AHA Honors Two Federal Health Care Leaders with 2023 Federal Health Care Executive Recognition Awards

WASHINGTON (April 15, 2024) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today presented two federal hospital leaders with awards recognizing their outstanding service to the health care field. These awards recognize uniformed and non-uniformed federal health care leaders who have distinguished themselves through singularly significant or innovative achievements and leadership that have contributed substantially to the mission of the federal health system. The awardees were honored at the AHA’s 2024 Annual Membership Meeting.

“Our federal health systems make significant contributions to the hospital field and are advancing care to better serve patients’ needs, in both the federal and private sector,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “It’s our honor to recognize Colonel Keyes and Major Forsythe for their demonstrated leadership, continued resilience, and devoted service to ensure access to care. The women and men of our federal health system are a valuable resource to our nation.”  

2023 Award for Excellence – Colonel Craig Keyes, Chief of Staff and Deputy Director, Defense Health Network – National Capital Region, Bethesda, Maryland

Colonel Craig Keyes, an Air Force officer, has over 25 years of distinguished service in the U.S. military’s health system. In his current capacity as Chief of Staff and Deputy Director of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) most complex health network, Keyes oversees the daily operations of the Walter Reed Medical Center, AT Augusta Medical Center, 31 medical clinics, and 27 dental clinics across four states and the District of Columbia. This network supports 422,000 patients with 12,000 staff and a $1.7 billion annual operations budget.

In addition, Keyes has led two overseas squadrons, including one in Afghanistan at the DoD’s largest trauma hospital, two medical groups, including one hospital, and he’s served at higher headquarters levels at the major command, Air Staff, and Defense Health Agency levels.  

2023 Special Achievement Award – Major Kimberly Forsythe, Mental Health Officer in Charge, 66th MDS Hanscom Clinic, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts

As the Mental Health Element Chief and Family Advocacy Officer at Hanscom Air Force Base, Major Kimberly Forsythe has greatly increased the health and wellbeing of patients across the seven states she serves. Forsythe understands that prevention is essential in addressing the growing demand for mental health services, especially in a resource constrained environment. She led multiple summits to assess barriers to care and educate on evidence-based approaches that can be implemented in military recruiter units, where health complaints are exceptionally common due to stress and long work weeks. Her partnerships with hospitals and non-profit organizations have the potential to save millions of dollars for the military over the next decade. In addition, over the last year and a half, she has created eight treatment programs addressing needs spanning from parenting classes to complex emotional trauma. 


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.