Press Release

Elaine Couture to Chair AHA's Metropolitan Hospitals Council

Elaine Couture, R.N., BSN, MBA, executive vice president/chief executive Providence Health & Services eastern Washington/Montana, will lead the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Metropolitan Hospitals as chair of its 26-member council for 2017. The section is a forum for suburban and urban hospitals to discuss common interests and concerns and to participate in the AHA policy process.

Couture oversees the Providence Health & Services health care system in eastern Washington and Montana, encompassing 10 hospitals including nationally recognized Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, Providence Holy Family Hospital and St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane; St. Patrick Hospital in Montana, St. Mary Medical Center and Kadlec Health in southeast Washington, as well as three critical access hospitals. The health care system includes more than 1,150 physician multi-specialty and ambulatory practices, numerous joint ventures and continuum of care providers and a large Accountable Care Organization.  

Couture serves on a wide variety of community and professional advisory boards, including current chair of the Washington State Hospital Association Board of Directors, as well as its Executive Committee; Greater Spokane Incorporated Board and Executive Committee; Spokane County United Way; Spokane University District Board; Providence Health Care Foundation; and U.S. Bank Board. She is also adjunct faculty at the Washington State University College of Nursing. Couture received her Master’s in Business Administration from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. Kathleen R. Becker, president of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, is this year’s chair-elect and will assume the role of chairperson in 2018. Debra A. Flores, R.N., FACHE, president and administrator of Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, Va., is immediate past chair.

The Metropolitan council advises the AHA on federal policy issues. Newly elected members serving for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2017, include: Akram Boutros, president & CEO, MetroHealth Medical Center of Cleveland; Delvecchio Finley, CEO, Highland Hospital, Oakland, Calif.; Richard Gannotta, SVP of Hospitals, NYC Health + Hospitals, New York; Jennifer Nolan, president, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville, Ky.; L. Reuven Pasternak, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., CEO, Stony Brook University Hospital, vice president for health systems, Stony Brook Medicine, Stony Brook, N.Y..; Cristina Rivera, CEO, Rio Grande Regional Hospital, McAllen, Texas; and Lynn Torossian, president and CEO, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, West Bloomfield, Mich.  Robert Ritz, president, Mercy Medical Center Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa is new to the council, and will be completing a partial term.

The new council members join the following current members: Bo Boulenger, CEO, Baptist Hospital of Miami; Darin Goss, FACHE, administrator, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix; Michael P. 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.; Janice Burger, CEO, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, Ore.; John A. DiAngelo, president and CEO, Inspira Health Network, Mullica Hill, 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.; and Avilla Williams, president, Integris Health Edmond, Edmond, Okla. 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 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.

For more information please go to http://www.aha.org/aha/member-center/constituency-sections/Metropolitan/index.html.

About the AHA’s Section for Metropolitan Hospitals

The AHA's Section for Metropolitan Hospitals provides representation, advocacy and educational opportunities to help the nation's suburban and urban hospitals better serve the health needs of patients and communities.

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 www.aha.org.

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