Sinai Health System CEO Alan Channing Named 2014 Illinois Grassroots Champion

Release date

Wednesday, May 7th 2014

Naperville, IL – The American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with the Illinois Hospital Association, today awarded Alan Channing, President & CEO, Sinai Health System, Chicago, with the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champions Award. As a 2014 Grassroots Champion, Channing is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of a hospital’s mission.

“Alan has been a tireless advocate for underserved communities, working to ensure that the health care safety net is preserved,” says IHA President and CEO Maryjane A. Wurth. “He is fueled by a deep passion for providing quality care while maintaining a community connection with Chicago’s socio-economically challenged west side. That drive and commitment have fostered numerous health care initiatives and best practices that have evolved into national health care models.”

The American Hospital Association Grassroots Champions Award was created to recognize those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital, and is a tireless advocate for the hospital and its patients. “We depend upon strong voices like Alan’s to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities they serve,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO. “This award is a small token of our appreciation for his hard work and dedication to improving health and health care in America.”

Channing, who has served on and chaired numerous IHA councils and committees since 2005, was the IHA Board of Trustees Chair in 2012—playing a critical role in mitigating harmful cuts to health care and advancing important initiatives for hospitals during the 2012 Illinois legislative session. As a staunch advocate for underserved communities, Channing continues to guide unique approaches to population health to create stronger, healthier communities. Channing assumed the role the role of president and CEO of Sinai Health System in 2004. Before joining Sinai, he served seven years as president and CEO of the two-hospital St. Vincent Charity System based in Cleveland, OH, and prior to that he held a variety of leadership positions including with the world recognized public teaching hospital, Bellevue Medical Center, New York, NY. Under Channing’s guidance, Sinai Health System has increased in size and experienced some of the most profitable years in its history. Sinai has been recognized as one of the nation's most creative community-oriented hospitals, receiving the NOVA award from the American Hospital Association and several clinical quality awards from the Illinois Hospital Association. Accomplishments Channing is most proud of are: a forty year career in private, not-for-profit safety net hospitals where he created an environment that had quality of care at its core; helping to give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves; influencing the national healthcare dialog to focus on community health; coining the term “pre-primary care” to describe Sinai’s unique role in the health care delivery system; and being part of what a Crain’s Chicago Business editor referred to as “Sinai’s secret sauce.”

The Grassroots Champion award is presented annually to one individual from each state, 51 total, 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 on May 6, 2014.

About the AHA The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The 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. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at

About IHA The Illinois Hospital Association, with offices in Naperville, Springfield and Washington, D.C., advocates for Illinois' more than 200 hospitals and nearly 50 health systems as they serve their patients and communities. IHA members provide a broad range of services – not just within their walls, but across the continuum of health care and in their communities. Reflecting the diversity of the state, IHA members consist of nonprofit, investor-owned, and public hospitals in the following categories: community, safety net, rural, critical access, specialty, and teaching hospitals, including academic medical centers. For more information, see Like IHA on Facebook. Follow IHA on Twitter.

About Sinai Health System Sinai Health System, a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, is comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 695 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs.