The Illinois Hospital Association on Friday named A.J. Wilhelmi its next president and CEO, effective Jan. 1. Wilhelmi joined IHA in 2012 as its chief government relations officer. Prior to that, he was an Illinois state senator for seven years, serving as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Over the past four years, A.J. has been instrumental in leading IHA’s successful advocacy efforts on behalf of hospitals and health systems on many critical issues,” said IHA Board Chair Dean Harrison, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. “A.J. commands the highest respect from the membership, government officials and other stakeholders and IHA staff.” Wilhelmi succeeds Maryjane Wurth, who was recently named AHA chief strategy and relationship officer and president and CEO of Health Forum. On Friday, IHA also announced that Dan Yunker, the current president and CEO of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council will be joining IHA on Jan. 1 as executive vice president and president and CEO of IHA’s new Midwest Healthcare Institute. IHA and MCHC announced plans last month to merge in January.