AAMA : Blogs : AAMA Notification of the Passing of Thomas O'Donovan


With profound sadness, The American Academy of Medical Administrators announces the passing of one its great leaders, Thomas O’Donovan, PhD, FAAMA who passed away Thursday, 17 April 2014 at his home in Michigan.

Dr. O’Donovan became President of the American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA), a professional association for health care leaders in 1980.  He was instrumental in the growth of the Academy during his nineteen year tenure where he organized separate specialty groups of healthcare administrators; creating specialty colleges within the Academy for oncology administrators, cardiology administrators, healthcare information technology administrators (a new field at the time).    As part of his plan to grow the AAMA he skillfully moved the corporate headquarters from Detroit to Chicago.  Dr. O’Donovan was a Fellow of the AAMA as well as a Diplomate.  In 1993 he was recognized by AAMA with the Richard A Harley Diplomate of the Year Award.

Prior to becoming the President of the AAMA, Dr. O’Donovan had a distinguished career in healthcare administration.  He was viewed as an optimist, a visionary, an educator as well as a healthcare leader. He received his bachelors and masters degrees in business administration at the University of Detroit, and received his doctorate in business administration from Michigan State University. As a professor of management he taught at the University of Detroit and University of Southern California. In 1962 he became administrator of 500-bed Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit, where he remained until 1980. While at Mt. Carmel he was very aware of the high cost of healthcare and took innovative measures to address it. For example, in addition to promoting more outpatient surgery, he organized the “Quadrangle”, which was a successful effort to get four hospitals in close geographic proximity to voluntarily come together to coordinate services (e.g., pediatrics, obstetrics, neonatal intensive care units) for the benefit of the community (Mt. Carmel, Sinai, Grace, and Providence). An accomplished author, Dr. O’Donovan wrote one of the first management books on outpatient surgery, “Ambulatory Surgery Centers: Development and Management”, published in 1976. In his career he published three books, authored six book chapters, published 65 articles and delivered 111 health care management speeches.

A memorial service to honor the life of this distinguished healthcare leader will be held at Noon, Saturday, May 3rd at  A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward, Royal Oak Michigan 48073, (248)-549-0500.   Memorial tributes may be sent to The Beaumont Foundation, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007.