AHA names new trustees to the board

WASHINGTON (August 5, 2021) – The American Hospital Association has elected six new members to its Board of Trustees for three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2022. The Board of Trustees is the highest policymaking body of the AHA and has ultimate authority for the governance and management of its directions and finances. 

In addition, Phyllis Cowling, president and CEO of United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas was reappointed to a full term as a member of the AHA Board of Trustees. Cowling was elected last year to fill a vacancy on the Board for one year, effective Jan. 1, 2021. More information about Cowling can be found HERE.

Incoming members of the AHA Board of Trustees include:

Tina Freese Decker, MHA, MSIE, FACHE, President & CEO of Spectrum Health System, an $8.3 billion not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1.2 million members across the state of Michigan.

Over her 19 years serving Spectrum Health in various strategic and operational roles, Freese Decker has developed a strong track record of forging collaborative community partnerships, executing effective strategy and inspiring high-performing talent and teams. She leads with a bold vision — personalized health made simple, affordable and exceptional — and is committed to building a health system that celebrates and reinforces diversity, equity and inclusion for team members, patients, families and members.

Freese Decker is the current chair of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, immediate past chair of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, vice chair of The Right Place, and participates in additional local boards. 

Freese Decker’s awards include Modern Healthcare’s 2021 and 2019 Top 25 Women Leaders, Grand Rapids Business Journal's 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan in 2020, Crain’s Detroit Business’ 2019 Health Care Heroes award and 2018 Most Notable Women in Health Care and Managed Healthcare Executive’s 10 Emerging Healthcare Industry Leaders 2018.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Iowa State University and a Master of Health Administration and Master of Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa. 

Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president and CEO of Virtua Health, a not-for-profit integrated health system in New Jersey, with five hospitals, 300 care sites and 15,000 colleagues offering a full continuum of primary, preventive, wellness, acute, and long-term care.

Pullin came to Virtua in 2017 from the Washington, D.C./Baltimore, MD area where he was president of MedStar Harbor Hospital and senior vice president of MedStar Health. Prior to leading MedStar Harbor, he was senior vice president and chief operating officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. 

Pullin’s extensive background includes many executive leadership positions in hospitals, academic medical centers, physician group practices and private industry. He was vice president of operations and business development at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in Houston and vice president of acquisitions and development at Symbion Healthcare, Inc.

A fellow and past regent of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Pullin serves on the New Jersey Hospital Association Board of Trustees. He is a past chair of the American Hospital Association’s Governance Council for Metropolitan Hospitals and a past member of the Maryland Hospital Association’s Council on Legislative and Regulatory Policy. He is a current member of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey Board of Directors and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Regional Board of Directors. In 2020 and 2018, Modern Healthcare recognized him as one of the nation’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare. 

Pullin earned a Bachelor of Arts at Texas Lutheran University and a Master of Science at Texas A&M University.

Anthony Slonim, MD, DrPH, FACHE, president and CEO of Renown Health, one of the nation's most innovative and progressive health systems based in Reno, Nev. He leads Renown's charitable mission of making a genuine difference in the community's health and well-being.

The integrated health care system includes four hospitals, 100 sites for primary, urgent  and specialty care; telehealth; an integrated, provider-sponsored health plan and accountable care organization serving more than 160,000 members across northern Nevada, with products including Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Most recently, Slonim and his team helped to integrate the University of Nevada’s School of Medicine into Renown Health and established a new Clinically Integrated Network. Renown's more than 7,000 employees and 1,500 physician-providers serve as the regional referral center for 100,000 square miles from  Sacramento to Salt Lake City. 

Before joining Renown Health, Slonim served on the senior leadership teams for Barnabas Health in New Jersey, Carilion Clinic in Virginia and Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Slonim, who was also a registered nurse, got his medical degree from New York Medical College, served four years in the U.S. Public Service Commissioned Corps as a commander, and earned both his master's and doctoral degrees in public health and health policy  from The George Washington University's Center for Health Policy Studies. 

Mike Abrams, president and CEO of the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA). As the united voice of Ohio’s hospital community, OHA leverages data and expertise to be the leader in influencing health policy, driving quality improvement initiatives and advocating for economic sustainability to serve a diverse membership. 

Abrams’ career started as a staffer in the Indiana statehouse, and since 1987, has centered around government affairs, health care and meeting the needs of members — first with the Indiana State Medical Association, then the Iowa Medical Society before moving to the Ohio Hospital Association. 

Abrams collaborates with leaders across various industries to connect members with innovative solutions and new perspectives. In 2018, he helped to create a group comprising presidents of 21 statewide associations to learn about pressing issues in each other’s industry sectors. The group ranges from the Bankers League, to the Farm Bureau to the Auto Dealers Association. He joined with the president of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges to hold a summit of college and hospital leaders to discuss a new workforce development partnership.

Abrams earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Master of Public Administration from Indiana University.

Heidi Duncan, M.D., FAAFP, is a family medicine physician at Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest health system based in Billings, Montana. Billings Clinic is a physician-led, community-governed, integrated, not-for-profit health care organization with 15 affiliated Critical Access Hospitals serving residents of Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas.

As a physician leader and policy leader, Dr. Duncan advocates for education and community health improvement, such as innovative ways of providing health care to historically marginalized communities that include American Indians, children and seniors.

Dr. Duncan has worked at Billings Clinic since 1994, and in 2014, she added the role of Billings Clinic’s Physician Director of Health Policy to her clinical work. She shares health policy work in a dyad with the director of reimbursement and health policy. Together, they work at the grassroots, state and federal levels with other physician leaders, legislators and policy makers to inform them on policy issues related to practicing medicine in an integrated clinical system that includes rural physician practices and Critical Access Hospitals. Her policy work has included innovations in telemedicine and virtual visits; reaching consensus on Medicaid expansion in a conservative state; developing new residencies; and many more leading-edge issues. Dr. Duncan was recently elected to serve as a physician member of the Billings Clinic Board of Directors, has served as President of the Montana Academy of Family Physicians and has been a delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians for many years.  

She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and her M.D. from the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is board certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Duncan is a delegate to the AHA Regional Policy Board 8 (RPB 8), and as an AHA Board member, she will chair this RPB. 

John J. (Jack) Lynch III, FACHE, president and CEO of Main Line Health since 2005, providing executive leadership to suburban Philadelphia’s most comprehensive not-for-profit health care system. Main Line Health is comprised of four of the region’s respected acute care hospitals — Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital — as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center, one of the leading addiction treatment programs in the Northeast; the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research; and the Home Care Network, which provides at-home nursing and hospice care throughout the five county region.  

During his tenure with Main Line Health, Lynch and his leadership team have been credited with strengthening the organization’s commitment to safety, quality and equity and enhancing the technology necessary to support significant advances in those areas. He has also fostered a period of expansion, including the addition of an acute care hospital and six health centers to better serve the needs of the Main Line and western suburban communities, and has cultivated an employee work environment that has garnered recognition from several independent rating organizations.  

Prior to joining Main Line Health, Lynch served nearly 20 years as an executive with the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in Houston, Texas, where he advanced to the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer for the system, as well as CEO of the system’s flagship facility, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. 

A former governor of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Lynch serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, The Haverford School and The American Heart Association, where he is on the Eastern States Board and the Philadelphia Board. As an AHA Board member, he will chair RPB 2.

Lynch received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and his Master of Health Administration from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.  


Contact:     Colin Milligan, cmilligan@aha.org, (202) 638-5491
                   Sean Barry,
sbarry@aha.org, (202) 626-2306

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