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Top 25 Women in Healthcare announced

By | March 3 rd,  2017 | 2017, Healthcare, executive, Modern Healthcare, Blog, CEO, leadership, Top 25 Women in Healthcare | Add A Comment



We hope to see you July 19 in Nashville.


That's when Modern Healthcare will honor the Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2017, in tandem with the Women Leaders in Healthcare conference. The winners were announced this week.


The awards, sponsored by Furst Group and NuBrick Partners, the companies of MPI, honor 25 of the most powerful executives in the healthcare industry, in addition to 10 additional executives selected as Women Leaders to Watch.


The Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2017 are:


  • Nancy Howell Agee, President/CEO, Carilion Clinic
  • Leah Binder, President/CEO, Leapfrog Group
  • Marna Borgstrom, President/CEO, Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health System
  • Deborah Bowen, President/CEO, American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Mary Brainerd, President/CEO, HealthPartners
  • Ruth Brinkley, President and CEO, KentuckyOne Health
  • Debra Cafaro, Chair/CEO, Ventas
  • Susan DeVore, President/CEO, Premier
  • Deborah DiSanzo, General Manager, IBM Watson Health
  • Judith Faulkner, President/CEO, Epic Systems Corp
  • Halee Fischer-Wright, President/CEO, Medical Group Management Association
  • Tejal Gandhi, President/CEO, National Patient Safety Foundation
  • Laura Kaiser, Incoming CEO, SSM Health
  • Sister Carol Keehan, President/CEO, Catholic Health Association
  • Sarah Krevans, President/CEO, Sutter Health
  • Karen Lynch, President, Aetna
  • Beverly Malone, CEO, National League for Nursing
  • Patricia Maryland, CEO, Ascension Healthcare
  • Nancy Schlichting, Retired CEO, Henry Ford Health System
  • Lynn Simon, President of Clinical Services/Chief Quality Officer, Community Health Systems
  • Paula Steiner, President/CEO, Health Care Service Corp.
  • Marilyn Tavenner, President/CEO, America's Health Insurance Plans
  • Annette Walker, President of Strategy/CEO, Providence St. Joseph Health/St. Joseph Health
  • Emma Walmsley, Incoming CEO, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Marla Weston, CEO, ANA Enterprise

    In addition, here are the 10 executives chosen as Women Leaders to Watch:


  • Julia Andrieni, CEO, Houston Methodist Physicians' Alliance for Quality
  • Christine Candio, CEO, St. Luke's Hospital
  • Mandy Cohen, Health and Human Services secretary, State of North Carolina
  • Laura Forese, Executive VP/COO, New York Presbyterian
  • Sally Hurt-Deitch, Market CEO, the Hospitals of Providence
  • Kathy Lancaster, Executive VP and CFO, Kaiser Permanente
  • Sue Schick, Chief Growth Officer, UnitedHealthcare Community & State
  • Katherine Schneider, CEO, Delaware Valley ACO
  • Marla Silliman, SEO Children's and Women's Health Services, CEO, Florida Hospital for Children
  • Suzanne White, Executive VP and CMO, Detroit Medical Center

    For more information, click here.



    Tim Frischmon: Leading by influence in a matrixed organization is key for leaders in the payer space

    By | January 15 th,  2016 | Furst Group, executive, Tim Frischmon, Aine Cryts, Blog, Changing Face of Healthcare Leadership, leadership, Managed Healthcare Executive, matrix, provider, payer | Add A Comment


    Furst Group principal Tim Frischmon is interviewed in the new issue of Managed Healthcare Executive, commenting on how the rapidly changing healthcare industry has created a huge need for executives to adapt and evolve as well.


    In the article by Aine Cryts, "The Changing Face of Healthcare Leadership," Frischmon notes that leaders will need to use their influence to lead in organizations that increasingly have a matrix structure. And those that succeed will be the ones who are able to help their staffs tune out all the speculation about consolidation that has been occurring in the payer space.


    "The challenge," he says, "will be to keep employees focused on executing on [their work], despite all the noise going on about the expectations the outside world has about the mergers."


