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For leadership, Rice CEO Lorry Massa earns top award from the state's hospital association

WILLMAR -- Lorry Massa, CEO of Rice Memorial Hospital, has been awarded the Minnesota Hospital Association's highest honor, the 2006 Stephen Rogness Distinguished Service Award.

The award is presented to an executive at a Minnesota Hospital Association member hospital or health care system who has demonstrated a history of significant leadership beyond his or her health care facility and whose activity has led to the improvement of health care delivery at the state and national level.

"Obviously I'm very honored to be recognized in this way," Massa said. "I appreciate the fact that I have a board of directors that values this kind of work on the state and national level and a great staff that is able to take care of the day-to-day operations while I am involved in the kinds of things that take me away from the hospital."

Massa came to Rice and Minnesota in 1994. Since that time, he has served six years on the Minnesota Hospital Association board of directors, serving as its chairman in 2005. He also served for six years on the policy and advocacy committee and as committee chairman for three of those years.

He has worked with legislators in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Minnesota Hospital Association and is the incoming chairman of the MHA political action committee.

Recently, Massa has been the MHA representative on the Citizen League's health care facilities study committee and on the MHA moratorium task force. He is also currently an MHA representative on the Healthy Minnesota steering committee, a multi-stakeholder group convened by the Minnesota Medical Association to make recommendations on health care reform in Minnesota.

Massa was actively involved with the University of Minnesota to establish the Southern Minnesota Area Health Education Center. Based at Rice Hospital, the AHEC works to foster interest in health care careers among students in southwestern Minnesota. In addition, rural and metro-area college students involved in health care majors have the opportunity to intern and explore rural practice opportunities developed in the region by the AHEC.

Massa has advocated for the health needs of area residents and encouraged the introduction of new specialty services for the region, including the development of a congestive heart failure clinic, a partnership with the Gillette Children's Hospital mobile outreach program and, most recently, a regional dental clinic in partnership with the University of Minnesota.

Locally, Massa has served as a past board member and chairman of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, served on the Main Street Willmar board and participated in Willmar's recent designation as an All-America City.