Education event

California Delegation Meets With Congress,Top White House Adviser
Dennis Litos receives Grassroots Champion Award

California hospital leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., April 10-13 to meet personally with federal legislators and key administration officials during CHA’s California Congressional Action Program. More than 65 executives participated.


Meetings with California’s congressional delegation included Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger, Ranking Health Subcommittee Member Pete Stark, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Reps. Henry Waxman, Lois Capps, Xaiver Becerra and Brian Bilbray, as well as most other members of the delegation.

During the congressional visits, hospital and health system leaders called on Congress to protect funding for hospital services and to address clinical integration and regulatory barriers to patient-centered care that are crucial to the success of health care reform. Hospital executives also stressed the importance of hospitals to the economic viability of communities as both employers and as major purchasers of goods and services.

CHA members also met with Michael Hash, senior adviser, Health and Human Services Office of Health Reform, who runs the inter-agency process for developing specific aspects of health reform regulation consistent with the President’s priorities. Hash spoke to the California delegation about a new national initiative, the Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs. The goal of the program is to keep hospital patients from getting sicker or injured and to help heal patients by decreasing complications during transition from one care setting to another. To launch this initiative, $500 million in new Affordable Care Act funding was made available through the Community-Based Care Transitions Program and up to $500 million more will be dedicated from the Innovation Center for new demonstrations related to reducing hospital-acquired conditions.

To start slideshow, click on any image.

Grassroots Champion

The American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with CHA, presented the 2011 Grassroots Champion Award to Dennis Litos, CEO of Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. The award recognizes hospital leaders who effectively educate elected officials on how major issues can impact hospitals’ role in the community; who have done an exemplary job in broadening community support for hospitals; and who advocate for hospitals and their patients.

“This award is a testament to Dennis’ great work as an advocate for California hospitals. He is truly a champion,” stated CHA President/CEO C. Duane Dauner.

The award was presented April 12 at a special breakfast at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C., held in conjunction with CHA’s California Congressional Action Program.

Issue Papers

Information on the key issues discussed during this year’s CHA program is available for members only at (Members can create website accounts, including usernames and passwords, at

For photos of the event, see slideshow below.

Next year’s California Congressional Action Program will be held May 6-9 in conjunction with the 2012 AHA Annual Membership Meeting.