Sutter Health CEO Receives Prestigious National Award for Lifelong Commitment to Community
SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 26, 2002 - Van R. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Sutter Health's not-for-profit network of community-based health care providers, has received the prestigious National Healthcare Award from B'nai B'rith International, one of the world's oldest and largest organizations focused on human rights, community action and humanitarian causes. In New York City last week, B'nai B'rith recognized Johnson for "exemplary service to the health care profession" and lauded him as "a man of distinguished character, dedicated leadership and outstanding civic involvement."
"Through Van's leadership, Sutter Health has preserved quality health care in communities throughout Northern California," said Dennis O'Connell, chair of the Sutter Health Board of Directors. "Van's dedication to community, innovative ideas, and true caring make him a first-rate example of Sutter Health's rich tradition of service to others. We're thrilled that an organization as respected as B'nai B'rith recognizes his achievements."
Under Johnson's leadership, Sutter Health has worked diligently to preserve and enhance health care services. While difficult financial challenges have caused more than 100 California hospitals to close since 1990, Sutter Health during the same period has built or replaced more than a dozen hospitals and major patient care centers, improved regional access to physicians, introduced dozens of new services and expanded access to patients. In just the past five years, Sutter Health invested well over $1 billion in services for the poor and in programs and services that benefit local communities.
"Van has blessed our citizens with integrity and devotion to improving people's lives," noted Congressman Robert Matsui. "His commitment to excellence has set a great example for those who follow his leadership."
Johnson has long been active with community, civic and church organizations. Currently, he is a board member for VHA, a nationwide network of more than 2,200 community-owned health care organizations and their physicians, and serves as board chair for the Integrated Healthcare Council of California. He is a past board member of the California Healthcare Association.
He also serves as board member for the Boy Scouts of America Golden Empire Council, an organization that recognized him as "Man of the Year" in 2001. In the same year, the United Cerebral Palsy Association named him "Humanitarian of the Year."
Founded in 1843 by 12 German-Jewish immigrants, B'nai B'rith mobilizes volunteers to improve the quality of life in communities around the world. For more information, visit bnaibrith.org/.