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Gubernatorial Candidates Gillespie, Northam Speak to Virginia Hospital Leaders

Leading candidates for Virginia Governor, and Lieutenant Governor nominee Justin Fairfax, participate in health care forum at VHHA headquarters

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) today (September 7) hosted a statewide candidate health care forum featuring gubernatorial candidates Ed Gillespie (R) and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D), as well as Justin Fairfax, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. The forum, sponsored by VHHA’s Hospital Political Action Committee (HosPAC) and held at VHHA offices in Henrico County, presented an opportunity for the candidates to engage with members of the hospital community and share their views on some of the pressing health care issues facing the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation.

“A stable health care system is an essential element of a productive, healthy society. As members of the health care community, we value exchanging ideas with elected officials and candidates for public office,” said E.W. Tibbs Jr., the President and CEO of Centra Healthcare System, a VHHA Board Member, and the 2017 HosPAC Campaign Chairman. “We also appreciate opportunities to provide those seeking election to leadership positions in government with insight about the many economic and public contributions community hospitals and health systems make across the Commonwealth. We sincerely thank Ed Gillespie, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, and Justin Fairfax for devoting some time during a busy campaign season to address members of the health care community.”


  • Pictured from left: Centra Health President and CEO E.W. Tibbs Jr., Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie, Sheltering Arms Hospital President and CEO Mary Zweifel
“The health care community includes tens of thousands of people who work in hospitals and health systems and millions of patients and their families who have received compassionate care in a hospital setting,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “People are keenly interested in learning about the health care views of candidates for public office who, if elected, could have significant influence on critical policy issues. Today’s forum provided the candidates with a venue to share their health care views with a broader health care audience, and we are grateful for their participation.”


  • Pictured from left: Sentara Healthcare Vice President of Government Relations and Health Policy Paul Speidell, Inova Health System Vice President of Government Relations Jennifer Siciliano, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam
Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie is a consultant from Northern Virginia who served as White House Counselor to former U.S. President George W. Bush and is a past Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam, MD, is a pediatric neurologist from Hampton Roads, U.S. Army veteran, former Virginia state Senator, and Virginia’s current Lieutenant Governor. Justin Fairfax, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, is a Northern Virginia attorney who previously served as a federal prosecutor, and who ran for Virginia Attorney General in 2013. Virginia state Senator Jill Vogel, a Fauquier County attorney, is the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor. In the other statewide Virginia race this year, incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring of Loudoun County, a Democrat and former Virginia state Senator, is being challenged by Republican nominee John Adams, a U.S. Navy veteran, former federal prosecutor, and attorney from Chesterfield County. Vogel and Herring were unable to attend today’s event but are each scheduled to meet with hospital leaders and health care stakeholders this month.


  • Pictured from left: Centra Health President and CEO E.W. Tibbs Jr., Sheltering Arms Hospital President and CEO Mary Zweifel, Vibra Hospital of Richmond CEO Linda Tiemens, Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee Justin Fairfax, Health South Rehabilitation Hospital of Fredericksburg CEO David Cashwell
Elected state leaders and policymakers have a strong voice in decisions that can impact Virginia’s local hospitals and health systems and the millions of patients they serve. Virginia’s hospital community makes substantial contributions to public well-being and the Commonwealth’s economy. Hospitals provide essential health services to the public, treat patients regardless of ability to pay, and support countless community programs that promote health care access and public health. In 2015, Virginia’s hospitals provided more than $2.9 billion in community support to the Commonwealth. Local hospitals and health systems are also economic cornerstones that directly provide more than 125,000 jobs, and generate nearly $40 billion in economic activity. However, market conditions, unfunded government mandates, and uncompensated care burdens continue to strain our health care delivery system in ways that could negatively impact health care access and our economy. Despite these challenges, hospitals remain committed to serving community medical needs.