    Leaders also will need to pay attention to the convergence that is building between payers and providers, Frischmon notes. And one thing that won't change as a measure of a CEO's success is revenue.


    "Payers still have to be profitable. Leaders will still have to demonstrate how they build deep, solid relationships with providers," Frischmon says. "They'll also need to demonstrate how they're able to identify and build some stickiness with their brand among members, and they'll have to measure their success."


    Read the full story by clicking here.



    At Ascension, Patricia Maryland’s patient-centered focus aligns with a passion for analytics

    By | September 25 th,  2015 | Healthcare, Patricia Maryland, executive, Modern Healthcare, patient-centered care, president, analytics, Ascension, Blog, leadership, Top 25 Women in Healthcare | 1 Comments


    One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2015.


    As the oldest daughter in a large family, Patricia Maryland, Dr.PH, was often left in charge when her mother was hospitalized during a years-long struggle with Type 2 diabetes. Her mother eventually died of complications from the condition, and Maryland recalls her frustration with the fragmented healthcare system in which they found themselves.


    “We didn’t understand at that time she needed more than general primary care,” she says. “Someone should have been helping us navigate her care to the appropriate subspecialist and other support systems as her condition continued to worsen.”


    Unfortunately, similar stories have played out within hospitals and health systems across the United States.


    As president of healthcare operations and chief operating officer of Ascension Health, a subsidiary of Ascension, Maryland is committed to leading change – knowing from experience the great need for personalized, coordinated care in this ever-changing healthcare environment.


    “I think we can do a better job in healthcare,” says Maryland. “The time has come for us to turn the process upside down – or should I say right-side up – organizing the providers around the needs of the patients, not expecting the patients to figure where to go in our complicated health systems to get the care they need at the convenience of the providers.”


    As the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension’s mission is steeped in delivering spiritually-centered, holistic care to all with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Maryland makes a point of saying that all healthcare leadership should approach the business of healthcare from a similar perspective.


    “Without passion for why we are here and what we are trying to do, we will not be able to be the transformational leaders that healthcare needs today.”


    That passion has not dampened her business objectivity, however. Quite the contrary. Maryland’s passion is paralleled only by her dedication to analytics, cultivated through her master’s degree in biostatistics and doctorate in public health.



    Maryland explained that biostatisticians tend to work in pharmaceutical industries or medical research areas, with a focus is on efficacy, research, precision and statistical analysis. However, she believes that in today’s health industry, metrics are essential for all healthcare leaders.


    “Data analysis is the lifeline of any business, particularly a healthcare organization,” she says. “It is vital that we maintain clear and measurable data so that we can address opportunities for improvement that would not be realized otherwise. By tracking trends, Ascension analyzes where we need to go and what decisions we need to make on any given initiative.”


    Maryland says statistics are especially crucial as the roles of payers and providers overlap and converge.


    “As we think about population health management and the direction that the health industry is moving, analytics and the ability to predict outcomes using data is so important,” she says. “Predictive analytics have helped us manage risk.”


    Her background has come in handy as Ascension has moved boldly into this new era of providers taking on risk. She was one of the architects of Together Health Network (THN), formed by partnering with Trinity Health, another Catholic system, to create a physician-led, clinically integrated network in the state of Michigan. THN worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to create Connected Care, a Medicare Advantage product that rolled out in January 2015 and already has surpassed enrollment projections.


    “We are especially attractive to payers because our organizations – both Trinity and Ascension – have some of the best metrics in the state,” Maryland says. “We are able to offer the value combination of high quality and low cost to major payers, and to take on and manage their members with a level of consistency.”


    With Ascension operating in 23 states as well as the District of Columbia, the THN experience has been a strong test run to for the organization in developing comprehensive, integrated systems of care. It’s also working to round out other parts of the care continuum – including senior care and home care – so it can better serve its communities.


