The AHA, in partnership with the Maryland Hospital Association , chose Epke because of her exceptional leadership and community activity in support of Maryland hospitals. The award is given to one hospital leader in each state who has been an advocate, educator, and broadened the base of support in the community. The 2010 honorees will be recognized at a special Breakfast of Grassroots Champions at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting tomorrow morning. In a statement, AHA president and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said people like Epke are "the cornerstones of the communities they serve."
Since 2008, Epke has been on the Governor's Health Cost & Quality Council and has served on the Maryland Hospital Associations Council on Clinical and Quality Issues since 1994. According to the AHA, her dedication was particularly critical to the development of Maryland's Hospital Performance Guide and the Health Services Cost Review Commissions Quality-Based Reimbursement project.