Shannon Walsh
(703) 838-0033 ext. 377

12 February 2013

AMGF Welcomes New Chair and Members to Board of Directors

ALEXANDRIA, VA- The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the philanthropic arm of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced the appointment of a new Board chair and three new Board members.  The Foundation's Chair is Ronald Kirkland, M.D., M.B.A., past chairman of the board, The Jackson Clinic, who has been an AMGF Board Director since 2011. Also joining the Board are: Robert Brenner, M.D., M.M.M., chief medical officer of Summit Medical Group; Jack Cochran, M.D., FACS, the executive director of The Permanente Federation; and Julie Sanderson-Austin, R.N., a quality management professional who served AMGA for more than 20 years as AMGA's vice president of quality management and research.

"The addition of these esteemed healthcare leaders to our Foundation Board only strengthens the caliber of leadership that we have been privileged to enjoy over the past few years," says AMGA President and CEO and AMGF Secretary Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE.  "The experience, skills and leadership these directors bring to the table will enable the Foundation to continue to successfully demonstrate the key benefits achieved by high-performing and clinically integrated medical groups and health systems."

The AMGF Board guides AMGA's nonprofit, which supports and disseminates evidence-based research on better ways to deliver health care that is scientifically sound and value-based.  Key programs the Foundation supports include a recently launched national hypertension initiative, Measure Up/ Pressure Down, focusing on reducing the national burden of high blood pressure; its esteemed quality award, the Acclaim Award; and research collaboratives and case studies to share best practices in key indications- including multiple chronic disease care, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-that demonstrate how the coordinated care delivery system is essential to high-quality, cost-effective care.

Following are brief biographies of the incoming Chair and new members:

Ronald H. Kirkland, M.D., M.B.A., Past Chairman of the Board, The Jackson Clinic
Dr. Kirkland serves as Past Chairman of The Jackson Clinic, a multispecialty group practice comprising 135 physicians in 8 western Tennessee locations. Dr. Kirkland has also had active leadership roles in local political, business, educational, medical, and religious organizations, including President of the Jackson Rotary Club and President of The University of Tennessee National Alumni Association. He has practiced otolaryngology at The Jackson Clinic since 1984, and is a member of the American Medical Association, the Tennessee Medical Association, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Kirkland served as a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent in Viet Nam, and later received his medical degree in 1977 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he received the Distinguished Service Award. He completed residency at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, and at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Kirkland earned an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2009. Dr. Kirkland is certified by The American Board of Otolaryngology. He has been honored by The University of Tennessee at Martin with its Chancellor's Award for University Service, and by Tennessee AAU Girls' Basketball as its "Volunteer of the Year." He has been twice selected by his peers as one of the "Best Doctors in America," and has also been selected as one of "America's Top Physicians." Dr. Kirkland currently serves as the AMGA delegate to the American Medical Association, and is a past member of the Advisory Committee on Group Practice Physicians of the AMA.

Robert Brenner, M.D., M.M.M., Chief Medical Officer, Summit Medical Group
At Summit Medical Group, Dr. Brenner has been integral in developing new centers for Breast Care, Behavioral Health and Cognitive Therapy, Evening Primary Care, Preventive Medicine, Geriatrics and Transitional Care, Diabetes Live Well, Executive Health, Occupational Health, Hospitalist Medicine, and Clinical Trials. He also developed the first formal group practice affiliation with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Before joining Summit Medical Group in 2006, Dr. Brenner was Lead Hospital Administrator, Executive Team member, and Chairman of Family Medicine at Atlantic Health/Mountainside Hospital. A sought-after speaker on health care reform and what it means for patients and physicians, Dr. Brenner has appeared as an invited guest on Fox Business News and In Full View. He is known for his presentations on value in health care, patient satisfaction, preventive medicine, effective healthcare systems, multispecialty group practices, practice management, and the meaningful use of health information technologies. Dr. Brenner is the recipient of the Joseph E. Enright Kingfisher Award for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the health education mission of the Joseph E. Enright Foundation. In addition, he has earned the Dorland Health National People Award. Dr. Brenner is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the Group Practice Information Network, American College of Medical Quality, Medical Society of New Jersey, American College of Physician Executives, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute Provider Council, and American Medical Group Association Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director Leadership Council. He is Corporate Chair and Advisor to the Joseph E. Enright Foundation Board and a senior scholar for the Jefferson Medical College Department of Health Policy.

