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Published on September 11, 2015

KishHealth System CEO Kevin Poorten Named 2015 Illinois Grassroots Champion

September 11, 2015

Courtesy of the American Hospital Association and Illinois Hospital Association

Kevin Poorten, CEONaperville, IL – The American Hospital Association (AHA) has awarded Kevin Poorten, President & CEO, KishHealth System, DeKalb, its Grassroots Champion Award. As a 2015 Grassroots Champion, Poorten is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots activity in support of the hospital community.

“Kevin has been a tireless advocate for hospitals and the communities they serve in both Washington and Springfield,” said IHA President and CEO Maryjane A. Wurth. “He is a strong and effective communicator who is able to explain the great work hospitals in Illinois are doing to transform the health delivery system despite the many fiscal and regulatory challenges they face at the federal and state level.”

The American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award was created to recognize those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital, and who are tireless advocates for the hospital and its patients.

“We depend upon strong local voices to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities,” said AHA CEO and President Rick Pollack, “By providing leadership and a voice for his community, Kevin is truly a grassroots champion, advancing health care in America.”

Since 2005, Poorten has been an active IHA member, including serving as IHA Board of Trustees Chair in 2014. He has chaired IHA’s Task Force on Transforming Illinois Health Care, IHA’s Workforce Task Force, and IHA’s Finance and Audit Committee. He also has served on IHA’s Strategic Planning Committee, and the Medicaid Reform and Certificate of Need Task Forces. Poorten has also served on IHA’s Executive Committee since 2012.

Poorten has been the President & CEO of KishHealth System, a community-owned health system, since 2002. He has a master’s degree in health services administration from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marquette University.

The Grassroots Champion award is presented annually to one individual from each state, 51 total.

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 nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 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

About IHA
The Illinois Hospital Association, with offices in Naperville, Springfield and Washington, D.C., advocates for Illinois' more than 200 hospitals and nearly 50 health systems as they serve their patients and communities. IHA members provide a broad range of services – not just within their walls, but across the continuum of health care and in their communities. Reflecting the diversity of the state, IHA members consist of nonprofit, investor-owned, and public hospitals in the following categories: community, safety net, rural, critical access, specialty, and teaching hospitals, including academic medical centers. For more information, see Like IHA on Facebook. Follow IHA on Twitter.

About KishHealth System
KishHealth System, based in DeKalb, IL, is a community-owned health system with facilities in DeKalb, Sandwich, Sycamore, Plano, Genoa, Hampshire, Waterman, and Rochelle, including the Physician Group, a multi-specialty practice with over 40 healthcare providers with several office locations. Kishwaukee Hospital, located in DeKalb, is a 98-bed replacement hospital that opened in October 2007. Valley West Hospital, a critical access hospital in Sandwich, became part of the health system in 1998. In addition to the two hospitals, the health system provides hospice, home health, behavioral health, and cancer care services.

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