Designating the Up & Comers among young healthcare leaders is no easy task. But if the past is prologue, the 12 men and women highlighted in this special issue of Modern Healthcare will clearly be people to watch in the years ahead.
Up & Comers - 2013
This year has brought with it much of the turmoil that has swirled around healthcare for the past decade. While the industry is the fastest growing in the U.S., senior managers at hospitals and other organizations continue to wrestle with unique, unanticipated operational and strategic conundrums.
See a text list of this year's 12 Up & Comers.
Maybe Beth Feldpush's training in ballet is where she developed the poise that people say is one of her best traits as a healthcare leader.Feldpush, 37, is currently on maternity leave (she and her husband, Rajiv Verma, are parents to daughter Dahlia, 3½, and newborn son Declan) from her position as senior vice president of policy and advocacy at America's Essential Hospitals, which represents the nation's safety net providers.
When Anuj Desai thinks about information technology interoperability, it's not in the common healthcare context of barriers to health data exchange, but rather, with a view to its infinite possibilities.Desai is vice president of market development for the New York eHealth Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2007 to promote interoperable health information technology in the Empire State.
As an anesthesia resident, Dr. Peter Fleischut approached leadership at New York-Presbyterian Hospital with a proposal: Why not create a formal forum for his fellow residents to join in patient-safety initiatives? Dr. Richard Liebowitz, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the 2,264-bed teaching hospital, can recall his reaction to the suggestion: “Why hadn't anybody thought about this before?”
In the old days, injured veterans returning from combat in World War II thought nothing of staying three or four men to a hospital room when they arrived stateside to begin post-war life.
Patty Kehoe, president of Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, says the first impressions she had of her Medicaid managed-care plan's chief medical officer, Dr. Irene Krokos, revolved around her creativity and the way she looked for opportunities to be innovative.Krokos, who took over as CMO in May 2012, says it's the qualities of New Mexico—not the least of which include being large in area but small in population—that require her to be creative.
It shouldn't have been a surprise that Brett Lee would one day work in the field of healthcare, given his family background. Raised in a household where his mother worked as a nurse and his father was a primary-care physician, Lee learned the value of providing care for others while growing up in the rural town of McAlester, Okla.
A native Upstate New Yorker, Sean Sondej came to Durham, N.C., in July 2003 to attend the administrative fellowship program at Duke University Health System and has never left.“I thought I would come here for a few years and eventually go back to New York,” Sondej says. But he adds that, now he thinks he'll “stay at Duke a while,” as long as he's doing the best he can, likes what he's doing and continues to enjoy the academic environment.
The way Airica Steed sees it, there was never any doubt she would pursue a career in healthcare.Every woman in her family was a nurse, including her mother—a pediatric nurse and the person she calls her first role model. “I wanted to follow in her footsteps,” says Steed, 35.
When Sean Tinney first began college as a freshman at Auburn University, he thought about entering the healthcare field, but as a physician, not an administrator. Then somewhere between an anatomy course—“I thought maybe this is not for me”—and the realization that he enjoyed business, Tinney decided a major in healthcare administration might be the better career path.
Henry Thompson faced a wide range of challenges when he first took over as CEO of the Community Health Center of Richmond, a federally qualified health center on New York's Staten Island.
Determining where a healthcare provider should devote its resources to improve quality is no small feat. It's easy to get lost in the barrage of metrics that healthcare administrators need to sort through, but Grady Health System in Atlanta was fortunate to have the services of Chad VanDenBerg.
When Beth Walker arrived at Ochsner Health System in 2001 to begin an administrative fellowship, the New Orleans-based organization was a one-hospital operation.Twelve years later, it has grown to six hospitals with 1,200 beds, and the number of physicians it employs has tripled. Walker, 36, is chief operating officer of Ochsner Medical Center, the system's flagship, and her career growth has paralleled Ochsner's expansion.