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Becker's Hospital Review

60 Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems

Written by Leigh Page | April 28, 2010

Aside from their role as medical directors, physicians represent only a small fraction of top administrators at U.S. hospitals and health systems today. Their number has dwindled from a century ago, when doctors ran more than one-third of U.S. hospitals. Now, however, physician leadership may be on the verge of a renaissance, as many hospitals move toward clinical integration. Physicians in the C-suite — with the right skills and training — can be invaluable in organizing and motivating medical staff. Here is a list of 60 physicians in various leadership roles at hospitals and health systems throughout the United States.

Steven M. Altschuler, MD (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). Dr. Altschuler, a pediatric gastroenterologist, has been president and CEO of Children's for a decade. The 373-bed institution is the nation's oldest children's hospital. It admits more than 17,000 patients, and provides care in more than 50,000 emergency and 600,000 outpatient visits annually.

Dr. Altschuler has experience as an executive, physician and scientific investigator. He was chair of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and joined Children's medical staff in 1985. A staunch crusader for children's health, Dr. Altschuler recently warned in a Children's Hospital publication about the growth of childhood obesity, asthma and autism, "There is a real need for healthcare professionals to focus on the quality of care, to redesign our systems so we can reverse that downward trend and start improving the healthcare of children again."

He earned his MD from Case Western University and completed his pediatric residency training at Children's Hospital, Boston and his subspecialty training in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Ron J. Anderson, MD (Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas). Dr. Anderson, an internist, has been the CEO of Parkland for 28 years. The system, which is the public hospital district for Dallas County, includes 968-bed Parkland Memorial Hospital, where John F. Kennedy died — a distinction the hospital is still known for, some 50 years later.  Parkland is a major teaching institute, and delivers more babies under one roof than any other hospital in the nation.

Dr. Anderson has been a leading national advocate of the medically underserved. In 1985-1986, he played a major role in the passage of Texas and federal legislation to ban patient dumping. He has served on the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured since 1992. Under his leadership, Parkland received the AHA's Foster G. McGaw Award for Community Service and the National Association of Public Hospitals' Safety Net Award for Community Service.

Before becoming the Parkland CEO in 1982, he served as the hospital's medical director for ambulatory care and emergency services. Dr. Anderson earned his MD from University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at Parkland.

Timothy Babineau, MD (Rhode Island Hospital and the Miriam Hospital, Providence, R.I.). Dr. Babineau, a general surgeon, became president and CEO of Rhode Island Hospital in Oct. 2008. This 719-bed hospital has 6,863 employees and 1,570 physicians on staff and is the main teaching hospital of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Rhode Island and Miriam hospitals are the founding members of five-hospital Lifespan health system, with 1,155 beds and net patient revenue of $1.3 million.

Dr. Babineau was previously chief medical officer at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Before that, he was vice chairman of the division of surgery, surgical residency program director and director of the center for minimally invasive surgery at Boston Medical Center. Currently the editor of the Journal of Surgical Innovation and Research, he has served on the editorial boards of Current Surgery and Contemporary Surgery.

He was named to Top Doctors in America by Boston Consumers' Checkbook and America's Top Surgeons by Consumer Reports and the Consumers Research Council. Dr. Babineau earned an MD from the University of Massachusetts and completed his surgery internship, residency and a fellowship in surgical nutrition and metabolism at New England Deaconess Hospital. He holds an MBA from Boston University.

David M. Barrett, MD (Lahey Clinic Foundation, Burlington, Mass.). Dr. Barrett, a urologist, became president and CEO of Lahey in 1999, after serving as chief of urology at Mayo Clinic. Like Mayo, the Lahey Clinic is a physician-led, nonprofit group practice. With 450 physicians on staff, Lahey operates three hospitals.

In March 2010, Dr. Barrett announced he would step down in Jan. 2011, but will continue in a strategic leadership role through Sept. 2012 as part of a succession plan.
During Dr. Barrett's tenure, Lahey expanded facilities, formed clinical partnerships with other hospitals, strengthened its ties with Tufts University School of Medicine and grew its operating revenue by more than 90 percent, to $833 million.

During his tenure as CEO, he continued clinical work as a professor of urology at Tufts. He has served as president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association. A native of Michigan, Dr. Barrett earned his MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine and performed his residency and fellowship at Mayo Clinic. He served as a flight surgeon in the Vietnam War and was chief of the aeromedical service at Cam Rahn Bay Air Base.

Martin Brotman, MD (Sutter Health, Sacramento, Calif.). Dr. Brotman, a gastroenterologist, became president of Sutter's West Bay Region, a new position, in 2009. In a reorganization of Sutter's 26 hospitals, West Bay became one of five new regions with separate boards. Sutter Health is affiliated with several Sutter physician organizations. West Bay includes four hospitals and two physician organizations.

Dr. Brotman has a record of hospital turnarounds, having rehabilitated Sutter's California Pacific Medical Center. During his tenure as this 382-bed hospital's CEO, he carried out a significant reorganization, strengthening care programs and clinical delivery systems, strategic planning and cost management. In 2006, while still leading California Pacific, he was appointed interim CEO of Sutter's then-troubled St. Luke's Hospital to help turn it around.

As president of West Bay, Dr. Brotman is expected to have a key role in planning California Pacific's new $1.7 billion Cathedral Hill hospital campus. In a Sutter statement, he said his priorities for 2010 are implementation of a physician strategy to ensure patient access to care; capital investment to create an integrated delivery network of physicians and clinics aligned with hospitals; and implementation of an initiative to meet Medicare margin goals. He earned his MD from University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine and completed his residency at Mayo Clinic.

George J. Brown, MD (Legacy Health System, Portland, Ore.). Dr. Brown, a gastroenterologist and former brigadier general in the U.S. Army, assumed his position as president and CEO of Legacy in Aug. 2008. Dr. Brown had been COO of MultiCare Health System in Washington State. Legacy consists of two regional hospitals, three community hospitals, a children's hospital and many clinics and health centers.

"My goal is to ensure Legacy is able to emerge on the other side of this recession as a healthy and viable competitor in the markets we serve," he told Washington Healthcare News in 2009. The health system has been working with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on setting and achieving patient safety and quality goals.

Warren S. Browner, MD (California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco).
Dr. Browner, an internist, became CEO of California Pacific in April 2009. The 382-bed hospital traces its roots back to 1852, when German immigrants opened a free clinic and hosted the West's first medical school. It has a medical staff of more than 1,500 physicians and allied health practitioners, headed by 19 department chairs.

Dr. Browner arrived at the medical center in 2000 as the first scientific director of its Research Institute and then became vice president for academic affairs. As CEO, Dr. Browner still maintains his post as director of the research institute and continues research to identify genetic markers to slow the aging process. He earned his MD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Delos M. "Toby" Cosgrove, MD (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland). Dr. Cosgrove, a thoracic surgeon, became CEO of the Cleveland Clinic in 2006 and has put this world-class institution front-and-center ever since. He re-organized clinical services into institutes, based on organs and diseases, and has taken many steps to improve the health of his 40,000 employees.

