Minnesota Hospital Association


June 25, 2019

MHA President and CEO Lorry Massa to retire after distinguished career

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 The sunset of the provider tax was repealed in the 2019 legislative session. 
  • MHA 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: 

  • Recognizing 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. 
  • During 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. 
  • Recognizing 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. 
  • MHA 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 Minnesota hospital. 

“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 Minnesota.”   

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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