MHA Meritorious Service Award Recognizes Healthcare Champions

Meritorious Service Award

The MHA announced the 2021 winners of its highest achievement award June 24. The healthcare champions receiving the award include James “Chip” Falahee, senior vice president, Legal & Legislative Affairs, Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo; David Jahn, president and CEO, Chippewa County War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste. Marie; and the late Bill Jackson, former senior vice president and chief financial officer at the MHA.

James "Chip" FalaheeChip Falahee has more than 40 years of experience in healthcare law and legislation, most of them at Bronson, where he has provided his expertise since 1987. He is a longstanding supporter of the association, in part evidenced by his service as a member of the MHA Board of Trustees since 2014, a past chair of the MHA Legislative Policy Panel and a founding member of the MHA Hospital Affiliated Legislative Officers group. Falahee has testified before legislative committees on behalf of Michigan hospitals to educate lawmakers on important healthcare policy.

Falahee has served as one of two hospital representatives on the Michigan Certificate of Need Commission for 12 years, eight of them as chair. He is a board member of 340B Health, a national organization comprised of hospitals and health systems that participate in the 340B drug discount program. He is also a founding member, past president and a Fellow of the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and past president of the Michigan Society of Hospital Attorneys. He has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America in healthcare.

David JahnDavid Jahn began his healthcare career four decades ago, serving as president and CEO of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and as vice president of marketing for FinCor, a medical liability insurance company subsequently acquired by Coverys, before taking the lead at War Memorial Hospital in 2005. He was first elected to the MHA Board of Trustees in 1987 and served several terms over the years. He was a member of the Executive Committee from 2000 through 2003 and chaired the board in 2001-2002. He has also been a three-term member of the MHA Health Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the MHA’s Legislative Policy Panel, Small or Rural Hospital Council, Health Information Technology Strategy Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and other advisory groups.

Jahn has been vice chair of the Michigan Center for Rural Health, president of the Upper Peninsula Hospital Council and a member of the Upper Peninsula Health Care Network Board of Directors. He has been an integral part of his local community, having served as chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Rotary Club and as a board member of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Eastern Upper Peninsula.

Bill JacksonBill Jackson had a long history with the MHA. As the former CEO of Charlevoix Area Hospital (now Munson Charlevoix Hospital), he served on the association’s Board of Trustees for several years. He was a member of the MHA Executive Committee for three years and chaired the board during the 2012-2013 program year. He also lent his expertise to the association by serving on the MHA Keystone Center Board of Directors, the MHA Business Advisory Council, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Participating Hospital Agreement Advisory Committee and the MHA Small or Rural Hospital Council, among others. He was a member of the HPS, Inc., board of directors and chairman of the MHA Reinsurance and Casualty LTD.

A certified public accountant, Jackson worked in financial services for Lapeer County General Hospital early in his career and was a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the Michigan Association of CPAs. He joined the MHA in 2013 and was part of its senior executive team until his untimely death in late 2020.

MHA Members Testify Before Senate Committee on CRNA Legislation

capitol building

The Senate’s Health and Human Services Policy Committee addressed a pair of bills relevant to hospitals during the week of May 17. The committee took testimony on House Bill (HB) 4359, which would modernize the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). The committee also took up Senate Bill (SB) 440, which would remove certain positron emission tomography (PET) scanner services from Certificate of Need (CON) oversight.

Steve Barnett, president and CEO, McKenzie Health, and David Jahn, president and CEO, War Memorial Hospital, provided testimony May 20 to the committee in support of HB 4359. “This legislation will increase access to healthcare for Michigan residents. It will reduce costs for Michigan residents. It will permit CRNAs to practice to the full extent of what their license already provides for – and it will do all of this while maintaining every bit of patient safety,” said Jahn.

The MHA supports HB 4359 that, by modernizing the scope of practice for CRNAs, would allow flexibility for each hospital to choose the anesthesia care model that best fits its location, staffing and resources to offer safe and effective patient care. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township), would also bring Michigan in line with 42 other states and the U.S. military on this issue. This change would eliminate a costly regulation while maintaining patient safety and would put into law a policy that has been allowed and proven effective during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Michigan law requires a licensed physician of any specialty to supervise a CRNA to deliver anesthesia care.

The committee also voted to report SB 440, introduced by Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), to the Senate floor. The MHA supports Michigan’s existing CON process and is opposed to the bill that would, by removing certain full body PET scanner services from CON oversight, undermine the program that ensures high-quality, accessible, cost-effective care for patients in the state. The specific technology this bill seeks to address is expected to be before the CON Commission at its June meeting. The MHA will continue to monitor any action that is taken.

For more information on state legislation affecting healthcare, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.