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Del. Healthcare Association names new CEO

Katie Tabeling
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Delaware Healthcare Association President & CEO Brian Frazee | PHOTO COURTESY OF DELAWARE HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATION

DOVER — The Delaware Healthcare Association has named Brian Frazee as its new president and CEO, following a nationwide search that spanned eight months.

Frazee has a substantial resume in advocacy, with positions in lobbying firms, Maryland state campaigns as well as in the Maryland Association of Community Services. For the past eight years, Frazee has served at the Maryland Hospital Association and currently serves as its vice president of government affairs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity at the Delaware Healthcare Association. It’s such a well-respected association, and its membership is doing great work,” Frazee told the Delaware Business Times. “I’m in a place where I’m grateful and humbled to be chosen to lead this organization.”

Frazee will start his tenure on Oct. 2.

Formed in 1967, the Delaware Healthcare Association (DHA) works with the state’s hospitals on issues concerning health care and the hospital industry as well as serving as an advocate for health systems and organizations. Its last president and CEO, Wayne Smith, served from 2007 to December 2022 and later started a lobbying and consulting firm, Smith Capitol Advisors.

“We are excited that Brian Frazee, a health care executive with tremendous experience and energy, will be joining us as our next President and CEO,” said Dr. David Tam, board chair for DHA, in a statement. “Delaware is growing rapidly, and our health care landscape is evolving just as fast … the DHA must continue to be the ‘convener’ and bring all stakeholders together to create a sustainable system that focuses on improving the health of all Delawareans.”

Frazee told the Delaware Business Times he was not looking to change jobs, but when a recruiter reached out, he found the offer intriguing. 

“I really wanted to continue association work, because that’s where I found my passion. I never really considered leaving Maryland, but as I learned more about Delaware and the association and stakeholders, I became excited,” he said. “I also really wanted to be part of a small, but mighty team.”

Frazee traces his interest in health care when he worked for Maryland State Sen. Mac Middleton around the time the Affordable Care Act was passed in Congress. Middletown was then-chair of the state’s Finance Committee and jurisdiction over health care matters. During his time with Middleton’s office, Frazee had a front-row seat as legislators worked through laws and policy on how to carry out the ACA. 

That period in his life inspired Frazee so much that when he went for a Master’s degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus, he studied health public policy. After running Middleton’s campaign for Southern Maryland, he worked at a lobbying firm in Annapolis.

In 2011, Frazee was hired as the public policy director for the Maryland Association of Community Services, a private nonprofit of 100 agencies that support people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. That organization had five employees, including Frazee.

“I really enjoy being part of a small, but mighty team. It’s actually how we described ourselves,” he said. “But when the opportunity at the Maryland Hospital Association came up, that was where I could dig into issues and work on policy on a massive scale. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done there.”

Frazee said he prefers association work, in part because it’s about reaching a consensus to best serve their different communities. 

“At the end of the day, I do think the ultimate charge of an association is to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work to find that agreement. It’s not always easy, but it’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

When Frazee officially starts his tenure in the First State, his first order of business is to meet his members and understand their needs and what challenges they face. The next step would be meeting with stakeholders and starting to build relationships in the small state of Delaware.

“One of the questions I like to ask is, ‘What’s keeping you up at night? How can we help you? What regulations can we try and tweak?” he said. “I think it’s always important to think big in terms of partnerships we can have not only with the hospital family, but also beyond like community colleges on workforce issues or the business community.”

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