The American College of Healthcare Executives gave its highest awards this year to Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, based in Englewood, Colo., and Richard Umbdenstock, CEO of the American Hospital Association. Both leaders have piloted their organizations during one of the most turbulent eras in the hospital industry's history.
Lofton took the reins of CHI in 2003. During his tenure, the system has grown to 105 hospitals in 18 states. In recent years, CHI boldly ventured onto the broader terrain of system integration by acquiring a commercial insurer and a Medicare Advantage plan.
Umbdenstock, who has ably represented the hospital sector in Washington and in forums across the U.S. since 2007, used his position to rally the hospital sector in support of the Affordable Care Act, which vastly improved Americans' access to health insurance. He is a champion of the many roles hospitals play, whether it is providing a vital service or being the economic engine of their communities. Late last year, Umbdenstock announced plans to retire from the AHA at the end of this year.