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Jay Bhatt, D.O., was named chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association and president of the AHA’s research arm, the Health Research and Educational Trust. The AHA also filled two other key positions, one as CFO and the other as head of data strategy.

Bhatt, currently the chief health officer for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and pictured to the right, is scheduled to assume his new post in September, and will oversee the association’s clinical leadership and health improvement activities.

In addition to leading HRET, Bhatt will oversee the AHA’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management and the Association for Community Health Improvement.

He also will direct physician engagement activities for the association and provide leadership on crucial policy issues.

“Jay has been a leader in efforts to improve quality and patient safety, and a real innovator in transforming health care,” said Rick Pollack, AHA President and CEO, in an association news release. “We’re excited to have him join us and know he will make valuable contributions to the AHA and to the entire health care field.”

At the IHA, the practicing internist oversees the state association’s Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality, which aims to reduce readmissions and implement a high-reliability initiative across the state. Bhatt is also president of the Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety, where he has presided over significant member growth, deployed innovative educational resources, and developed a diagnostic-error collaborative.

Bhatt has experience in public health, having worked at the Chicago Public Health Department, where he served as managing deputy commissioner and chief strategy and innovation officer.

“Jay’s ability and knowledge on the issues our members face every day will help the field as hospitals and health systems continue to pursue excellence in quality as they meet the health needs of their communities” said Maryjane Wurth, an AHA executive vice president and the president and CEO of Health Forum, in the AHA release. Wurth previously worked with Bhatt at the IHA.

CFO and data chief also named

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The announcement of Bhatt’s appointment comes as AHA fills other key leadership positons. AHA appointed Christina Fisher, pictured on the left, to the dual posts of senior vice president for association Services and chief financial officer. Fisher, who is set to join the AHA in late August, will oversee finance, information technology, meetings and travel, facilities and printing departments.

She is currently vice president of finance for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and previously served as a management consultant with Deloitte & Touche and Accenture.

Fisher succeeds John Evans, who plans to retire as CFO in September after 38 years with the AHA.

The AHA also created the new position of chief data strategy officer, which will be filled by Gloria Kupferman. She comes to the AHA from DataGen, a national data company of the Healthcare Association of New York State, which provides data usage, analytics and business modeling to 47 states.

Kupferman will develop and pursue a coordinated set of strategies regarding AHA data and data analytics for use by the association’s members.