Health Care Hall of Fame Past Inductees
John Alexander McMahon
Inducted in 1995
When Edwin Crosby, then-CEO of the American Hospital Association, died unexpectedly in 1972, the search was on for a new leader. John Alexander McMahon, a relative newcomer to the healthcare industry with only a dozen years experience, got the job. McMahon's “fresh and from the outside” credentials were what drew the AHA's membership to select him as their leader. At the time, McMahon was the president of the North Carolina Blues.During the Carter administration, McMahon led the charge to control hospital spending from within rather than let Congress make a more heavy-handed decision for the industry. In 1980, the goal of his “V-E”—or “Voluntary Effort—campaign was to keep hospital spending growth at 11.8%. The hospitals did not reach that goal but the House of Representatives voted down President Jimmy Carter's call for regulated cost controls—a victory for McMahon and the AHA. After leaving the AHA in 1986, McMahon went to Duke University to become the chairman of the school's health administration department.