    Ascension also has taken the plunge into insurance. The system acquired U.S. Health and Life Insurance Co. last December and is using that platform as well as MissionPoint Health Partners, its population-health management company, to develop benefits and gain experience by managing the quality and cost of care for Ascension’s own associates and their dependents. In essence, it has become its own incubator for development of an insurance product for self-insured employers.


    “We are going to pilot it first with our own employees,” Maryland says. “Once we have a proven track record with our associates, we’ll take it to market. How do we go anywhere else and offer the product unless we ourselves can say, ‘Look at our results.’ This is also why data is so important. We believe we have the best practices, and with this data we will be able to demonstrate it.”


    From new partners to new products, healthcare’s future looks a lot different than it did just a few short years ago. Yet despite the changes in how her system and the industry operate, she says the fundamentals are the same. After all, as Maryland knows, healthcare is deeply personal.


    “Considering Ascension’s scale and scope, we asked ourselves, ‘If not us, then who?’ We are committed to leading change in the healthcare arena,” she says. “Through standardizing and connecting once disparate systems, we remain true to our Mission of delivering compassionate, personalized care to those who need it the most.”



    Insights from the Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    By | August 28 th,  2015 | executive, Modern Healthcare, Blog, CEO, diversity, healthcare reform, leadership, gender, Top 25 Women in Healthcare | Add A Comment


    A roundup of a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2015.


    Over the past few months, we've brought you reflections on leadership and their careers from Modern Healthcaree's Top 25 Women in Healthcare, a program we have been proud to sponsor for the past seven years. We still have a few to offer you in the months to come. In the meantime, it seemed like an appropriate time to give you an overview of what these successful executives have had to say. Please click on any of the snippets or photos below to read the full interview.





    Elizabeth Nabel: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Elizabeth Nabel strives to make an impact in healthcare










    Deborah Bowen: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Deborah Bowen: Leadership still about people trying to make a difference










    Marna Borgstrom: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Marna Borgstrom: A new era calls for a new kind of leadership








    binder25-2017 (1)


    Leah Binder: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Leah Binder and Leapfrog Group put pressure on healthcare providers to deliver on quality








    Wheeler25 (1)


    Penny Wheeler: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Penny Wheeler: Even in value-based care, leaders of varying backgrounds can thrive










    Mary Brainerd: 2015 Top 25 Women in


    At HealthPartners, Mary Brainerd's leadership approaches solutions from a nuanced angle










    Donna Lynne: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Donna Lynne: Healthcare leaders need to be able to manage crisis, volatility










    Tejal Gandhi: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Tejal Gandhi: Push for quality, safety needs to come from boards










    Sister Carol Keehan: 2015 Top 25 Women in


    Sister Carol Keehan: Gender diversity is a must-have for healthcare leadership -- and so is

    solidarity with the poor










    Pam Cipriano: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    Pam Cipriano: In value-based care, nurses are ready to lead










    Nancy Schlichting: 2015 Top 25 Women in


    Nancy Schlichting's willingness to take risks is still paying off for Henry Ford Health







    Women executives strengthen leadership teams

    By | April 30 th,  2015 | Furst Group, Healthcare, women in leadership, executive, Modern Healthcare, Blog, CEO, diversity, leadership, Top 25 Women in Healthcare | Add A Comment


    By Bob Clarke and Sherrie Barch

    Furst Group


    Welcoming women leaders to your leadership team with women executives is a prudent thing to do because a diversity of opinions and experiences can only make your organization stronger. But, according to a recent article by the Associated Press, it makes good business sense too.


    The story explores a 12-year initiative at Sodexo to increase gender diversity. A company study in 2014 demonstrated that business units dominated by men at the top earned less profit than those led by equal numbers of men and women.


    That dovetails with a McKinsey study last year which also found that companies with leadership roles equally divided between men and women reported above-median profits, according to the AP.


    One need only to look at the honorees on this list - the Top 25 Women in Healthcare - to see that the news story confirms what we have known for a long time: both gender diversity and ethnic diversity are essential to success in the mission and business of healthcare today.


    In our conversations with women leaders, though, we know there is still much work to be done. We need more women CEOs and board members - and more female C-suite leaders in all departments.


