Press Release

Vince Oliver Receives AHA's Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Award

WASHINGTON (December 2, 2015) – Vince Oliver, CEO and superintendent of Island Hospital in Anacortes, Wash. is the 2015 winner of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Award. The award recognizes the accomplishments of small or rural hospital leaders who have improved health care delivery in their communities through innovative and progressive efforts.

Oliver is a collaborative leader. By teaming up with physicians, staff members and the community, he has brought innovative programs to Island Hospital that enhance patient experiences and outcomes. Some of these new initiatives were a Sleep-Wellness Center, a Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, and the Merle Cancer Care Center, all of which were developed to keep health care local. A new mental health program was initiated with the Anacortes school district embedding mental health counselors in the schools. 

Oliver spearheaded the design, development, financing and construction of two major facilities. The hospital’s 1962 facility needed expansion and modernization, part of which was financed through a levy that passed the community by 79%. Oliver’s ties to the community are strong in other ways, he recruited medical staff to reflect the diversity of the community.

Under his leadership, Island Hospital continuously receives excellent patient satisfaction marks, as demonstrated by a Seattle Post Intelligencer ranking of third out of 49 hospitals in Washington State for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services patient satisfaction scores and perception of quality. Additionally, Island Hospital was ranked in in the top 10 Washington hospitals for surgery by Consumer Reports and received the following awards: Best Performance for Sustained Excellent from the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes, the Washington State Hospital Association’s Community Health Leadership Award, the Healthstrong Top Performing Hospital Award, the NerdWallet Best Washington Hospitals Award and the HomeCare Elite award.

This year, the Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Award also recognized finalist Richard E. Nordahl, CEO of Sanford Sheldon Medical Center in Sheldon, Iowa, for his significant achievement in service to his community. Nordahl took the reins during a turbulent period of change for the hospital and community. He brought the hospital in compliance with federal regulations and boosted the financial health of the organization. Nordahl implemented a discharge planning process that has reduced readmissions. Additionally, he started a Patient Advisory Committee. Employee engagement is strong under Nordahl’s leadership, and he focuses intensely on the good health and well-being of staff members.


Shirley Ann Munroe Award

Shirley Ann Munroe was an advocate for small and rural hospitals and was instrumental in the creation of the AHA’s Section for Small or Rural Hospitals, a forum working to support small and rural hospitals as they improve their community’s health.

The award is sponsored by the AHA’s Section for Small or Rural Hospitals. It is presented annually to a hospital administrator or chief executive officer who has displayed outstanding leadership in meeting the ongoing challenge of small or rural hospital management. Last year’s award recipient was Harold L. Krueger, Jr., CEO of Chadron Community Hospital & Health Services (CCH&HS) in Chadron, Neb.

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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