Annual Meeting

CHA's 100th Annual Meeting
To Participate in Healing is the Noblest Work – CHA: Celebrating 100 Years of Service


On June 14, the Connecticut Hospital Association welcomed to its 100th Annual Meeting nearly 600 hospital executives, administrators, healthcare providers, and other key decision makers from across the region, along with award winners and past CHA Board Chairmen and honorees.

The theme for the centennial celebration, To Participate in Healing is the Noblest Work – CHA: Celebrating 100 Years of Service, focuses on the essential nature of CHA’s collective mission, and the legacy of care and healing for all.  

CHA Board Chairman David Whitehead, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Hartford HealthCare, discussed how the Association was founded a century ago to enable members to stand together to face critical issues.  “CHA’s members are remarkable, resilient leaders,” he said.  “Through the last hundred years, they have led through tremendous change and challenges in healthcare.” 

Mr. Whitehead described successes in patient safety, patient-centered care, and population health, noting that this critical work must encompass and embrace all stakeholders who are working to improve the health of communities.  He discussed the importance of advocating with one voice for a strong, visible, and viable healthcare sector, and how that mission and the unity of its members will carry the Association into the next hundred years.

Jennifer Jackson, CHA CEO, echoed that sentiment, stating that the success of the organization “is a tribute to our past."

“CHA has been shaped and strengthened by its members,” she added.

Ms. Jackson reflected on the accomplishments over the past year and the challenges of the future, adding that CHA’s new strategic plan has the organization well-prepared for what lies ahead.

“We’re energized,” she said. “There’s power in members working and standing together.”

During the meeting, past CHA CEO Dennis May was honored, as were past Board Chairmen, including ten attendees:  Bruce Cummings, Susan Davis, EdD, RN, Christopher Dadlez, Marna Borgstrom, Patrick Charmel, John Tobin, D.Man, Edward Sawicki, MD, Gerard Robilotti, Raymond Andrews Jr., and Richard Pugh.  Past T. Stewart Hamilton Awardees were also recognized.                

The 2018 John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data was awarded to Bridgeport Hospital for its project to reduce severe hypoglycemia in hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus.  The 2018 Connecticut’s Hospital Community Service Award was presented to Yale New Haven Hospital for its medical respite for homeless patients in collaboration with Columbus House, and the 2018 AHA Grassroots Champion Award was presented to Patrick Charmel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Griffin Hospital and Griffin Health Services.

During the meeting, Mr. Whitehead passed the Chairman’s gavel to John M. Murphy, MD, President and CEO, Western Connecticut Health Network.  As the new Board Chairman, Dr. Murphy reaffirmed the Association’s commitment to patients.  “We must keep our focus – first and foremost – on providing excellent quality patient care,” he said.  “Connecticut hospitals continue to drive change and improve care, but we have more work to do.  Together, I am confident that we can achieve high quality care with zero harm; satisfied, engaged patients; and a staff that is invigorated by the work of healing.”

Following the conclusion of the business meeting, guests enjoyed the keynote address delivered by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and world-renowned presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Ms. Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, and is well known for her appearances and commentary on television.  Ms. Goodwin discussed lessons in leadership during tumultuous times.  She described how presidents throughout history have risen to the challenges presented to them.

In her well-received speech, Ms. Goodwin pointed to presidents she referred to as “my guys”  – Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Franklin Roosevelt – as examples of career politicians who made great presidents often during times of deep polarization across the country.  Each of these presidents, she stated, found it difficult to find a balance between work, love, and play.

These presidents often became strong leaders, Ms. Goodwin stated, because they surrounded themselves with people who could assist them.  President Lincoln, for example, hired his three opponents to be members of his cabinet.  When asked why, she quoted him as saying, "These are the strongest and most able men in the country.  The country is in peril.  I need them by my side."

CHA gratefully acknowledges the generous Annual Meeting sponsorship of our Platinum Sponsors, Wiggin and Dana and BRG.