On Thursdays, we will highlight an oral history featuring health care leaders who shaped the past and laid the foundation for the future. Since 1978, the AHA has conducted more than 100 interviews as part of this project and transcripts are available in the oral history collection on the AHA’s Resource Center webpage. The following oral history with Thomas C. Dolan, Ph.D., comes from an interview conducted in 2014.

Thomas Dolan is President Emeritus of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and a former academic leader. Dolan credits involvement in multiple student activities at Loyola University for his passion and talent for organization. He went on to obtain his Ph.D. in hospital and health administration from the University of Iowa. Dolan’s academic career began as an assistant professor and director of graduate studies in the section of Health Services Management at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He then went on become associate professor and director of the Center for Health Services Education and Research at Saint Louis University. In 1986, Dolan left academia to take an executive position with ACHE, eventually serving 21 years as its president and CEO.

In the interview, Dolan discusses experiences during his career in leadership at ACHE. After reviewing a bit of the history of hospital administrators and the formation of the organization in the 1930s, he discusses the credentialing of health care executives, the function of the ACHE Congress, and the development of local chapters. He also describes ACHE’s growing awareness of the need to prioritize diversity and inclusion in health care administration. To read the full oral history transcript, click here.