• Press Release
  • January 7, 2019

Kurt Newman, M.D., Elected Chair of Children's Hospital Association Board of Trustees

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 1, 2019, Kurt Newman, M.D., president and CEO of Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., became Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) for a one-year term. As the leader of a health system serving children from Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and beyond, Dr. Newman's deep experience with health policy and health care delivery will help guide our nation's children’s hospitals as they work to improve quality and health outcomes for children, and influence federal and state policy to better support their overall health. Ensuring policymakers understand the critical role Medicaid plays in children's health and well-being is fundamental to improvement, according to Dr. Newman.

"When I listen to policy debates on Capitol Hill and in our state capitals, children are not as much a part of the conversation as they should be. Keeping children healthy now is a wise investment for the future. In the current environment, however, funding for Medicaid and other resources that foster healthy development are being threatened," said Dr. Newman. "Children’s health should be a national priority that we address comprehensively. The value of prevention and early intervention to reduce the impact and cost of disease over a lifetime has been proven again and again. Good health starts in childhood."

"Kurt Newman's vision of children’s health is informed by his years of service as a pediatric surgeon," added Mark Wietecha, president and CEO of CHA. "His tenure at Children's National has been distinguished by his collaborative style of leadership, and we look forward to working with Kurt as the head of our board to help children's hospitals advocate and improve health care coverage, access to care and care delivery for all children."

Since becoming CEO of Children's National Health System in 2011, Dr. Newman has fostered a culture of patient-centered care and has championed innovations in the research, operations and clinical arenas. He has also been a fierce advocate for expanding mental health care access for children. Additionally, Dr. Newman has demonstrated a collaborative leadership style by forging strategic partnerships with other health systems in the Washington, D.C. region, along with various government, community and industry entities.

Dr. Newman succeeds Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children's Health Care System, and will lead the 2019 Children Hospital Association's Board of Trustees, including:

Kurt Newman, M.D., Chair
President and CEO, Children's National Health System, Washington, D.C.

Kimberly Cripe, Vice Chair & Chair Elect
President and CEO, Children's Hospital of Orange County, Orange, California

Sandra L. Fenwick, Secretary
CEO, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Jeff Sperring, M.D., Treasurer
CEO, Seattle Children's, Seattle, Washington

Michael D. Aubin, FACHE
Hospital President, Wolfson Children's Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida

Susan Distefano, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
CEO, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas

Marcy Doderer, FACHE
President and CEO, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas

Debbie Feldman
President and CEO, Dayton Children's Hospital, Dayton, Ohio

Paul A. King
Executive Director, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rick Merrill, Immediate Past Board Chair
President and CEO, Cook Children's Health Care System, Fort Worth, Texas

John D. Nash, FACHE
President and CEO, Franciscan Children's, Brighton, Massachusetts

Katy A. Welkie, RN, BSN, MBA
CEO, Primary Children's Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah

Mark Wietecha
President and CEO, Children's Hospital Association, Washington, D.C.


About the Children's Hospital Association

The Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.