100 Most Influential People in Healthcare
Debra Cafaro, 58
Chairman and CEO, Ventas
- Compensation: $10,923,710 - according to 2016 proxy statement
- Years on list: 3
Cafaro, a lawyer by training, became CEO of a small real estate investment trust named Ventas in 1999. At the time, the REIT's largest tenant was in financial straits and in danger of filing for bankruptcy. It ultimately did file, but under the leadership of Cafaro and her team, it was just a minor setback. Today Ventas is one of the nation's largest REITs with a portfolio of more than 1,200 properties, mostly senior housing and medical office buildings. Last year, Ventas closed on a complex $1.75 billion deal involving healthcare provider Ardent Health Services, acquiring the real estate assets but spinning off hospital operations into a separate entity.