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Celebrating 100 Years as the
United Voice of Ohio Hospitals

Established in 1915, OHA is the country’s first state-level hospital association and over the years has represented one of Ohio's most valuable industries. OHA remains committed to providing our member hospitals and health systems a unique opportunity to work collaboratively to address our common health care interests.

As industry leaders, hospitals serve a critical role in implementing health care reform in Ohio, presenting a united voice and advocating for a more sustainable and vibrant Ohio health care environment. Through 2015 and beyond, OHA will continue to represent hospitals’ common interests with the state budget, health care policy, reimbursements, patient safety and quality improvement programs, work-force staffing, unemployment payroll tax program, energy efficiency programs, educational events, professional development and more.
Our Founding 
OHA was founded by a group of 60 hospital leaders at the Hotel Breakers (Cedar Point) in Sandusky, Ohio on August 25, 1915.

Breakers Hotel - 1905
Breakers Hotel, 1905

Discussions of formation began in 1914 during an American Hospital Association meeting. This historic event in 1915 is remembered as OHA’s inaugural annual meeting. Dr. Eli R. Crew, superintendent of Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital was unanimously elected president. OHA focused on social and legislative matters pertaining to hospitals and health care.

During the founding meeting, OHA leaders examined the effects of the Harrison Narcotic Act, a federal statute that became effective December 17, 1914. The Act required that hospitals keep records of opium and coca leaf compounds given to patients, register the drugs with the Internal Revenue Department and pay taxes accordingly. OHA was credited for developing the logistics and administrating the Act as there were no mechanisms established for record-keeping and registration requirements.
OHA Milestones
  • OHA’s 1918 convention was moved from Cleveland to Columbus in response to the federal government’s discouragement of unnecessary travel during World War I. Convention topics focused on the war, hospital standardization policies and the perennial problem of workers’ compensation. 
  • In 1922, the OHA Board hired a full-time field secretary to travel throughout the state and meet with superintendents of smaller hospitals.
  • OHA celebrated its 10th Anniversary at the 1925 annual convention in Cedar Point. The opening address was provided by Mary E. Yager, RN, OHA’s first woman president. 
  • In the 1950s, the OHA Plant and Maintenance Committee inaugurated a Safety in Hospitals campaign to reduce accidents among hospital employees – this resulted in a substantial reduction in premiums to the Bureau of Workers Compensation.
  • OHA started the first public relations internships in hospitals in the 1960s at Ohio University; the program, the first in the country, received much national publicity.
  • National recognition of hospital patient safety and health care quality programming at the regional and state level. In 2002, OHA’s significant quality improvement achievement efforts were recognized by the Joint Commission’s Codman Award for our development of process improvement benchmarks, targeting acute myocardial infarction rates in the Dayton region.  
  • In 2014, OHA received the American Hospital Association's Award of Honor for its energy and sustainability program.
Centennial Membership Planning Committee
OHA invited key past and present board and staff leaders to serve on its honorary Member Centennial Committee.   Committee members convened for a half-day session on December 8, 2014 in Columbus.   

The group discussed OHA’s past milestones, accomplishments, and influencers. They also heard from current staff about the highlights of OHA today.  

Planning committee members include:

Charlie Adkins, former OHA Board chair, Holzer Medical Center, Gallipolis

Jack Bartell, former OHA Board chair
St. Luke’s Hospital, Maumee

Tom Breitenbach, former OHA Board chair, Premier Health, Dayton

Jim Castle, former OHA president/CEO (retired)

John Clough, MD, former OHA Board member
Cleveland Clinic

Bill Considine, former OHA Board member, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Akron

Jack Cook, former OHA Board chair, the Health Alliance, Cincinnati

Mel Creeley, former OHA Board chair
East Liverpool City Hospital

Phil Ennen, 2014 OHA Board chair
Community Hospitals of Williams County, Bryan (current)

Scott Fry, president
Hospital Council of NW Ohio, Toledo (current)

Bill Harding, former OHA Board chair
Union Hospital, Dover

Larry Harkness, former OHA Board chair
Dayton Children’s Hospital

Chip Hubbs, 2015 OHA Board chair
Memorial Health, Marysville (current)

Sister Judith Ann Karam, Congregational Leader
Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine & OHA member (current)

Jim Kingsbury, former OHA Board chair,
Fort Hamilton Hospital and UC Health, Cincinnati

Pat Martin, former OHA Board member, Fisher-Titus Medical Center, Norwalk

Cynthia Moore-Hardy, current OHA Board member/officer (chair-elect), Lake Health, Painesville

Cathy Nelson, former OHA Board chair
St. Charles Hospital, Oregon and United Health Partnership, Toledo

Bill Ruse, former OHA Board chair
Blanchard Valley Hospital, Findlay

Jack Sandman, former OHA Board chair
St. Ann’s Hospital, Columbus

L. Jon Schurmeier, former OHA Board chair, Southwest General Hospital, Middleburg Heights

Tom Sieber, former OHA Board chair
Genesis HealthCare System, Zanesville

Mina Ubbing, former OHA Board chair, Fairfield Medical Center, Lancaster

Terry White, former OHA Board chair
MetroHealth, Cleveland
Ohio Historical Marker Dedication - Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
Representatives of the Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Historical Society, Cedar Point Hotel Breakers and the American Hospital Association, along with Ohio hospital leaders and health care advocates commemorated the 100th anniversary of OHA with the dedication of an Ohio historical marker at the Sandusky, Ohio hotel that hosted the founding meeting in 1915.

“OHA has been the united voice of Ohio’s hospitals for a century, representing one of Ohio’s most vital health care industries,” said Mike Abrams, OHA president and CEO. “During that time we have been the leader of substantial reforms and advances in health care delivery and policy. Through many collaboration and partnerships, we have helped shape health care policy in Ohio and the country.”

Rick Pollack, incoming president of the American Hospital Association, delivered the keynote address at the dedication ceremony. The AHA was founded in Cleveland in 1898.

“The Ohio Hospital Association has a lot to be proud of because of what and who it represents – the hospitals that are a cornerstone of our society,” said Pollack. “We are here to celebrate and honor the past, and also focus on the future, so that hospitals will continue to play a leadership role in serving our communities.”

Photos - Dedication Ceremony
Ohio Historical Marker Abrams, Chip Hubbs (OHA Board Chair and President & CEO of Memorial Health-Marysville), and Rick Pollack, AHA.
Abrams, Rep. Michael Sheehy, Senator Randy Gardner, and Senator Kevin Bacon. Resolutions commemorating OHA's centennial.

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