July 10, 2006 15:56 ET

VHA Health Foundation Elects Jim Dooley as Board Chair, Adds Dr. Joyce Essien

IRVING, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 10, 2006 --The VHA Health Foundation, a public foundation created by VHA Inc. to promote leadership and innovative solutions to creating better health and health care, has elected James J. Dooley as its new board chair. The board has also invited Joyce D. K. Essien, M.D., to serve a three-year term.

Jim Dooley is the president and chief executive officer of Finger Lakes Health, the parent corporation for Geneva General Hospital, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, and their four affiliated nursing homes. Dooley has served as president and CEO of Geneva General Hospital since 1978, and has served in the same capacity for Geneva Regional Health System since its inception. Dooley, a Diplomate of the American College of Healthcare Executives, is an American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board member and a member of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) Board of Trustees. He is active in a variety of community organizations including the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, Jobs for Geneva, and the Geneva Youth Hockey Program. Dooley received his bachelor's degree from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., and his master's degree in health administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He completed his residency at Robert Packer Hospital, where he also served as vice president prior to his career at Geneva.

Joyce D. K. Essien, M.D., is the director of the Center for Public Health Practice at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta; and a Commissioned Officer with the rank of Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service at the CDC. Her current focus is the design and development of data-based models and community indicators to inform health policy and to monitor progress in health equity and population health outcomes; the integration and management of health promoting assets within community systems and healthcare organizations and the structural, social and behavioral determinants of health as the means to strengthen system capacity and optimize health outcomes, quality and performance; and the design and development of systems level methods and tools to sustain innovation and strategic interventions in health promoting systems. Essien is co-author of the "Public Health Competency Handbook -- Optimizing Individual and Organizational Performance for the Public's Health" ( and serves on Advisory Committees for the Association for Community Health Improvement, the National Association of City and County Health Officials' MAPP project, The Bon Secours Hospital System Quality Committee, The Institute for Alternative Futures Biomonitoring Futures Project and Disparity Reducing Initiatives, and the Public Health Institute's initiative, Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit. She received the Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter Partnership Award and the Women in Government Award from Good Housekeeping, The Ford Foundation, The Center for American Women and Politics and Rutgers University, for her work with the ZAP Asthma Program.

Dooley replaces John J. Finan, Jr., who completed a two-year stint as board chair and is the newly elected chairperson of the Catholic Health Association. Finan is president and chief executive officer of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System Inc. in Baton Rouge, La. Finan will remain on the VHA Health Foundation board.

For a complete list of board members, go to:

The VHA Health Foundation (, located in Irving, Texas, is a public foundation created by VHA Inc. to promote leadership and disseminate new effective models that improve health and health care. Benefiting VHA members and non-members, the VHA Health Foundation supports programs that focus on new approaches to health and health care, generate synergies, enhance outcomes, and diffuse knowledge and best practices. The Foundation assists hospitals in times of disaster and supports innovative and improved disaster preparedness.

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