The late Bernard Tyson was never one to be satisfied with the status quo. He envisioned a healthcare system that can do more not only for patients, but for the community at large.
“We’ve reached an important inflection point for healthcare in America. How we think about health—and define the outcomes we expect—must change. Making significant progress will require a broader, more collaborative approach to improve the health of our nation,” he wrote in a Modern Healthcare commentary in 2018. “The question I am asking every healthcare leader, group and organization with a stake in our collective health is this: Who better to help address the factors so critical to our health than the experts who understand the population, the problems, the diseases and the steps necessary to make progress?”
Many count Tyson, who died unexpectedly in November at the age of 60, as a giant who worked to hasten healthcare’s transformation for the better over the course of his more than 30-year career at Kaiser Permanente, including serving as CEO since 2013. He propelled the integrated delivery system to take on the some of the nation’s most challenging issues, including homelessness, hunger, gun violence and behavioral health. He led Kaiser’s “Thrive” advertising campaign, which focuses on the health system’s dedication to preventive medicine and making healthcare accessible to members anytime, anywhere.
For his impact on health and healthcare, Tyson is being inducted into the Modern Healthcare Health Care Hall of Fame. Tyson will be honored during the Health Care Hall of Fame Awards Gala, March 22 in Chicago.
Tyson appeared on Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential in Healthcare six times and on Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare biennial list four of the last five times it was published.
“As CEO of one of the largest healthcare organizations in the country, he could have been the flashy CEO who talked about what America should be doing to fix its healthcare system. Instead, he led by action—working on diversifying his own workforce, and talking about the basic truths that few CEOs do,” Dr. Ashish Jha, a health policy professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote in an email in November.