Tenure Marked by Strong Financial Growth, Accreditation Expansion

John E. Burke, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), has announced that he will retire in June 2015, following 18 years with the Association.

“Dr. Burke challenged AAAHC to become a leader in health care quality and performance measurement, to continuously expand and improve our programs and surveys, and to evolve our peer-review, consultative approach to accreditation,” said W. Patrick Davey, MD, MBA, FACP, chair of the AAAHC Board of Directors. “Throughout his time with the Association, Dr. Burke continued to champion new programs and approaches, while keeping a steady hand on the finances of the organization.”

Under Dr. Burke’s leadership, AAAHC widely expanded its accreditation services and experienced tremendous financial success. Landmark achievements during his tenure include:

  • Growth of the operating budget from $2 million to $20 million
  • Increase in accredited organizations from approximately 600 to 6,000, including newly accredited organizations in Central and South America
  • Expansion of skilled support staff from eight full-time employees to more than 65
  • Founding of the AAAHC Institute for Quality Improvement in 1999 to provide opportunities for ambulatory health care organizations to benefit from quality improvement and performance
  • Selection by the United States Coast Guard in 2005 and the United States Air Force in 2006 as the accrediting organization for their ambulatory health care facilities worldwide
  • Status as the first accrediting organization to offer an on-site Medical Home accreditation in 2009
  • Establishment of AAAHC International (now Acreditas Global) in 2010
  • Establishment of the Accreditation Association for Hospital and Health Systems (AAHHS) as an independent entity to accredit rural and critical access hospitals in 2012

“It’s been an incredible privilege to serve an organization with so many talented health care professionals who are all committed to the same mission,” said Dr. Burke. “I’m confident that quality assurance and accreditation will continue to grow world-wide and that AAAHC and our Accreditation Association affiliates will see further growth and expansion in the future.”

Dr. Burke earned a MFA from Ohio University in 1966 and a PhD from The Ohio State University in 1971 and has since logged more than 40 years of experience in health care. He began an academic career at The Ohio State University where he received his tenure as an associate professor and department chairman in the School of Allied Medical Professions. He later joined the College of Associated Health Professions at the University of Illinois at Chicago as an associate dean and professor. Prior to becoming CEO of AAAHC, Dr. Burke managed programs in medical communications and scientific relations for Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Illinois.

“AAAHC and its staff are extremely grateful for the insightful, forward-thinking leadership Dr. Burke brought to our organization, and we wish him the best in his retirement,” added Dr. Davey.

AAAHC will begin a national search later this year for a successor to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.

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Contact: Geoffrey Charlton-Perrin