Since May 2004, Anthony Armada, 48, has been president and chief executive officer of Henry Ford Hospital and Health Network in Detroit, overseeing Henry Ford’s 736-bed flagship hospital, 25 ambulatory-care centers in the metropolitan Detroit area, and the system’s behavioral health services. He was also recently named the first chairman of the Asian Health Care Leaders Association, a new organization whose goal is to increase the number of Asian executives in healthcare and improve the quality of healthcare services provided to this population.
The 2008 Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare
Georges Benjamin, 55, a physician and leader in the public health sector, began his medical career in the Army, where he served as the chief of emergency medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington in the early 1980s. Since 2002, he has been the executive director of the American Public Health Association, where he has increased advocacy efforts and development activity. Before coming to the APHA, he was chief executive officer of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he oversaw and expanded the state’s Medicaid program and helped develop the state’s bioterrorism plan.
Even as acting chief executive officer of Louisiana State University’s Health Care Services Division, physician Michael Butler, 52, still works some shifts in the emergency department to keep abreast of front-line issues and maintain contact with patients. In his leadership position, he oversees seven public state hospitals, nearly 300 clinics, more than 9,000 employees and a budget of more than $800 million. He directed the state public-health system’s chronic-disease-management initiative, focusing on asthma, congestive heart failure, cancer screening, diabetes and HIV. Just last week, the LSU system announced it was opening several community-care clinics throughout New Orleans to promote the concept of medical homes.
Danelo Canete splits his time between practicing cardiology and being the chief executive officer of Hawaii Medical Center on the island of Oahu. Canete has overseen the hospital since January 2007, when he and a group of other physicians in Hawaii partnered with a Kansas physician-owned hospital company to buy the hospital from the Sisters of St. Francis. Born and raised in the Philippines, Canete, 70, leads the administrative and medical teams at the center’s two hospitals. A retired U.S. Naval Captain, Canete is also an assistant clinical professor at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and a past president of the Honolulu County Medical Society.
In addition to being the chief executive officer of the 222-bed Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Kevin Churchwell is an accomplished pediatrician with a research interest in inhaled nitric oxide therapy for pulmonary hypertension and new methods of treating sepsis in children. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Vanderbilt University Medical School, he returned to Vanderbilt in 1995 as an assistant professor of pediatric critical-care and anesthesia. Churchwell, 46, was interim CEO of the hospital, built in 2004, from January to July 2007.
Richard Cordova, 58, has been president and chief executive officer of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles since April 2006. He is also a founding member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives and the current board chairman of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management. Before becoming CEO at Childrens, he spent a year as president and chief operating officer at the hospital, which treats some 62,000 patients in its emergency department and admits more than 11,000 children annually. In February, the hospital received magnet recognition for nursing excellence, a recognition awarded to only 5% of U.S. hospitals.
As president and chief executive officer of Catholic Healthcare West, Lloyd Dean, 57, oversees the nation’s eighth-largest hospital system, which includes 38 acute-care hospitals in Arizona, California and Nevada. Since arriving at CHW in April 2000, Dean has streamlined and reorganized the system, turning its finances around from nearly $1 billion in losses between 1997 and 2000 to cumulative net income of $1 billion from 2001 through 2006. More than 50% of CHW’s executive management team is women and minorities, and the organization’s recruitment policy requires that at least 10% of all senior management vacancies be filled with minority candidates.
Paul Diaz, 46, is one of few minority chief executives of a Fortune 500 company. He is president and chief executive officer of Kindred Healthcare, Louisville, Ky., which operates long-term acute-care hospitals, skilled-nursing centers and a contract rehabilitation services business. Since Diaz became CEO of the $4 billion company in 2004, Kindred has experienced lower employee turnover, improved quality and better clinical outcomes. Diaz previously was chief operating officer at Mariner Health Group. A graduate of Georgetown University’s law school, Diaz in 2006 set up a scholarship fund at Georgetown for Hispanic students.
Joxel Garcia is now an HHS assistant secretary and medical director of the Public Health Service and also serves as a U.S. representative on the World Health Organization’s executive board. He had been senior vice president and senior medical adviser to Maximus Federal Services, a publicly traded company that reviews denied appeals for Medicare managed-care claims. A physician trained in obstetrics and gynecology, Garcia, 46, is also a board member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives. He also had been deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization and was commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Public Health.
