Ninfa Saunders to receive 2020 AHA Board of Trustees Award

WASHINGTON (December 9, 2020) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that Ninfa Saunders, former President and CEO of Navicent Health in Macon, Ga., will be awarded its 2020 Board of Trustees Award. The Award is presented to individuals or groups who have made substantial and noteworthy contributions to the work of the AHA.

Saunders was CEO of Navicent Health since 2012 and held various leadership positions in the field for over 40 years. Some of her past roles include President of Virtua Health in Marlton, N.J., membership in the Georgia Cancer Coalition, COO for DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, GA., and director of nursing resources for Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Previously, Saunders also chaired AHA’s Institute for Diversity in 2016 and 2017 as it expanded its focus and transitioned into the current Institute for Diversity and Health Equity. As chair of the Institute for Diversity, she oversaw the successful integration of equity of care into the Institute’s scope of work. She also co-chaired AHA’s Equity of Care Award, where she helped AHA establish best practices for the field to identify and address equity issues.

“Ninfa has been a staunch champion for diversity and health equity throughout her health care career,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Her passion to create a more diverse and equitable health care field sets a high bar for others to follow as we continue to advance health equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Saunders has been recognized for numerous awards throughout her career, including selection to Becker’s Hospital Review’s “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” for five consecutive years and by the Georgia Diversity Council as one of the state’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women.” She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. 


Contact:       Marie Johnson, 202-626-2351,    
                    Thomas Jordan, 202-626-2264,                 

About the American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at


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