As a 2010 Grassroots Champion these individuals are being recognized for exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of a hospital's mission.

The American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award was created to recognize those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital's vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital and who are tireless advocates for hospitals and their patients.

"We depend upon strong local voices to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities they serve," said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO.  "This award is a small token of our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of these individuals to improving health and health care in America."

The 2010 Grassroots Champions are:
Alaska - Ryan Smith 
Chief Executive Officer, Central Peninsula Hospital

Alabama - Donald Jones 
Administrator, Marion Regional Medical Center

Arkansas - James David Cicero  
President, Ouachita Medical Center

Arizona - Suzanne Pfister  
Vice President, External Affairs, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center

California - Susan Hollander 
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Providence Health & Services-California

Colorado - Karl Gills  
Chief Executive Officer, Yampa Valley Medical Center

Connecticut - Peter J. Karl  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Connecticut Health Network

District of Columbia - Helen C.  Turner  
Vice President, Quality Improvement & Medical Staff Affairs, Georgetown University Hospital

Delaware - Steven A. Rose, R.N., M.N.  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital

Florida - Mark O'Bryant  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

Georgia - Timothy Stack  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Piedmont Healthcare

Hawaii - Phyllis Dendle  
Director, Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

Iowa - Douglas Cropper  
Chief Executive Officer, Genesis Health System

Idaho - Victoria Alexander-Lane 
Chief Executive Officer, Steele Memorial Medical Center

Illinois - Meghan Clune  
Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Advocate Health Care

Indiana - Mark Moore  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Bloomington Hospital

Kansas - Dennis George  
Chief Executive Officer, Coffey County Hospital

Kentucky - Terry Peeples  
Chief Executive Officer, Jennie Stuart Medical Center

Louisiana - Mark Peters, M.D.  
President and Chief Executive Officer, East Jefferson General Hospital

Massachusetts - Christine C. Schuster, R.N., MBA 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Emerson Hospital

Maryland - Barbara Epke  
Vice President, LifeBridge Health

Maine - Darlene Stromstad  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Henrietta D. Goodall Hospital

Michigan - Nancy Schlichting 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Ford Health System

Minnesota - Rocklon Chapin  
Executive Vice President & Sr. Officer, St. Mary's/Duluth Clinic Health System

Missouri - Myra Evans 
Chief Executive Officer, Community Hospital - Fairfax

Mississippi - Douglas Higginbotham  
Executive Director, South Central Regional Medical Center

Montana - Nicholas Wolter  
Chief Executive Officer, Billings Clinic

North Carolina - Sharon Tanner  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Albemarle Health

North Dakota - David Molmen  
Chief Executive Officer, Altru Health System

Nebraska - Glenn Fosdick  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Nebraska Medical Center

New Hampshire - Henry Lipman  
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, LRGHealthcare

New Jersey - Russ Molloy, Esq. 
Vice President Government Relations, Meridian Health

New Mexico - J. Alex Valdez 
Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center

Nevada - Jim Miller  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Renown Regional Medical Center

New York - Betsy Wright  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Woman's Christian Association Hospital

Ohio - Howard Rohleder 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Salem Community Hospital

Oklahoma - Charles Skillings 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Unity Health Center

Oregon - Roy Vinyard  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Asante Health System

Pennsylvania - Garry Scheib  
Chief Operating Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Puerto Rico - Richard Machado  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Hospital Hermanos Melendez

Rhode Island - Fred Allardyce  
Trustee , Westerly Hospital

South Carolina - S. Wayne Harris  
Director, Business Development Affiliated Services, AnMed Health

South Dakota - Maureen Cadwell  
Chief Executive Officer, Sanford Mid-Dakota Medical Center

Tennessee - Bernard Mattingly  
Chief Executive Officer, Cookeville Regional Medical Center

Texas - Steve Sanders  
Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital

Utah - Steven Bateman 
Chief Executive Officer, St. Mark's Hospital

Virginia - James Dunn  
Vice President of Advocacy and Community Affairs, Bon Secours Richmond Health System

Vermont - Thomas Huebner  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Rutland Regional Medical Center

Washington - John Fletcher  
Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Washington/Montana Region Providence Health & Services

Wisconsin - Duane Erwin  
President and Chief Executive Officer, Aspirus

West Virginia - Brent Marstellar 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Cabell Huntington Hospital

Wyoming - Thomas Nordwick 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Hospital of Converse County

Winners will be recognized at a special Breakfast of Grassroots Champions at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2010.  

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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