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CHA Trustee Richard de Filippi is New AHA Board Chair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact:Catherine Bromberg
April 27, 2010 781-262-6027

Washington, D.C. – Cambridge Health Alliance Trustee and former Massachusetts Hospital Association Board member Richard de Filippi was officially installed as Chairman of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees during a special AHA ceremony on Sunday, April 25. De Filippi is well-respected throughout the Massachusetts healthcare community and widely recognized for his insight into the governance process of boards. He is just the second trustee to chair the AHA board in the organization’s 112-year history, and the first AHA chair from Massachusetts in 44 years. He will hold the post for one year.

"Rick’s leadership – along with the talented board and staff at AHA, including their most able leader Rich Umbdenstock – will help set the new national healthcare reform law into motion," said MHA President & CEO Lynn Nicholas in remarks during the investiture ceremony. "We take a measure of pride in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about our healthcare system. We have the finest community hospitals in the country and world class teaching hospitals. We have great medical schools. The medical research we conduct in our state is unparalleled…  Massachusetts is now sending another one of her sons to the national healthcare stage – and we're all proud of that. We're proud of Rick de Filippi because of his vision, commitment and values. I know he'll do well. I'm grateful to be considered among his friends and colleagues.  I can think of no better choice to be chairman of the American Hospital Association than Rick."

De Filippi told the audience of AHA members that federal healthcare reform will demand enormous changes for hospitals in terms of their relationships to physicians, to their boards, to future care providers and to their communities. More integrated care will require closer interaction between hospitals and physicians, new models of physician leadership such as stronger roles for chief medical officers, consistent and robust board engagement and even greater hospital commitment to community and public health efforts, he said.

"In the future, our payments will be tied to the quality and safety of the care we deliver; hospitals, doctors, post-acute caregivers, and other providers all would get paid once for an episode, or in fact for a year of patient care," said de Filippi. "In this future, the health of our community will be measured in terms of low disease burden, high vaccination rates, controlled chronic disease rates, healthier lifestyles and, by the way, a better educated public. In most communities, hospitals are the biggest provider of essential human services. Because of that, we should continue to embrace a community leadership role in these services. In other words, it is going to become a business imperative to keep people healthy. And it happens to be consistent with our values."

"A couple of things about our future," de Filippi continued. "First, there’s not a single idea that I’ve mentioned in the last few minutes that hasn’t been put into practice somewhere. We have ‘early adopters’ everywhere, and the successes we’ve had in spreading improvements in the hospital field have been dramatic ... Second, these are changes that we want to make. We want to make care better for patients, we want to be freed from restraints on the way we provide care, we want to make our work more fulfilling for ourselves and those we team with and lead ... I believe that we'll look back to this time – this year – as a turning point. A time when we accepted the challenge to take this nation’s healthcare to the levels we’ve always envisioned. We can, and should, make it the best in the world. "

Others who spoke at the installation dinner at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. included Cambridge Health Alliance President and incoming MHA Board Chairman Dennis Keefe, and former CHA Chief and current CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care John O'Brien.

"Rick has dedicated and committed most of his life advocating for funding for health systems to support their efforts in improving performance and advancing patient safety initiatives," Keefe said. "His installment as Chair of AHA today is recognition of his lifetime work and will continue to provide AHA strong leadership as it steers through these unprecedented yet exciting times in healthcare reform."