ST. PAUL – Minnesota Hospital Association
(MHA) President and CEO Lawrence “Lorry” J. Massa, M.S., FACHE, has announced
that he will retire in September 2019. Massa has led the association, which
represents 141 hospitals and health systems, for nearly 11 years.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to both lead and serve hospital and health
care organizations throughout Minnesota,” Massa said. “Because our members –
both metro and rural, large and small – work together so well on improving the
delivery of health care and patient safety, we can proudly say that Minnesota
is continually recognized by the federal government and national nonprofit
organizations as one of the top states in the country for the quality and
affordability of our health care.”
“We are sorry to see him go, but Lorry will leave MHA in a very strong
position, in terms of a unified membership, its influence in public policy, the
scope of its quality and patient safety work and its financial position,” said
Randy Ulseth, CEO of FirstLight Health System in Mora and chair of the MHA
board of directors. “Lorry’s tenure in convening Minnesota hospitals and health
systems will be remembered for his commitment to supporting MHA members in
improving the quality of patient care and for advocacy to ensure that all
Minnesotans have access to health care.”
Ulseth highlighted the following specific accomplishments under Massa:
- MHA supported passage of the Affordable Care Act
in 2010 and successfully advocated in Minnesota to expand
eligibility for Medicaid coverage to increase the number of
Minnesotans with insurance as soon as the law was effective.
Minnesota became one of the first states in the country to expand
Medicaid following the ACA passage.
- Massa continued MHA’s long-standing priority of
coverage for low-income Minnesotans by successfully advocating for
the continuation of Minnesota’s provider tax, which funds health
care programs for low-income Minnesotans. The sunset of the provider
tax was repealed in the 2019 legislative session.
expanded its quality and patient safety improvement work in partnership
with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and earned national
recognition including the 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and
Quality Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality and
the American Hospital Association 2015 Dick Davidson Quality
Milestone Award. Massa also created the new position of chief medical
officer, hiring MHA’s first physician in 2015 to forge stronger
partnerships with physician leaders and accelerate collective improvement
efforts across the state.
Massa seized on
opportunities to lead on challenging public health issues:
that the mental health needs of Minnesotans needed to be addressed before
individuals landed in the emergency room, MHA partnered with mental health
organizations, NAMI Minnesota and the Department of Human Services to
advocate for significant increases in mental health funding for the state
and for community organizations over the last four legislative sessions.
2014’s Ebola threat, Massa galvanized MHA’s large health systems to create
a process for handling potential Ebola patients and worked closely with
Gov. Mark Dayton and the commissioner of health to secure federal and
state funding for new infectious disease units in key hospitals.
that caregivers were not immune to the opioid crisis, MHA worked in
partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and state and federal
law enforcement representatives to create new nation-leading strategies to
prevent the diversion of drugs, including narcotics, from hospitals by
health care workers.
also convened a coalition in partnership with the Department of Health and
the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association to create new relationships and
strategies to more safely handle hospital patients who are involved with
law enforcement, following the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in a
“Lorry believed first
and foremost in relationships with other health care stakeholders and
government partners and the power of collaboration,” Ulseth added. “From three
Minnesota governors to the state’s congressional delegation, from the Minnesota
Departments of Health and Human Services to other health care organizations
such as LeadingAge Minnesota, Lorry always said yes to collaboration and
convening public-private partners committed to advancing the health of
Massa has had a distinguished 40-year career in health care. He is a fellow in
the American College of Healthcare Executives. Prior to being named president
and CEO of MHA in 2008, Massa served as chief executive officer of Rice
Memorial Hospital in Willmar from 1994 to 2008. He also served as South
Dakota’s secretary of health under Gov. William J. Janklow.
A national search for Massa’s replacement has already launched, Ulseth said.
The Minnesota Hospital
Association represents hospitals and health systems, which provide quality care
for their patients and meet the needs of their communities.
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