Lawrence “Lorry” J. Massa, who had a 40-year career in health care, including leading the Minnesota Hospital Association as president and CEO for nearly 11 years until his retirement in September, died Nov. 22. He was 65.
Under Massa’s leadership, MHA was a strong advocate for expanding Medicaid coverage, and the state became one of the first in the country to expand Medicaid following passage of the Affordable Care Act. Massa also expanded MHA’s quality and patient safety improvement work in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and earned national recognition, including the 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality and the AHA’s 2015 Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to both lead and serve hospital and health care organizations throughout Minnesota,” Massa said when he announced his retirement in June. “Because our members — both metro and rural, large and small — work together so well on improving the delivery of health care and patient safety, we can proudly say that Minnesota is continually recognized by the federal government and national nonprofit organizations as one of the top states in the country for the quality and affordability of our health care.”
Prior to being named president and CEO of MHA, Massa served as chief executive officer of Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, Minn., from 1994 to 2008. He also served as South Dakota’s secretary of health under Gov. William Janklow.
“Lorry Massa spent his life working to protect and expand coverage so that all Minnesotans — especially those in rural and underserved areas — have access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “He worked hard to make Minnesota a national leader in quality and patient safety. He built bridges throughout the state to ensure Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems are always there, ready to care. He led with integrity and courage, and was respected by his colleagues across the country. From the entire AHA family, we thank Lorry for everything he did to advance health in America, and we send our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues throughout Minnesota and the nation.”