The American Hospital Association's board of trustees adopted new association vision and mission statements last week that eliminate the word "hospital" from the AHA's stated purpose.
The historic action, taken at last week's AHA annual convention in San Francisco, opens the door for the association's objective of eventually representing integrated delivery systems as well as hospitals.
How soon the AHA will change its membership criteria is unknown. The association's traditional hospital members haven't been completely sold on the idea, which is being pushed by the AHA leadership (Aug. 27, p. 113).
In a statement, the AHA said the revamped vision and mission statements "are rooted in the philosophy that the AHA is its members and that members of the AHA are partners in a national effort to transform healthcare delivery to help make a nation of healthy people and communities."
In other AHA board action, the trustees approved a 1996 strategic plan for the AHA, but the plan wasn't publicly released. An AHA spokesman said the plan emphasized advocacy, services, collaboration, research and education.
The board also reviewed the findings of the AHA's survey of its members regarding their satisfaction with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
AHA spokesman William Erwin said the association intends to share the results with the JCAHO before deciding whether or how to make the responses public (See related story, p. 2).
Erwin said the board decided not to pursue the creation of a competing hospital accreditation group, which had been contemplated during the height of the hospital industry backlash against the JCAHO last December.
The AHA also didn't release the annual treasurer's report, which extensively details the financial operations of the association and its for-profit subsidiaries. Historically, the AHA has made the report readily available for public inspection at the AHA's annual meeting and convention.
However, the association did release some general financial information last week. The AHA reported that it generated a $1.2 million profit on revenues of $86.5 million.
The AHA's new vision:
"a society of healthy communities, where all individuals
reach their highest potential for health."
The AHA's new mission:
"to advance the health of individuals and communities. AHA leads, represents and serves healthcare providers that are accountable to the community and committed to health improvement."