Cynthia M. Washington
Senior Health Care Association Executive
American Hospital Association, Chicago, IL
With over 20 years of service, Ms. Washington has held progressive project management positions within the American Hospital Association (AHA). She has leveraged relationships in the health care industry, professional and national civic organizations and the local community to drive AHA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the work of the association and among its membership.
Newly appointed as Interim President of the AHA’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management (IFD), Ms. Washington is uniquely qualified to execute IFD’s strategies to promote diversity and inclusion and to eliminate health inequities.
As a Director in AHA’s Member Relations division, Ms. Washington has been at the forefront of leading efforts to engage women and ethnically diverse healthcare executives and trustees in fostering leadership diversity and expanding opportunities for involvement. She launched the AHA’s Annual Meeting Diversity Roundtable. The Roundtable allows thought leaders to gather for candid discussions on such topics as the elimination of health disparities, women executive leadership experiences, and the Office of Minority Health guidelines to prevent readmissions. Additionally, she has managed AHA’s Up & Comers Presidents Forum, the Committee to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence, and the Committee on Governance for hospital trustees.
Ms. Washington is a part of the leadership team of the AHA’s Region 5 Policy Board which convenes hospital, health system and state association executives to promote and maintain communication between the AHA and assist in providing policy input on issues considered by the AHA’s Board of Trustees.
Ms. Washington is deeply committed to the mission and vision of IFD, and for many years has worked closely with its team while managing day-to-day responsibilities in Member Relations. Currently, she leads the AHA and the National Urban League’s historic alliance to advance health equity and diversity in health care governance across the United States. In addition, she collaborated on IFD initiatives that include its Trustee Training Program, Equity of Care Campaign, #123forEquity Pledge, and diversity learning tracks at AHA’s national meetings.
Ms. Washington balances her professional endeavors with community service on local boards and professional associations. She served seven years as the first female board chair of Habilitative Systems, Inc. (HSI), a Chicago non-profit organization that provides services for individuals with special needs and underserved populations. She is the current chair of HSI’s Fundraising committee. Ms. Washington serves on the national board of the National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE) and is a member of its local Chicago chapter. She has served over 25 years as a trustee at Trinity United Church of Christ.
Ms. Washington earned an undergraduate degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and completed advanced certification for board training and development from the University of Chicago.