America - HA's Richard J. Davidson and Northwestern's Gary A. Mecklenburg named co-recipients of NCHL's National Healthcare Leadership Award

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 13 February 2007




(2007), "America - HA's Richard J. Davidson and Northwestern's Gary A. Mecklenburg named co-recipients of NCHL's National Healthcare Leadership Award", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 20 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

America - HA's Richard J. Davidson and Northwestern's Gary A. Mecklenburg named co-recipients of NCHL's National Healthcare Leadership Award


HA’s Richard J. Davidson and Northwestern’s Gary A. Mecklenburg named co-recipients of NCHL’s National Healthcare Leadership Award

The National Center for Healthcare Leadership has named Richard J. Davidson, president of the American Hospital Association and Gary A. Mecklenburg, retired president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare as co-recipients of the 2006 National Healthcare Leadership Award. The award recognizes their significant and lasting contributions to the industry through their ongoing mentoring of future healthcare leaders and commitment to improving the country’s healthcare systems for all its residents.

Marie E. Sinioris, NCHL President and CEO, said:

Our co-recipients – Gary Mecklenburg and Dick Davidson – are giants in the industry. Each one has made enormous contributions to the field, but from different perspectives. As head of the AHA, Dick has fostered a leadership team focused on unifying healthcare, even as the field has become more competitive, while never wavering from his vision of creating a healthy society for all. And Gary, as head of one of the largest health systems and teaching hospitals in the country, has exemplified leadership through constant and ongoing mentoring and training of future leaders. Together they have brought lasting excellence to the healthcare industry.

Dick Davison has been president of the AHA since July 1991, after serving as president of the Maryland Hospital Association for 22 years. He serves on the boards of the Health Research and Educational Trust and the International Hospital Federation. He is also a founding director of the Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management. He earned a BA in education from West Chester University, an MA in education from Temple University, and an EdD from George Washington University.

Gary Mecklenburg retired in September 2006 from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which he joined in 1985 as president and CEO, and its parent company Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. Prior to that, he had worked in healthcare leadership positions at a number of institutions including St Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Stanford University Hospital and Clinics, and University of Wisconsin Hospitals. He is a past chairman of the AHA and the Illinois Hospital Association and currently is chairman of the Health Forum. He is also on the Boards of Directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Regency Hospital Company, and Cogent Healthcare, Inc. Mecklenburg also serves on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He received his BA from Northwestern University and his MBA from University of Chicago.

Davidson said:

The healthcare CEO may have the toughest job in America right now, and NCHL is providing the opportunity for leadership development that is absolutely essential today in our industry. NCHL is especially making a difference by creating greater awareness of the need for diversity and cultural competency, something I have always championed. My goals have been similar to NCHL’s and I am honored by this recognition.

Mecklenburg said:

There are so many wonderful leaders in healthcare and it is very special to be a co-recipient with Dick Davidson who has been one of the greatest healthcare leaders. One important aspect of leadership is to motivate a group of people to achieve the highest possible performance, which I have tried to do throughout my career. This award from NCHL is especially significant to me because NCHL is committed to developing the next generation of healthcare leadership, which is critical to the strength of this field and the health of the citizens of our country.

The selection committee for the National Healthcare Leadership Award was co-chaired by Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management and dean of School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and Richard P. Gustafson, vice chairman of Heidrick and Struggles. Fawn Lopez, publisher/corporate VP of Modern Healthcare said:

Both Davidson and Mecklenburg devoted their energies to more than the interest of their respective organizations. They worked tirelessly on such broad issues as increasing minority representation in healthcare management and expanding access to care for the uninsured.

Mecklenburg and Davidson will be honored on December 4, 2006 at an award event and recognition dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago that is being held in conjunction with NCHL’s Invitational Symposium on leadership and governance. At that time the recipients will each receive an original glass sculpture by Czech-born artist Martin Rosol. The NCHL National Healthcare Leadership Award is co-sponsored with Modern Healthcare. Owens & Minor is the award event sponsor. In conjunction with the award recognition event, a special supplement of Modern Healthcare on healthcare leadership, which will include interviews with the two award winners, will be published.

About the National Center for Healthcare Leadership

The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) is an industry catalyst whose mission is to assure the availability of relevant and accountable healthcare leadership for the twenty-first century. Its vision is to improve the health of the public through leadership and organizational excellence.

For more information, please visit the NCHL website at

Related articles