AAHC 50th ANNIVERSARY: 1969 - 2019

Academic health centers first began to appear in the U.S. after World War II. By the mid-1950s, leaders at these institutions recognized that they were working in a new model of health professions education, biomedical research, and patient care, and that mission and management of the whole were more encompassing and more complex than the sum of the parts.

The leaders of these broad-based institutions recognized the need to form an organization to foster deliberation on the high-level issues and challenges facing academic health centers, to share ideas and best practices, and to define solutions.

In 1956, a group of 17 visionary leaders convened as the University Medical Administrative Group. The group met on a regular, but informal, basis until 1969, when it was formally incorporated as The Organization of University Health Center Administrators, Inc. The organization’s name soon was changed to the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) with an office located in Washington, DC.

In 2019, AAHC celebrates its 50th Anniversary of convening thought leaders, sharing best practices, and catalyzing the diffusion of innovation. Inspirational leadership and effective management of academic health centers have been the central concerns of AAHC throughout its 50 years. This commemorative timeline is testimony to the important work of AAHC and its members in healthcare, biomedical research, and health professions education.

 

1969 - 1979

1969

The organization that is to become the Association of Academic Health Centers is founded.
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On January 27, 1969, the Organization of University Health Center Administrators, Inc. (later to be renamed AAHC) is established "to be the national resource for higher education concerned with issues of multiprofessional education, biomedical research, and the delivery of health care and to enhance the collective strength of the health professions institutions." 

1972

Name changes to AAHC and Washington Office opened.
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With the opening of an office in Washington, DC, the organization changed its name to the Association for Academic Health Centers, Inc. 

1974

The early years.
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AAHC's early years saw it function as a network for collaboration among vice presidents for health affairs (a relatively new position at universities). It developed further as a service and voice in health policy and science advocacy for academic health centers on a national level. 

1978

SAFO is formed
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Bringing together the chief financial officers and chief operating officers at academic health centers, the Senior Administrative and Fiscal Officers (SAFO) group was formed. The group continues to lead the development of timely reports, initiatives, and publications including annual Salary Surveys, the Benchmark & Metrics Initiative that led to critical research and key findings on the true cost of research at academic health centers, the Census of Academic Health Centers, and many other valuable products.

1979

John R. Hogness, MD named as first fulltime President.
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Previously managed by a rotation of academic health center leaders, AAHC names its first fulltime President - John R. Hogness, MD.

 
 

1980 - 1989

1980

The Organization and Governance of Academic Health Centers is published.
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The Organization and Governance of Academic Health Centers - a four-volume publication - is released to address the changing culture and policy of universities and academic health centers. Seeing the need to address institutional accountability, increasing government regulation, and the expanding academic health center role, presence, and bureacracy, AAHC conducts an in-depth study of current organization structures and leadership needs at academic health centers nationwide.

1980

Association of Academic Health Centers becomes official name.
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On August 26, 1980, AAHC amended its name to the Association of Academic Health Centers, Inc.

1984

Study on regional impact of academic health centers commissioned.
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AAHC commissions a study on the economic impact of academic health centers regionally, which culminates in a report recognizing the importance of academic health centers to their local economies.

1987

Roger J. Bulger, MD announced as next AAHC president.
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With the announcement of Dr. Hogness stepping down as President, Roger J. Bulger, MD, is named the next president of AAHC and assumes the position in 1988.

1988

AAHC acts on nursing shortage issue.
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As the nursing shortage becomes a looming crisis in the healthcare workforce, AAHC issues recommendations and establishes the Forum on Nursing to address the issue.

1989

AAHC moves to current location.
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AAHC offices move to its current location in Washington, DC at 1400 16th Street, NW.

 
 

1990 - 1999

1992

AAHC takes on leadership and diversity and scholar programs.
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As workforce and leadership become major policy priorities  for the association and its membership, AAHC establishes a Leadership Diversity Program in higher education management and a program for Scholars in Academic Administration and Health Policy.

1993

AAHC assumes leadership role in health workforce concerns and convenes Congress of Health Professions Educators.
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As the health workforce and national health reform take center stage, AAHC participates in White House and congressional conversations and convenes the first of twelve annual Congress of Health Professions Educators to provide a forum for dialogue among the health professions.

1994

CenterNet created to extend policy reach of membership.
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AAHC establishes CenterNet, the academic health center TV network - a tool for academic health centers to extend their reach in updating policy makers on the many services provided and impact of academic health centers in their communities. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan refers to it as "an influential supplement to the continuing contacts many of us have on policy and legislative issues."

1995

Partnerships for Training program is established.
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AAHC becomes headquarters for Partnerships for Training, a program to promote regional partnerships and increase the number of primary care and mid-level practitioners. 

1997

Interdisciplinary and community leadership become focus of Councils.
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A culmination of several years of work in, and recognition of the importance of, interdisciplinary leadership in the community, building a high profile for health professions associations, and multi-professional education, AAHC establishes several Councils to lead its efforts. The Councils' efforts led to the publication of several reports, including Catalysts in Interdisciplinary Education.

