Austin Ross, who spent his entire career at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, was inducted into Modern Healthcare's Health Care Hall of Fame on March 21. The late Senator Ted Kennedy was also inducted at the American College of Healthcare Executives 2010 Annual Leadership Congress in Chicago.
The Hall of Fame, which has honored only 87 leaders since starting in 1988, recognizes the life accomplishments of those who have made the most significant contributions to the increased effectiveness or efficiency of our health care system and to the health of all Americans. They are exemplars of professional practice, or "the very best-of-the-best," according to Dennis Pointer, Austin Ross–Virginia Mason Professor at the UW School of Public Health.
Ross received a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley in 1955. He began his career at Virginia Mason Medical Center that year as an administrative resident and retired in 1991 as vice president and executive administrator. Currently he serves as a member of the Virginia Mason Medical Center Board of Governors and professor emeritus of Health Services at the UW School of Public Health.
In 2000, an endowment was created to honor Ross for his 36 years at Virginia Medical Center and his two decades as a professor in the Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program at the UW. The Austin Ross Endowed Professorship enhances the University's ability to attract and retain distinguished faculty to the MHA Program.
Throughout his career, Ross mentored hundreds of students and professionals and was the recipient of many awards, including the American College of Healthcare Executives' prestigious Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Leadership, the American College of Medical Group Administrators' Harry J. Harwick Award for Distinguished Service, the American Group Practice Association Administrator of the Year Award, and the Washington State Hospital Association Special Recognition Award.
Ross and Kennedy are profiled in the March 22 issue of Modern Healthcare.