What you need to know about the forces reshaping our industry.


April 6, 2018

The industry’s 'Top 25 Minority Executives,' according to Modern Healthcare

Daily Briefing

    Modern Healthcare has released its biennial list of the "Top 25 Minority Executives in Health Care," recognizing executives who are "influencing the policy and care delivery models across the country."

    Modern Healthcare accepted nominations from all sectors within the health care industry, including:

    • Government;
    • Health systems;
    • Hospitals;
    • Insurance;
    • Patients' rights groups;
    • Physician organizations; and
    • Vendors.

    To be eligible for the list, candidates needed to be considered a minority as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau: African-American, American Indian, Asian, Latino, Pacific Islander, or multiracial.

    2018 honorees

    Modern Healthcare's top 25 minority executives for 2018 are:

    • Andrea Willis, SVP and CMO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee (Chattanooga, Tennessee);
    • Bernard Tyson, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, California);
    • Beverly Malone, CEO of the National League for Nursing (Washington, D.C.);
    • Debra Canales, EVP and chief administrative officer of Providence St. Joseph Health (Renton, Washington);
    • Dennis Pullin, president and CEO of Virtua (Marlton, New Jersey);
    • Garth Graham, president of Aetna Foundation (Hartford, Connecticut);
    • Gene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health (Charlotte, North Carolina);
    • Janet Liang, president of the Northern California region for Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, California);
    • Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives (Englewood, Colorado);
    • Leana Wen, health commissioner for Baltimore;
    • Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health (San Francisco);
    • Michael Ugwueke, president and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (Memphis, Tennessee);
    • Michellene Davis, EVP and chief corporate affairs officer for RWJBarnabas Health (West Orange, New Jersey);
    • Nicole Thomas, president of Baptist Medical Center South (Jacksonville, Florida);
    • Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, president and CEO of Urban Health Plan (New York City);
    • Pamela Sutton-Wallace, CEO of University of Virginia Medical Center (Charlottesville, Virginia);
    • Patricia Maryland, president and CEO of Ascension Healthcare (St. Louis);
    • Rhonda Medows, EVP of population health at Providence St. Joseph Health (Renton, Washington);
    • Richard Shinto, president and CEO of InnovaCare Health (Fort Lee, New Jersey);
    • Sachin Jain, president and CEO of CareMore Health (Cerritos, California);
    • Sandra Johnson, VP and chief revenue officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore);
    • Stephen Lockhart, CMO of Sutter Health (Sacramento, California);
    • Terika Richardson, president of Advocate Trinity and South Suburban Hospital (Chicago);
    • Tracy Carter, VP of government relations at MetroHealth System (Cleveland); and
    • Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System (Detroit).

    Modern Healthcare's minority executives to watch for 2018 are:

    • Alex Nunez, CFO of Arizona Care Network (Phoenix);
    • Eleanor Ramirez, chief of hospital operations at Verity Health (Redwood City, California);
    • Jaewon Ryu, EVP and CMO of Geisinger Health (Danville, Pennsylvania);
    • Jesse Cureton, EVP and chief consumer officer of Novant Health (Winston-Salem, North Carolina);
    • Karen Morrison, president of OhioHealth Foundation (Columbus, Ohio);
    • Mario Garner, VP and COO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, League City Freestanding ER, and Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital (Houston, Texas; Pearland, Texas);
    • Ronnie Ursin, president and CEO of Jennersville Hospital (West Grove, Pennsylvania);
    • Saurabh Tripathi, SVP and CFO of Fresenius Kidney Care (Washington, D.C.);
    • Sreyram Kuy, associate chief of staff at Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center (Houston); and
    • Tommye Austin, CNO of University Health System (San Antonio, Texas).

    A work in progress

    In a letter accompanying the list, Modern Healthcare editor Aurora Aguilar writes that even though minorities represent only 11% of executives in the health care industry, "these leaders are leaving a lasting imprint on their communities and the industry as a whole."

    Aguilar writes that Modern Healthcare aimed to "spotlight more recent achievements" with its list and to recognize those who "worked hard over the past year to address inequities in care." She added that all of the executives listed are "making a difference in the industry and their communities. And their professions" (Modern Healthcare list, accessed 2/27; Modern Healthcare methodology, accessed 2/27; Aguilar, Modern Healthcare, 2/24).

    How to address health inequity in your community

    With the shift in health care to focus on optimizing the health of individuals and communities, health care organizations are creating new strategies to address health care disparities in access and patient outcomes.

    Advisory Board has created the Health Disparities Initiative, which provides actionable resources on a series of strategic imperatives and special topics to achieve equity of care. Interested in seeing research or resources that address your biggest health equity problems?

    Download our resource, "Building Community Partnerships to Reduce Disparities," which includes studies featuring providers who have successfully partnered with community organizations to address health disparities and social determinants of health. You'll also find tools that can guide your organization’s community partnership strategy.

    Download the Resource

    Interested in learning more about Optum Advisory Services Inclusion and Health Equity Practice? Click here to email our team and learn how we can help your organization.

    Have a Question?


    Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.