Dr. Cosgrove stopped hiring smokers, eliminated unhealthy foods from the campus and told the New York Times he would not hire obese people if he could legally do so. He began a new subsidy for employees to enter Weight Watchers and fitness programs, helping them lose a total of 110,000 pounds in nine months. He has also been a vocal critic of U.S. healthcare. "We do not have a system of healthcare delivery in the U.S," he told Fortune Magazine in February. "It's a series of mom-and-pop shops all over the country, and it has not been systematized."

He joined the Cleveland Clinic in 1975 and was named chairman of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgery in 1989. As CEO, Dr. Cosgrove presides over a $5 billion healthcare system comprised of the Cleveland Clinic, 10 hospitals, 15 family health and ambulatory surgery centers. He also has made a name as a heart surgeon, having filed 30 patents for products used in surgery. Dr. Cosgrove earned his MD from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital Children's Hospital, Boston, and Brook General Hospital in London. He was also a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, serving in Da Nang.

Ralph de la Torre (Caritas Christi Health Care, Boston). Dr. de la Torre, a cardiac surgeon, became president and CEO of Caritas Christi in April 2008. Caritas Christi, meaning "the love of Christ" in Latin, is a Catholic health system established in 1985. It is the second largest healthcare system in New England, operating six hospitals, a 400-physician group practice and an academic medical research institute.

Dr. de la Torre oversees 12,000 employees, 1,552 hospital beds, 2,305 doctors and 1,880 nurses in 55 communities. Before joining Caritas Christi, he was founder, president and CEO of the Cardiovascular Institute and Cardiovascular Management Associates at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and a masters of science in health science and technology from M.I.T.

Melinda Estes, MD (Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt.).
Dr. Estes, a neurologist and neuropathologist, has been president and CEO of Fletcher Allen since 2006. The health system, a partner of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, operates two hospitals with 562 beds, more than 30 patient care sites and 100 outreach clinics, programs and services. With 6,000 employees, it is the largest private employer in the state.

Before Fletcher Allen, Dr. Estes spent two decades at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She was CEO and chair of the board of governors of Cleveland Clinic Florida, overseeing Cleveland Clinic Naples and Cleveland Clinic Weston, and was the first woman to be elected to the Cleveland Clinic's board of governors, in 1990. She earned her MD and completed a neurology residency at the University of Texas, Galveston, was a neuropathology fellow at the Cleveland Clinic and completed training in pediatric neuropathology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She also holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.

David T. Feinberg, MD (UCLA Hospital System, Los Angeles). Dr. Feinberg, a psychiatrist, has been CEO of UCLA Hospital System since 2006. UCLA Hospital System is made up of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and the Mattel Children's Hospital.

He told Becker's Hospital Review in 2009 that even though he holds an MBA, "in meetings, we always talk about patients first, not finance, because patients are the most important thing here." When he became CEO, he had to change the culture from "Isn't it a privilege for you to see us?" to "It is a privilege for us to treat you," he said, adding: "Physicians here also have to undergo training on how to enter a patient room, look [patients] in the eye and deliver good or bad news."

Triple board-certified in child and adolescent psychiatry, adult psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, he joined the UCLA faculty in 1994, becoming medical director at Resnick. Even at the beginning of his career, he told Becker's, "I was always doing some form of administration." Dr. Feinberg earned his MD from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, undertook his residency in psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and completed his internship in pediatrics at Loyola University Medical Center. He studied economics at Berkley and has an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Thomas B. Flynn, MD (The NeuroMedical Center Clinic, Baton Rouge, La.). Dr. Flynn, a neurosurgeon, is the president and founder of NeuroMedical, consisting of a 23-bed surgical hospital, a 27-bed rehabilitation hospital, a sleep center, an in-house lab and radiology department.

When Dr. Flynn began practicing in Baton Rouge in 1967, he was the only board-certified neurosurgeon between Baton Rouge and Shreveport and saw first-hand how Louisiana could benefit from neurosurgery. He opened NeuroMedical in 2004 and retired from medical practice in 2008. Dr. Flynn earned his MD from Tulane University and completed a surgical residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and a fellowship in neurological surgery at the Ochsner Foundation in New Orleans.

Patricia Gabow, MD (Denver Health). Dr. Gabow, a nephrologist, is CEO of Denver Health, which consists of a 477-bed hospital, a teaching institute affiliated with the University of Colorado, as well as a network of clinics in schools and neighborhoods, the public health department and the 911 response system for the city and county of Denver.  

She has long been a strong advocate of efficiency and patient-centered care. "Starting in 2003, we went to FedEx and we went to Dell and we met with executives at Ritz-Carlton," she told the Denver Post in 2007. "I remember asking them, 'How do you train your people at the Ritz to be so helpful?' They said, 'Patty, you don't understand; it's not about training, it's about DNA. If you haven't smiled in 30 years, you are never going to be a good front desk help clerk.'"

Dr. Gabow joined Denver Health in 1973 as chief of the renal division. She earned her MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, Calif., and undertook her fellowship in nephrology at San Francisco General Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Aaron E. Glatt, MD (New Island Hospital, Bethpage, N.Y.). Dr. Glatt, an infectious disease physician, has been president and CEO of New Island Hospital since 2007. Previously, as president and chief medical officer, Dr. Glatt was co-leader of the hospital with a non-physician who was the COO for many years. Both of the co-leaders eventually asked the hospital board to drop the arrangement, which they said was too cumbersome, and pick just one of them to be CEO. The board picked Dr. Glatt.

New Island, a 223-bed community hospital, became the sixth member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island in January. It had previously been a clinical affiliate of North Shore-LIJ Health System since 2007. Dr. Glatt told the Farmingdale, Long Island, Rotary Club in 2007 that to compete with the "big guys" in the area, New Island has to operate better and faster and be friendlier and more efficient.

Dr. Glatt's clinical interests include general infectious diseases, Clostridium difficile, tuberculosis, fungal infection, occupational-related HIV seroconversion, HIV infection and antibiotic utilization. An assistant rabbi for many years, he lectures on medical halakhic issues. He earned his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, performed his residency at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and completed his fellowship at SUNY Brooklyn Health Sciences Center.

Joseph Golbus, MD (NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group, Evanston, Ill.).
Dr. Golbus, a rheumatologist, is president of the medical group, which is part of four-hospital NorthShore University HealthSystem, formerly Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. The medical group has more than 550 physicians practicing at about 75 sites in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago. NorthShore University is affiliated with University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Dr. Golbus joined NorthShore University HealthSystem in 1988. In a letter to prospective physicians, Dr. Golbus stated, "We provide all the infrastructure, tools and support necessary for your success while promoting the clinical independence you cherish." The practice boasts an electronic medical records system and a "best practices" billing and collection system. He earned his MD from the University of Illinois School of Medicine, completed an internal medicine residency at Evanston Hospital and was a rheumatology fellow at the University of Michigan.

Larry J. Goodman, MD (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago). Dr. Goodman, an internist, has been president and CEO of Rush since 2002. The organization consists of a 613-bed hospital and a medical school. In 2006 he began the "Rush Transformation," a $1 billion project to rebuild large parts of the medical center. The first step, an orthopedics building in partnership with orthopedic surgeons on staff, opened recently. A patient tower is now going up and the entire project will be completed by 2016.

