Press Release

Anthony Spezia to Lead AHA's Section for Health Care Systems

Anthony (Tony) L. Spezia, president and CEO, Covenant Health, Knoxville, Tenn., is the 2011 chair of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Health Care Systems, a constituency section representing health systems across the country that assist the Association in further defining and focusing advocacy, public policy issues and member service strategies with regard to health care systems.  Spezia will lead a 23-person governing council of executives during the year, as the AHA and health care field navigate a course through reforms to improve America’s health care delivery system.

Spezia was named president/chief executive officer of Covenant Health in October 2000.  Covenant Health is a seven-hospital, 1,700-bed not-for profit health system headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. that has undergone remarkable growth in recent years.  With more than 10,000 employees and physicians, it is the largest healthcare provider in the region. Prior to his CEO appointment, he held a number of positions with Covenant Health.

He is a fellow in both the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a board member of the Tennessee Hospital Association, Hospital Alliance of Tennessee and VHA-Central Atlantic.   He is also a member of 2 advisory boards of Fortune 500 companies, as well as numerous civic and community boards.  Spezia has participated in Leadership Knoxville and was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on the Future of TennCare.  His recognitions in healthcare include being named a Fellow in the Health Ethics Trust, the highest individual award given by the Trust for significant contributions in ethics and compliance.  He also received Modern Healthcare’s CEO IT Achievement Award.

Mr. Spezia holds a bachelor’s degree in business from St. Louis University and an MBA from Michigan State University. He and his wife Sharon have two grown children, Alicia and Tony III, and six grandchildren.

Warner L. Thomas, president and COO, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, La, is the chairman-elect and will assume the role of chairman in 2012.  Jim Skogsbergh, president and chief executive officer of Advocate Health Care in Oak Brook, Ill., is the immediate past chairman. 

New appointees elected to serve on the council for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2011 are:

  • Marna Borgstrom, President and CEO, Yale New Haven Health System, New Haven, Conn.
  • Sandra Bruce, President and CEO, Resurrection Health Care Corporation, Chicago, Ill.
  • M. Joy Drass, M.D., Executive Vice President, MedStar Health, Columbia, MD
  • Patrick Fry, President and CEO, Sutter Health, Sacramento, Calf.
  • Marc Harrison, M.D., Chief Medical Operations Officer, Cleveland Clinic Health System, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • James Horrar, President and CEO, Quorum Health Resources, Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Richard Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Virtua Health, Marlton, N.J.
  • Joseph Swedish, President and CEO, Trinity Health System, Novi, Mich.
  • Michael Weber, President and CEO, Health Quest, Lagrangeville, N.Y.
  • Eugene (Gene) Woods, Senior Vice President, Catholic Health Initiatives and CEO, Saint Joseph Health System, Lexington, Ky.

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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