In September, just when we thought there would be a brief respite from the tumult of repeal and replace, Senate Republicans unveiled the Graham-Cassidy bill, a last-ditch effort to substantially change the Affordable Care Act. The bill collapsed like previous attempts, but it reminded us that we cannot let down our guard. IHA will continue to monitor the situation in our nation’s capital and advocate on behalf of Hoosier patients. Indiana hospitals are leaders in providing high-quality care in innovative ways that bend the cost curve and improve outcomes, and we will make sure our state and federal legislators understand the resources required to continue these successes.
Thankfully, Indiana has allies in key positions at the federal level. Vice President Mike Pence, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams all hail from the Hoosier state and are more than aware of the issues affecting Indiana health care. The departure of Dr. Adams from his role as state health commissioner left a vacancy that has been filled by Dr. Kristina Box, and we look forward to developing a strong relationship with Dr. Box and continuing to work closely with the Indiana State Department of Health.
Speaking of Indiana health care leaders, you probably recognized the two faces on the cover of this issue of Harmony. Bob Brody has done a fantastic job leading IHA as chairman this past year, and Kreg Gruber is ready to assume the role and guide us through whatever may come our way in 2018. IHA is fortunate to be led by a number of talented and dedicated health care executives. The members of the IHA Board of Directors and IHA’s seven councils volunteer their time to tackle fundamental challenges facing all health care providers. Learn more about each of the councils and their 2017 accomplishments in this issue.
IHA Vice President Spencer Grover, who has worked extensively with IHA’s councils and the IHA Board of Directors over the course of his 27-year career, will retire in January. During his IHA tenure, Spencer has provided leadership and strategic direction to IHA at both the state and federal levels for regulatory agencies, has been a champion for rural health, has increased Indiana’s disaster preparedness, and helped develop our state’s trauma system. His expertise, and his friendship, will be sorely missed.
This issue also features a profile of senior vice president/CMO of the American Hospital Association and president of AHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust, Dr. Jay Bhatt. In addition to overseeing AHA’s clinical leadership and health improvement activities, Dr. Bhatt is a practicing internist and a member of the faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Bhatt discusses his thoughts on the role of leadership in improving patient safety in this issue.
I thank all of you who attended IHA’s 2017 Annual Membership Meeting, where we recognized another strong Hoosier leader, former Sen. Richard Lugar. We were honored to be able to recognize Sen. Lugar formally on behalf of Indiana hospitals by presenting him with the John C. Render Award for Health Policy. You can read more about Sen. Lugar’s work and accomplishments in this issue of Harmony.
As we head into the 2018 legislative session, I invite you to share your thoughts and concerns about the issues your hospital and community are experiencing. IHA represents the interests of all member hospitals, and it’s important that your voice is heard. Thank you for your ongoing support and guidance as we continue to navigate these unchartered waters together.