Steve Ahnen, President, joined NHHA in October 2008 after 16 years at the American Hospital Association in Washington, D.C. The Association serves as the primary advocate for the State’s acute care community and specialty hospitals with Steve as their principal advocate and spokesperson.

Under Steve’s leadership, the Association has built on the collaborative efforts of hospitals to improve quality, patient safety and health care delivery. Through the Association and its Foundation for Healthy Communities, hospitals are working together and leading the nation in providing evidence-based care to the patients and communities they serve.  

Prior to joining the NHHA, Steve was senior vice president for association development at the American Hospital Association.  He held a number of positions of increasing prominence at AHA, including serving seven years as senior vice president in the Office of the President, vice president & special assistant to the president, and lobbyist. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and German from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and an executive MBA in health administration from the University of Colorado in Denver.


Kathy Bizarro-Thunberg, Executive Vice President, MBA, FACHE, Executive Vice President/Federal Relations, has been with the New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) since 1985. Kathy is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and served as the President of the Northern New England Association of Healthcare Executives, ACHE Regent for the State of New Hampshire and as a Governor on the ACHE Board of Governors.

At NHHA, Kathy works with NH’s congressional delegation and the American Hospital Association regarding legislation on the federal agenda that affect health care and hospitals. Her other responsibilities include supporting state advocacy efforts, health policy development, hospital financial reporting, data management, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), public health issues and hospital emergency preparedness planning. Kathy also oversees the internal financial management of NHHA and the Foundation for Healthy Communities, an affiliate of NHHA.

She has an associate of science degree in computer information systems from the New Hampshire Technical Institute (1985), a bachelor of science in health management and policy from the University of New Hampshire (1992) and an MBA in Leadership through Franklin Pierce University (2008).

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George Devoid, Grants Accountant, joined the New Hampshire Hospital Association and Foundation for Healthy Communities in August of 2016, and is responsible for all aspects of the Association's and the Foundation's accounts receivable and accounts payable functions, as well as assisting FHC program staff with various financial grants management requirements and financial reports.  A Senior Accountant with nearly 30 years experience, George has extensive experience in accounting system development, report design, federal programs and reporting, among many other accounting functions, and previously held positions at Liberty Utilities and the NH Housing Finance Authority.  George received his BS in Accounting from Plymouth State University and his MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Caroline Lavoie, Director, Health Information and Analytics is responsible for data collection, processing, and reporting for both the New Hampshire Hospital Association and the Foundation for Healthy Communities. Prior to joining the NHHA in April 2019, Caroline co-founded a data services company in the Concord area. Before moving to New Hampshire, Caroline lived in Rochester, NY and worked for several years as an administrator in a healthcare facility that serves the uninsured.  Caroline earned her B.A. in Public Administration from Miami University and her M.S. in Analytics and Data Science from the University of New Hampshire.

      Katie Lesnyk cropped   Katie Lesnyk, State Government Relations Assistant, joined the New Hampshire Hospital Association in July 2020, shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in health management and policy and a minor in English from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In her role, Katie assists the NHHA lobbyist staff by by monitoring and reporting on legislation by the NH General Court and other pertinent state agency activities, including tracking legislative bill status, activity, and state / administrative rules, maintaining weekly legislative calendars for NHHA staff and other advocates, running legislation-related reports, and more.  Prior to beginning the state government relations assistant role, she spent the summer of 2019 as an intern at NHHA and has written for two weekly newspapers as a freelance reporter.

Linda Levesque, Director, Finance, is responsible for all aspects of the NHHA and the Foundation for Healthy Communities’ accounting functions, including financial statements, state and federal grants and payroll, and she also serves as benefits administrator. Prior to joining the NHHA in March of 2008, her accounting degree was put to use in the construction and manufacturing industry for 22 years, during which she held positions with the Kollsman Instrument Company’s sites in Merrimack and Nashua.


Paula Minnehan, Senior Vice President, State Government Regulations. Paula joined the Association in 2001 with an extensive managed care background focused on provider services and account management. Additionally, she spent time with the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services where she administered the state's Certificate of Need program. Paula earned her undergraduate degree and her master's in Health Administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Paula oversees state government outreach efforts for NHHA. She is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the association’s efforts before the legislative and executive branch of government. She is also responsible for the development of relationships with key legislators and committee staff and regulators to effectively communicate the association’s priorities and legislative initiatives.  Prior to assuming the role of state government relations in late 2015 she was the VP, Finance and Rural Hospitals at NHHA.


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  Sally Short, Executive Assistant, joined the New Hampshire Hospital Association as Executive Assistant in 2017, providing high level administrative and event support to both the Association and the Foundation for Healthy Communities and serves as the primary point of contact for internal and external contacts.  Sally also serves as a liaison to the board of directors and coordinates executive outreach and external relations efforts. Prior to joining the Association, Sally held executive assistant roles at Brown University in Rhode Island, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, and Granite State College in Concord, New Hampshire.

Vanessa Stafford, Vice President, Communications, is responsible for executing the communication strategy for both the Association & Foundation for Healthy Communities, in support of the organizations' objectives.  She oversees the member and public outreach efforts related to strategic, public policy and programmatic initiatives.  A senior communications professional, Vanessa has more than 15 years experience in driving marketing & communications strategy through branding, messaging, public affairs, and media & community relations.  Prior to joining the Association & Foundation, Vanessa served as the Marketing & Communications Manager at Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence, MA, and as Director, Marketing & Communications at Lamprey Health Care in Newmarket, NH.  Vanessa received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of New Hampshire and her MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, and serves as President of the Board of Directors for the New England Society of Healthcare Communications.