TIME's '100 Most Influential': The 6 health care leaders on the list

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

TIME Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs in her introduction to the lists reflects that "every year new themes emerge" in the list, and this year she is "struck by how many people on the list—from Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard J. Tyson to singer Demi Lovato to Broadway star Ben Platt—have made mental health a special focus of their work."

According to the list, the most influential leaders in health care are:

  • Bernard J. Tyson. Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, heads one of the largest not-for-profit health plans in the country, with more than 11.3 million members. In his role, Tyson has "focused on public health and preventive care, rather than just treating disease, seeking to provide high-quality, affordable, accessible health care to all of its members," U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) writes. Further, Tyson has used his position to bring mental and emotional health—"an often overlooked aspect of medicine"—to the forefront," Lewis writes.

  • Celina Turchi. Today, most people associate Zika virus with birth defects. The evidence for that connection is due in large part to the work of Turchi, an infectious diseases specialist in the Brazilian city that became "the epicenter of the first major outbreak of Zika-associated microcephaly," former CDC director Tom Frieden writes, adding, "Turchi worked around the clock, missing meals and sleep to figure out what was going on." According to Frieden, Turchi's research was "part of an emergency investigation that ultimately proved that Zika does indeed cause microcephaly—something many skeptics doubted."

  • George Church. Church, a biological engineer who studies the human genome, "offers humanity a bag of powerful potential gifts," Stephen Colbert, a comedian and host of "The Late Show," writes. While some accuse Church of "'playing God,'" Colbert writes Church's "contribution to genetic research and the imagination he brings to its application may change the entire world and our experience of life itself."

  • Glenda Gray. Gray, who worked to desegregate hospitals in South Africa as a young medical student, saw during her training as a pediatrician that the fight against HIV involved targeting not only the virus itself but stigma as well. Her work on mother-to-child transmission, TIME executive editor Siobhan O'Connor writes, helped reduce the number of infants born with HIV from 600,000 each year to 150,000.

  • James Allison. Allison is an immunologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center who created the drug that gave rise to "a new generation of immunotherapy treatments that experts hope will be less toxic and more aggressive" than current treatment, TIME senior health writer Alice Park writes. According to Park, Allison's discoveries "have already saved thousands of lives" and are "forever changing what it means to have cancer."

  • Melinda Gates. The work of the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation "reflects [Melinda Gates'] impatient optimism," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg writes. As one example, Sandberg highlights Melinda Gates' "passionate commitment to empowering women and girls," which is "seen in the foundation's support for increasing access to contraceptives in developing countries" (Gibbs, TIME, 4/20; TIME list, accessed 4/20).

12 things CEOs need to know in 2017

12 things CEOs need to know in 2017

The continued growth of the consumer-driven health care market threatens the durability of patient-provider relationships—and, at the same time, the push toward population health management and risk-based payment is greater than ever.

Hospitals and health systems must adopt a two-pronged strategy to respond to these pressures and serve both public payers and the private sector.

At the core of that strategy? A formula of accessible, reliable, and affordable care that wins consumer preferences and drives loyalty over time. Below, we share 12 key insights for senior executives working to create a consumer-focused health system.

Download the research brief


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