Pomp and circumstance surrounded the investiture of John King as the new chairman of the American Hospital Association's board of trustees.
King, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Health System in Portland, Ore., replaces outgoing AHA board Chairman Reginald Ballantyne III. Ballantyne is president of PMH Health Resources, a not-for-profit system based in Phoenix.
Along with King's appointment, Fred Brown, president and CEO of St. Louis-based BJC Health System, became AHA chairman-elect.
Surrounded on stage by state hospital association leaders and AHA board members and officers, King urged his industry colleagues to make five promises to win back the public's trust and confidence.
He said he wants providers to create user-friendly systems, improve the quality of care, make communities healthy, be ethical and expand healthcare coverage.
"Promise-making is always risky," King said. "Broken promises are not what America's hospitals need."
Also at its annual membership meeting last week, the AHA presented its key industry awards. They included:
The Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service to the Bladen County Rural Health Network, Elizabethtown, N.C. (Jan. 12, p. 14).
The Award of Honor to John Curley Jr., former president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association.
The Distinguished Service Award to Henry Betts, M.D., former CEO and president of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and current chairman of the institute's foundation.
Honorary life membership to U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker (R-Kansas). In 1996 the two were instrumental in passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.