    A report by CNNMoney last month found that women hold only 14.2 percent of the top five leadership roles at companies listed in the S&P 500. Worse yet, the study found that those 500 companies only had 24 women CEOs (4.8 percent). "Corporate America," CNN concluded, "has few female CEOs, and the pipeline of future women leaders is alarmingly thin."


    In this, we'd advocate that healthcare has an opportunity be the industry that leads the way to a better leadership outcome for our country.


    All of this explains why we at Furst Group are pleased to once again be celebrating the Top 25 Women in Healthcare, our sponsorship with Modern Healthcare. Winners were announced in this week's issue of Modern Healthcare and we urge you to save the date of Aug. 20 to join us in Nashville, Tennessee, for a gala honoring the Top 25 Women, who are some of our industry's best leaders regardless of gender. Details on attending are here.


    Innovation keeps George Brown, Legacy ahead of the curve

    By | October 20 th,  2014 | Furst Group, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, executive, Modern Healthcare, Blog, CEO, diversity, George Brown, healthcare reform, leadership, Legacy Health, physician executive, safety, Walter Reed, physician leadership, quality | 1 Comments


    One in a series of profiles of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare (sponsored by Furst Group)


    George Brown, the CEO of Legacy Health System in Portland, Ore., has had a long and distinguished career as a physician and leader, but his talents in innovation help him keep his organization on the industry’s leading edge.


    From collaboration and affordable care to medical homes and information technology, Brown and his team have been unafraid to adapt and take risks, providing an example to the northwest region and the country at large.
    Legacy joined with a number of organizations to form an integrated delivery system, Health Share of Oregon. It’s partnering on the OHSU Knight-Legacy HealthCancer Collaborative. In an era bursting with mergers and acquisitions, the path Brown has charted is intriguing.


    “I have accepted the need to change from a completely competitive mindset to a collaborative mindset,” he says. “Competition doesn’t help the economics of healthcare – it divides communities.”


    The Affordable Care Act has prompted soul-searching on the part of many executives, and Brown applauds the arrival of reform.


    “I believe healthcare is too large of an issue for this country not to have a thoughtful and near-universal solution,” he says. “The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction.”


    Although Brown has a sterling history in healthcare, it’s clear he doesn’t waste time looking back. He is especially proud to be on the board of Cover Oregon, despite some of the hits that the exchange took in the media for its early problems.


    “We’ve enrolled 400,000 people,” he says. “We are moving in the direction to have affordable healthcare for all Oregonians.”


    The ACA, he says, mirrors some of the measures Legacy has already been working on for some time, foremost of which is quality.


    “The number one project we have been working on is how to make our organization more efficient,” he says, “and what we’re driving efficiency to mean is quality. We believe if you do things right, you don’t have to do them all over again, and that means it’s also less expensive.”


    Brown also has led Legacy as an early adopter of the patient-centered medical home, an area in which some other health systems are just getting started.


    “It’s important for me to say that all of our primary care clinics are Tier 3 certified patient-centered medical homes, and they’re doing very well,” he says. “Patient satisfaction scores are going up and we think we’re making an impact. In fact, we were recently recognized by the Oregon Health Leadership Council as being one of the top performers, so we’re quite proud of that.”


    It’s also been a learning experience, Brown says candidly. He says Legacy has three main takeaways from the experience thus far:


    --Specialization is needed. “If you have a population that’s heavy with patients who have congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, a lot of contact is required with patients.”


    --The influx of Medicaid patients changes preconceived notions for providers and patients alike. “There are a significant number of people who have not had access to healthcare services. We are evaluating those people and their needs. Some of these people have never seen us before, so that’s going to be an area of revelation for us.”


    --Mental health is a gaping need in the community. “We’re realizing that behavioral health, mental health and addiction issues are a lot more prevalent in the population than I think we realized, so we’re looking at how best to provide access to those services for our patients who are in medical homes.”


    Legacy also earned kudos via a Stage 7 award from HIMSS last year. Brown has long been a proponent of how technology can improve care.