Dr. Goodman has a long history with Rush. In 1987, he was named associate dean for medical student programs at the medical school. He then served as director of the division of specialized training programs and as director of inter-institutional affairs, crafting an academic affiliation agreement with Cook County Hospital. Then he became Rush's senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the medical school.

Dr. Goodman has served as a site survey team member for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits medical schools. Graduating medical students honored him three times with the Phoenix Award for Clinical Teacher of the Year. He earned his MD from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed his residency in internal medicine at Rush.

Gary L. Gottlieb, MD (Partners HealthCare, Boston).
Dr. Gottlieb, a psychiatrist, became president and CEO of Partners HealthCare in Jan. 2010. Partners is the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts, headed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, both teaching affiliates of Harvard Medical School.

Previously, Dr. Gottlieb was president of Brigham and Women's since 2002. He told the hospital's Bulletin in January, "We have to do—and explain what we're doing—in a way that's continuously accountable."

Dr. Gottlieb came to Partners in 1998 as chairman of psychiatry. He was named president of Partners' North Shore Medical Center 2000 and then became president of Brigham & Women's. Before Partners, he was interim chair of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and established Penn Medical Center's first program in geriatric psychiatry. Then he became director and CEO of Friends Hospital in Philadelphia in 1994.

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Dr. Gottlieb earned his MD from Albany Medical College of Union University and received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Graduate School of Business Administration.

Steven D. Grant, MD (Detroit Medical Center). Dr. Grant, an internist, will become executive vice president of physician partnerships at Detroit Medical Center in May 2010. DMC is one of Michigan's largest health systems, with eight hospitals and an affiliation with the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Dr. Grant was president and CEO of United Physicians, a multispecialty group with more than 2,000 physicians, based in Bingham Farms, Mich., which he co-founded in 2000.

In his new position at DMC, he will lead the system's internal healthcare reform efforts, building relationships between private practice physicians and the hospital system. DMC wants its "hospitals and doctors aligned to keep patients well and be rewarded for keeping patients well," said DMC president and CEO Mike Duggan in a statement.

Dr. Grant is an enthusiastic champion of electronic medical records. "The sharing of information is essential to allow doctors to practice medicine more effectively and efficiently," he wrote in Metro Detroit Business in July 2009. Dr. Grant earned his MD at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dean Gruner, MD (ThedaCare, Appleton, Wis.). Dr. Gruner, a family physician, is president and CEO of ThedaCare, made up of four hospitals and a physicians' group in central Wisconsin. He was one of the founding physicians of the Touchpoint health plan, which ThedaCare and investing physicians sold to UnitedHealthcare in 2004. He participated in the design and formation of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Health Care Quality, which publicly reports on the performance of healthcare organizations.

Before becoming CEO, Dr. Gruner had been senior vice president of physician services at ThedaCare since 2003 and has served in many leadership positions at the system since it was founded as Novus Health Group in 1987. He earned his MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his residency at St. Michael Hospital in Milwaukee. He earned a master's degree in medical management from Tulane University.

Marc Harrison, MD (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland). Dr. Harrison, a pediatric intensivist, became chief medical operations officer at the Cleveland Clinic in July 2009. In an effort to better integrate medical care and operations, Dr. Harrison oversees operations in tandem with a non-MD, William Peacock III, who was named chief of operations at the same time. Dr. Harrison provides clinical oversight to operational decisions while Mr. Peacock oversees facilities and services. In addition, Dr. Harrison continues to practice in the pediatric ICU at the Cleveland Clinic, which has 1,700 salaried staff physicians operating through 10 hospitals.

Dr. Harrison told Becker's Hospital Review in February that physician leaders can be very useful because "when physicians are asked to do something, it resonates more when it comes from a doctor," but he added that physicians need extra training in medical management to handle administrative roles. Also, "it is important that the chief medical officer works closely with the CFO," he said. "This can be a challenge because historically this is not a 'Kumbaya' relationship."

Dr. Harrison previously served as the clinic's director of medical operations and vice chair of professional staff affairs, where he developed the clinic's Critical Care Transport team and improved patient access. His work streamlining hospital transfers led to a 9 percent increase in transfers in 2009. He joined Cleveland Clinic in 1999. Dr. Harrison earned his MD from Dartmouth Medical School, trained in pediatrics and critical care at the University of Utah and earned a master's degree in medical management from Carnegie Mellon University.

John Harvey, MD (Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City, Okla.). Dr. Harvey, a heart surgeon, is medical director and CEO of all-digital Oklahoma Heart Hospital, which opened in 2002. He told the Journal Record in 2007 the hospital's growth rate was a consistent 10 percent per year. In Jan. 2010, the $98 million Oklahoma Heart Hospital South Campus opened, and it received Medicare certification in March, well before the ban on new physician-owned hospital goes into effect at the end of the year.

"While there are many factors in any success story, I think the patient satisfaction, which has been in the 99th percentile every week since we opened, is most responsible for the growth," he told the Journal Record three years ago. Dr. Harvey earned his MD from University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital and in cardiovascular disease at the University of Michigan.

Rodney Hochman, MD (Swedish Medical Center, Seattle). Dr. Hochman, a rheumatologist, became CEO of Swedish in April 2007. The medical center is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in the Greater Seattle area, with three hospitals totaling 1,245 beds and 6,960 employees and a physician division with 916 employees. It has 2,300 physicians on staff.

Before joining Swedish, Dr. Hochman was executive vice president of Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., where he was responsible for operating five hospitals, a medical group and legal and corporate compliance divisions. Before Sentara, he was an executive at the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and worked at the Guthrie Healthcare System in Sayre, Pa.

In March 2009, Swedish opened a new primary-care clinic helping to pioneer the concept of "medical home." Patients enrolled in the clinic are allowed unlimited number of visits and many tests and procedures for a monthly fee of $45. Dr. Hochman's long-term priorities include implementing a clinical information system, spearheading the organization's long-term strategic planning process, enhancing clinical and service quality, developing and enhancing service lines, and leading a major fundraising campaign. He earned his MD from Boston University School of Medicine.

Gary S. Kaplan, MD (Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle). Dr. Kaplan, an internist, has been chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason for a decade. The medical center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit organization that combines a 480-physician multispecialty practice, a 336-bed hospital, the Benaroya Research Institute and several centers of excellence. In 2002, Dr. Kaplan launched a patient safety and quality improvement initiative. The Virginia Mason Production System aims to minimize waste through just-in-time production and eliminate defects in the system by empowering staff to "stop the line" whenever they see a problem. The medical center has won several quality and patient safety awards as a result.

Dr. Kaplan is a founding member of Health CEOs for Heath Reform. He has served on the boards of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Medical Group Management Association and the National Patient Safety Foundation. He is a recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award from the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission and the Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award from MGMA. He continues to be a clinical professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Kaplan earned his MD from the University of Michigan and completed training in internal medicine at Virginia Mason.

A. Gus Kious, MD (Huron Hospital, Cleveland). Dr. Kious, a family physician, became president of Huron Hospital in 2004. This 135-year-old hospital, part of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, is located on the former estate of John D. Rockefeller, which has become the second poorest community in the Midwest.

