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CEO of Illinois hospital lobbying group to leave for national role

Maryjane Wurth, president and CEO of the influential Illinois Hospital Association, is leaving after six years on the job for a national role.

In late January, Wurth, 59, will become chief strategy and relationship officer at the Chicago-based American Hospital Association, and president and CEO Health Forum, the AHA's business development arm. The AHA's members include about 37,000 individuals and around 5,000 hospitals, health systems, networks and other providers, according to the organization's website.

A.J. Wilhelmi, IHA chief government relations officer since 2012, will succeed Wurth on Jan 1. Naperville-based IHA is a lobbying group for about 200 hospitals statewide. Wilhelmi, 47, is a former Democratic state senator.

"Maryjane has provided exemplary leadership for the hospital community,” Dean Harrison, chairman of the IHA board of trustees and president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, said in a statement from the IHA. “I am personally grateful for the outstanding work and results that Maryjane has delivered for the membership and Illinois healthcare.”

He touted her efforts to spearhead legislation on hospital tax exemption, expand Medicaid coverage under federal health reform and preserve Medicaid funding for hospitals. Wurth also established the IHA's first federal office in Washington D.C., and created the Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality.

The management changes come at a sensitive time for the IHA. It's in the middle of merging with the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, or MCHC. The regional trade group has about 150 members. Wurth was to lead the combined organization, to be called the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and known as the IHA. She was instrumental in the merger, which is expected to close in January.

Dan Yunker, current president and CEO of MCHC, will join the IHA on Jan. 1 as executive vice president.


"CEO of Illinois hospital lobbying group to leave for national role" originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.


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