Press Release

Wright L. Lassiter III, to Chair AHA's Metropolitan Hospitals Governing Council

WASHINGTON – January 23, 2015 – Wright L. Lassiter III, president of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, will lead the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Metropolitan Hospitals as chair of its 25-member governing council for 2015. The section is a forum for suburban and urban hospitals to discuss common interests and concerns and to participate in the AHA policy process.


Lassiter, who joined Henry Ford Health System in 2014, brings more than 20 years of experience working for large, complex health systems, including Methodist Health System in Dallas and JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Texas. He also held the top executive position at Alameda Health System in Oakland, Calif., where he is credited with leading the expansion and turnaround of the $865 million public health system.


Lassiter has received many national accolades, most notably including: 2014 “Top Blacks in U.S. Healthcare” by the John Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions; 2012 “Top 25 Minority Healthcare Executives in U.S. Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine; and in 2011 Health Leaders magazine named him among the “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better” in the U.S. An avid community leader, Lassiter has held volunteer positions at the United Way, Salvation Army and YMCA. He also serves on the BETA Healthcare Group Board, the KLAS Advisory Board and California Health and Wellness. Additionally, he serves on the executive Committee of the Boards of the California Hospital Association and America's Essential Hospitals.


Lassiter received his master’s degree in healthcare administration from Indiana University and completed his bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. Michael Sack, president and CEO of Hallmark Health System in Melrose, Mass., is this year’s chair-elect and will assume the role of chairman in 2016. Reginald Coopwood, M.D., president and CEO at Regional Medical Center at Memphis, in Memphis, Tenn., is immediate past chair.


The Metropolitan governing council advises the AHA on federal policy issues. Newly elected members serving for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2015, include: Janice Burger, CEO, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, Ore.; Eileen Cardile, executive vice president, Inspira Health Network, Woodbury, N.J.; Mary Prybylo, president and CEO, St. Joseph Hospital, Bangor, Maine; Dennis W. Pullin, president, MedStar Harbor Hospital, Baltimore; John Singerling, III, FACHE, president, Palmetto Health, Columbia, S.C.; Kevin Unger, president and CEO, Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins, Colo.; Avila Williams, president, Integris Health Edmond, Edmond, Okla.; and Carolyn Wilson, president, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, Minneapolis.


The new governing council members join the following current members: Kathleen R. Becker, president, SSM St. Mary’s Health Center, Richmond Heights, Mo.; Pat Currie, FACHE, president/COO, Baylor Scott & White Health Central Texas, Temple, Texas; Kreg Gruber, president, Memorial Hospital of South Bend, South Bend, Ind.; Catherine Jacobson, FHFMA, C.P.A., president and CEO, Froedtert Health, Milwaukee; Kenneth S. Lewis, M.D., J.D., president and CEO, Union Hospital, Elkton, Md.; George M. Proctor, senior vice president and executive director, Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.; William G. Sisson, president and regional executive, Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, Ky.; Bo Boulenger, CEO, Baptist Hospital of Miami, Miami; Stephen Carlson, president and CEO, Community Medical Center, Missoula, Mont.; James Collins, president and CEO, St. Clair Memorial Hospital, Pittsburgh; Sandra Coletta, president and CEO, Kent County Memorial Hospital, Warwick, R.I.; Elaine Couture, R.N., chief executive, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital, Spokane, Wash.; Debra A. Flores, R.N., FACHE, president and administrator, Sentara CarePlex Hospital, Hampton, Va.; and Barbara Martin, R.N., FACHE, president and CEO, Vista Medical Center East, Waukegan, Ill. Melinda Estes, M.D., president and CEO, Saint Luke’s Health System, Kansas City, Mo., serves as the AHA board liaison to the section’s governing council and Michael Dunaway, senior vice president, Kansas City Metropolitan Healthcare Council and St. Louis Metropolitan Hospital Council, Overland Park, Kan. serves as the Conference on Metropolitan and Regional Hospital Associations liaison.


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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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