Dr. Kious implemented a remarkable turnaround at Huron. Three years after he took the helm, Huron had the third-lowest average length of stay, at 4.47 days, and the best supply costs per adjusted hospital discharge, at $639, of the 10-hospital Cleveland Clinic system. He had also lowered indirect cost per patient case by 20.3 percent to $3,024 by challenging physicians and staff to performance excellence. In 2008, he was named physician executive of the year by MGMA for "outstanding leadership and achievement of exceptional group performance through personal example and collaborative team management."

Originally he studied criminology and didn't decide to become a physician until later in life. "I always liked people that I met in medicine. They were bright, witty, fun-loving, practical and hard-working," he said in a Cleveland Clinic publication. He added: "What is really exciting for me is that I've been able to radically change the culture at Huron Hospital." Dr. Kious earned his MD from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and trained in family medicine at Fairview (Ohio) General Hospital.

Alfred B. Knight, MD (Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, Texas).
Dr. Knight, an obstetrician-gynecologist, has been president and CEO of Scott & White for 10 years. He is also chairman of the board of the Scott & White Health Plan, which has 200,000 members. Scott & White has nine hospitals, 800 physicians and scientists in 60 clinics, and more than more 10,000 employees across a 25,000-square-mile area in Central Texas. He joined Scott & White in 1986.

"The biggest trend for us, and a huge change, is that insurers, including the federal government, are backing off what they will pay for," he told a publication of the Temple Health & Bioscience District back in 2005, but it could apply today. The biggest challenge for medice, he added, was "the lack of coordination of healthcare, which creates redundancy and extra cost. The challenge right now is how to provide the highest-quality service at a reasonable price, whoever pays for it." He earned his MD from Case Western Reserve University and completed his OB/GYN residency and a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.

John F. Koster, MD (Providence Health and Services, Renton, Wash.). Dr. Koster, an internist, became president & CEO of Providence in 2009. Providence is a Catholic healthcare system with 27 hospitals and more than 35 non-acute facilities in Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon and California. The hospital's Quality Strategic Plan has led to many clinical improvements. The Accelerating Clinical Transformation initiative, for example, uses an evidence-based approach to create specific improvements, such as targeting healthcare-associated infections.

Dr. Koster has been with the health system since 1997. Before Providence, he served as vice president for targeted member services at VHA in Irving, Texas, and was vice president of Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque, N.M. He also served as senior vice president of Rocky Mountain Healthcare Corp., which manages the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans of Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. From 1979-1988 he worked in private practice with a multi-specialty group of physicians. Dr. Koster received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his internship at Providence Portland Medical Center.

Mark Laney, MD (Heartland Health, St. Joseph, Mo.). Dr. Laney, a pediatric neurologist, became president of Heartland Health in Aug. 2009. Heartland is an integrated health delivery system including 696-bed Heartland Regional Medical Center and Heartland Clinic, which has more than 100 physicians. The system, with 3,200 employees, received the 2009 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for organizational performance excellence.

Previously, Dr. Laney was president of Cook Children's Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, which runs two hospitals and a pediatric multi-specialty practice with 300 physicians and 120 nurse practitioners. He was one of three founding members of the practice, grew it and led its integration into Cook Children's.

Dr. Laney is a regular columnist for Becker's Hospital Review. In April he wrote that under health reform, hospitals would have to learn "how to be smarter, perform better and, I believe, even prosper." He added he was intrigued with the concept of accountable care organizations, which align hospitals with physicians and others to provide the full continuum of care. "Basically, it means that a health system will have to become involved in all manner of care, including outpatient care, home health and hospice," he wrote.

He earned his MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed a pediatric neurology fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He received a master's degree in medical management at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

Robert J. Laskowski, MD (Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del.). Dr. Laskowski, a geriatrician, became president and CEO of Christiana Care Health System in 2003. Christiana Care operates two acute-care hospitals totaling 1,100 beds and several clinics. Services include cardiac surgery, coronary angioplasty, cancer treatment and women's health services. The system is currently spending $205 million to expand and renovate its Wilmington Hospital campus.

Before joining Christiana Care, Dr. Laskowski was chief medical officer at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, Pa., and president and group medical director at Northeast Permanente Medical Group in Hartford, Conn. He continues his clinical work as professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Laskowski earned his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, undertook his internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics and completed fellowship in general medicine. He also holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

Roger Longenderfer, MD (Pinnacle Health System, Harrisburg, Pa.). Dr. Longenderfer, a family physician, became president and CEO of Pinnacle, a four-hospital healthcare system, in 2001 and announced last month he would be stepping down in June. He told Central Penn Business Journal had been mulling retirement for a few years but had postponed it until resolution of merger talks between Pinnacle and WellSpan Health. In Feb. 2010, Pinnacle ended negotiations, citing uncertainty over health reform and negative feedback on the merger from Pinnacle's stakeholders, among other issues.

Dr. Longenderfer joined Pinnacle in 1998 as chief medical officer and senior vice president for medical affairs. After becoming CEO three years later, he presided over the acquisition of Community General Osteopathic Hospital, expansions of facilities such as the ED at Harrisburg Hospital and creation of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, a joint venture with the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

He also orchestrated a federally sanctioned gainsharing agreement between Harrisburg Hospital and three cardiology groups with about 50 physicians, which saved approximately $2.5 million by focusing on cost and utilization of cardiac devices. "I have always felt that gainsharing was a little about economics and a lot about physician-hospital quality improvement — sharing data," he told Physicians News Digest in 2007. He earned his MD at Hahnemann University School of Medicine and completed his residency training at Geisinger Medical Center.

James V. Luck Jr., MD (Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital). Dr. Luck, an orthopedic surgeon, has served as president, CEO and medical director of the 152-bed Orthopaedic Hospital since 1989. Founded in 1922, the hospital cares for children with crippling birth defects and musculoskeletal disorders. In 1998 it formed a strategic alliance with University of California, Los Angeles. Its new 40,000-square-foot Orthopaedic Hospital Outpatient Medical Center increases capacity for children's orthopaedic visits to 95,000 per year. The Orthopaedic Hospital also opened a new research center in 2007.

Dr. Luck chairs the national medical advisory board for Shriners Hospitals for Children and is immediate past president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and past chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Orthopaedic Surgery of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He earned his MD from University of Southern California, completed his residency at the Orthopaedic Hospital and Rancho Los Amigos Hospital and completed a fellowship in adult reconstructive orthopedics and musculoskeltal tumors at the Orthopaedic Hospital.

Roberta Luskin-Hawk, MD (Saint Joseph Hospital, Chicago).
Dr. Luskin-Hawk, an infectious disease specialist, became CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital in Aug. 2009. This 321-bed Catholic hospital is part of nine-hospital Resurrection Health Care. Founded in 1868, Saint Joseph Hospital was rated among the top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals for stroke care and is among the top 10 percent of U.S. hospitals for pulmonary services by HealthGrades.

"Dr. Luskin-Hawk brings an excellent blend of business acumen and clinical knowledge to the table," said retiring CEO Ronald E. Struxness in a hospital release last year. "[She] has a keen understanding of the healthcare environment, particularly as it relates to quality, service, finance and impending healthcare reform." A longtime AIDS activist, Dr. Luskin-Hawk co-founded one of Chicago's first inpatient HIV units at Saint Joseph in 1987, which has since served thousands of patients from Chicago and its suburbs. In 1989, she established the AIDS Research Alliance Chicago, an independent, non-profit clinical research consortium. Becker's Hospital Review named Dr. Luskin-Hawk one of the "25 Movers and Shakers in the Hospital Industry" in Sept. 2009.

