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April 20, 2018

TIME's '100 Most Influential': Which health leaders made the list in 2018?

Daily Briefing

    TIME on Thursday released its annual "100 Most Influential People" list, showcasing several health care leaders.

    12 Things CEOs Need to Know in 2018

    TIME's Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal in an introduction to the list wrote, "Time's annual list of the world's most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now."

    Health care leaders named to this year's TIME 100 include:

    • Ann McKee, who leads Boston University's chronic traumatic encephalopathy lab, has pioneered "great scientific breakthroughs" in the field of degenerative brain disease, writes Chris Borland—a former NFL player who credits McKee's work with influencing his decision to quit professional football. Borland says McKee has stood the course in her research, "tell[ing] the truth," despite criticism from the football industry and personal attacks. McKee's work "may have saved my life," he adds.

    • Carl June, professor of immunotherapy at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, whose "research … created" the CAR T-cell therapy for leukemia, according to Emily Whitehead, one of June's patients. Whitehead, who is 12-years-old and founder of the nonprofit Emily Whitehead Foundation, calls him her hero. She writes, "Without him, I wouldn't be here today writing this—and my parents and I wouldn't be helping other kids beat cancer."

    • Jan Rader, fire chief in Huntington, West Virginia, and the first woman to lead a professional fire department has been integral to fighting the opioid epidemic, writes Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Manchin says Rader "has saved countless lives and has been unrelenting in her commitment to help people struggling with substance-use disorders return to lead productive lives." Through it all, Manchin says, Rader's "strength and compassion never waver."

    • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, whose "relentless attention to consumers is not defined by any boundaries," writes JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, adding, "As Amazon has grown and Jeff has set his sights on media, entertainment, fresh produce (!), space travel and recently (in a joint effort with us) health care, among other areas, he has never lost sight of the millions of people he is serving." (Amazon, JP, and Berkshire Hathaway recently announced plans for a joint health care venture.)

    • Ken Frazier, president and CEO of Merck, "is among the most influential chief executives of the 21st century," Vernon Jordan, an attorney and civil rights leader, writes. At the helm of Merck, Frazier directed the company to boost investment "in bold, lifesaving treatments," Jordan writes. In addition, according to Jordan, Frazier has been vocal about civil rights, recently opposing President Trump's response to the events in Charlottesville.

    • Nice Nailantei Leng'ete, who has been a vocal advocate against ritualized female genital mutilation, according to Jaha Dukureh, CEO and founder of Safe Hands for Girls. Leng'ete has worked with village elders, "who traditionally have not worked with women," to persuade them to adopt coming-of-age ceremonies that are "healthier for girls and better for communities," Dukureh writes.

    • Giuliano Testa, a kidney and liver transplant specialist at Baylor University Medical Center, who pioneered uterus transplantation in the United States, according to one of Testa's patients, writing anonymously for Time. The patient, who gave birth to the first baby born via uterus transplant in the United States, writes, Testa "had worked so hard to make this happen—not just for me, but for the millions of families who have been told that parenthood through pregnancy is impossible."

    Honorable mentions

    The TIME list also spotlighted some individuals who may not typically focus on health care-related work, but whose influence recently affected the health care industry. Those individuals include:

    • Jimmy Kimmel, the late night talk show host who used his television program as a platform to speak out about his son Billy's lifesaving treatment for a congenital heart condition. House Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) writes, Kimmel "looked into the camera and told all of us in Washington to get real about health insurance and make sure every baby Billy had a fighting chance." Kimmel made his comments at a time when Republicans in Congress were pushing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who worked "tirelessly" during the ACA debates to see that "women weren't left behind," writes Cecile Richards, the outgoing president of Planned Parenthood and a former Pelosi staffer. Richards credits Pelosi's leadership with ensuring that women cannot be charged more for insurance because of gender or be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Richards also highlights Pelosi's work to promote greater access to preventive care, such as contraceptives.

    • Prince Harry, who's been passionate about fighting the global AIDS epidemic and reducing the stigma around mental health conditions, Elton John writes. Prince Harry also has created the Invictus Games, which "give dignity and hope to injured armed services personnel and veterans by offering a spectacular and inspirational global competition in sport," John adds (Felsenthal, TIME, 4/19; "100 Most Influential People" list, TIME, accessed 4/20).

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