The future of healthcare in this century promises to be something almost beyond human comprehension.
Scientists tell us that many diseases and illnesses that plague mankind will be eradicated. All of this will be brought about by a combination of pharmaceuticals and high-tech equipment plus skilled physicians and healthcare executives working in unison to make the quality of life much better for all of us. Along with these advances will be a startling increase in longevity. It's an exciting time to be part of the healthcare industry.
However, as we look to the future we must also look to the past and recognize those individuals who have paved the way for what we will be experiencing in the 21st century. As we celebrate the 12th year of Modern Healthcare's Health Care Hall of Fame, the three honorees this year exemplify the tradition of commitment, dedication, vision and integrity that previous Hall of Fame recipients have demonstrated throughout their careers. These individuals have exhibited the pioneering spirit and excellence that have brought this industry to the high level it enjoys today.
Paul M. Ellwood Jr., M.D., L.R. "Rush" Jordan and Haynes Rice are true pioneers. They enjoyed the challenge of competition. They believed in their visions and dreams and pursued their goals with relentless enthusiasm. Here's what a colleague had to say about Rice: "Haynes Rice was a tree-shaker, able to accomplish things working through and with other people. He operated on his own philosophy that if something is controversial, that's the time to make hay, to get some movement on the issue." And make hay he did throughout his distinguished career.
Ellwood is best known for pioneering the concept of HMOs and making it part of the continuing health policy debate and discourse. The passage of the 1973 HMO Act is attributed to his efforts. But that wasn't his only contribution. According to Alain Enthoven, a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., Ellwood's book Assuring Quality in Health Care, published in 1973, was prophetic and became the foundation for outcomes-based measurement, management and regulation throughout the industry.
Add Jordan and you have a wonderful mix of intellect, drive and dedication that earned each one of them the admiration of people in and out of healthcare. Jordan, a longtime leader, mentor and educator, is "Mr. Enthusiasm," who is always available to colleagues, students and anyone else who wants to learn from his experience and knowledge. He describes himself best when he says, "To succeed in any endeavor, one needs complete integrity that cannot be questioned." And no one who knows this healthcare executive would ever question Jordan's total dedication and integrity.
So it is with gratitude and delight that we welcome these three visionaries to the Hall of Fame. They made a difference for all of us.
Charles S. Lauer, publisher