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


April 24, 2017

The 33 leaders shaking up the health care industry, according to Fortune

Daily Briefing

    Fortune has released its list of "Leaders Who Are Changing Health Care," which includes luminaries and admired executives working on issues ranging from regenerative medicine to social determinants of health.

    Fortune categorized the 33 leaders on its list as "advocates," "corporate innovators," "discoverers," "disrupters," "risk-takers," or "visionaries."


    • Kathy Giusti, the founder of the Multiple Myeloma ­Research Foundation and creator of what Fortune describes as "the most successful patient advocacy model on the planet—one that, importantly, gets patients, researchers, and industry to sit at the same table"; 
    • Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who focuses on deadly infectious diseases—and was one of the first people to warn about the dangers of Zika virus;
    • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala/Seth Berkley, who are board chair and CEO of GAVI, a not-for-profit organization that has significantly boosted vaccine access in 73 of the world's poorest countries;
    • Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at University of Minnesota, and a "persuasive exponent of the need to do more to prevent the next global pandemic," according to Fortune;
    • Raj Panjabi, physician and CEO of Last Mile Health, who helped combat the Ebola virus in his home country of Liberia, potentially saving thousands of people;  and
    • Greg Simon, the behind-the-scenes visionary instrumental in the White House Cancer Moonshot. 

    Corporate innovators

    • Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, which is working to advance the state of population health;
    • Joe Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, who has pushed to expand health care infrastructure in the developing world; 
    • Sandi Peterson, the group worldwide chair of Johnson & Johnson, who is "leading the charge to transform the $72 billion, 131-year-old giant into a cutting-edge health technology company," according to Fortune;
    • Sue Siegel, the CEO of GE Ventures and Healthymagination, who leads innovation and growth initiatives at GE in partnerships with its med-tech division; and
    • Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, one of the country's most innovative health care organizations, and an essential voice in ongoing debates about health reform, diversity in health care, and other topics.


    • Jim Allison, chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, whose "pioneering" work enabled the discovery of checkpoint inhibitors, a major breakthrough in the fight against cancer;
    • Jennifer Doudna/Emmanuelle Charpentier, of the University of California, Berkeley and Max Planck Institute, respectively, who have used the genetic engineering technique CRISPR to create a tool which Fortune reports may "one day 'edit' many diseases right out of our genomes";
    • Geraldine Hamilton, the president and chief scientific officer at Emulate, which develops technology that may upend how food and drugs are tested for safety; and
    • Laura Niklason, the founder of Humacyte, whose "efforts to engineer vascular and lung tissue have put her in the vanguard of regenerative medicine," according to Fortune.


    • Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth, who is a fierce advocate for care transformation and the transformative power of technology in health care;
    • Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, which Fortune says aims to "prevent diabetes in people on the cusp of developing it by using a digital scale, a smartphone app, and an online support community";
    • Arianna Huffington, CEO—among other roles—of Thrive Global, who champions sleep is an essential productivity tool;
    • Rebecca Onie, CEO of Health Leads, which helps connect patients with resources that address the social determinants of health; and
    • Sean Parker, president of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which Fortune describes as "a model for academic collaboration, data sharing, and the challenges of managing [intellectual property] in science."


    • Michael Gilman, the founder and CEO of Arrakis Therapeutics, which is working to create medicines that target the genetic material RNA;
    • Katherine Kuzmeskas, the CEO of SimplyVital Health, who  aims to leverage blockchain—a digital ledger technology—to build better EHR and revenue cycle systems;
    • Vivek Ramaswamy, the CEO of Roivant Sciences, whose various companies are "working to treat everything from Alzheimer's to cancer," according to Fortune;
    • Bryan Roberts, a partner at Venrock and a "buoyant supporter of digital health innovation," who has picked a series of winning health care investments; and
    • Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, the only company in the United States that FDA has approved to sell genetic health-risk reports directly to consumers.


    • Joe Biden, who is working to make his "cancer moonshot" research initiative a success;
    • Bill and Melinda Gates/Sue Desmond-Hellmann, who are partnering to tackle diseases such as polio and malaria;
    • Atul Gawande, an accomplished surgeon and writer, who offers critical insights on the problems in American health care—and ways to fix them; and
    • Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whose research helps show that addiction is a disease of the brain rather than a moral failing (Fortune, 4/20).

    Hear from other influential health care leaders

    See the Daily Briefing's archive of must-read interviews with other top hospital and health system leaders, including:

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    Some CEOs talk about 'my team.' Here's why UNC Health Care's CEO won't.

    William Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care, talks about the state of academic medical centers, assuming more downside risk, and his favorite quote from President Ronald Reagan. Read our interview with William.

    They told her she was 'too empathetic' of a leader. Now Penny Wheeler runs a 13-hospital, $3.5 billion system.

    Allina Health's president and CEO talks about her system's plan to "disrupt the market," why she wishes Allina still had its health plan, and more. Read our interview with Penny.

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