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October 17, 2019

The top 25 'emerging leaders' in health care, according to Modern Healthcare

Daily Briefing

    Modern Healthcare on Tuesday released its 33rd annual list of "Emerging Leaders" (formerly called "Up & Comers"), recognizing young health care leaders who are making a big difference in the industry.

    Tool: Diagnose and pinpoint leaders' strengths and development needs


    For the list, Modern Healthcare readers nominated promising young health care leaders serving at various levels of provider, insurance, policy, supplier, and vendor organizations. To be eligible for the list, nominees had to be 40 years old or younger. From the nominees provided, Modern Healthcare selected its "Emerging Leaders" based on actions the nominee has taken to:

    • Establish a culture of innovation and transformation within their organization; and
    • Help their organization achieve or exceed its financial, operational, and clinical goals.

    2019's 'Emerging Leaders'

    This year's list features 25 leaders.


    This year, 19 emerging leaders at provider institutions made the list:

    Hyung Cho, chief value officer at NYC Health & Hospitals (New York). Cho has worked to reduce unnecessary testing and procedures within the New York City public health system. These efforts are projected to save $3 million annually. Before joining NYC Health & Hospitals in December 2018, Cho led quality, safety, and value at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he oversaw the implementation of projects that saved Mount Sinai $1.2 million.

    Daniel Deslatte, SVP of business affairs and external relations at University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (Tyler, Texas). Deslatte helped to increase external funding for the University of Texas, including $11.4 million in state appropriations. In addition, his work was key to the success of Ardent Health Services' move to acquire East Texas Medical Center and form a new health system, according to Modern Healthcare.

    Kapil Dhingra, physician in chief at Permanente Medical Group (San Leandro, California). During his time at Permanente, Dhingra has overseen the launch of an on-site urgent care in San Leandro as well as the expansion of surgical services for transgender patients.

    Carter Dredge, chief transformation officer at SSM Health (St. Louis). Dredge has helped build SSM's strategy around CMS' value-based payment programs and has overseen SSM's direct-to-employer joint ventures. He is also responsible for the major expansion of SSM's telehealth services and was a key figure in the launch of a Civica Rx, the provider-led generic drug venture.

    Jennifer Dunphy, chief population health officer and SVP of Heritage Provider Network/Regal Medical Group (Northridge, California). Dunphy is Heritage's first-ever chief of population health and the organization's youngest executive at 33. Dunphy has also helped Heritage reduce readmissions by 69%, having implemented a program in which community health workers visit patients post-discharge.

    Brian Elisco, Texas group CFO at Tenet Healthcare Corp (Dallas). At Tenet, Elisco helped implement an initiative that provided greater access to care for psychiatric patients and helped relocate emergency observation beds into community settings.

    Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital (Newark, New Jersey). Before becoming University Hospital's president and CEO this past July, Elnahal served as New Jersey's health commissioner and helped reduce health disparities and barriers to medication-assisted treatment for people with opioid use disorders.

    Shikha Jain, assistant professor of medicine at Rush University Cancer Center (Chicago). Since joining Rush in December 2018, Jain has created the first neuroendocrine tumor board at the health system. According to Modern Healthcare, Jain has revamped Rush's neuroendocrine program entirely since coming to the institution, shifting it to an outpatient setting.

    Sarah Knodel, SVP of revenue cycle at Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas). At Baylor, Knodel has implemented an online pricing tool that allows patients to get real-time estimates of out-of-pocket costs, based on insurance benefits and contracted rates. She also created custom alerts that will appear in a patient's EHR when they are out-of-network and trying to schedule an appointment, which resulted in a 75% drop in scheduled out-of-network volume.

    Dave Lehr, VP and CIO at Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, Maryland). During his time at Anne Arundel, Lehr helped form an opioid stewardship committee that helped cut opioid prescription rates by 68%. In addition to his work at Anne Arundel, Lehr co-chairs the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives' opioid task force, which aims to spread best practices to help fight the opioid epidemic.

    Kimber Lockhart, chief technology officer at One Medical (New York). At One Medical, Lockhart has been focused on building digital tools that can help patients know when they need to see their physician, whether for routine physicals or cancer screenings. She has also led efforts to integrate mental health tools online, including a depression screening program.

    Theresa Madaline, health care epidemiologist at Montefiore Health System (New York). Madaline leads infection prevention at Montefiore and was a key figure during the measles outbreak in New York this year. During the outbreak, she helped institute new protocols at the health system, including screening ED visitors for measles.

