AHA Names New Trustees to the Board

WASHINGTON (August 8, 2023) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) has elected eight new members to its Board of Trustees for three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2024. 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, Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., will join the AHA Board filling an unexpired term. 

Incoming members of the AHA Board of Trustees are:


Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Health in Bristol, Conn.

Barwis has been with Bristol Health for the past 17 years. He brings over 30 years of management and leadership experience across community hospitals, management consulting and business to his current position as president and CEO of Bristol Health.

Barwis is also a member of AHA’s Advisory Group on Hospitals Against Violence and served as a delegate of the AHA Regional Policy Board 1 from 2019-2021.

Prior to joining Bristol Health, Barwis was the senior vice president and chief operating officer at St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, Md. He also served as system vice president of managed care and business development at Union Hospital in Elkton, Md.

Barwis served in a variety of board positions including as past governor of the American College of Healthcare Executives, president of the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Executives and past CEO Forum Executive of the Connecticut Hospital Association.

Barwis received a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a Master of Business Administration from LaSalle University in Philadelphia.


Norvell Coots, MD, president and CEO of Holy Cross Health and the Maryland Region of Trinity Health in Silver Spring, Md.

Coots joined Trinity Health seven years ago, following a 36-year career in the US Army. He is a retired Brigadier General and a board-certified dermatologist. His storied medical and military career spans 40 years garnering him several awards and recognitions. Prior to joining Holy Cross Health, Coots served in many capacities such as Commanding General/CEO for the Regional Health Command in Europe, Deputy Commanding General for the Army Medical Command, Assistant Surgeon General, and Surgeon General, US Forces-Afghanistan. Perhaps most notable, Coots served as the final Commander and CEO of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Coots’ previous affiliations with the AHA include serving as the federal segment advisor, Maryland representative on the AHA Regional Policy Board 3 from 2018-2020, and as an alternate in 2017, as well as alternate federal representative from 2009-2011. Additionally, Coots currently serves as Chair of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Research Hospital Board. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Coots also holds active memberships in the National and American Medical Associations, the Association of Military Dermatologists, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Maryland MedChi Society, and is on the board of the Maryland Hospital Association.

Some of Coots’ awards and honors include Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Korean Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Afghanistan Campaign medal, NATO medal, Order of Military Medical Merit, and the Legion of Honor from France. Recently he received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by President Biden.

Coots received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College in Pennsylvania.


Steven Diaz, MD, chief medical officer of MaineGeneral Health in Augusta, Maine.

Diaz joined MaineGeneral in 1993 and has served in a variety of roles including assistant medical director of emergency medicine, vice president of medical administration and now as chief medical officer.

Diaz became a member of AHA’s Committee on Clinical Leadership this year and served as a delegate of AHA Regional Policy Board 1 from 2018-2020.

He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a past chairman of the Maine Hospital Association board of directors.

Diaz received his Doctorate in medicine from Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City and his Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from the University of California Davis in Davis, Calif.


Laura Kaiser, president and CEO of SSM Health in Saint Louis, Mo.

Kaiser is president and CEO of SSM Health, a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. She brings decades of experience in health care strategy, improving clinical quality, fueling innovation, driving performance and growth, creating partnerships and leading change while fostering a healthy culture.

Kaiser previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City, Utah and in several senior leadership roles at Ascension Health including regional executive for the Gulf Coast/Florida Region. She currently serves on several boards including the Catholic Health Association (CHA), Greater St. Louis, Joint Commission Resources and Navitus Health Solutions, where she is chair. She recently completed a term as chair of the CHA.

Kaiser has been a member of several committees at the AHA – the Health Systems Committee from 2020-2022, the AHA Committee on Health Care Strategy and Innovation from 2018-2019 and the AHA Medicare DSH Advisory Group from 2013-2017.

She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has been named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare for the past five years.

Kaiser earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri, and Master of business administration and Master of healthcare administration degrees from Saint Louis University.


Michael Mayo, president and CEO of Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Fla.

