The AHA, in partnership with the state hospital associations, yesterday awarded 52 individuals its Grassroots Champion Award. The award recognizes those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital's vital role in the community, do an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital and are tireless advocates for hospitals and their patients. "We depend upon strong local voices to help tell the story of hospitals as cornerstones of the communities they serve," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "This award is a small token of our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of these individuals to improving health and health care in America." The winners will be honored April 30 at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting.