In a sign of Georgia’s rising influence in federal health care policy, two Georgia hospital CEOs have been named to the board of trustees of the American Hospital Association, a lobbying group for hospitals in all 50 states.
John Haupert, the CEO of Grady Memorial Hospital, is one. The other is Candice Saunders, the CEO of Wellstar Health System. The board has only 26 members, so that makes Georgia an outsize presence.
The announcement in part reflects the two CEOs’ accomplishments. Haupert is widely seen as having turned around a business in crisis. And under Saunders Wellstar has grown to become the largest hospital system in the state and been named one of Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for three years in a row.
It also reflects the looming importance of Georgia officials now in federal health care policy and the association’s desire to connect with them. President Donald Trump named Georgian Tom Price to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue now has sway over some health and nutrition policy as secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
In addition, Georgian Brenda Fitzgerald has been named director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.