Baptist Health is the largest locally governed health system in North Florida committed to helping all people improve their health and well-being. Mayo became president and CEO of Baptist Health in June of 2021 and leads a team of more than 13,000 team members and more than 2,000 medical staff members across 200 locations. Previously, he served as president of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, the tertiary and flagship facility of Baptist Health from 2008-2021.

Before leading Baptist Health, Mayo was the CEO of Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Fla., the CEO of Frankfort Regional Medical Center in Frankfort, Ky., and the president of Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Mayo has served as a delegate of AHA Regional Policy Board 4 since 2021.

Mayo formerly served on the Board of Governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives 2019-2021 and serves on the Florida Hospital Association Board of Trustees. In 2022, Mayo was recognized as an Ultimate CEO by the Jacksonville Business Journal and Florida Trend Magazine named Mayo one of the 500 Most Influential Business Leaders.

Committed to the education and training of future healthcare leaders, Mayo serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Florida, Brooks College of Health since 2017.

Mayo received his Bachelor of Science in human resource management from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., his Master of Science in health care administration from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas., and his Doctor of health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

Tim McManus, national group president for HCA Healthcare in Nashville, Tenn.

McManus serves as national group president for HCA Healthcare, which includes oversight of 57 hospitals and spans 11 states. He has been with HCA Healthcare for 17 years, most recently serving as president of the Capital Division based in Richmond, Va.

McManus is a member of AHA’s Health Systems Committee and was a delegate for AHA Regional Policy Board 3 in 2022.

Previously, McManus served as CEO of Chippenham and Johnston Willis Hospitals in Richmond and, prior to that, CEO of HCA North Virginia and Reston Hospital Center. He recently served as vice chairman of the board for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.

McManus earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and a Master of Health Services in finance and management from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.


Robert Trestman, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Carilion Clinic and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va. He also serves as Carilion Clinic’s institutional research officer.

Trestman joined Carilion Clinic and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in April 2017. He has lectured and consulted nationally and internationally, authored or coauthored over 180 peer reviewed articles, book chapters and commentaries.

Before joining Carilion, Trestman was a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine with a joint appointment as professor of nursing. Prior to that, he served in numerous academic and leadership roles at the University of Connecticut, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Trestman is the immediate past chair of the AHA’s Committee on Behavioral Health. He also chairs the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing and chairs the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry’s Clinical Enterprise Committee. 

He has received multiple awards and honors including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Manfred S. Guttmacher Award, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and the Harry Stack Sullivan Award Lecturer at Sheppard Pratt.

Trestman received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences in Memphis, Tenn., Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.


Matt Wille, president and CEO of Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Mich.

Munson Medical Center, part of Munson Healthcare, is a 442-bed regional referral hospital and a Level II Trauma Center.  Wille joined as president and CEO in September 2019.

Prior to his role at Munson Medical Center, Wille was the Vice President of Operations at Allina United Hospital in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. He also served as the CEO of Dallas County Hospital in Perry, Iowa.

Wille has served as a delegate of AHA Regional Policy Board 5 since 2022.

Wille received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.


Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sanford Health is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to health care in America’s heartland. The integrated health system has 46 medical centers, 44,000 employees, 2,800 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 170 clinical investigators and research scientists, more than 200 senior care locations and world clinics in eight countries around the globe.

Gassen has been the president and CEO of Sanford Health since November 2020. He previously served as the chief administrative officer, corporate counsel and chief human resources officer for the organization.

Gassen is presiding over transformational growth: In 2021, the health system unveiled a $350 million virtual care initiative to improve access to convenient, high-quality care for rural, underserved communities. That same year, Sanford Health announced plans to add eight new graduate medical residencies and fellowships in specialty areas, for a total of 15 programs, to build the next generation of rural health care providers.

In 2022, Gassen was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. Gassen also serves on the board of directors for Oscar Health.

Gassen is a former healthcare litigator and current member of the State Bar of South Dakota. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a law degree, both from the University of South Dakota.

Gassen is a member of AHA’s Health Systems Committee and served as a member of the AHA Taskforce on the Changing Workforce from 2019-2021.



Contact:        Colleen Kincaid, ckincaid@aha.org

Ben Teicher, bteicher@aha.org


About the American Hospital Association (AHA)

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.