Press Release

Debra Flores to Chair AHA's Metropolitan Hospitals Governing Council

WASHINGTON – January 21, 2016 – Debra Flores, R.N., FACHE, president of Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, Va., will lead the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Metropolitan Hospitals as chair of its 26-member governing council for 2016. The section is a forum for suburban and urban hospitals to discuss common interests and concerns and to participate in the AHA policy process.

Flores, who joined Sentara CarePlex Hospital in 2000, brings more than 30 years of experience working for large, complex health systems and rehabilitation facilities. In addition to her work at Sentara CarePlex, Flores has held positions with Rehab Care Group, Inc., in St. Louis and Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Flores has received many national accolades including: Urban League Silver Star Award for Healthy Families and Communities; Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals Quality Award; Outstanding Business Leader, Coliseum Central Business Improvement District; Leap Frog Quality Award; Leadership in the Care of Families Award from Hampton University, Hampton, Va.; Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority Inc. Outstanding Nursing Leadership Award; and Rehab Care Group Nursing Leadership Award,  numerous Sentara Healthcare President’s awards and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Award.

Flores received her master’s degree in business management from Troy State University and completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hampton University. Elaine Couture, R.N., chief executive of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Wash., is this year’s chair-elect and will assume the role of chairperson in 2017. Wright L. Lassiter III, president of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, 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, 2016, include: Bo Boulenger, CEO, Baptist Hospital of Miami; Darin Goss, administrator, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix; Michael Halter, CEO, Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia; Kim N. Hollon, FACHE, president and CEO, Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, Brockton, Mass.; Charles Lucore, M.D., president and CEO, St. John’s Hospital, Springfield, Ill.; Donald McKenna, president and CEO, St. Mary’s Health Care System, Athens, Ga.; and Darlene Stromstad, president and CEO, Waterbury Hospital, Waterbury, Conn.

The new governing council members join the following current members: Janice Burger, CEO, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, Ore.; Eileen Cardile, executive vice president, Inspira Health Network, president and CEO, Inspira Medical Center – Woodbury, Woodbury, N.J.; Mary Prybylo, R.N., M.S.N., FACHE, president and CEO, St. Joseph Healthcare, 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.; Avilla Williams, president, Integris Health Edmond, Edmond, Okla.; Kathleen R. Becker, president, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Louis; 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, president and CEO, Froedtert Health, Milwaukee; Kenneth S. Lewis, M.D., J.D., president and CEO, Union Hospital, Elkton, Md.; and William G. Sisson, president and regional executive, Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, Ky. 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. 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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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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