50 Most Influential Clinical Executives
Executive VP and chief quality officer, Henry Ford Health System; CEO, Henry Ford Medical Group,
Henry Ford Health System
Dr. William Conway went off to medical school because he couldn't see himself managing the thriving soft-serve ice cream business his father had built in Philadelphia. Looking back, Conway jokes, running Mister Softee and the 300 trucks his dad had ringing through the neighborhoods would have been simple compared with managing the 1,200 employed physicians of the Henry Ford Medical Group in Detroit. "Now I have worse headaches than he ever had," Conway, 69, said with a laugh. Conway, now in his 42nd year at Henry Ford Health, said the group and the other 2,000 physicians in the five-hospital system have gone through profound changes over the past three years, including the systemwide installation of a new electronic health record system that provides patients with a portal to view their tests and schedule appointments. Conway agreed to manage the group after serving as the system's chief quality officer for several years. Over that time, the system has won several honors for quality, including the National Business Group on Health-Patient Safety Leadership Award, the John Eisenberg Award for the system's "No Harm" campaign and a 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.