    “I think the lesson we’ve learned – and we have to remind ourselves so we don’t get to learn it again – is that a lot of IT projects really are not IT projects. They are clinical projects that require IT expertise,” he says.
    “If you get the clinicians involved early they can become champions of the initiative, where before there may have been some naysayers. It’s important to listen to the clinicians, particularly in their early experience and exposure with products, so that you can modify and incorporate those things that they think are essential.”


    Listening to the clinicians, Brown adds, “has been the key element of our success.”


    It surely helps that cause that Brown is a physician himself, a gastroenterologist and internist who rose to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army and led several military healthcare installations, including Walter Reed Health Care System in Washington, D.C.


    At one time, he found little interest among his colleagues for administrative work. Now, under reform, that has changed as clinicians see their input as essential to changing the industry.


    “I think the old attitude of some of my colleagues was, ‘I just want to be a physician. I don’t want to be bothered with running an organization.’ Now, clinicians are more involved. They realize they need to help shape the future of healthcare if they want to see things change in a way that’s commensurate with their beliefs. You shouldn’t be passive about change.”


    Working hard to achieve change, he says, is an attitude he inherited from his parents, who saw him become the first family member to graduate high school and were unwavering in their support of Brown and his two siblings, seeing education as the door to opportunity.


    “They would tell me, ‘You have the ability. If you apply yourself, you’ll be able to achieve whatever you want.’ “


    It’s a lesson he’s applying at Legacy, facing the future with resolve.


    Quality, safety fuel Pujols McKee's drive at The Joint Commission

    By | October 6 th,  2014 | chief medical officer, Furst Group, Healthcare, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, physician engagement, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, executive, Modern Healthcare, patient-centered care, patient safety, physician, Ana Pujols McKee, Blog, diversity, leadership, The Joint Commission, quality | Add A Comment


    One in a series of profiles of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare (sponsored by Furst Group)


    Ana Pujols McKee’s passion for quality and safety existed long before she joined The Joint Commission as executive vice president and chief medical officer. She previously served as the CMO and associate executive director of Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, in Philadelphia, and as a clinical associate professor of medicine at a teaching hospital in Philadelphia. Pujols McKee has championed for years the need for transparency and patient-centered care.


    “I’ve had my own personal experience with injury as a patient, and I think what began to propel me in this area were some of the unfortunate patient injuries I had to deal with as a chief medical officer. Seeing up close how deep the injury extends to the patient and family is truly overwhelming,” she says.


    The physicians and nurses who are involved in an incident when a patient is harmed suffer too, she is quick to add.


    “What we don’t always talk about is what we now refer to as ‘the second victim,’ and that’s the clinician and staff that are injured as well. It’s a tough situation.”


    Being able to make strides in that area, Pujols McKee says, has been one of the highlights of her career.
    “When you work at an organization and you start to see those injuries decrease, and you start to see your infection rate come down and you start to see (patient) fall rates come down, there is nothing more rewarding than that – to know that you’re making a difference.”


    From the time she was a child, she says, she knew she wanted to not only become a doctor but to run a large clinic – “all those altruistic dreams of taking care of people and making people well,” she says with a chuckle.


    Pujols McKee’s prospects on the surface looked daunting – the world in which she grew up had some prejudicial obstacles blocking her way. She remembers constantly visiting a high school counselor to obtain information on college admission, only to have the woman continually tell her that she was busy or had no guidance for her.


    “One day, I walked in on her as she was sitting in a circle with students who all were white, along with a gentleman in a suit,” she relates. “She jumped up from the chair and started to dismiss me when the gentleman said, ‘No, let her come in. Remember? I told you I was looking to recruit minority students.’ ”


    It was, she says, a devastating experience, but not uncommon. “I have been told similar stories from many people of color. I’m not unique in any way. This is the way things were back then – and I believe they are, in some situations, not very changed.”


    Besides being a driven student, Pujols McKee says, her parents were a strong cheering section. In her Puerto Rican family, her father was an electrician and her mother was a teacher. Together, they taught her the importance of perseverance as she grew up in the South Bronx.


