Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association, recalls how hard American Hospital Association CEO Richard Umbdenstock worked behind the scenes to develop a unified hospital industry response in support of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform effort.
In the many hospital industry meetings she attended with him, Keehan said Umbdenstock had a “positive and mature way of conducting business. … He knows what it means to families to have a health insurance product that will be there when you need it.”
Last year, Umbdenstock, 64, announced he would retire from his post as head of the AHA at the end of 2015. The American College of Healthcare Executives thinks his influence has gone well beyond the membership of the organization that he has led since 2007. Next month, it will honor him with the ACHE Gold Medal Award, which “recognizes individuals who go beyond the confines of their own organization to continually contribute to the improvement of healthcare services and community health.”
Kevin Lofton, his fellow Gold Medal recipient who is CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, told Modern Healthcare last year that Umbdenstock and Keehan took heat for supporting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but showed “fortitude and resolve” for taking “the greater good into account.”