National health care and physician expert joins Salem Health Board of Trustees

The Salem Health Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that John Combes, MD, has accepted an appointment to the Salem Health Board of Trustees.

Dr. Combes is the chief medical officer and senior vice president of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the president of the Center for Healthcare Governance, an AHA affiliate organization. The Center is AHA’s resource for health care board members, executives and thought leaders focused on advancing excellence, innovation and accountability in health care governance through education, tool development and research.

Dr. Combes also leads the AHA’s Physician Leadership Forum providing education, tools and information to encourage physician leadership development. Additionally, he serves as Senior Fellow at the Hospital Research and Education Trust, and focuses on quality and leadership issues in patient safety, end-of-life care and clinical performance improvement. Combes is also a current member of the Board of Governors for the National Patient Safety Foundation.

“We invited Dr. Combes to join the Salem Health Board of Trustees in large part for his national preeminence in the areas of health care governance and physician leadership,” said Bob Wells, Board chair. “Even though Dr. Combes lives and works in Chicago, he will be an active, fully engaged member of the Board. We are very excited about the contributions he will make to the excellence of Salem Health.”

Combes looks forward to serving on the board, stating, “I have a passion for improving quality, safety, the patient experience, and creating an environment where the clinical professions can thrive, delivering the best possible care for our patients and community. I am excited about this opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with this excellent community hospital system.”

Dr. Combes received his medical degree from Cornell University in New York and his post-graduate training from Boston City Hospital. He is certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has Management Certification from the American College of Physician Executives. Dr. Combes has held several senior management positions at a variety of health care organizations. He continues to serve on several national advisory groups on medical ethics, palliative care and reduction of medical errors.

Combes recently completed a 9-year term on the Board of the Hospital Sisters Health System, a 14-hospital health system in Illinois and Wisconsin where he also served as chair of the system-wide quality committee. He is currently a member of the West Virginia Medical Institute, a multi-state quality improvement organization. Combes also writes and lectures frequently on governance, physician issues and quality.

All members of the Salem Health Board of Trustees are volunteers and serve three-year teams. The board provides overall policy setting for the health system, and is ultimately responsible for the quality of care and the financial well-being of the organization. The Salem Health Board of Trustees appoints members from a variety of backgrounds to ensure a broad representation of experience and skills.

Salem Health — an OHSU Partner — offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It is comprised of hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. For the second consecutive year, the hospital in Salem received the prestigious 2016 Truven Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, placing it among the nation’s highest performing hospitals. “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at