HealthManagement, Volume 13, Issue 4/2011

ADH: A Think Tank

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Questioning the various ways of governing, sketching out healthcare "leadership skills", developing hospital executives' proficiency, supporting adjustment to ongoing reforms. Through training programmes, collective thinking, professional and institutional partnership ADH is committed to guiding hospital directors through challenging situations and providing answers to the question of how to manage our hospitals for today and tomorrow.

ADH joined EAHM in January 2006. The association was introduced to the board at Dublin Congress in 2006. By getting involved in the European community of hospital executives, ADH seeks to improve its own members' practice by referencing a variety of health management cultures, sparking off partnerships and joint experiences, and sharing views on public health issues. Accordingly it wishes for French hospital CEOs' peculiarities and values to be acknowledged on a European level.

ADH is a professional society, founded in 1961, gathering close to half of all hospital executives in France (1,200 subscribers out of 2,900 executives). Its composition is fully representative of the general body of hospital executives according to geographical, generational, and statutory criteria. 

ADH Members
  • 34 percent run institutions (Chief Executives, Hospital Directors of Public, General or University Hospitals – a margin of about 3 percent run private, non- profit health institutions) 
  • 60 percent are adjunct directors (or Deputy Chiefs, specialised in a determined field: Budget, human resources, etc.) 
  • 6 percent study at EHESP, the National School of Public Health
Missions : Advancement, Protection and Guidance

ADH is dedicated to promoting the hospital management profession, defending its rights and specificities, and devising proposals concerning healthcare policy and management.
These fundamental goals are fulfilled through various activities:

  • Education or training programmes and seminars; 
  • Institutional and professional partnership (national and international, including bilateral foreign partnership); and 
  • Supporting and monitoring health policy and reforms. 

The Association is ruled by a board of 40 elected Hospital CEOs, with national headquarters based in Paris and two employees. It is led by President Fréderic BOIRON, St. Etienne University Hospital CEO.


ADH ensures respect of its members' religious, philosophical, political, and unionist beliefs. It provides many resources to the whole community of hospital directors:

  • A national structure and district sections in each region of France; 
  • A proactive international programme; 
  • A communication system (DH database, yearly directory, Website, bimonthly review – 5000 prints); and 
  • Attendance at major events (national meetings - Hopital Expo, international congresses – FIH).
Education/Ongoing Training
  • National events: "New governance"
    (2004), "Change management"
    (2005), "Sustainable Management"
    (2007), "Hospital CEO in the Future"( 2011); 
  • Regional seminars: Crisis communications, sanitary risks, strategy, work sociology; and 
  • Peer-coaching.
Collective Thinking

Working groups, research, surveys: ADH produces useful references that help shape hospital directors' identity and role.
Job Guidelines: Professional guidelines outlining the function of hospital director, based on surveys.
National surveys: Investigation about Hospital Directors' national assessment conducted in 2006, about Hospital CEOs' appraisal of coaching in 2007, about management skills and prospective profiles in 2011.

Partner of Public Authorities
  • Helped creating a Management Institute for Hospital Directors in the National School of Public Health High Studies and is involved in a newly created Health Management Research Chair. 
  • ADH is involved and consults in the major public health issues e.g Avian flu State committee, National Health organisation Plan 2007-2012, Hospital Patient Health Territory 2009 Law. 
  • Contributes to building links with other high civil servants bodies (State, Law, Research, etc.)

More info on:
[email protected]




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Questioning the various ways of governing, sketching out healthcare "leadership skills", developing hospital executives' proficiency, supporting adjustm

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