James Mandell, MD (Children's Hospital Boston). Dr. Mandell, a urologist, became CEO of Children's in Oct. 2000. At 396 licensed beds, it is one of the largest children's hospitals in the nation, with 24,460 inpatient and day surgical cases and 492,698 outpatient visits. It has 40 clinical departments, 225 specialized clinical programs, an active medical and dental staff of 1,026, 384 associated scientific staff and 922 residents, fellows and interns.

"For me, medicine is both a personal and professional calling," Dr. Mandell wrote on the hospital's website in July 2009. "I am a practicing surgeon and the CEO of Children’s, but I'm also the parent of a child who at one point was critically ill and injured and the grandparent of six beautiful children."

Dr. Mandell is responsible for overall governance of Children's four mission areas of patient care, research, training of new physicians and community services. Before coming to Children's, he was dean of Albany (N.Y.) Medical College. He earned his MD and undertook his residency at University of Florida School of Medicine and completed a fellowship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

John McCabe, MD (Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y.). Dr. McCabe, an emergency physician, became CEO and senior vice president for clinical affairs at University Hospital in July 2009. Dr. McCabe has been at University Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical University for more than 20 years, serving as medical staff president, medical director, vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and chair of the department of emergency medicine.

Dr. McCabe oversaw the expansion of the hospital's emergency room in 1996. He assisted in creating a mass casualty unit, upgraded the infirmary at the State Fairgrounds and developed an emergency medicine simulation center to train residents. Becker's Hospital Review named Dr. McCabe one of the "25 Movers and Shakers in the Hospital Industry" in Sept. 2009. Dr. McCabe earned his MD from Upstate in 1979 and completed his residency at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.

Mark McDonald, MD (Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery, Lima, Ohio). Dr. McDonald, an orthopedic surgeon, is president and CEO of the institute. It opened as an ASC in 1998 and converted to a three-bed hospital in 2002.

The institute is next door to the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, a group of 16 orthopedic surgeons, allowing comprehensive orthopedic services in one location. The institute also has five internal medical consultants, three infectious disease consultants, nine physician assistants and four CRNAs. Dr. McDonald earned his MD from Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Kentucky.

Edward D. Miller, MD (Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore). Dr. Miller, an anesthesiologist, became president and CEO of Johns Hopkins in 1997. He is also dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and vice president for medicine of Johns Hopkins University. The hospital has topped U.S. News & World Report's list of America's Best Hospitals every year since 1991.

Dr. Miller established the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care to continue Hopkins' leadership role in protecting patients. He is implementing a master plan to replace aging facilities on Hopkins' East Baltimore medical campus and is developing of a life sciences park near the campus in conjunction with the city and state. He came to Johns Hopkins in 1994 as director of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. Previously, he served eight years at Columbia University as professor and chairman of anesthesiology, and prior to that he spent 11 years at the University of Virginia. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters.

In addition to being CEO, Dr. Miller has kept up a clinical career. His research focuses on the cardiovascular effects of anesthetic drugs and vascular smooth muscle relaxation. He has served as editor of Anesthesia and Analgesia and of Critical Care Medicine. After earning an MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, he was a surgical intern at University Hospital in Boston, chief resident in anesthesiology at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and as a research fellow in physiology at Harvard Medical School.

Edward G. Murphy, MD (Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Va.). Dr. Murphy, an internist, is president and CEO of the clinic, formerly known as Carilion Health System, which operates eight hospitals and a 500-physician multi-specialty group. Carilion has annual net operating revenue of $1.2 billion and 11,000 employees.

Dr. Murphy has been overseeing Carilion's conversion from a traditional, hospital-centered healthcare organization to a multi-specialty, patient-centered clinic. “We've added more than 200 doctors, a physician leadership structure and a comprehensive electronic medical record," he said in a 2009 release. Critiquing to the current payment system, Dr. Murphy said it rewards over-treatment while providing no incentive to keep people well. He is starting two new pilot programs this year aimed at improving patient care, efficiency and wellness while lowering costs. He is also co-founding a new medical school. In early 2007, Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic announced the creation of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute.

Before coming to Carilion, Dr. Murphy was president and CEO of Seton Health System in upstate New York and a member of the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council. He earned his MD from Harvard Medical School. He also holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and economics from the University of New York at Albany.

Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD (Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospitals, Boston). Dr. Nabel, a cardiologist, became CEO of Brigham and Women's and Faulkner Hospitals in January 2010. The 750-bed hospital is one of the top two non-university recipients of research funding from the National Institutes of Health for the past 10 years.

Commenting on her appointment in a Brigham and Women's news release, she said, "The opening of this door is a tremendous opportunity to share a personal passion with world-class clinicians and scientists." She promised to keep "a keen focus on how we can make a difference in the lives of those who depend on us, whether they live halfway around the world or across the street from our front doors."

Dr. Nabel was previously director of the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. She is a nationally recognized scholar, having authored 250 publications, and has been an editorial board member of The New England Journal of Medicine. Early in her career, she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan and went on to become director of its Cardiovascular Research Center and chief of the division of cardiology. Dr. Nabel earned her MD at Cornell University Medical College and completed her residency in internal medicine and a clinical and research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's.

Harris M. Nagler, MD (Beth Israel Medical Center, New York). Dr. Nagler, a urologist, officially became president & CEO of Beth Israel in March 2010 but already had been interim president for a year. This 1,368-bed institution is one of the university hospitals for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. It is a member of Continuum Health Partners, which also includes St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals, Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

While CEO, Dr. Nagler is continuing as chairman of the department of urology, a position he has held since joining Beth Israel in 1989, until a replacement is found. He is the recipient of the John K. Lattimer Award from the Kidney and Urology Foundation of America and the Russell Lavengood Award from the New York Section of the American Urological Association. He earned his MD from Temple University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He also attended the Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania's Management Development Program for physician executives.

Robert E. Nesse, MD (Mayo Health System, Rochester, Minn.). Dr. Nesse, a family physician, was named CEO of Mayo Health System in March 2010. The health system is a organization of clinics, hospitals and healthcare facilities serving 70 communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Nearly 800 physicians and 13,000 allied health staff are employed by Mayo Health System organizations. Affiliated with Mayo Clinic, the health system has been a national leader in quality and safety efforts.

Dr. Nesse previously was president and CEO of Mayo's Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, based in La Crosse, Wis., a position he held since 2004. He told WKPT News in Las Crosse one of his most pressing tasks in his new job will be to integrate 70 Mayo locations in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin into one model of care.

Joining Mayo in 1980, he served as residency program director for family practice from 1984-1990 and was vice chair of Mayo Clinic Department of Family Medicine from 1990-1996. Dr. Nesse earned an MD from Wayne State University School of Human Medicine and completed his residency training at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Mich.