VHHA Honors 2016 HosPAC Health Care Hero Award Recipients

Eight esteemed state lawmakers are recipients of the 2016 HosPAC Health Care Hero Award that recognizes legislators who epitomize leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the mission of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association in the community and the Virginia General Assembly. Award recipients for 2016 are Senator George L. Barker (D-Fairfax County); Delegate M. Keith Hodges (R-Urbanna); Delegate Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington County); Senator Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax County); Delegate Matthew James (D-Portsmouth); Senator Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg); Senator William M. Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin County); and Delegate Christopher P. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach).

Presented by VHHA’s HosPAC (political action committee), the awards are bestowed on elected officials who have a demonstrated record of supporting issues related to hospitals and health care, have taken important stands on behalf of hospitals and health care, have introduced or supported priority legislation impacting hospitals and health care, and shown proven leadership in effecting significant change to benefit hospitals and health care. The 2016 awards were formally presented at a ceremony this week attended by Senator Barker, Senator Howell, and Delegate Stolle.

“Access to quality health care is important to the well-being of Virginians and the economic prosperity of the Commonwealth. Bi-partisan, common sense health care public policy decisions that support our health care system are vital to a healthy and productive Virginia,” said 2016 HosPAC Campaign Chair E.W. Tibbs Jr., the President and CEO of Lynchburg-based Centra Health System. “The eight Virginia citizen legislators selected as 2016 HosPAC Health Care Hero Award recipients have each worked to advance health care policy solutions in the General Assembly. On behalf of community hospitals and health systems across the Commonwealth, I applaud and congratulate these deserving awardees.”

“Advocating for complex health care policy isn’t always easy. It can take commitment and investment of time and effort to comprehend its intricacies. It is critically important to have engaged legislators take on these tough issues on behalf of the health care needs of all Virginians,” added HosPAC Board Chairman James W. Dunn, Vice President for Advocacy and Community Affairs with Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “The health care community is grateful to have support from accomplished legislative leaders willing to passionately engage on such important public policy issues.”

This is the second year the HosPAC Health Care Hero Award has been bestowed on Virginia legislators. Award recipients from the 2015 inaugural class include Senator Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta County); Delegate Terry G. Kilgore (R-Gate City); Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax County); and Delegate David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville). View the 2015 winners online here, and the 2016 recipients here.


  • Pictured from left: VHHA Board Chair Mary N. Mannix, Delegate Chris Stolle, Senator Janet Howell, VHHA HosPAC Campaign Chair E.W. Tibbs Jr., Senator George Barker, and VHHA HosPAC Board Chair Jim Dunn.



AHA PAC MVPP Awarded at the 2016 VHREF Annual Conference in Williamsburg, VA

Last year, HosPAC’s successful fundraising also helped the American Hospital Association PAC. Because of those efforts, AHA PAC honored two recipients from the VHHA Membership with its Most Valuable PAC Player Award.

The first AHA PAC award was presented to Inova Health System. Inova Health System has been a longtime advocate for regarding policy changes that affect healthcare on the state and federal level. Inova has also been a strong leader year after year in HosPAC and the AHA PAC campaigns. Congratulations!


  • Pictured Left to Right:
    (L): Paul Speidell, Sentara-VP of Govt. Relations & Health Policy presents the AHA PAC MVPP award to (R): Jennifer Siciliano, Inova-VP of Govt. Relations

The second of the AHA PAC awards was presented to Valley Health System. During the 2015 HosPAC Campaign, Valley Health System ramped up its fundraising and advocacy initiatives. Valley Health has been instrumental in being a 'voice' and advocate for healthcare in Virginia. Congratulations!


  • Pictured Left to Right:
    (L): Paul Speidell, Sentara-VP of Govt. Relations & Health Policy presents the AHA PAC MVPP award to (Center) N. Travis Clark, Valley Health – President, Page Memorial Hospital and (R): Thomas T. Gilpin, Valley Health Trustee









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