For the first time, the American Hospital Association has tapped a hospital trustee, not a top hospital executive, to chair its board of trustees.
Carolyn Lewis, a trustee at 305-bed Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington, was recommended last week to become chairwoman-elect of the AHA's 25-member board beginning in January. Lewis, 61, then would become chairwoman in 2000.
Besides being the first hospital trustee to hold the coveted board position, Lewis also would be the first African-American. She would be the third woman to hold the post.
Lewis' nomination must still be ratified by a majority vote of the AHA's 218-member House of Delegates. Ballots will be mailed later this month.
Lewis, who was selected by the AHA's nominating committee, beat out John McMeekin, president and chief executive officer of Crozer-Keystone Health System, Springfield, Pa., for the nomination.
Five years ago, the AHA's House of Delegates changed its bylaws, calling on the nominating committee to work to ensure "racial, ethnic and gender diversity" on the AHA board (Aug. 16, 1993, p. 6).
John King, president and CEO of Portland, Ore.-based Legacy Health System, is current AHA board chairman. Fred Brown, president and CEO of St. Louis-based BJC Health System, will take over the post next year.
Lewis, who retired last year from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, could not be reached for comment. At the SEC, she was assistant director of the division of investment management. Lewis is currently president of the CBL Group, a Washington consulting firm.
At the AHA, Lewis has risen through the ranks, becoming a member of the board of trustees in 1995. She also has served on a variety of committees.
At Greater Southeast, Lewis has been involved in hospital affairs for more than 20 years, serving on boards of the hospital and the Greater Southeast Healthcare System. Lewis also is a member of the board of the District of Columbia Hospital Association.