1998

The two-volume Mission Management is published.
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AAHC publication, Mission Management, recommends cutting-edge management practices for leadership in all academic health center missions.

1999

AAHC begins work on the global stage.
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Recognizing the growing importance of academic health centers on a global stage,  the Association establishes a Division of Global Health.

 
 

2000 - 2009

2001

Emergency Preparedness: Bioterrorism and Beyond is released.
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In response to the September 11 attacks, AAHC establishes a Council on Biodefense to review potential vulnerabilities of biomedical research, resulting in the critically important report Emergency Preparedness: Bioterrorism and Beyond.

2004

Academic health center leadership is supported by two publications addressing governance and policy issues.
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AAHC releases two reports addressing key concerns for academic health center leaders:  Organization and Governance of Academic Health Centers: Fundamental issues in a New Environment; and Public Policy: Perverse Incentives & Unintended Consequences.

2005

With Dr. Bulger's retirement announcement, Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD named next AAHC president and CEO.
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Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD, is named as the next president and CEO of the association and begins his tenure in 2006.

2006

New AAHC logo created.
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A new logo is adopted with the full association acronym of AAHC.  

2006

Executive leadership groups (ELGs) are created to expand input of key leadership at academic health centers.
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Expanding its membership reach and expertise, AAHC engages executive leadership groups (ELGs) to enhance connectivity of key leaders: SAFO, Vice Presidents for Research, Chief Compliance Officers, Chief Legal Counsel; and adds affiliate membership status to related healthcare associations and stakeholders.

2007

New AAHC website developed.
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New AAHC website created (changing from ahcnet.org to aahcdc.org) with expanded resources and information for member institutions and health policy stakeholders.

2008

Two groundbreaking publications are released.
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AAHC releases two landmark publications: 1. Out of Order, Out of Time: The State of the Nation's Health Workforce, the culmination of a three-year in-depth look at healthcare workforce shortages, this groundbreaking report focuses attention on the critical need for a new, collaborative, coordinated national health workforce planning iniatitive. 2. Clinical Trials Administration Toolkit, designed with the input of the Forum on Regulation executive leadership group to assist academic health center leaders, research administrators, and chief compliance officers in estabishing, strengthening, and improving the administrative infrastructure for the research enterprise.

2008

AAHC International (AAHCI) is established.
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Founded in 2008, the Association of Academic Health Centers International (AAHCI) brings together organizations to serve the academic health center mission, with a global vision of enhancing health and well-being worldwide. AAHCI also serves as a bridge between its international members and AAHC's US-based members.

 
 

2010 - 2019

2010

Affordable Care Act is enacted, including AAHC recommendations for National Workforce Commission.
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Passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacts healthcare delivery and policy throughout the U.S. The ACA specifically includes AAHC recommendations to establish a National Health Care Workforce Commission to address health workforce shortages through a coordinated, national plan.

2012

AAHC members author landmark publication.
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Compiling in-depth chapters written by academic health center leaders, The Confluence of Policy and Leadership in Academic Health Science Centers is published. 

2013

Social Determinants of Health Initiative results in online toolkit and report.
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As part of its efforts to address the importance of the social determiants of health (SDOH) in healthcare policy and delivery, AAHC develops a SDOH Online Toolkit for academic health centers - Wherehealthbegins.org

2014

Landmark leadership publication released and Metrics Initiative details findings.
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AAHC releases two reports: a guide to finding and transitioning leadership, Searching for Leadership: Best Practices for Acadmic Institutions; and Key Findings from the Benchmarks & Metrics Initiative detailing the costs of research at academic health centers.

2014

International Regional Offices are opened.
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AAHCI opens three Regional Offices (Middle East and North Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe) and expands regional meetings globally. A fourth Regional Office (Latin America and the Caribbean) is opened in 2017.

2015

The Transformaton of Academic Health Centers: Meeting the Challenges of Healthcare's Changing Landscape is published.
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The Transformaton of Academic Health Centers: Meeting the Challenges of Healthcare's Changing Landscape is published. With chapters authored by academic health center leaders, the book addresses preparing for health system change, trends in research, educating the future health workforce, and planning for future disruptions in healthcare.

2016

Aligned Institutional Mission (AIM) Program is launched.
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AAHC formally launches the Aligned Institutional Mission (AIM) Program to help member organizations set and meet strategic goals; measure organizational alignment; and benchmark their success.

2017

Thought Leadership Institute convenes leadership to envision future of healthcare.
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The AAHC Thought Leadership Institute convenes cutting-edge thought leaders, trailblazing industries, and academic health center leadership in a series of summits and roundtables to envision the future of healthcare delivery.

2017

New AAHC website is launched
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New AAHC website is launched. 

2018

Steven L. Kanter, MD, begins his tenure as the 4th President and CEO of AAHC.
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Steven L. Kanter, MD, begins his tenure as the 4th President and CEO of AAHC.

2019

AAHC/I membership expands to include 140 organizations from 26 countries
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AAHC/I membership expands to include 140 organizations from 26 countries.