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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 20, 2006

NOTE TO EDITORS: Richard Davidson will be available to speak with reporters from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in the lower level of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City. Davidson's formal remarks begin at 9 a.m. in the Main Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel. Reporters are invited to attend the lecture.

American Hospital Association President Named 2006 Hansen Award Recipient

The University of Iowa College of Public Health has selected Richard J. Davidson, president of the American Hospital Association (AHA), to receive the 2006 Richard and Barbara Hansen Leadership Award and Distinguished Lectureship. Davidson is well known for his leadership on initiatives to improve the quality of health care at the local and national levels, expand health care coverage for uninsured Americans, and enhance diversity in health care management.

In 1991, Davidson was named president of the AHA, a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes more than 4,800 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care, and 37,000 individuals. Prior to joining the AHA, Davidson served as president of the Maryland Hospital Association for 22 years.

During his visit to the UI campus, Davidson will meet with students, faculty, elected officials and local health care leaders to discuss current health care issues. On Oct. 5, he will be joined by David Bernd, chief executive officer of Sentera Healthcare, to conduct a student seminar titled, "A Conversation About Hospitals' Roles in Improving Community Health." The seminar will take place at 3 p.m. in 2117 MERF.

At 9 a.m. on Oct. 6, Davidson will deliver the Hansen Distinguished Lecture, "The Evolving Role of Governing Boards in Improving the Quality of Patient Care." His presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be given during the 28th Annual Iowa Healthcare Executive Symposium. The lecture will be delivered in the Main Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City.

"For many years, Dick Davidson has been a strong national leader in the effort to address some of the most challenging issues facing the American health care delivery system, including quality of patient care and health care reform initiatives," said James Merchant, dean of the College of Public Health. "We look forward to hearing his insights gained during his many years of leadership."

While at the AHA, Davidson helped establish the Institute for Diversity in Health Management and spearheaded the Hospital Quality Alliance, a public/private partnership that created publicly available information on hospital quality measurement nationally for the use of both consumers and internal hospital quality improvement. In 2004 and 2006, the association established two centers devoted to improving hospital and health system governance and quality and patient safety.

Under his leadership, the Maryland Hospital Association was recognized nationally for its work on trustee involvement in state association affairs, payment reform, the development of clinical quality indicators, and medical and corporate ethics in the hospital setting.

Davidson has consulted for national foundations, served on editorial boards and earned a wide reputation as a writer and speaker on contemporary health issues, as well as the future of health care financing and delivery in America. He serves on the boards of the Health, Research and Educational Trust and the International Hospital Federation.

The Hansen Award, and an accompanying $10,000 honorarium, is given annually by the College of Public Health to honor individuals who have made sustained contributions in the health field. The award recognizes exemplary leadership, high ethical standards and an enduring commitment to improving health care on a national and international level. The award is made possible by a gift from Richard and Barbara Hansen of Iowa City. The Hansen's gift, made in 2000, was the first contribution in the College of Public Health's Founding Partner program.

For more information about the Hansen Award, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,

PHOTO: A photo of Richard Davidson is available at