The American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award recognizes those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital and who are tireless advocates for hospitals and their patients.


The 2018 Grassroots Champions are:


Alabama – Jeffrey M. Brannon

Chief Executive Officer, Wiregrass Medical Center


Alaska – Robert A. Rang, RN, MHA, MSN

Chief Executive Officer, Wrangell Medical Center


Arkansas – Douglas Weeks, FACHE

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Baptist Health Medical Center – North Little Rock


California – Shelly Schlenker

Vice President of Public Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations, Dignity Health


Colorado – Jason Cleckler

Chief Executive Officer, Delta County Memorial Hospital


Connecticut – Patrick A. Charmel

President and Chief Executive Officer, Griffin Hospital


District of Columbia – George Spinkel

Chief Financial Officer, George Washington University Hospital


Delaware – Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE

President and Chief Executive Officer, Beebe Healthcare

Florida – Aurelio Fernandez

President and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Healthcare System


Georgia – James Matney

President and Chief Executive Officer, Colquitt Regional Medical Center


Hawaii – Laura Westphal

Vice President, Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer, Castle Medical Center


Idaho – Bradley Huerta

Chief Executive Officer, Lost Rivers Medical Center


Illinois – Edgar J. Curtis

President and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Health System


Indiana – Mike K. Schroyer, RN, MSN, MBA, FACHE, AACC

Regional President, St. Vincent Anderson/Mercy/Randolph


Iowa – Joseph Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Boone County Hospital


Kansas – Ken Johnson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center


Kentucky – Jerry Penner III

Chief Executive Officer, Murray-Calloway County Hospital


Louisiana – Teri G. Fontenot, FACHE

President and Chief Executive Officer, Woman’s Hospital


Maryland – Victoria W. Bayless

President and Chief Executive Officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center


Massachusetts – Kate Walsh

President and Chief Executive Officer, Boston Medical Center


Michigan – Paul A. King

Executive Director, C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital


Minnesota – Randy Ulseth

Chief Executive Officer, FirstLight Health System


Mississippi – G. Douglas Higginbotham

Chief Executive Officer, South Central Regional Medical Center


Missouri – Christine M. Candio, RN, FACHE

President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Luke’s Hospital


Montana – Bren Lowe

President and Chief Executive Officer, Livingston HealthCare


Nebraska – Manuela Wolf

Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Community Hospital and Health System


Nevada – Anthony D. Slonim, M.D., DrPH

President and Chief Executive Officer, Renown Health


New Hampshire – Robert P. Steigmeyer

President and Chief Executive Officer, Concord Hospital


New Jersey – Kenneth Morris Jr., MHA, MA

Vice President, External Affairs, St. Joseph’s Health


New Mexico – Christina Campos

Administrator, Guadalupe County Hospital


New York – Eva Benedict

President and Chief Executive Officer, Jones Memorial Hospital


North Carolina – Michael Stevenson

President and Chief Executive Officer, Murphy Medical Center


North Dakota – Darrold Bertsch

Chief Executive Officer, Sakakawea Medical Center


Ohio – Bruce D. White

Chief Executive Officer, Knox Community Hospital


Oregon – Kelly C. Morgan

President and Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Medical Center


Pennsylvania – Alan Brechbill

Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Puerto Rico – Karen Z. Artau Feliciano, MHSA

President, Metro Pavia Health System


Rhode Island – Michael Souza

President and Chief Executive Officer, Landmark Medical Center


South Carolina – Robert L. Colones

Executive Director, McLeod Regional Medical Center


South Dakota – Eric C. Hilmoe

Vice President, Operations, Sanford Health Network


Tennessee – Tish Towns

Senior Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer, Regional One Health


Texas – Jeffrey Canose, M.D., MHA

President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas Health Resources


Utah – Gordon Crabtree, CPA, MBA

Interim CEO, University of Utah Health – Hospitals and Clinics


Virginia – John L. Fitzgerald

Senior Vice President, External Relations, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital


Vermont – Paul R. Bengston

Chief Executive Officer, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital


Washington – Theresa Sullivan

Chief Financial Officer, Samaritan Healthcare


Wisconsin – Daniel DeGroot

Chief Operating Officer, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital


West Virginia – Albert L. Wright, Jr.

President and Chief Executive Officer, West Virginia University Health System


Wyoming – Douglas A. McMillan

Chief Executive Officer, Cody Regional Health





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