The AHA’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan is the result of significant deliberation, study, and hard work by AHA’s Board of Trustees, governance committees, and staff, after much input and guidance from you, our membership. We heard from you and responded with a plan that is designed to provide a quick overview of the forces influencing the field, our shared commitments and a roadmap for getting there during this time of transformation.

 The only constant in our chosen field of health care is change. Cutting-edge technologies, medical discoveries, and new management processes are improving the care hospitals and health systems provide every day. Hospitals everywhere are learning to redefine the “H” – changing to best serve their patients’ needs, and evolving beyond the traditional four walls to offer new services and improve communication and engagement with patients. At the same time, changes in the political environment and the direction of public policy could have a significant impact on our field. This strategic plan takes this rapid transformation into account.

 Just as our members are undergoing change, so are we. The AHA is constantly evolving to meet your needs. You can think of it as redefining the “A.” We will continue to strategically advocate for our members in our nation’s capital, share best practices in our field, foster dialogue on health care and health policy, and much more. Most importantly of all, we will work side by side with our members as each hospital, health system or provider of care pursues its own path to excellence.

 While our modern world may be rapidly changing, one thing will always stay the same –  AHA’s commitment to our vision and key principles. We seek a society of healthy communities where all individuals can reach their highest potential for health. And to get there, we will continue to work to advance the transformation of health care, ensure access to coverage, preserve adequate resources for health care, protect patient access to care, enhance the quality of care and patient safety, and make health care more affordable.

 The good work you are doing – whether it is the late nights in the ED, the breakthroughs in telemedicine, or the fight to address the social determinants of health – saves lives and unites families. Each day brings a new inspirational story to tell. Thank you for all you do for patients and communities. It is an honor to represent you.