AHA Chairman Gene Woods yesterday set three goals for the field: expand access and coverage; re-engage with communities outside hospitals’ traditional walls; and end disparities in care. In his investiture address at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting, Woods said those are “three battles that must be fought and won for not only the AHA, but for all of our patients and the people in the communities we serve.” The president and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare System noted that his organization’s logo is the “tree of life” – a symbol for the preservation and regeneration of life – and that the Carolinas is known for getting its share of hurricanes. He drew an analogy between trees that weather those gale-force winds and the challenges facing the hospital and health system field. “Even though the branches of the tree that survives may reach the ground, and though it may bend and sway in the storm, it is not uprooted because it is firmly anchored,” Woods said. He said hospitals’ and health systems’ “deep roots have enabled us to withstand the storms of the past and will help us withstand the storms of the future. We must be flexible enough to adapt in the storm, while firmly rooted in our mission and our calling.”