    “If I came home and said, ‘They closed the door on me, Dad!’, my dad would say, ‘Go right back out and open it.’ ”


    She is hopeful that the changing face of The Joint Commission, which she joined in 2011, opens many doors for hospitals to achieve their full potential.


    “When I got to The Joint Commission and I started to see how Dr. (Mark) Chassin, our president, was transforming our organization, I found it extremely exciting,” Pujols McKee says. “He has boldly said that accreditation is really the floor for transformation. We want to help organizations go above and beyond that.”


    To that end, The Joint Commission enterprise has expanded its offerings by adding a new affiliate to its portfolio, the Center for Transforming Healthcare, to help health care organizations improve patient safety through the use of Robust Process Improvement™ tools including Lean Six Sigma and change management. The commission also partnered with the American College of Physician Executives to begin an academy for chief medical officers.


    “One of the things I’m doing at The Joint Commission is leading a strategic initiative to support our physician leaders and provide them with the skills and resources that they need,” she says. “We recognize the need to support physician leaders as critical since, when we see a high-performing organization, we almost consistently see a high level of physician engagement.”


    Pujols McKee’s own journey from clinician to C-suite executive has been typical of physician leaders, she says – one that included some growing pains.


    “In today’s world, there’s so much transition that has to occur in an organization from the administrative to the clinical side,” she says. “I think we’re coming close to a time when it’s almost impossible to make that transition without being mentored or being part of a succession plan that includes spending time with finance, quality, and the operations team.”


    Such transitions, she says, need to thoughtfully include more diverse leaders to improve healthcare and to more accurately represent the diverse communities they serve.


    “The pipeline for future physician leaders has a fair number of women, but in terms of African-Americans and Latinos, the outlook is not very promising. There are some who believe that until we improve diversity in health care leadership, disparities in health care are not going to be fully addressed.”


    Bernard Tyson: Workers will share in healthcare costs, but cost shifting is not sustainable

    By | September 18 th,  2014 | chairman, Furst Group, Healthcare, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, executive, Modern Healthcare, Bernard J. Tyson, Blog, CEO, diversity, Gen KP, healthcare costs, Kaiser Permanente, leadership, millennials, Vision 2025 | Add A Comment


    One in a series of profiles of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare (sponsored by Furst Group)


    At a recent New York Times conference on healthcare, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson drew applause when he said that healthcare costs can’t continue to be shifted onto the backs of American workers, who have seen few wage increases in the last 20 years.


    It’s one thing when a consumer activist or patient advocate makes a bold statement like that; it’s quite another when the words come from one of the most powerful healthcare executives in the country. In a conversation the following week, he elaborated on that point.


    “You have the American people seeing the cost of living going up every year and seeing the cost of healthcare going up three or four times the cost of inflation,” Tyson said. “They see no real wage increases and then they get stuck with the added cost that’s been shifting to them from employers and insurers.


    “That is not a long-term solution.”


    What does seem to be working is the Kaiser Permanente business model, in which the organization serves as both health plan and healthcare provider, with capitation helping to fund the delivery of care and hospitals viewed as expense centers rather than revenue generators.


    “One of the moral obligations that I believe I have as a leader in the healthcare industry is to bring a lot of transparency as to why I believe our model is the best way to go,” Tyson says. “It’s a system that doesn’t pay for volume, that isn’t motivating people to produce more of something in order to get paid. What we have been able to do for almost 70 years is align the incentives of the financing mechanism with the hearts and minds of physicians and other caregivers who continually sign up to do the right thing.”


    The healthcare industry has recently gone through a period where many hospitals were building new patient towers that executives needed to fill with inpatients to pay for. Readmission penalties have changed the rules. Now, consciously or unconsciously, a growing number of U.S. healthcare organizations seem to be emulating Kaiser Permanente as they acquire or create their own health plans in the reform era.


    “In our system of care,” Tyson says, “you have the caregiver team all working together with aligned incentives where the physician is not making any more or less if he decides that the patient needs to be in a hospital or the patient needs to be at home with a nurse.”


