Press Release

AHA Establishes New Award to Recognize Leadership in Health Care Quality Improvement


Inaugural Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for Allied Association Leadership
To Be Presented in 2011

The AHA announces the new Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award to recognize state, regional and metropolitan hospital associations' leadership in improving health care quality.  The award will be presented annually to a hospital association that demonstrates leadership and innovation in quality improvement and contributes to national health care improvement efforts.  The first award will be given at the 2011 AHA/Health Forum Leadership Summit in July.

"The Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award will highlight innovative state, regional and metropolitan hospital association efforts that help hospitals improve quality of care," said AHA President Rich Umbdenstock.  "Hospital associations have contributed to nationwide efforts to improve health care quality for patients.  The AHA is proud to recognize the outstanding work they do and will work to help others learn from their success."

The award is named for AHA President Emeritus Dick Davidson who strongly promoted the role of hospital associations in leading quality improvement during his tenure as president from 1991 to 2006 and as president of the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) from 1969 to 1991.  During his time at MHA, the organization was recognized nationally for its work on the development of clinical quality indicators which allowed hospitals in Maryland for the first time to measure and compare quality of care. 

Davidson continued his leadership in improving hospital quality at the AHA by spearheading the Hospital Quality Alliance - a public/private partnership that created publicly available information on hospital quality performance - and establishing the AHA's first quality center.

The goals of the award initially are to:

  • recognize outstanding efforts among state, regional and metropolitan hospital associations to improve hospital quality of care;
  • encourage hospital associations to play key roles in raising the level of hospital and health system performance to achieve care that is safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient and patient-centered; and,
  • share ideas and efforts toward health national health care improvement that are being promoted by hospital associations.

A multi-disciplinary award committee will review all applications and select the award recipient, with the AHA Board of Trustees providing final approval.  Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., PhD, an AHA board member, will chair the committee, which will include hospital association executives, hospital and health system clinical and operational leaders and a representative from a national non-AHA organization involved in quality and performance improvement.  Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, March 15, 2011.  Information on the award and how to apply is available on AHA's website.

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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