(Jan. 10, 2020) – The beginning of the new year also marks a change in board leadership for both the American Hospital Association and the Kansas Hospital Association. I wanted to take a few minutes this week to reflect on the new board leaders in both of these organizations.
First, we are excited to note that the chair of the Board of the American Hospital Association for 2020 is Melinda Estes, MD, the president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System. A board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist, Dr. Estes oversees the operations of Saint Luke's Health System, the region's only locally-owned, not-for-profit, faith-based, aligned health system, which includes 18 hospitals and campuses; renowned heart, neuroscience and cancer programs; home care and hospice; behavioral health care; more than 100 physician practices and retail clinics; senior living communities, and more. Dr. Estes has been instrumental in leading AHA's efforts to develop and implement effective physician leadership strategies, something we have tried to parallel at KHA.
St. Luke's hospitals have been active members and leaders in KHA, and we are thrilled to have "one of our own" in this important and influential position for 2020. We look forward to working with Dr. Estes as AHA board chair and know she will provide exceptional leadership.
Speaking of exceptional leadership, I am pleased to welcome Melissa Atkins as the 2020 chair of the KHA Board of Directors. Melissa serves as chief executive officer of the Graham County Hospital in Hill City. Melissa is a certified public accountant and has an extensive history in hospital finance and auditing. She first joined Graham County Hospital in 2009 as the chief financial officer. In 2012, she was promoted to CEO.
Melissa joined the Graham County Hospital after a period of frequent leadership changes and has clearly brought stability to the local healthcare delivery system. She has focused much of her attention on efforts to recruit and retain providers to Hill City and has shown it is possible to do just that in rural Kansas. We will have a busy and challenging year at KHA, but I have no doubt that Melissa will provide superb leadership as we move forward.
Please join me in congratulating both Dr. Estes and Melissa Atkins and thanking them for their service to hospitals and the patients they serve.