    Healthcare removed from the high-volume, fee-for-service environment has always been the goal at Kaiser Permanente, Tyson says.


    “It’s in the DNA – it’s how the organization was built,” he says. “In his early years, Henry J. Kaiser’s mother died. He believed that she died prematurely because they were poor and couldn’t afford the right healthcare. Of all the businesses he created and all he did in his life, it’s pretty interesting that this organization is the standing legacy that continues to carry his name forward into the future.”


    The future at Kaiser Permanente can be held in the palm of your hand, if that palm is holding a smartphone. The organization has invested heavily in information technology with the autonomy its capitation model has allowed.
    “We are,” Tyson says simply, “the alternative to the mainstream delivery system that you see out there. We get a lot of people who come in to look at how we run our hospital systems.”


    When a Kaiser Permanente member has to enter the hospital, whether through the emergency department or a planned admission, his or her electronic medical records are available 24/7 online throughout the system. That’s not a goal; it’s a present-day reality.


    “It expedites getting to a diagnosis, and then determining what the treatment is,” Tyson says. “In the outside world, you can end up in the emergency department 12 to 24 hours before they figure out what’s going on. In our world, within 45 minutes or an hour, you can be in a hospital bed and we’re starting treatment. The whole point is to manage the quality of care and the logistics of care.”


    With EMRs already in place at Kaiser Permanente, Tyson has the freedom to look down the road to make sure the organization is still a health care leader 10 years from now. To that end, he’s taken a particular interest in the younger employees who are part of his workforce, which numbers about 200,000.


    “I have a particular interest in the millennials right now,” he says. “I feel that part of my responsibility is to make sure that the future generation of leaders is in the pipeline, contributing in very different ways than what I went through 30 years ago when I was growing up in KP.”


    Gen KP, as the millennial group is called, has direct access to Tyson – no hierarchy. And Vision 2025, Kaiser Permanente’s future planning project, includes contributions from the organization’s future leaders. “I will tell you that having the millennials as part of that thought process is making us think very differently about the future. It’s refreshing.”


    Looking more broadly, Tyson, who took the helm of Kaiser Permanente in 2013, hopes to make a wider impact in making healthcare more affordable and eliminating disparities in the U.S.


    “I strongly believe that healthcare is unaffordable in large part because it’s siloed, and it’s running off the wrong chassis,” he says. “I would love to continue to contribute to the affordability agenda in this country.”


    Like his comments about shifting healthcare costs, Tyson’s perspective on the topic leans toward an empathy for American workers.


    “I think everyone breathing in this country should have the same equal rights and a level playing field for the ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness,” he says. “And the question I ask myself is, what is the role that healthcare can play in allowing people a good chance of doing that? We continue to have health disparities in this country; it isn’t a level playing field.”


    Tyson said the changes brought by the Affordable Care Act can make a real difference in grading the surface of that field. “I think the elements are in place to put the pressure back on the industry in its transformation to produce higher quality care at a lower cost. And I know that’s possible.”


    It’s a point Henry Kaiser would probably second.


    Dignity Health’s Lloyd Dean leads from experience and welcomes ‘healthcare for all’

    By | September 4 th,  2014 | Furst Group, Healthcare, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, executive, faith-based, health system, Modern Healthcare, Blog, CEO, diversity, leadership, Lloyd Dean, Dignity Health | Add A Comment


    One in a series of profiles of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare (sponsored by Furst Group)


    Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health, has an enviable track record in the volatile world of healthcare, where he made his reputation as a turnaround expert for his work taking the organization (then known as Catholic Healthcare West) from perpetual losses to profitability in the early 2000s. But what continues to make him a leader among his healthcare peers is his anticipation and forward thinking.


    In 2009, the organization partnered with Blue Shield of California and a physician network for coordinated care. That put the organization way ahead of the curve on the accountable-care front. Dignity Health’s emphasis on outpatient facilities in the last several years also has earned the positive attention of investors. In addition, Dean led the system as it transitioned from an officially Catholic health system in 2012 to one that still honored its Catholic roots while also allowing for growth through partnerships with both faith-based and non-faith-based organizations.


