AIHA is saddened to announce the passing of Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, who was an invaluable member of our Board of Directors since the organization was founded in 1992.
“Don played such an essential, central role to the success of AIHA for almost a quarter of a century. His dedication and contribution to AIHA is so much a part of its fabric that I hardly know where to begin in describing his legacy,” said AIHA Board of Directors Chair, Dr. Dennis Andrulis.
“Don’s grounded brilliance and incisive thinking were his hallmarks for us as he lent such formidable experience to plans, progress, and direction … we all looked to him for his insights, thoughts, and guidance. All this and so much more he did with grace, humor, and ease,” Dr. Andrulis continued.
Dr. Fisher led the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) — formerly called the American Group Practice Association — as its President and Chief Executive Officer since 1980. In that capacity, he helped shape the organization into a leading voice of the nation’s most prestigious multi-specialty medical groups and integrated systems of care.
As a guiding force driving AIHA’s growth and development through our initial years as one of the first organizations working on health sector reform in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Dr. Fisher was able to tap into not only his own wealth of knowledge and experience in coordinated, integrated health service delivery systems, but also that of AMGA’s constituency — many of which served as U.S. partner institutions over the years. His wisdom and leadership were equally crucial as AIHA expanded beyond Eurasia in 2004, adapting our unique twinning model to strengthening institutions that provide HIV/AIDS-related training and services in sub-Saharan Africa and later Asia and the Caribbean.
As a founding member of AIHA’s Board of Directors, Dr. Fisher served as treasurer and chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee from 1992 to 1999, as secretary from 2000 to 2003, and as chair from 2004 to 2008.
“Don was an integral part of AIHA from the beginning and a true mentor in every sense of the word,” said James P. Smith, founding Executive Director of AIHA until his retirement in early 2015.
David Greeley, who joined AIHA as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2015, agreed, saying, “Don’s support during AIHA’s leadership transition and guidance over the past two years as we’ve worked to expand both geographically and programmatically has been invaluable.”
Dr. Fisher is survived by his children, Kim Hayman and Jeff Fisher, and their respective families. On behalf of AIHA’s Board of Directors, staff, and partners around the globe, we extend our deepest sympathies to them.
“All who have been with Don on AIHA’s Board know the magnitude of the loss,” Dr. Andrulis said. “For our new members, I know I speak for all that we regret that you will not have the opportunity to spend time in his company.”
If you would like to send condolences to Dr. Fisher’s family, please visit amga.org.