CHA News Article

CHA Member Receives Prestigious National Award

The American Hospital Association (AHA) today presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to CHA member Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles. The award recognizes significant lifetime contributions and service to the health care institutions and associations. Priselac received the award during AHA’s Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C., for more than three decades of working to improve the health of the patients and the many diverse communities served by Cedars-Sinai. Pictured with Priselac (left) is Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-California), who received AHA’s Honorary Life Membership Award for his contributions to hospitals and health care in America.

In 1997, Priselac served as Chair of CHA’s Board of Trustees, and he continues to serve the association and his colleagues on a variety of state and local committees and task forces. During the last 20 years, as Cedars-Sinai’s president and CEO, he has led the institution to the forefront of clinical quality, biomedical research, medical education and community service. Priselac holds the Warschaw/Law Chair in Healthcare Leadership at Cedars-Sinai and is an author and invited speaker on health care policy, leadership and quality.

“Tom has been an incredible leader in our field, serving in numerous capacities to benefit the nation’s patients and the broader health care system,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. “He has served as an effective and influential voice here in Washington on behalf of all hospitals.”

Rep. Waxman played an instrumental role in leading the way toward health care reform. In addition to advocating for universal health insurance, he has been an advocate for comprehensive Medicare and Medicaid coverage; legislation expanding children’s health coverage; providing services and medical care to people with AIDS; bringing drugs for small patient populations and lower-priced generic drugs to market; clean air legislation; nursing home reform; and nutritional labeling. His committee hearings delving into tobacco industry marketing practices opened the way for Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products. In the 1990s, he worked to double National Institutes of Health research funding.