Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE

President and Chief Executive Officer


Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, was the President and Chief Executive Officer of AMGA (formerly the American Medical Group Association), a trade association that represents medical groups and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation’s largest, most influential integrated health care delivery systems. Dr. Fisher has been CEO of the organization (previously known as the American Group Practice Association, Inc.) from October 1980 until his death in March 2017.

Under his leadership, AMGA has become the premier voice for medical groups in the U.S., with its members currently responsible for delivering health care to one out of every three Americans. AMGA advocates for multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care and for the patients served by these systems, by continuously striving to improve patient care through innovation, collaborative shared learning, benchmarking, the creation of sound public policy, and leadership development. Dr. Fisher led AMGA to be an early advocate for the shift “from volume to value,” aligning payment incentives with improving population health. The 450 medical group members of AMGA, representing 175,000 physicians, provide health care to more than 120 million patients each year.  Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for medical groups providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs and publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.

Dr. Fisher was early to recognize the importance analytics would play in enabling member organizations to manage population health. In 2000, he founded the subsidiary which has become AMGA Analytics and has served as chair of its board. Today, AMGA Analytics, in partnership with Optum, supports collaborative shared learning, driven by comparative clinical analytics.

Dr. Fisher also served in various capacities on all of AMGA’s subsidiary organizations. In 2014, AMGA Consulting was established, with Dr. Fisher serving as Chair of the Board. Prior to becoming the CEO of AMGA, he served as the first Executive Director (1973-1980) of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr. Fisher was very active in other organizations, in particular those dealing with health care. He was a member of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and former Chair of the American International Health Alliance; a member of the American Association of Medical Society Executives; a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives; and a member of the American Society of Association Executives; and served on the IAMMM Center for Health as Social Equity Senior Fellows Advisory Council. In 2009, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Alliance Bank, appointed Chair of the Board in February 2011, and when Alliance merged with WashingtonFirst Bank at the end of 2012, he was appointed a Director of the new Board. Dr. Fisher also served on the Board of Advisors for Maestro Strategies (since 2012) and IKS Health.

In addition, Dr. Fisher was appointed as Senior Fellow, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center Society of Fellows (2009-his death); appointed to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Health Equity Program Section Head for Advanced Health Information Technology, and appointed as Member, Editorial Board - Health Equity and Disparities Policy Blog (2010-his death).

Dr. Fisher has received numerous honors for his work on behalf of the healthcare professions. In 1990, he received the Russell V. Lee Lectureship for outstanding service to the group practice of medicine, and in 1989 he received the Presidential Award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants for service to the physician assistant profession while serving as the Academy's First Executive Director.  Other honors include being elected to Who's Who in Health Care, being named to Distinguished Leaders in Health Care and named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

Dr. Fisher earned a B.S. in biology/chemistry from Millsaps College in 1968, his M.S. in anatomy from the University of Mississippi, School of Medicine in 1971 and a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Mississippi in 1973. He was a Certified Association Executive as designated by the American Society of Association Executives, 1980 and maintained that certification.  Dr. Fisher received a Certificate from the Wharton School of Business in 1989 and 1990 for successfully completing two Group Practice Executive Managers Institutes. He was also an avid boater and was licensed (one hundred ton) by the United States Coast Guard.

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