Press Release

AHA Elects New Trustees to the Board

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has elected eight new members to its Board of Trustees for terms beginning January 1, 2011.  The Board of Trustees is the policy-making body of the AHA and has ultimate authority for the governance and management of its direction and finances.

New board members include:

James A. Diegel has been the president and CEO of St. Charles Health System, a three-hospital system in Bend, Ore. since 2006.  Diegel started his career as an emergency department technician and went on to become administrator of Ebeye Hospital in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata, Wash.  In 1994, Diegel became executive director of Central Oregon District Hospital in Redmond and held several senior vice president positions after the merger between the Bend and Redmond hospitals in 2001.

Diegel holds a master's degree in health service administration from St. Mary's College of California and a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University.  He is a member of the AHA Task Force on Variation in Health Care Spending and serves as vice chair of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems board. 

Scott A. Duke has been CEO at Glendive Medical Center, a 25-bed critical access hospital with 151 long-term care beds in Glendive, Mont., since 2002.  Previously, he was with Mercy Medical Center in Williston, N.D., as vice president, clinical and ancillary services and director, physician services.  He has held positions at a multi-specialty medical clinic and hospital in Minot, N.D.

Duke holds a Master of Science in management and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Minot State University, Minot, N.D.  He was a member of the AHA's Task Force on Payment Reform.

James H. Hinton is president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS) in Albuquerque, N.M.  Hinton has been with Presbyterian for 27 years.  He serves as a member of the Presbyterian Board of Directors and chairs the Presbyterian Health Plan Board of Directors.  He served as chief operating officer of PHS from 1992 to 1995.

Hinton has served on the board of the New Mexico Hospitals and Health Systems Association and the Insure New Mexico Council as well as chaired the Governor's task force for health care reform.  Hinton also serves on the boards of Premier Inc. and The Healthcare Institute.  Hinton received his Bachelors of Arts from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Science in health care administration from Arizona State University.  He has served on several AHA task forces and the Health Research and Educational Trust board. 

Jonathan Perlin, M.D. is president of clinical services and chief medical officer of HCA in Nashville, Tenn.  Perlin joined HCA in 2006 and is responsible for clinical strategy and continually improving performance at HCA's hospitals and outpatient centers.  Currently, he is overseeing the development and implementation of electronic health records throughout HCA and a national program seeking to eradicate healthcare-associated infections.

Before joining HCA, Perlin was Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Prior to that, he was medical director for Quality Improvement at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals-Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.  Perlin has served on the boards of the National Quality Forum and American Health Information Community.  He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Medical Informatics.  Perlin holds a master's in health administration.  He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology with his M.D. as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Campus.  Perlin served on the AHA Task Force on Quality/Patient Safety and serves on the board of The Joint Commission.

Roger Reamer is a chief executive officer of Memorial Health Care Systems in Seward, Neb.
Reamer has been CEO of the hospital since 2000.  Previously, he was hospital administrator at Butler County Health Care Center in David City, Neb. and Brown County Hospital in Ainsworth, Neb.  Before becoming a hospital administrator, he served as manager for Penrose St. Francis Healthcare System in Colorado Springs, Colo., Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital, also in Colorado Springs, and AMI Presbyterian Hospital in Aurora, Colo.

Reamer holds a master's of business administration from Webster University and a bachelor's degree from North Dakota State University.  He chaired the Nebraska Hospital Association board and is on the Board of Health for the State of Nebraska.

Nancy Schlichting is president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.  Prior to taking her current position, Schlichting served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the system and was responsible for its hospitals, community care services, hospital joint ventures, physician practice development and integrated support services. 

Prior to joining Henry Ford Health System in 1998, Schlichting was EVP and COO of Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.  She also has served as president of the Eastern Region of Catholic Health Initiatives, president and CEO of Riverside Methodist Hospitals, and EVP and COO of Akron City Hospital.  Schlichting chaired the boards of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and the Greater Detroit Area Health Council.

She earned her bachelor's degree in public policy studies from Duke University where she graduated magna cum laude.  She received her master's in business administration in hospital administration and accounting from Cornell University.  She is a current member of the AHA Advisory Committee on Health Care Reform. 

Michael C. Tarwater is CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C.  Before being named to the top administrative position in 2002, Tarwater was EVP and COO of the system.  Earlier he was administrator and vice president of diagnostic and therapeutic services at Carolinas Medical Center and assistant administrator at UAB Hospitals in Birmingham, Ala.

He is an ACHE Fellow and past chair of the North Carolina Hospital Association.  He holds a master's in health and hospital administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and a bachelor's degree from the University of West Florida.  Tarwater is a current member of the AHA's Section for Health Care Systems governing council and has served on several AHA task forces.

Sandra Wright, RN, Ed.D. is chief executive officer of Tyler County Hospital in Woodville, Texas.  Wright became administrator of Tyler County Hospital in 2001.  Prior to joining Tyler, she worked 22 years at a 25-office multi-state health care corporation.  Wright is a 19-year board member for Methodist Hospital in Houston.  She also is a board member of the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange and a member of the Texas Hospital Association (THA) Rural Hospital Council.

Wright earned nursing degrees from Angelina College and Stephen F. Austin State University, a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Texas Dallas, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.   She is the recipient of a U.S. House of Representatives Commendation and the THA Pioneer Award for her work in securing grants for coverage of the uninsured in the wake of Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike.

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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