Previously we asked readers to submit their choice for the person who has meant the most to healthcare management or policy in the 20th century. Here is a selection of the nominees. We hope to publish more in a future issue.
An individual who laid the groundwork for all subsequent health policy in this century was Robert Wagner Sr., a Democratic senator from New York from 1927 to 1949. A Wagner bill in 1939 paved the way for the construction and maintenance of hospitals and health centers, state programs for medical care of the poor, disability insurance, health personnel training and more.
School of Allied Health Professions
Virginia Commonwealth University
Medical College of Virginia
The only logical choice for the individual who has had the most significant impact on health policy and management in this century is Lyndon B. Johnson for his leadership in enacting the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
These programs brought enormous improvements in healthcare to the poor and the elderly. The relatively certain stream of payment for healthcare fueled the unprecedented growth of the U.S. healthcare system. These programs' reimbursement of new technologies reduced much of the financial burden surrounding investment in research and development, which has led to today's technology explosion.
President, chief executive officer
Strong Partners Health System
University of Rochester (N.Y.)
The consumer is the person who has had the biggest impact on the American healthcare landscape during this century.
National Specialty Services
I cast my vote for Jonas Salk, M.D., as the century's No. 1 healthcare figure.
Director of quality management
Perry Memorial Hospital
Ray Everett Brown (born in Union, S.C., Sept. 26, 1913) is my nomination as the century's No. 1 healthcare figure.
He was the director of the graduate program in hospital administration at the University of Chicago, served in several other academic positions at the university and was a published author. He also served as the director of the graduate program in hospital administration at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
In Cambridge, Mass., he served concurrent appointments as a professor at the Harvard Business School and as executive vice president of the Affiliated Hospitals Center.
He joined Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., as a professor in health services management at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and as executive vice president of the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, which he created.
Brown was a member of the national Joint Commission for Accreditation of Hospitals, among other organizations. He was president of the American Hospital Association, the American College of Hospital Administrators and the Illinois Hospital Association.
Brown's vision of healthcare services in the 1960s and early 1970s was 20 years beyond the time.
Professor of health services management
Kellogg Graduate School of Management
My candidate for the person who has meant the most to healthcare management and policy in this century is Walter McNerney. He was president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for many years and a close colleague of the late Edwin Crosby, M.D., who served as president of the American Hospital Association. Both McNerney and Crosby deserve much credit for influencing health policy and management during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, with McNerney continuing to have significant influence in the 1980s.
McNerney initiated the graduate program in health services management and policy at the University of Michigan. He helped shape the development of Medicare in the Social Security Administration, and he has influenced international health policy and relationships.
President, chief executive officer
Jefferson Health System
In creating the Hospital Corporation of America in 1968 at the age of 55, Thomas Frist Sr., M.D., transformed forever the hospital organization in the delivery of high-quality patient care. He also materially influenced, in a very positive way, the importance and professional status of the hospital administrator.
An internist/cardiologist, Frist personally reared four physicians and encouraged (and in many instances financed) scores of young men and women to go into medicine.
Recognized by the American College of Healthcare Executives in the late 1980s for his role in the transformation of the hospital chief executive officer, Frist was justifiably cited for his promotion of the CEO to a full partner in the delivery of patient care.
For these and countless reasons, Frist should be recognized as the 20th century's most influential and valuable player in the delivery of healthcare .