Stephen L. Newman, MD (Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas). Dr. Newman, a pediatric gastroenterologist, became COO of Tenet in 2007. In his new role, he is responsible for the operational oversight of Tenet's 50 acute-care hospitals in 12 states, as well as the company's ASCs and diagnostic imaging centers. From March 2003 until his promotion, Dr. Newman was CEO of Tenet's California operations, where he built a profitable core of hospitals in a highly competitive market. He was the first in the Tenet system to implement the organization's Targeted Growth Initiative, which matches a hospital's service offerings and growth plans against anticipated future changes in the healthcare needs of its community.

Dr. Newman joined Tenet in 1999 as vice president of operations for its former Gulf States region, where he managed 12 hospitals in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.  In June 2000, he was promoted to senior vice president of operations. Before Tenet, he was president of a 14-hospital group at Columbia/HCA. He started at Columbia/HCA in 1997 as president and CEO of its a three-hospital, 1,200-bed system in Louisville, Ky.

Before Columbia/HCA, he was senior vice president and chief medical officer at 350-bed Touro Infirmary in New Orleans from 1990 to 1997. Before becoming a hospital administrator, was a professor of pediatrics and medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine. He earned his MD from the University of Tennessee and completed his internship, residency and fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Newman holds an MBA from Tulane University and completed the advanced management program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

John Noseworthy, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.).
Dr. Noseworthy, a neurologist, became president and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Nov. 2009. More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at the clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. The three locations treat more than half a million patients a year.

President Obama has often praised the clinic's team-based approach, melding inpatient with outpatient care to reduce costs and uphold quality, as a model for healthcare reform. But Mayo leaders, including Dr. Noseworthy, have been strong critics of the president's health reform plan. Just a month after taking office, Dr. Noseworthy went on record opposing the Senate health reform bill's proposal to expand Medicare. He said the nation could not successfully overhaul its healthcare system unless Medicare started rewarding systems providing quality healthcare at reasonable prices.

Dr. Noseworthy joined Mayo in 1990 and has served in various leadership positions, among them chairman of Mayo's Department of Neurology and vice chairman of its Rochester executive board. He also served as editor-in-chief of Neurology, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Becker's Hospital Review named Dr. Noseworthy one of the "25 Movers and Shakers in the Hospital Industry" in Sept. 2009. He earned his MD at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, completed his neurology training at Dalhousie and the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Christopher T. Olivia, MD (West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh). Dr. Olivia, an ophthalmologist, became president and CEO of West Penn Allegheny in 2008. The six-hospital system was a financially struggling organization that he turned around. In March 2010, West Penn reported its third straight quarter with a net profit. The turnaround involved a strategic plan involving hospital reorganizations, service integration and recruitment of top administrative and medical staff leaders.

Before West Penn, Dr. Olivia turned around Cooper Health System in southern New Jersey, where he was also president and CEO. Under Dr. Olivia's tenure, the system went from the brink of bankruptcy to become a thriving organization with more than double the revenue and 60 percent more patients than when he arrived. It now has the largest market share in southern New Jersey.

Before taking the helm at Cooper, Dr. Olivia was president of its faculty physician organization, University Physicians-Cooper. He consolidated and restructured UPC with a streamlined management structure and improved business operations, focusing on clinical leadership and improved billing and collections. It became a stable faculty organization with increased net equity and profits. Dr. Olivia earned his MD from Hahnemann Medical School and completed his residency at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. He earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania.

Herbert Pardes, MD (NewYork Presbyterian Healthcare System, New York.). Dr. Pardes, a psychiatrist, became CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian in January 2000, after serving as dean of Columbia University's medical school. Dr. Pardes has been credited with cementing the merger of New York Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital into NewYork-Presbyterian, which occurred three years before he took the helm. Having recently turned 75, Dr. Pardes plans to retire at the end of 2011 and help smooth the transition to a new executive.

Before becoming CEO, he served as U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and was director of the National Institutes of Mental Health during the Carter and Reagan administrations. Dr. Pardes earned his MD from the State University of New York College of Medicine in Brooklyn and performed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. He completed psychoanalytic training at New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

David Pate, MD, JD (St. Luke's Health System, Boise, Idaho). Dr. Pate, an internist and attorney, became president and CEO of St. Luke's last year and took full control in March, with the retirement of Ed Dahlberg, who had been CEO for 25 years. St. Luke's is a not-for-profit health system based in Idaho, with five hospitals. Becker's Hospital Review named him one of the "25 Movers and Shakers in the Hospital Industry" in Sept. 2009.

Before coming to Idaho, Dr. Pate was CEO of 915-bed St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, an unrelated facility at the heart of the Texas Medical Center in Houston and flagship of St. Luke's Episcopal Health System. Dr. Pate entered hospital administration in 1995 and then received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He earned his MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and performed his residency at Baylor Affiliated Hospitals in Houston and was chief resident at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston.

Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD (Hospital Corporation of America, Nashville, Tenn.). Dr. Perlin, who holds an MD-PhD degree, is chief medical officer and president of the clinical services group for HCA. Dr. Perlin is responsible for clinical strategy and continually improving performance at HCA's 169 hospitals and 115 outpatient centers. He has been developing and implementing electronic health records throughout HCA and a national program to eradicate healthcare-associated infections.

Before joining HCA in 2006, Dr. Perlin was under-secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he championed electronic health records, bringing a great deal of recognition to the VHA system as a leader in EHR. Before joining the VHA in 1999, he was medical director for quality improvement at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. Dr. Perlin has served on boards of the National Quality Forum, the Joint Commission and American Health Information Community. He received his PhD in pharmacology and toxicology with an MD at the Medical Scientist Training Program at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Campus.

Patrick J. Quinlan, MD (Ochsner Health System, New Orleans). Dr. Quinlan, a dermatologist, has been CEO of Ochsner since 2001. The health system operates seven hospitals and employs more than 750 physicians in more than 90 medical specialties. With 8,400 employees, it is the largest private employer in Louisiana.

During and after Hurricane Katrina, 473-bed Ochsner Medical Center was one of only three hospitals in New Orleans to keep its doors open, despite significant physical damage to the building. Ochsner's extensive disaster preparations before Katrina played a major role in mitigating damages. The organization also played a key role in the recovery of the New Orleans medical community and economy afterwards.

Dr. Quinlan came to Ochsner in 1998 as its chief medical officer, having been CMO at Lovelace Health Systems in Albuquerque, N.M. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics and a master's degree in health administration from the College of St. Francis in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He earned his MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, completed his internship at Carraway Methodist Center in Birmingham, Ala., and held a dermatology residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Prem Reddy, MD (Prime Healthcare Services, Victorville, Calif.).
Dr. Reddy, a cardiologist, is chairman and founder of Prime Healthcare Services, which oversees 13 acute-care hospitals in California. In his clinical career of more than 25 years, he has performed more than 5,000 cardiac procedures, including coronary angiography and angioplasty, and permanent pacemaker implantations.

Dr. Reddy founded Desert Valley Medical Group, a multi-specialty medical group, in 1985. In 2001, PHS purchased the failing operations of Desert Valley Hospital and Desert Valley Medical Group from Phycor and turned them around. He then acquired Chino Valley Medical Center, a 126-bed bankrupt hospital in Chino, Calif., in 2004.

Dr. Reddy earned his MD in India and completed his residency training in internal medicine and cardiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

William L. Roper, MD (University of North Carolina Health Care System, Chapel Hill, N.C.). Dr. Roper, a pediatrician, is CEO of the UNC Health Care System at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also is dean of the medical school and a professor there and teaches health policy and administration in the School of Public Health. He writes a blog called Roper on Health.