    Dean says such moves demonstrate that Dignity Health “possesses a culture that values innovation, future-focused thinking, experimentation and, above all, a bias for taking action.”


    He’s shown a similar decisiveness as he has championed the Affordable Care Act and been heavily involved in California’s health care exchanges, which have fared far better than other state’s systems.


    “So far, so good,” says Dean. “The lessons learned in California are that, number one, if there’s a will to accomplish something at all political levels, it can happen and, number two, you have to involve the community.”


    On the national scene, Dean has been a visible and vocal supporter of the ACA.


    “In the healthcare field, we are going through not an evolution but a revolutionary change,” he says. “I, for one, think it’s long overdue. While it’s complex and while it’s difficult, the objective is sound and it’s something we should be pursuing – healthcare for all.”


    Dean sees the ACA compelling healthcare leaders to change, or fall to the wayside.


    “For five years, this change has been on a rapid pace, and I think it has caused us as leaders to look at being nimble and being flexible. We need to make sure we have people in place who have the key ability to adapt to rapid change and instability as we implement the Affordable Care Act.”


    That includes the C-suite and the board, he adds.


    “These are delicate and important times and the stakes are quite high,” he says. “Therefore, the times demand an open and transparent relationship between management and governance. The board must be involved and engaged in key strategies, decisions and investments early in the process. Educating the board on key issues impacting healthcare entities has been and continues to be an important accountability of management.”


    In addition, the changing face of healthcare must become more diverse as population health is addressed, Dean says.


    “The demographics of this country are changing,” he says. “There are more minorities, and we need to ensure we have leadership that is representative of the nation and of our communities.”


    Health disparities are something that Dean was immersed in from the day he was born. His parents were from Alabama but migrated north to Muskegon, Mich., to find work. Dean was one of nine children.


    “My father worked in a factory, but it was an on-again, off-again kind of thing,” he says. “Mom was a housekeeper keeping us on the straight and narrow. We were on welfare many times; I know that system well.”


    In junior high, Dean was bused to a middle-class white neighborhood, where his fellow students would miss classes because of doctor and dentist appointments, things unheard of among his family and his African-American neighbors.


    “My father was the dentist, and I kid people that my mother was the nurse. But I also saw the impact of not having healthcare. I watched people in my community suffering and perishing from diseases. My colleagues at the school didn’t seem to be having those kinds of difficulties. Even as a teenager, you begin to think, ‘There’s got to be a better way.’


    “It shaped me in a profound way.”


    His father contracted black lung disease and emphysema from working in the factory. But not before he and Dean’s mother impressed upon their children the importance of education.


    “Even though we didn’t have any money, education was important, so that gave me a way out,” he recalls. “Also, religion and faith were always very much a part of my family – when I think about my healthcare career, 24 years have been spent in faith-related systems. So I’m truly a product of my environment, and that motivates me.”


    Being around the millennial generation also provides a welcome spark, Dean says.


    “We’ve got young physicians and other talent coming into our organizations with a different perspective on lifestyle and what is important to them,” he says. “They come with a greater sense of community responsibility and less emphasis on huge corporate structures. In terms of cultural attributes and leadership opportunities, I’m finding that younger people are advancing at a much more rapid pace. Expectations are higher with the current generation.”


    At 63, Dean can relate to such expectations, for they resonate with the ones he says he put on himself in a successful career that he is far from ready to close the door on.


    “I think about how fortunate I have been to be working in healthcare in this country at a time when reform is actually happening,” he says. “I just hope I have used the blessings God has given me to help others receive quality health care regardless of economic status or ethnic origin.”


    Dean doesn’t think much about legacies – there’s too much left to do, he says – but hopes his personal imprint on those he’s impacted will be just as strong as the professional one.


    “I hope my family, friends, colleagues and those I have met along my journey will say, ‘He made us smile, and always treated us with dignity, kindness and respect.’ ”


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