A Cuban native who emigrated to the U.S. at age 7 as part of the Mariel boatlift exodus in 1980, Rainier Gonzalez, now 35, was a successful business owner and attorney when he was approached about buying a financially failing hospital in Cameron, La. He bought the hospital and created Pacer Health Corp., Miami Lakes, Fla., the company he now heads as chairman and chief executive officer. Today, the 5-year-old company owns three acute-care hospitals, one skilled-nursing facility, one psychiatric facility, a rural health clinic, two specialty practices and a multispecialty clinic and imaging center, all in the Southeast. Four of the firm’s five top executives are Cuban or Cuban-American.
Pauline Grant, 57, has been chief executive officer of North Broward Medical Center, the second-largest hospital in South Florida’s Broward Health system, since 2003. She is responsible for a 362-bed public hospital, Level II trauma center, and one of only three stroke centers in Florida to be certified by the Joint Commission. The hospital serves northern Broward County and southern Palm Beach County and has 1,400 employees. Grant joined Broward Health as director of ambulatory services, a position in which she was responsible for more than 14 community health centers. She began her career as a public health nutritionist with the Jamaican government before emigrating in 1979 to Florida, where she became healthcare administrator for the Seminole Tribe.
As chief operating officer of Catholic Healthcare Partners, Cincinnati, A. David Jimenez, 55, oversees several system executives and all of the system’s regional CEOs. Over his career, he has driven several major turnarounds at hospitals, and in his current role has shown his commitment to diversity by mentoring young minority healthcare leaders, helping to establish CHP’s Diversity Health Fellowship program, and helping to create the system’s Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion, intended to foster a culture of representation and inclusion throughout CHP.
As president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, Kevin Lofton, 53, oversees the nation’s second-largest Roman Catholic healthcare system, with 56 acute-care hospitals and 42 long-term-care and residential-care centers in 20 states. Before being named CEO of the $8 billion organization, Lofton was its executive vice president and chief operating officer for four years. He also is the immediate past chairman of the American Hospital Association and served from 1995 to 1997 as the president of the National Association of Health Services Executives, a not-for-profit association of black healthcare executives.
As president and chief executive officer of the Harris County Hospital District in Houston, the three-hospital public system for the nation’s third most populous county, David Lopez knows the challenges of treating the uninsured and underinsured. Before being named to the top job in April 2005, Lopez, 55, was chief operating officer of the hospital district. Over the course of his 30-year career in hospital administration, he has served in numerous other positions, including senior executive director of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The son of a Pentecostal minister, Lopez says he sees his hospital work as part of his life’s “missionary purpose.”
Last year was a good one for Rodney Miller, 35. He was installed as the president of the National Association of Health Services Executives, and he became administrator of 690-bed Memorial Regional Hospital, in Hollywood, Fla., in December. Before arriving at Memorial Regional, he spent five years in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where as president and CEO of Schneider Regional Medical Center he helped double its revenue, build a $20 million cancer institute, and improve the hospital’s patient-satisfaction levels. He was the first alumnus of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management’s summer enrichment program to reach the rank of hospital CEO.
As chief operating officer of Ascension Health’s St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, Fla., Gene Miyamoto is in charge of the strategic and operational development of a 480-bed tertiary teaching medical center. Before arriving at St. Vincent’s earlier this year, he was COO at Trinity Health’s 286-bed Battle Creek (Mich.) Health System, where during his tenure a new surgery center, cancer center and bed tower were constructed, and net income rose from $4.4 million in fiscal 2002 to $34.7 million in fiscal 2007. Miyamoto, 53, says he has been privileged to lead and participate in diversity development within both Ascension and Trinity.
Cynthia Moore-Hardy, 50, spent nine years in nursing before deciding to go into hospital administration. Within another nine years, she had risen from assistant administrator of cardiology services at Lake Hospital System, Painesville, Ohio, to president and chief executive officer of the system, positions she has held since 1997. She is currently overseeing the development of a new “smart hospital” in nearby Concord Township, Ohio—the first new hospital to be built in northeast Ohio in nearly 40 years—that will incorporate digital, wireless and interactive technology. She also has partnered with area physicians and the Cleveland Clinic to bring new services to the community.
