Trustee’s editorial director Mary A. Grayson has always been a champion of this magazine and its role in educating hospital and health system boards. Behind the scenes, she has guided Trustee’s coverage and development, and made it a home for much of the best health care and governance writing, while also overseeing sister publications Hospitals & Health Networks and Health Facilities Management and AHA Press. She first appeared on Trustee’s masthead in September 1990 and, in 1991, she interviewed then-American Hospital Association president and CEO Dick Davidson for the magazine. For the next 22 years, Mary’s annual conversations with the AHA’s chairs-elect were must-reads. In each of those in-depth interviews, she connected the dots between the leaders’ personal histories and their professional goals.

Plain-spoken and observant, Mary is known throughout the AHA for her health care and publishing wisdom and her ability to boil complex issues down to their basic elements. She is unmatched in her ability to spot trends in the making and knows instinctively what hospital leaders need — and what they need to hear. New AHA staffers recognize early on the value of her perspective, and they work hard to earn her respect.

In the nearly 10 years that I have been a part of the AHA’s publishing group, Mary has pushed me to be a bigger thinker and better problem-solver, to pick my battles, and to prepare for, but not dwell on, the worst-case scenario. On a personal level, her advice — never unsolicited — on raising kids, choosing a Thanksgiving turkey, being a good neighbor and much more has been a gift.

After 33 years with the AHA, Mary is retiring in early November. She has more than earned it, and her cat, her books and her garden are eagerly awaiting her full-time attention. Everyone with whom she works, as well as the health care universe as a whole, will feel her absence. T