What healthcare leaders need to know now


Top 25 Women in Healthcare announced

By | March 3rd, 2017 | Blog | 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 15th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment


    Tim Frischmon


    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 25th, 2015 | Blog | 1 Comment


    Patricia Maryland: “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.”


    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. Read more…



    Insights from the Top 25 Women in Healthcare

    By | August 28th, 2015 | Blog | 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









    Leah Binder: 2015 Top 25 Women in Healthcare

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









    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 30th, 2015 | Blog | Add A Comment


    Bob Clarke and Sherrie Barch


    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 20th, 2014 | Blog | 1 Comment


    George Brown: “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.”


    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.”


    Read more…



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

    By | October 6th, 2014 | Blog | Add A Comment


    Ana Pujols McKee: “When we see a high-performing organization, we almost consistently see a high level of physician engagement.”


    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.


    Read more…



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

    By | September 18th, 2014 | Blog | Add A Comment


    Bernard Tyson: “I strongly believe that healthcare is unaffordable in large part because it's siloed, and it's running off the wrong chassis.”


    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.”


    Read more…



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

    By | September 4th, 2014 | Blog | Add A Comment


    Lloyd Dean: “In the healthcare field, we are going through not an evolution but a revolutionary change. I, for one, think it’s long overdue.”


    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.


    Read more…



    Diverse leadership key to solving health disparities, says Woods

    By | August 25th, 2014 | Blog | Add A Comment


    Eugene Woods: “We should celebrate our differences because of the richness they bring to human experience.”


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


    As a board member of the American Hospital Association and chair of its Equity of Care Committee, Eugene Woods has an opportunity to see up close how health disparities affect far too many people in the U.S.


    “We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that significant inequities exist,” he says, noting a recent study by the Institute for Diversity in Management that indicates only 22 percent of hospitals have utilized data to identify disparities in treatment and/or outcomes between racial or ethnic groups by analyzing one or more of the following: clinical quality indicators, readmissions or CMS core measures. While this is an increase from 20% in 2011, Woods says he wants to see more results from the industry.


    “The incidence of infant mortality, diabetes and colorectal cancer are in some cases twice as high among African-Americans as compared to whites. We can, and simply must, do better.”


    Woods, who also serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the 33-hospital Christus Health system, comes at the issue of diversity from an interesting angle. His worldview was partially formed through his early years growing up in his mother’s hometown in Spain.


    “What I learned is that similarities between cultures are much greater than the differences,” he remembers. “And also that, rather than it being something that separates us, we should celebrate our differences because of the richness they bring to human experience.”


    His own family today reflects those beliefs, he says.


    “My wife and I come from four distinct cultures – Mohawk (Native American), Spanish, African-American and Dutch. And while each has very unique traditions, all share many of the same important values. So when I look at the work I do in healthcare, though we serve people from all different walks of life, the common denominators are our values with respect to human dignity, respect and compassionate care.”


    Read more…



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