Dr. Roper was a health policy advisor to the first President Bush and an administrator of CMS (then called HCFA) from 1986-1989. Before joining UNC in 1997, he was senior vice president of Prudential Health Care. However, he is generally sympathetic of the new health reform law. In an interview conducted by UNC just after the law passed, he said the expanded coverage was "a very good thing" and, all in all, "I am very pleased this legislation passed." He earned his MD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, completed a pediatrics residency at the University of Colorado Medical Center and received a master's degree in public health from UAB while serving as a health officer in Alabama.

Thomas Royer, MD (CHRISTUS Health System, Irving, Texas). Dr. Royer, a general surgeon, is president and CEO of CHRISTUS, which includes more than 40 hospitals and facilities in six states and Mexico and has assets of more than $4.1 billion. After the Feb. 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he took a 20-member medical team on site, and they performed 85 surgeries, hundreds of procedures and outpatient visits and delivered nine babies. He reported on the trip on his blog, "Wireside Chat with Dr. Tom."

Before joining CHRISTUS, Dr. Royer was senior vice president of medical affairs and chairman of the board of governors of Henry Ford Medical Group. He served for two years at Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation and Wyman Park Medical Associates in Baltimore in a variety of administrative positions, including CEO. He also spent 18 years with the Geisinger Medical Center and Clinic in Danville, Pa., holding posts as senior vice president and medical director. He earned his MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his postdoctoral training at Geisinger Medical Center and Clinic.

Steven M. Safyer, MD (Montefiore Medical Center, New York). Dr. Safyer, an internist, became president and CEO of Montefiore in Jan. 2008. Montefiore, a 1,188-bed hospital in the Bronx, is one of the university hospitals for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Safyer has been working to strengthen the hospital's strategic alignment with the medical school. He said in a 2008 release that it "will exponentially strengthen our commitment to being the best in academics and both translational and clinical research."

Dr. Safyer has been at Montefiore for 27 years. He was senior vice president and chief medical officer before becoming CEO. His accomplishments as CMO included building an extensive community-based primary care network, commissioning cutting-edge information systems, developing strategies to manage care and creating nationally recognized quality and safety programs. Dr. Safyer is a strong proponent of health information technology. In 2006 he became chair of the Bronx regional health information organization, which seeks to connect medical records. He earned his MD from Albert Einstein and completed his internship and residency in social medicine at Montefiore.

Gregory Simone, MD (WellStar Health System, Marietta, Ga.). Dr. Simone, a cardiologist, is president and CEO of WellStar Health System, a five-hospital organization with more than 11,000 employees, 1,311 licensed beds and the WellStar Physicians Group. WellStar has improved its overall operating margin by more than 40 percent through an internal strategic initiative, Opportunities 2010, designed by employees and guided by Dr. Simone and other senior leadership. In this effort, employees worked together to identify efficiencies and cost savings.

Dr. Simone told Atlanta Hospital News his medical background has enhanced his work as CEO. "Physicians have a better understanding of patients' needs, shortcomings and expectations," he said in a 2007 interview. "In that context, a physician can bring valuable leadership qualities to an organization." However, he no longer practices medicine. "It was not fair to my partners to try to do both things," he said, adding that his administrative role keeps him "close to the action."

Before joining WellStar, he was president and CEO for 27 years of Cardiovascular Medicine, the largest cardiology practice in the WellStar service area. He regards his MBA degree and experience running a group practice as key to his success at WellStar. "I'm fortunate to have the schooling and on the job training," he told Atlanta Hospital News. "That's important to addressing the fiscal responsibility of a non-profit health system, of balancing the ledger in this particularly difficult time for hospitals." Dr. Simone earned an MD from Emory University and an MBA from Kennesaw (Ga.) State University.

Peter Slavin, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston). Dr. Slavin, an internist, has been president of Massachusetts General Hospital since 2003. From 1999–2002 he was also chairman and CEO of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, with more than 1,700 physicians, including nearly 1,000 employed physicians. This 900-bed medical center is the major teaching hospital of Harvard University, with one of the largest hospital-based research budgets in the world. The hospital has also achieved 100-percent implementation of computerized order entry and has convinced a great majority of its physicians to switch to electronic medical records.

Before Massachusetts General, Dr. Slavin was president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis from 1997–1999. He was senior vice president and chief medical officer at Barnes from 1994–1997. "I've always been interested in a career in healthcare management," he told Harbus, the magazine of Harvard Business School, in 2008. "During residency, I was involved with issues of healthcare access and quality. I had previously done some work with the government and recognized that taking a leadership role is necessary to influence policy making." Dr. Slavin earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency at Massachusetts General. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Glenn Steele Jr., MD (Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.). Dr. Steele, a surgeon and oncologist, became president and CEO of Geisinger five years ago, when the organization was recovering from a failed merger with Penn State Hershey Medical Center. This physician-led health system in rural Pennsylvania runs four hospitals, including 548-bed Geisinger Medical Center, many clinics and a health insurance plan. It also had an electronic health record in place more than a decade ago.

Dr. Steele's highest-profile achievement is ProvenCare, launched in 2006. The program sets a fixed price for a given medical problem, creating a financial incentive to prevent readmissions and keep costs in check. Dr. Steele told Fast Company in 2008 the idea behind ProvenCare is "we shouldn't get paid if we don't do the right thing." A 2007 study of heart-bypass patients in the Annals of Surgery found patients in ProvenCare had 16 percent shorter hospital stays and their bills were about 5 percent lower. His other achievements include expanding computerized patient records and establishing a venture unit to develop treatments for possible licensing.

Dr. Steele came from the University of Chicago where he was vice president for medical affairs and dean of the division of biological sciences. His laboratory investigations have focused on the cell biology of gastrointestinal cancer and pre-cancer, and he has authored or co-authored more than 450 scientific and professional articles. Dr. Steele has been chairman of the American Board of Surgery and serves on the editorial boards of numerous prominent medical journals. He earned his MD from New York University School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in surgery at the University of Colorado. He also earned a PhD in microbiology at Lund University in Sweden in 1975.

Steven L. Strongwater, MD (Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, N.Y.). Dr. Strongwater, an internist, became CEO of Stony Brook in Jan. 2007. The medical center comprises Stony Brook University School of Medicine and 540-bed Stony Brook University Hospital, with 5,100 employees. He loves management, though he is still drawn to medical practice. "I didn't go into medical administration because I didn't want to practice," he told Long Island Business News in 2007. "I went into it because I was drawn to fixing systems. I hope things will settle down and I'll have the opportunity to go back to practicing."

Dr. Strongwater has been dedicated to patient safety throughout his 25-year career. His efforts were recognized by the Healthcare Association of New York's Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety and the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council's inaugural Excellence in Patient Safety Award. In March 2010, he launched Patient Safety Fridays, bringing together more than 100 physicians with a strong interest in patient safety. Before joining Stony Brook, Dr. Strongwater headed 224-bed John Dempsey Hospital at the University of Connecticut. As hospital director and associate dean for clinical affairs at UConn, he developed a patient safety center, the Collaborative Center for Clinical Care Improvement, and ran the faculty practice plan.

