updated 4/28/2011 4:46:52 PM ET 2011-04-28T20:46:52

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) is proud to announce that John Richardson has accepted the position as its new Executive Director. As a part of a recent change in management to SmithBucklin Corporation, John Richardson will lead the PHA staff team in the organization's new Washington D.C. office.

"John and his team at SmithBucklin are integral to our plans to grow our association and advocate for all our members both in Washington and in their local communities," said PHA president Dr. Michael Russell. "Not only does John bring a deep understanding of the needs of healthcare trade organizations, he can help us navigate the uncertain waters of policy and politics and the effects they will have on our members."

John was most recently Director of Government Relations Healthcare Practice Group for the SmithBucklin Corporation, where he lead the policy efforts of healthcare trade organizations whose members include healthcare administrators focused on access management as well as the medical staff; allied health professionals; and physicians. Prior to joining SmithBucklin, John served as an Associate to the House Committee on Appropriations for former Representative John E. Sununu of New Hampshire. 

"I am very pleased to be joining PHA as its new Executive Director and look forward to being involved in strengthening the value proposition for all its members," adds Richardson. "Patients deserve choices about where they receive health care -- this is a key driver towards increasing quality and efficiency. Unfortunately, recent policy has narrowed patient choice. Physician-owned hospitals deliver high quality efficient care patients need, and I look forward to working with physicians and patients to ensure greater access to these critical institutions."

A New Hampshire native, Richardson graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I, and currently resides in Washington D.C. with his wife Kristin and son Garrett.

About Physician Hospitals of America

PHA offers support, advocacy and educational services to the physician-owned hospital industry, reflecting at all times the best interests of patients, physicians and other providers who play an inextricable and essential role in the provision of healthcare services.  There are currently 275 physician- owned hospitals serving patients in 33 states.  These hospital s include general acute care, long term acute care, emergency medicine, multi-specialty, women's, children's, rehabilitation and psychiatric.  According to its HCAHPS survey data, physician-owned hospitals rank first for patient satisfaction in 20 states.  For more information visit:   www.phapulse.org .

About SmithBucklin

SmithBucklin is the world's largest association management and professional services company.  Founded in 1949, the company provides full-service management and outsourcing services to trade associations, professional societies, technology user groups, corporations, government institutes/agencies and other nonprofit organizations. SmithBucklin's mission is to drive growth for its client organizations and provide uncompromised stewardship for their long-term prosperity.  SmithBucklin offices are located in Chicago, Washington, D.C., St. Louis and St. Paul, Minn. And the SmithBucklin + MCI Worldwide Partnership provides client organizations with seamless association and event management services from more than 40 offices throughout the world.  The company is 100 percent employee owned.  For more information, please visit www.smithbucklin.com .

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CONTACT:  Leslie Fossey
          (903) 539-7712/leslie@azaleaortho.com

          Scott Christiansen
          (312) 961-4745/scott@physicianhospitals.org

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