Press Releases


Contact: Linda Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations
(716) 664-8614


WCA Hospital
Mrs. Betsy T. Wright, WCA Hospital President/CEO

Jamestown, New York (Thursday, April 8, 2010)— The American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), awarded Betsy T. Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer at WCA Hospital, in Jamestown, New York, with the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award. She will be honored at the fifth annual “Breakfast of Grassroots Champions” on April 27th during the 2010 AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Betsy is one of 52 individuals honored this year. As a 2010 Grassroots Champion, Betsy is being recognized for her exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of the hospital’s mission.

“We depend upon strong voices like Betsy’s to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities they serve,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO. “This award is a small token of our appreciation for her hard work and dedication to improving health and health care in America.”

The Partnership for Action Grassroots Champion Award was created to recognized those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community and who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital, and is a tireless advocate for the hospital and its patients.

“This award is a tribute to Betsy's tremendous dedication to the communities served by WCA Hospital,” said Mr. Daniel Sisto, President of HANYS. “A successful health care organization today must do more than provide quality care, it also must engage community members to take a share of ownership in the institution. Betsy's innovative and energetic approach to grassroots advocacy has been a model of effective community engagement. HANYS takes great pleasure in joining the AHA in recognizing her outstanding achievements.”

Wright’s experience in the healthcare field spans close to 30 years. A Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Betsy received a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Rochester, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.

In recognizing Betsy for the honor, John Bartimole, President of the Western New York Healthcare Association, noted her strong grasp of hospital issues that makes her especially effective as a hospital advocate. “Betsy is the quintessential hospital CEO, but so much more than that,” said Bartimole. “Betsy connects so well with the community and does a yeoman's job of studying the issues, knowing the issues and translating the issues into information the community can appreciate. She has always put WCA and the Jamestown community, as well as all of the Chautauqua Region, first in her mind and has done the utmost to serve the people of the area.”

The award is presented annually to one individual from each state with winners being chosen by the state association.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes 5,000 hospital, health care systems, networks, other provider of care and 37,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at


The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing more than 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.

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