The hallmarks of greatness

Diversity. Innovation. Service.

Healthcare organizations striving to achieve greatness must incorporate those values into their mission. The careers of this year's three inductees into Modern Healthcare's Health Care Hall of Fame embodied those values and set benchmarks for others to follow.

Dr. Vivian Pinn spent a long and distinguished career as a medical educator breaking down barriers. She was the only African-American and woman in the class of 1967 at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She was the first full-time director of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Research on Women's Health. She opened doors for others to follow.

Yet she considers her greatest achievement mentoring young African-American and women physicians during the early stages of their careers. Over the past four decades, she helped create a more diverse physician workforce that will be better equipped to meet the needs of our rapidly changing society.

Dr. Henry Plummer would have been chosen for inclusion in the Hall of Fame long ago if it had an old-timers committee. Though the Mayo Clinic pioneer passed away in 1936 at age 62, nothing could be more modern than his invention of the consolidated medical record, bringing together in one place (on paper in those days) all the necessary data for physicians to treat patients, whether in their hospital beds, clinics or offices. No wonder Mayo's current revamp of its electronic health record system is called the Plummer Project.

Dr. Plummer was an innovator in clinical practice and research, too. He created the team-based approach to care, bringing together physicians from multiple specialties to treat a single patient. He also conducted pioneering studies in the identification of thyroid disease, his specialty.

Larry Mathis, who spent his entire career at Methodist Hospital in Houston and served as its CEO for 15 years, was a pioneer in recognizing that great service at a hospital—from the front desk to discharge—not only won the loyalty of patients, but provided a superior healing environment. After leading men in combat during the Vietnam War, Mathis wanted to do “something serious, something important” that would have an “enormous impact on people's lives.”

If you read his profile, along with the others on the following pages, you will understand why all of this year's inductees into the Hall of Fame succeeded in having that impact.


Deborah Bowen
President and CEO, American College of Healthcare Executives

Teri Fontenot
President and CEO, Woman's Hospital
Baton Rouge, La.

Douglas Hawthorne
Former CEO, Texas Health Resources

Dr. William Jessee
Managing director and senior adviser for physician services, Integrated Healthcare Strategies
Kansas City, Mo.

Kevin Lofton
CEO, Catholic Health Initiatives
Englewood, Colo.

Fawn Lopez
Vice president and publisher, Modern Healthcare