    Christopher Moriates, assistant dean for health care value at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas). Moriates created the Discovering Value-Based Health Care online learning program at Dell Medical and helped the school and its teaching hospitals create a multidisciplinary care model to improve treatment for those suffering from opioid use disorder. Before his time at Dell, Moriates helped build a curriculum that taught medical students about costs and value at the University of California, San Francisco.

    Robert Neff, VP of digital solution development at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health (Philadelphia). Neff has helped spur innovation at Jefferson Health, creating clinical dashboards that provide clinicians real-time information for monitoring their patients.

    Geoff Price, co-founder and COO of Oak Street Health (Chicago). Price has helped Oak Street rapidly expand from one clinic in Chicago in 2012 to almost 50 clinics nationwide, Modern Healthcare reports. Price has also helped Oak Street forge partnerships with large health care organizations like Advocate Aurora Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

    Meghan Swarthout, division director of ambulatory and care transitions and pharmacy department at Johns Hopkins Health System (Baltimore). Swarthout developed a program for the pharmacy team at Johns Hopkins that helped coordinate prescriptions for patients prior to discharge, and implemented a post-discharge pharmacist home visit program. Both programs have resulted in a drop in readmissions that stem from medication of 54%, according to Modern Healthcare.

    Fahad Tahir, president and CEO of Ascension St. Thomas Midtown Hospital (Nashville) and St. Thomas West Hospital (Nashville). Tahir helped launch the St. Thomas Joint Replacement Institute and ushered in the first total artificial heart transplant program in Tennessee. In addition, Tahir partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee to implement a population health management program for Medicaid beneficiaries and other populations.

    Jhaymee Tynan, assistant VP of integration at Atrium Health (Charlotte, North Carolina). Tynan has helped Atrium expand, managing the day-to-day integration activities for mergers, acquisitions, and strategic combinations, and she was a key player in preparing Atrium and Navicent Health to combine, Modern Healthcare reports. She is also a leader in promoting diversity and mentoring minorities in North Carolina.

    Ryan Vega, executive director of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Innovation Ecosystem (Washington, D.C.). During his time with VHA, Vega has embedded innovation specialists across 36 VA medical centers and developed a competition to create solutions to spread across the VA. This has achieved $25 million in cost avoidance.


    This year, three emerging leaders who work for insurers made the list:

    Nicole Cooper, VP of social responsibility at UnitedHealthcare. Cooper's efforts at United have focused on expanding access to care and addressing the social determinants of health for the underserved and uninsured populations. Last year, Cooper helped United develop national, community-based public-private partnerships and invest over $16 million in charitable grants for local nonprofits and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

    (The Daily Briefing is published by Advisory Board, a division of Optum, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealth Group separately owns UnitedHealthcare.)

    Jonathan Stump, VP of product services at Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia). During his time at Independence Blue Cross, Stump has created a site-of-service benefit design, which allows members to get selected care at free-standing sites rather than a hospital or outpatient site. This has resulted in cost savings for members, according to Modern Healthcare.

    Bryony Winn, SVP and chief strategy and innovation officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Durham, North Carolina). Winn has helped BCBS North Carolina launch a value-based insurance product and secure contracts with five large North Carolina health systems. She has also helped implement new primary care models across the state.


    Three emerging leaders from vendors and suppliers made the list: 

    Angie Bass, president and CEO of Missouri Health Connection (Columbia, Missouri). Bass has helped Missouri Health Connection to become one of the largest health information exchanges in the United States, with over 15 million patients in its network. Missouri Health Connection has also created a patient-matching program that improves that ability of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities to send medical records to civilian providers.

    Paul Coyne, president and co-founder of Inspiren (New York). Inspiren uses machine learning to monitor patient rooms to detect the potential for adverse events. Coyne also helped roll out an iPhone implementation at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, which allowed for secure messaging and easier communication among clinical staff.

    Julia Hoffman, VP of behavioral health strategy at Livongo Health (Mountain View, California). At Livongo, Hoffman is working to build programs that use artificial intelligence to create personalized approaches to behavioral health. Before joining Livongo in January, Hoffman served as national director of mobile health for mental health and suicide prevention at VA, where she oversaw the development of over 40 technology-based behavioral health tools (Modern Healthcare Top 25 Emerging Leaders list, accessed 10/16; Modern Healthcare Top 25 Emerging Leaders list methodology, accessed 10/16).

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