Jack Cochran, M.D., FACS, Executive Director, The Permanente Federation
The Permanente Federation represents the national interests of the regional Permanente Medical Groups, which employ 16,000 physicians who care for 9 million Kaiser Permanente members. Kaiser Permanente is composed of the Permanente Medical Groups, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. Prior to his appointment to The Permanente Federation in October 2007, Dr. Cochran served as executive medical director, president, and chairman of the board of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group.  He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Alliance of Community Health Plans and the UCSF Global Health Group Advisory Board.  For more than 20 years, Dr. Cochran has volunteered his reconstructive surgery and consulting services in Third World countries, aiding underserved populations in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Ecuador, Tanzania and Nepal.  He is also a past president of the Consortium for Community Centered Comprehensive Child Care (C6), a foundation that has built hospitals in East Africa. He is a vocal advocate for nurses and oversees the Lois and John Cochran Education Award, an annual scholarship given to oncology nurses at Lutheran Medical Center in Denver.  Dr. Cochran's insights gained from decades of work on the front lines of health care provide a unique perspective. He has participated in implementing many of the priorities called for in health reform, including Kaiser Permanente's electronic health record, the largest successful non-governmental clinical information systems deployment in the world.

Julie Sanderson-Austin, R.N., Consultant, Quality Management and Research, American Medical Group Association
Ms. Sanderson-Austin is a quality management professional with a background in cardiovascular, critical care, and emergency room nursing. Before her recent engagement, she was Vice President for Quality Management and Research for AMGA for 21 years. During her tenure with the association, Ms. Sanderson-Austin directed outcomes research programs, benchmarking programs and quality management activities including disease specific and ACO collaboratives, award programs, and large benchmarking based programs for Patient, Provider, and Employee Satisfaction.  She coordinated a multi-site chronic care management demonstration through CMS and served as the quality improvement leader for the participating demonstration sites. Ms. Sanderson-Austin also served as AMGA's member liaison to AMGA's collaborative data warehouse, Anceta, and was a member of the American Medical Group Foundation Board of Directors. Prior to joining AMGA, Ms. Sanderson-Austin served as President and Chief Operating Officer at InterStudy, a healthcare research organization founded by Dr. Paul Ellwood in Minnesota. While at InterStudy, she developed, promoted, and implemented quality measurement and management systems for healthcare organizations interested in outcomes-based healthcare management. She has extensive clinical experience in critical care, cardiovascular, and emergency room nursing and received an award for training the first advanced cardiac rescue units in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Following is a complete listing of the AMGF Board:

Chair: Ronald H. Kirkland, M.D., M.B.A., The Jackson Clinic
Past Chair:  William A. Conway, M.D., Henry Ford Medical Group & Henry Ford Health System
Secretary: Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, American Medical Group Association
Treasurer: James W. Boswell, Baptist Memorial Medical Group & Baptist Memorial Health Care
AMGA Liaison: Don L. Wreden, M.D., Sutter Medical Group

Robert Brenner, M.D., M.M.M., Summit Medical Group
Kenneth P. Brin, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, Advocate Medical Group
Lawrence P. Casalino, M.D., Ph.D., Weill Cornell Medical College
Jack Cochran, M.D., FACS, The Permanente Federation
Francis J. Crosson, M.D., American Medical Association
Fredrick Horton, Sullivan, Cotter & Associates
Allen D. Kemp, M.D., M.B.A., Centura Health Physician Group
Kevin McDermott, Aptalis Pharma
Michael L. Millenson, Health Quality Advisors, LLC
Carleton T. Rider, Via Christi Health
Julie Sanderson-Austin, R.N., AMGA
Steve Schelhammer, Phytel, Inc.

About AMGF
The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the American Medical Group Association and it supports and disseminates research on better ways to deliver health care that is scientifically sound and value-based. AMGF also supports educational programs to enable all stakeholders-providers, payers, policymakers and patients-to translate the evidence of what works best into everyday practice.

About AMGA
The American Medical Group Association represents some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to support its members in enhancing population health and care for patients through integrated systems of care. More than 130,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 120 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.