American Hospital Association President Richard Davidson said he plans to continue working, despite facing his second medical crisis in two years.
Davidson, 64, recently was diagnosed with prostate cancer, two years after undergoing heart bypass surgery (March 8, 1999, p. 6).
"We have plenty of things to do," he said.
Davidson announced his illness last week in a memorandum to AHA board members and told them that the cancer was discovered early and hadn't spread. In the memo, Davidson called his prognosis "excellent."
To treat the cancer, Davidson will undergo an eight-week course of almost daily radiation therapy at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, the same place he had his heart surgery. The treatment regimen takes only a brief period of time each day and won't require Davidson to take any significant time off of work.
"Dick is fully engaged in the affairs of the association, his enthusiasm and energy (are) as high as I have ever seen it," said Gary Mecklenburg, AHA board chairman and president and chief executive officer of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "He loves his job, and the performance level of the association with Dick as its leader is very high."
However, the five-day-a-week treatments will restrict Davidson's travel, and he will be confined to Washington for the next couple of months. That means he will miss the AHA's July board meeting in California and a few other out-of-town commitments.
Staff members will cover Davidson's out-of-town commitments, said Richard Wade, the AHA's senior vice president for communications.
Davidson will continue to work from the AHA's Washington offices, and the AHA plans to use technology, such as video and telephone conferences, to keep him connected with missed meetings.
Mecklenburg said Davidson's travel restriction "just allows him more time for the important advocacy work in Washington."