Press Release

Jack Bovender to Receive AHA Award of Honor

The American Hospital Association (AHA) will present its Award of Honor to Jack Bovender, retired chairman and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) based in Nashville, Tenn. The award recognizes exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of people through leadership on major health policies or social initiatives. Bovender is receiving the award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to increasing minority representation in health care management through his efforts at HCA, his work with the Institute for Diversity in Health Management and for his personal commitment to the issue.  The award will be presented at a ceremony on Monday, April 26 during the AHA's annual meeting in Washington. 

Bovender made diversity a priority at HCA. During his tenure, HCA's Diversity & Inclusion Council, which focuses on increasing the impact of racial, ethnic and cultural minority perspectives throughout the company, was created. He also strongly encouraged HCA hospitals to structure their board compositions to reflect the diversity of their communities. In addition, Bovender and his wife, Barbara, made the elimination of healthcare disparities for minorities a personal cause. In 2006, they personally donated $1million to establish a minority student scholarship program in the Health Sector Management Program at the Fuqua Business School at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Bovender also has served as a long-time and influential member of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management's board and through his support, financial involvement and leadership has greatly contributed to its mission.

"Jack is a thoughtful and passionate leader who exemplifies those qualities through his actions," said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO.  "His commitment to diversity in health care management has helped to focus a national spotlight on the issue, positively impacting the lives of many talented executives and raising the bar for the entire field."

Bovender is a 40-year veteran of the health care field and worked at HCA for 32 of those years.  He began his hospital administrative career in 1969 as a lieutenant in the United States Navy stationed at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.  He later served as CEO of Medical Center Hospital in Largo, Fla., and West Florida Regional Medical Center in Pensacola, both owned by HCA.

Bovender is a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, the Duke University Health System Board and the Board of Visitors at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke. Additionally, Bovender is a former member of Duke University Divinity School's Board of Visitors and former chairman of the Duke University Divinity School Capital Campaign Committee.  He is a founding member of the Nashville Health Care Council and has served on the boards of several Nashville human services and art organizations.

He served on the Board of Governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), an international professional society of nearly 30,000 health care executives.  In 2007, he was awarded ACHE's Gold Medal Award, recognizing his significant career-long contributions to the health care profession.  Bovender was lauded by Institutional Investor magazine as "Best CEO in America" for health care facilities in 2003, 2004 and 2005. 

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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