Life on the front lines of health care has never been more challenging. Hospitals and health systems work 24/7 to meet the needs of their communities. The men and women of our hospitals are front-line responders and are always there to care for people and deal with any emergency that comes through a hospital’s door. 

Today’s hospitals also must contend with an unprecedented transformation. Market pressures, regulatory demands, evolving technologies, an aging population and many other forces are converging that require us to rethink how we deliver care — how we increase the quality of the care we provide even as we do so more intelligently and efficiently.

All of which is why it is important to recognize the indispensable role that hospitals and health systems play in our nation. Every year, the American Hospital Association presents a range of awards to spotlight not only individual organizations but also our field as a whole. Hospital leaders in every region of the country are taking a hard look at what they do now and how they can do it better. As we’ve said many times, they are redefining what it means to be a hospital in the 21st century.

The award-winning organizations spotlighted in Hospitals & Health Networks’ annual “Stars of the Field” issue are leading the way. They are adopting innovative and practical approaches to population health management, improving the continuum of care and tackling the social determinants of health by teaming up with others in the community and sometimes across an entire state. They are harnessing technology in unexpected ways. They are making great leaps forward in palliative care and actively involving patients in end-of-life decisions.

Most importantly, they offer real-world experiences for all of us in health care to learn from and adapt to meet the needs of the people we serve.

Congratulations to all the winners profiled here. And to hospitals throughout the United States, thank you for the great work you do every day for your patients and communities.

Rick Pollack
President and CEO
American Hospital Association