In addition to being mostly male, the CEOs of the largest not-for-profit health systems are also overwhelmingly white.
Only a few of the 50 largest not-for-profit health systems by revenue were led by people of color in 2018, the latest year for which salary information is available, highlighting the need for racial diversity in healthcare leadership.
Members of minority groups made up 37% of the U.S. population in 2015, but just 11% of hospital executive leadership positions, according to the most recent survey from the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management.
“Health systems and hospitals themselves can commit to advancing diversity and including persons from historically marginalized populations in their leadership and governing bodies,” AHA CEO Rick Pollack told Modern Healthcare in an email.
Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente’s late CEO Bernard Tyson, who died in November, became Kaiser’s first Black CEO in 2013, and spent 34 years with the health system. He was also the highest-paid CEO across the systems reviewed for 2018, according to Modern Healthcare’s analysis. In January, Modern Healthcare named Tyson a member of its Health Care Hall of Fame. Gregory A. Adams, who is Black, has since taken over as CEO.
Wright Lassiter III, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, is also Black. He joined the system in 2014 and has been CEO since 2016. Lassiter was among Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Leaders in Healthcare in 2020 for his work promoting economic opportunity in Henry Ford’s Detroit headquarters, including sponsoring apprenticeship programs with the city. Henry Ford is also a founding member of the national Healthcare Anchor Network.
Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health is currently led by two Black men: longtime industry leaders Lloyd Dean and Kevin Lofton. Both were also named among Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Leaders in Healthcare this year. Dean, formerly the CEO of Dignity Health before its merger with Catholic Health Initiatives, has dedicated his career to eliminating the social disparities that are the root causes of so many health issues.
Dean will become the health system’s sole CEO when Lofton retires at the end of June. Lofton will have served 17 years as CEO of CHI, the predecessor organization to CommonSpirit. Over the course of his career, Lofton has worked to increase equity in healthcare and bring down health disparities. He was the founding chair of the American Hospital Association’s Equity of Care initiative.
Eugene Woods was not included in the initial list of CEO of not-for-profit organizations because Atrium Health legally is a public health entity, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority. Still, system leaders and others often refer to the organization as a not-for-profit system. Woods, also is Black, and recently wrote about the importance of pushing for equity.
Dr. Philip Ozuah, a Black man who is CEO of Montefiore Medicine, a large system based in Bronx, New York, wasn't included on the list. He was hired in November and his salary also was not available. As Ozuah's salary becomes available on tax forms, he will be included in any future rankings or lists when appropriate.