Steve Purves, President and CEO of Valleywise Health, today becomes America’s Essential Hospitals’ board chair at a time when the nation’s safety net health care systems are in the national spotlight for leading the nation’s COVID-19 response.

America’s Essential Hospitals, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. The national organization supports more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

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Steve Purves

“It’s an honor to chair the America’s Essential Hospitals Board as we face challenges ranging from COVID-19 to addressing healthcare inequities and racial bias,” Purves said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our organization, our Board, our members and the health care professionals on the front lines who have worked so hard to safeguard the health and well-being of our patients during an incredibly challenging year.

“As incoming Board Chair, one of my goals will be to raise awareness of the critical role our hospitals and affiliated organizations play in keeping our communities healthy. Our hospitals were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and our employees on the front lines made incredible sacrifices while most Americans needed to stay home.”

“Steve’s commitment to access and excellence are well known across our nation,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “He is an exemplary industry leader, and we look forward to his leadership over the next year.”

Purves succeeds Susan Ehrlich, MD, MPP, CEO of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in San Francisco.

“I want to thank outgoing Board Chair Dr. Susan Ehrlich for her longstanding service and dedication to America’s Essential Hospitals, and all the Board members who have been working so hard to raise awareness of the importance of essential hospitals in our communities,” Purves said.

“I look forward to working with all the association’s Board members and organizations to advance equitable, high-quality care for all,” he said.

You can view Purves’ June 25 address to the AEH Vital 2021 conference here.