PUBLISHED: 5:13 PM on Wednesday, May 9, 2007
SEARHC VP named Alaska's AHA Grassroots Champion

  Frank Sutton
SITKA - The American Hospital Association, in partnership with the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, has named SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Vice President of Hospital Services Frank Sutton the winner of the state's Partnership for Action Grassroots Champion Award.

The award honors Sutton for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of a hospital's mission, according to the AHA. The Partnership for Action Grassroots Champion Award was created in 2006 to recognize hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials about 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. Sutton is Alaska's second winner of the award (Brian Gilbert, CEO of Wrangell Medical Center, was the state's first winner in 2006).

"Your leadership and dedication to promoting the mission of hospitals has added a strong voice on a local and national level," American Hospital Association President Rich Umbdenstock wrote in a congratulatory letter to winners. "The compassion and hard work you have demonstrated has made a difference for your patients and your community and has earned you this special recognition."

"Frank, congratulations on this special recognition. You have more than earned it in all the ways you positively impact health care in Alaska," ASHNHA President/CEO Rod Betit wrote in the April 2007 President's Report posted on ASHNHA's Web site.

Sutton recently completed a term as ASHNHA chair, serving as a leading advocate for the organization before the state legislature. He has been at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital for 35 years, rising from pharmacist to SEARHC VP of Hospital Services (the administrator of Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital). In April, Sutton served as co-chair for the Sitka Health Summit, "Working Together for a Healthier Sitka."

"From my perspective, it is truly an honor to be selected to receive the Grassroots Champion Award," Sutton said.

"I commend Frank for his continued professional success and unwavering commitment to the health care of the Native people in Southeast Alaska," said Ken Brewer, President/CEO of SEARHC.

One Grassroots Champion Award winner was selected from each state by their respective state associations, and they are recognized at a special breakfast May 8 in Washington, D.C., held during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting.

The AHA is a national organization with 37,000 individual members from 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of health care. For more information on the AHA, go to