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Health Care Hall of Fame

George Bugbee
Inducted in 1989

George Bugbee
1904-1995
Inducted in 1989


Bugbee reportedly helped transform the American Hospital Association from what was once more of a social club into the educational and political organization that it is today.

A former hospital administer, Bugbee played a key role in helping pass the Hill-Burton Act, which provided $150 million for the creation of new hospitals across the country. Moving up the ranks quickly in hospital administration, Bugbee took over as superintendent of 1,500-bed City Hospital, Cleveland, at the age of 33. He would become the AHA’s president in 1943 and serve until 1954; he was the first nonphysician to head the association.

Bugbee also formed the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and the Commission on Hospital Care, which did a two-year study of the nation’s hospital landscape. It found the country was 90,000 beds short of what was needed. So Bugbee contacted his friend, Sen. Harold Burton (R-Ohio) and helped the senator craft and lobby for the landmark Hill-Burton Act.

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