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The American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with the Maine Hospital Association has awarded Arthur Blank, President and CEO of Mount Desert Island Hospital with the Partnership for Action Grassroots Champion Award. As a 2009 Grassroots Champion Mr. Blank is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of a hospital’s mission.
The Partnership for Action Grassroots Champion 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.
“Art and his team have worked tirelessly in engaging their board, staff, and community members in their state and federal advocacy efforts,” said Steven Michaud, president of the Maine Hospital Association. “Over the past year, Art has successfully generated significant local grassroots communications with state legislators in opposition to proposed cuts to Medicaid funding of Critical Access Hospitals, cuts in reimbursement to hospital-based physicians and to advocate that the state pay past Medicaid bills owed to hospitals dating back to 2005. 
“For years, Art and his staff have held community advocacy meetings to brief community members on various health care issues pending at the state and federal level and the impact of those policy proposals on local access to health care services. By continually educating local community leaders about pending health care issues and the role of MDI Hospital in the delivery of local health care services, Art has been able to easily engage local community members when there is a need for action.” 
“We depend upon strong voices like Mr. Blank’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.”
The award was presented during the AHA annual meeting in Washington on April 28. Mr. Blank is one of 51 individuals honored this year.
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 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 37,000 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

Mount Desert Island Hospital; Critical Access to Quality Care Since 1897
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