As executive vice president and chief operating officer of 560-bed Sparrow Health System, Lansing, Mich., Andrea Price holds the No. 2 executive position overseeing a system that includes two acute-care hospitals and a specialty hospital. In addition to recruiting a chief executive officer and developing a turnaround plan for 25-bed Ionia County (Mich.) Memorial Hospital, Price, 48, designed and implemented a coaching and mentoring program to refine the leadership skills of those in upper management. Before arriving at Sparrow in 2006, she spent 10 years as the executive vice president and COO, including stints as the interim president and CEO, at Hurley Medical Center, a 461-bed public teaching hospital in Flint, Mich.
A board-certified cardiologist and internist, Prem Reddy, 58, is the founder and board chairman of Prime Healthcare Services, Victorville, Calif. The privately held company owns and operates nine acute-care hospitals in Southern California. Reddy has said he is willing to buy financially failing hospitals to get a market presence, and part of his philosophy is a focus on emergency room operations and tight cost controls. Born in a rural village in India, Reddy and his wife immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. After completing residency training in New York, he moved to California, founded a multispecialty medical group in 1985 and in 1994 built a new facility, Desert Valley Hospital, Wildomar, Calif.
As chief executive officer of Florida Hospital Celebration Health, Monica Reed, 45, serves not only Floridians but also the many tourists who visit Walt Disney World, Sea World Orlando (Fla.) and other theme parks in the area. Before becoming CEO in 2006, Reed was senior medical officer at Florida Hospital in Orlando. A board certified obstetrician/gynecologist, Reed has also served as medical director of the Center for Women’s Health at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, director of the Loch Haven OB/GYN Group at Florida Hospital and associate director of the Family Practice Residency Program at Florida Hospital. She also co-authored a book on how to improve health through lifestyle changes.
Vice Adm. Adam Robinson Jr. is the first minority officer to attain the position of Navy Surgeon General and chief of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He oversees a $3.2 billion annual budget and spearheads diversity training for more than 40,000 people involved in naval medicine. Robinson, 57, a colorectal surgeon, led the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., during a critical time, receiving casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan. Following concerns over quality of care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007, an investigatory commission established by President Bush called the naval medical center a benchmark for caring for those wounded in combat and their families.
As vice president and chief medical information officer at the Palo Alto (Calif.) Medical Foundation, physician Paul Tang oversees clinical information systems that include an electronic health-record system and integrated personal health-record system. Tang, 54, is also a past board chairman of the American Medical Informatics Association and a member of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, the federal advisory committee on health information policy. An internist, he also is a consulting associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.
As executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at insurer UnitedHealth Group, physician Reed Tuckson, 57, is charged with improving patient-physician relationships and healthcare quality. He has spent much of his career examining the link between health status and social environment, serving as the commissioner of public health in the District of Columbia and as president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Central Los Angeles, one of four historically black academic medical centers.
Ronald Williams is chairman and chief executive officer of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest private insurers. Williams, 58, joined Aetna in 2001, was named president in 2002, and was named CEO and chairman in 2006. Under his leadership, Aetna became the first national insurer to offer a consumer-directed health plan, and he has led efforts to improve transparency by launching a new online consumer tool to view physician-specific price information. Before joining Aetna, he was a divisional group president at WellPoint Health Networks and president of its Blue Cross of California subsidiary.
Since August 2007, Eugene Woods has overseen the integration of seven Kentucky hospitals into Catholic Health Initiatives’ second-largest regional organization, St. Joseph Health System. Before becoming chief executive officer of the new group, Woods, 43, had been president and CEO of St. Joseph HealthCare, a four-hospital system of CHI hospitals based in Lexington, Ky., that was consolidated into the larger group. Under his leadership, St. Joseph acquired Berea (Ky.) Hospital and turned around more than a decade of losses to make it profitable. He also pushed for a certificate of need for Jessamine County’s first emergency room and led many expansions and renovations within the system.
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