February 11, 2005

Jacobson named president of Society of Medical Administrators

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Harry Jacobson, M.D.

Jacobson named president of Society of Medical Administrators

Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named president of the Society of Medical Administrators (SOMA).

Jacobson's two-year term will run until 2007. He was sworn in at the group's annual meeting in January.

“Being chosen to lead a premier medical organization, especially one with such a rich history, is a great honor and a great responsibility,” Jacobson said. “I look forward to continuing to work with a group that counts among its membership some of the country's most highly regarded health care leaders.”

Jacobson was named treasurer of SOMA in 2001 and retained that role while serving as president-elect from 2003-2005.

The Society was formed in 1909 as the Medical Superintendents Club, a small group who met annually in New York City to discuss hospital administration. Originally, membership was limited to 25 individuals, all of whom had to be physician CEOs of hospitals. Charter members included the directors of Massachusetts General Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, Bellevue Hospital, Cincinnati General Hospital, Brigham Hospital, Barnes Hospital and New Haven Hospital. Membership was by election and had to be unanimous, criteria that remain in place to this day.

By 1949 the organization expanded to 50 active members — where it stands today — and was composed of physicians with major leadership responsibilities not limited to acute care hospitals. By 1966 more than 30 members had served as president of the American Hospital Association. The Society counts among its membership the leaders of the American Medical Association, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Mayo Foundation, the American Hospital Association, the Medical Council of Canada, the University of California San Diego, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Association of Academic Health Centers, the American Board of Internal Medicine, Partners Healthcare in Boston and the National Library of Medicine.