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Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013

Special Feature

Chicago, AMA leaders celebrate commitment to health of America at new HQ dedication

Chicago, AMA leaders celebrate commitment to health of America at new HQ dedication

Chicago and AMA leaders united last week to celebrate the dedication of AMA Plaza, the association's iconic new headquarters location. AMA Plaza was the last American building designed by renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It was completed in 1970.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcomed the AMA to the landmark building. "We're bringing together two great strains in the history of the city of Chicago," said Emanuel. "We are known for our architecture, and we are known for our public health commitment and today both of those come together in a single place in a single location."

The August move to AMA Plaza is "both practical and inspirational," said James L. Madara, MD, the AMA's chief executive officer and executive vice president. The move "coincides perfectly with our organization-wide endeavor to be a responsive leader of the profession, deliver unmatched service to our members, and continue to drive significant improvements in the health of our nation for the sake of our citizens," said Dr. Madara.

The AMA is the building's anchor tenant, keeping more than 1,000 jobs in Chicago, and occupying the top floors of the 52-story building on the Chicago River.

AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, noted that regardless of how magnificent the AMA's new headquarters are, "it is the programs and initiatives that come from here that will ultimately determine how we are viewed in the eyes of America's physicians and the public."

The AMA is focusing on forging measurable improvement on three key initiatives:

View a new AMA video in which your colleagues describe the AMA's work in these areas.

"We are confident that AMA's leadership and commitment in these three areas will help spark the transformative change needed to shape a better future for America's patients, physicians, and our health care system," said Dr. Hoven.

The AMA's 2013 operating results will include approximately $33 million in one-time noncash charges related to the relocation to AMA Plaza.  The charges occur as a result of required accounting treatment for future cash payments related to AMA's old headquarters where the lease runs until 2015, as well as the new headquarters where lease payments will not start until 2015. The AMA had anticipated these charges and previously included them in the 2013 budget.

Ultimately, the new lease will provide substantial annual savings to AMA, as both the square footage and rate per square foot are lower under the new lease.  AMA's occupancy costs will average approximately 8 percent less per year than the previous occupancy costs.

AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD: "We are confident that AMA's leadership and commitment in our [three focus areas] will help spark the transformative change needed to shape a better future for America's patients, physicians, and our health care system."

From left: Bechara Choucair, MD, Chicago commissioner of public health; James L. Madara, MD, AMA CEO and executive vice president; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Mayor Emanuel: "We're bringing together two great strains in the history of the city of Chicago. We are known for our architecture, and we are known for our public health commitment and today both of those come together in a single place in a single location."

From left: Mayor Emanuel; David O. Barbe, MD, AMA board chair; Dr. Hoven; Dr. Madara.

Dr. Madara: The move "coincides perfectly with our organization-wide endeavor to be a responsive leader of the profession, deliver unmatched service to our members, and continue to drive significant improvements in the health of our nation for the sake of our citizens."