WASHINGTON (April 22, 2022) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Kevin E. Lofton, CEO emeritus at CommonSpirit Health in Chicago. Lofton will receive the award during a ceremony on April 25 at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C.
The AHA is presenting the 2021 Distinguished Service Award to Lofton in recognition of his significant lifetime contributions to the nation's health care institutions and associations and unwavering commitment to increasing diversity in health care and reducing health disparities. Lofton was the founding chair of AHA’s Health Equity Initiative, served as AHA Board Chair in 2007, and was a founding board member of AHA’s Institute for Diversity for Health Management (now known as Institute for Diversity and Health Equity), which continues to advance health equity and expand leadership opportunities for minorities in health care administration.
“Kevin’s dedication to increase equity in health care and ensure that we keep a sharp focus on serving the most underrepresented individuals in our communities has made him one of the most influential and transformational leaders in our field,” said Rick Pollack, AHA president and CEO. “His commitment has helped accelerate the pace of progress for the entire field, and his strong and passionate leadership has made a real difference that will improve the lives of millions of Americans.”
In 2020, Lofton retired as CEO of CommonSpirit Health, the health system created by a merger in 2019 between Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health. During his years as CEO at CHI, Lofton transformed the health system into an innovative, diversified health care entity — from a 68-hospital, $6 billion enterprise, to a $15.5 billion health care entity in 18 states at the time of the merger. In fiscal year 2018, CHI alone contributed $2 billion in community benefits and financial assistance to its communities, and awarded $9.2 million in grants and multi-year funding to build healthier communities in the U.S. and around the globe.
Other efforts championed by Lofton included initiatives to prevent violence, reduce human trafficking and transform care delivery. Under his leadership, CHI took a systematic “total health” approach to addressing social factors affecting health, involving concrete steps such as screening for basic human needs during primary care visits and building broad-based community coalitions. Prior to his 17 years leading CHI, Lofton served as CEO of two university hospitals and chief operating officer at a third.
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 www.aha.org.