He opened the first phase of the Major Modernization Project at Stony Brook in 2008, encompassing 154,000 square feet of new construction and 48,000 square feet of renovation. Meanwhile, the state approved Stony Brook's alliance with 125-bed Southampton (N.Y.) Hospital. Dr. Strongwater earned his MD at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center and completed his residency at University Hospital SUNY Health Science Center.

Paul Summerside, MD (Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, Wis.). Dr. Summerside, an emergency physician, is chairman of the board at Aurora BayCare, a 167-bed, full-service hospital jointly owned by Aurora Health Care and the BayCare Clinic. Dr. Summerside is chief medical officer of BayCare Clinic, with more than 100 physicians in more than 20 specialties serving Northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Dr. Summerside told Becker's Hospital Review failure to invest in the right physician executives harms integration. "The systems that will do well are the ones that are able to engage highly competent physician executives, recognize that value and employ them to make the machine work better," he said in 2008. Hospitals should find physicians with the appropriate training, pay them well and give them the freedom and authority to make the hospital's business work effectively, he added.  Dr. Summerside earned his MD from University of Iowa and completed his residency at one of the first emergency medicine programs, at the University of Illinois. He also holds a master's degree in medical management.

Elliot J. Sussman, MD (Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.).
Dr. Sussman, an internist, has been president and CEO of Lehigh Valley since 1993. The network consists of three hospitals, 400 employed physicians, a network of clinics and a health plan called Valley Preferred. Its flagship is 514-bed Lehigh Valley Hospital, a clinical campus of Penn State University College of Medicine with 1,100 physicians on staff. With 10,000 employees, the hospital operates the state's third-largest heart surgery program, with more than 1,200 open-heart procedures per year, and the fourth-largest cancer program.

Dr. Sussman has done a great deal to make Lehigh Valley Hospital more efficient and cost effective. From 1993-2008, costs fell from the 75th to the 35th percentile in the nation, patient satisfaction rose from the 62nd to the 90th percentile, and the mortality rate fell from average to one of the lowest in the state, he said in a 2008 message on the hospital's website. This was accomplished, he said, by giving nurses more time for hands-on care, committing the hospital to patient-centered care and other steps to become much more efficient, and embracing technology such as computer-assisted physician order entry and an advanced intensive care unit.

In 2008, Dr. Sussman initiated the System for Partners in Performance Improvement, which involves implementing "lean" efficiency concepts and educating six "core coaches" from the staff to teach these concepts to everyone in the system.

Before joining Lehigh Valley, Dr. Sussman was associate dean of medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He is a past chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges and chairman elect of the of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals. He earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency and a fellowship in general medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nick Turkal, MD (Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee). Dr. Turkal, a family physician, became president and CEO of Aurora in 2006. The system operates 13 hospitals, more than 100 clinics and more than 80 community pharmacies. Formed by three hospitals in the late 1980s, Aurora expanded through acquisitions in the mid-1990s and through new construction in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Dr. Turkal joined Aurora in 1987. After serving as program director and family medicine associate chair at 669-bed Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, he was named senior clinical vice president and chief medical officer for Aurora Health Care in 2001, leading many care management, quality initiatives and clinical research programs. In 2004, Aurora began opening QuickCare kiosks staffed by providers who handle basic, common medical issues for a flat rate. As CEO, Dr. Turkal has continued this process, overseeing 19 kiosks at last count, including five in Wal-mart Supercenters.

"We are not a hospital system," Dr. Turkal wrote in an Aug. 2009 open letter to the community. "In fact, only one-third of the care we provide is in a hospital setting. We are moving care out into the community, where our patients can easily access what they need – clinics, pharmacies, home health care, even hospice." Dr. Turkal earned his MD from Creighton University and completed his residency at the former St. Michael Hospital in Milwaukee.

Harold Varmus, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York). Dr. Varmus, an oncologist, has been president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering since 2000. The organization consists of 437-bed Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases and the Sloan-Kettering Institute, a basic-science research unit. Dr. Varmus announced his retirement earlier this year but will stay on until a successor is named.

An English literature major in college, he was twice rejected by Harvard Medical School, then went on to win the 1989 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of cancer genes. Before coming to Sloan-Kettering, he was director of the National Institutes of Health, where he initiated changes in the conduct of intramural and extramural research programs, planned three major buildings and helped double the NIH budget over five years.

At Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Varmus has overseen significant growth of research and patient-care programs, construction of several buildings, renovation of major clinical facilities and development of training programs, including a cancer biology doctoral program. He also oversaw a successful fundraising campaign that has recently passed the $2 billion mark. In Jan. 2010 he announced his intention to retire as president. "I believe that the institution would now benefit from a fresh approach to the issues it will face in the decade ahead," he said in a release.

He has served as a co-chair of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology since early 2009. He earned his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, undertook his residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and completed postdoctoral training at the NIH.

Paul K. Whelton, MD (Loyola University Health System, Chicago).
Dr. Whelton, an epidemiologist, became president and CEO of the health system in Feb. 2007. Loyola is a Catholic Jesuit provider that includes 570-bed Loyola University Hospital, the Stritch School of Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, the Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital of Loyola, a burn and trauma center, the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and centers for organ transplantation and neurological disorders.

Dr. Whelton presided over the acquisition in 2008 of the system's second hospital, 250-bed Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, a community hospital three miles away. To alleviate congestion at the flagship, Loyola moved most of its obstetrics and gynecology services and part of its orthopedics program to Gottlieb. Then, in March 2010, Loyola signed an agreement to provide cancer services at a new $15.8 million cancer center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb, Ill.

Before Loyola, Dr. Whelton was senior vice president for health sciences at Tulane University Health Sciences Center and dean of the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He was there in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when flood waters destroyed irreplaceable research data, tissue samples and animals in research he was overseeing. A native of Ireland, Dr. Whelton earned his MD from the National University of Ireland, University College Cork and a master's of science degree in epidemiology from the University of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Nicholas Wolter, MD (Billings (Mont.) Clinic).
Dr. Wolter, a pulmonologist, has been CEO of Billings Clinic since 1997. A tax-exempt medical foundation, Billings is the largest and one of the most integrated health systems in the northern Rocky Mountain states. With more than 3,000 employees, it operates a 272-bed hospital, a clinic with 230 employed physicians in 35 specialties and a research center. The clinic is one of six equity members of a state-wide HMO, New West Health Services, which began operation in 1998.

Dr. Wolter helped guide the 1993 merger of Billings Clinic with Deaconess Hospital and became the new health system's medical executive officer. Billings opened a new cancer center and a new surgery center in 2009. Dr. Wolter also has a presence on the national stage. He recently served as commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and has been a board member of the American Medical Group Association and the AMGA Results Based Payment System Initiative Committee. The Medical Group Management Association named him physician executive of the year in 2004.

In January, Dr. Wolter told Becker's Hospital Review the new ban on physician-owned hospitals in the health reform law "signals the decline of the entrepreneurial physician." He noted that many young physicians are eagerly becoming employees at integrated systems like his own.  Dr. Wolter earned his MD at the University of Michigan Medical Center, completed his internal medicine residency at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, N.Y., and undertook a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Michigan.

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