American Hospital Association honors MemorialCare Health System's Government Relations Executive Peter Mackler as Grassroots Champion

May 12, 2014, 16:00 ET from MemorialCare Health System

ORANGE and LOS ANGELES Counties, Calif., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Hospital Association, in partnership with California Hospital Association, honored Peter Mackler, Executive Director of Government Relations and Policy for MemorialCare Health System, with the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champions Award. Mackler is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of the mission of hospitals.

The Grassroots Champions Award was created to recognize hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the vital role of hospitals in the community, perform an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for hospitals, and is a tireless advocate for hospitals and their patients.

"We depend upon strong voices to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities they serve," says Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO in honoring Mackler. "This award recognizes Peter's exceptional efforts and dedication to improving health and health care in America."

The award is presented annually to one individual from each state with winners being chosen by the state association.  The 2014 honorees were recognized at a special Breakfast of Grassroots Champions at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting this week.

"For more than a decade, Peter has worked tirelessly for our patients, physicians and communities," says Barry Arbuckle PhD, President and CEO of MemorialCare Health System. "His efforts have been a catalyst for constructive dialogue among physicians, lawmakers, community leaders and health care providers—all with the goal of creating sustainable health care reform and sensible health care legislation. We are proud of Peter's achievements and thrilled AHA recognizes him as a Grassroots Champion."

"Advocacy is not a spectator sport," explains Mackler, who has 25 years of experience in health care advocacy. "To best understand the impact their decisions have on our communities, government officials need to hear from us." He is Vice Chair of Partners in Care Foundation, past Chair of California Hospital Association Political Action Committee and Chair of Westside Family Health Center.

Prior to joining MemorialCare in 2004, Mackler had nearly 15 years of experience in public service developing health care policy, including as the Southern California policy liaison to the Director of the State Department of Health Services. He was also a legislative consultant for three California Senate President pro Tempores – Senators David Roberti, Bill Lockyer and John Burton. He holds a bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge where he also serves as a guest lecturer. He is also a guest lecturer at California State University Long Beach, University of CaliforniaLos Angeles and Berkeley campuses, University of Southern California and Coro Southern California's Health Leadership Program. 

American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.

MemorialCare Health System, a nationally recognized innovator in best-practice, evidence-based medicine, is a not-for-profit Southern California integrated delivery system with 200 care sites, 11,400 employees, 2,600 affiliated physicians; six hospitals—Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; MemorialCare Medical Group; Greater Newport Physicians (GNP); Seaside Health Plan; ambulatory surgery centers; and imaging and outpatient facilities. It is among 35 employers globally receiving the prestigious Gallup Great Workplace Award. MemorialCare Medical Group and GNP are consistently honored with Elite Status by California Association for Physician Groups, the highest rating for medical groups.

California Hospital Association represents the interests of more than 400 hospitals and health systems, their patients and communities. Almost 10% of the nation's hospital beds are located in California.

SOURCE MemorialCare Health System