Top 25 Emerging Leaders
Laura Fegraus, 37
Vice president of external affairs, communications and brand, Permanente Federation
The closing of a local steel mill in the early 1980s transformed how Laura Fegraus understood healthcare. When the mill -- which employed her father and many members of her community -- closed, it became significantly difficult for him to obtain healthcare benefits for their family. Although both of Fegraus' parents worked, this remained difficult as they sought other jobs.
"Obtaining and keeping health insurance that we could purchase on the individual market was a real problem for our family. We avoided seeking care due to cost and access issues," she said.
In which TV medical drama would you star? "Grey's Anatomy"
What musician would you dream of having perform at your next birthday celebration? Ray LaMontagne
What superhero are you? Wonder Woman
Since then, Fegraus has used communication and strategy to reimagine and demystify navigating the American healthcare system for consumers.
While at The Permanente Federation, Fegraus has built a new brand identity for The Permanente Medical Groups and worked to position company executives as thought leaders across the industry. Her strategic plans have helped the system achieve pivotal financial and clinical goals.
Fegraus' mother passed away from late-stage cancer at 45 years old. Though she had insurance, her care was uncoordinated. Her mother lived nine months after her diagnosis.
"Being sick shouldn't be as hard as it really is in this country. My lifelong commitment to a career in healthcare really comes from a deep desire to improve the system for the patients who rely on it in the most challenging, and most joyous, moments in their lives," Fegraus said.