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The 'Top 25 Innovators' in health care, according to Modern Healthcare

Modern Healthcare last week released its annual list of the "Top 25 Innovators," recognizing leaders who initiate and lead change in the health care industry.


For the list, Modern Healthcare accepted nominations from Nov. 22, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022.

To be eligible, nominees had to be at the director level or higher within a provider organization—including a hospital, health system, clinic, or physician group—or an insurer. 

Researchers and public policy officials were eligible for the list under the condition that their nomination reflected the real-world impact of their work. Suppliers and vendors were also eligible for the list.

Nominees were submitted under the following categories:

  • Population health
  • Consumerism
  • Quality and safety
  • Cost reduction

Each candidate was presented to a panel of judges and Modern Healthcare's top editors for consideration.

2022's 'Top Innovators'

This year's list features 25 leaders:

  • Hernando Celada, chief innovation and strategic initiatives officer at ChenMed. Celada leads ChenMed's innovation arm that creates new lines of business and drives strategic initiatives. Celada helped create a strategy rooted in hiring full-time specialists, relying on virtual care, and creating partnerships with local groups of specialists. He also leads Curity, the organization's software company that designed a value-based care clinical application suite/EHRs, which allow the team to identify preventive care interventions.
  • Michelle Conger, chief strategy officer of OSF HealthCare and CEO of OnCall Digital Health. Conger and her teams created a long-term digital health strategy, with tools that included Clare, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot that acts as an initial contact point for individuals with Covid-19 symptoms or any other health-related concern. 
  • John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital. Couris and his team pioneered an innovative data-sharing solution to bed capacity monitoring by using the health system's CareComm platform to collaborate with other health systems.
  • David Dirks, interim CEO of Castell and VP of strategy at Intermountain Healthcare. As Intermountain's VP of strategy, Dirks has furthered the health system's shift to value-based care.
  • Carter Dredge, lead futurist at SSM Health. Dredge has advanced the health system's innovation, research and development, and venture activities. He co-leads the Healthcare Utility Initiative—a partnership with the University of Cambridge that works to improve access to affordable health care through not-for-profit business models.
  • Eric Eskioglu, executive VP and chief medical and scientific officer at Novant Health. Over the past two years, Eskioglu produced significant digital transformation and process improvements in an effort to improve community health.
  • Nancy Gin, executive VP and chief quality officer at Permanente Federation. Gin manages a portfolio that coordinates the national clinical quality programs throughout Kaiser Permanente and works with other leaders to implement processes and programs that improve care for over 12.5 million members. 
  • Tim Gronniger, president and CEO of Caravan Health. During his tenure, the health system has led more than 300 health systems and 26,000 clinicians to sustainable success through innovative population health programs.
  • Terri Hanlon-Bremer, SVP of employer solutions and population health at TriHealth. Hanlon-Bremer's leadership played a vital role in the implementation of a new care model at TriHealth. She applied key lessons from a successful pilot program to a fast-growing accountable care organization that serves an entire community.
  • Nicole Harris-Hollingsworth, VP for social determinants of health (SDOH) at Hackensack Meridian Health. Harris-Hollingsworth has led an initiative aimed at addressing SDOH through a platform called NowPow—which was acquired by Unite Us in 2021. The platform connects Hackensack Meridian patients to resources that can help address SDOH. 
  • Staci Hermann, chief pharmacy officer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. Hermann leads a systemwide Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which has helped increase contract compliance and leverage purchasing volume in contract negotiations by aligning the inpatient formulary across the system.
  • Claus Jensen, chief innovation officer at Teladoc Health. Since joining the organization, Jensen has successfully scaled and integrated teams across product development, engineering, clinical design, analytics, and information technology, which has united multiple teams around a shared vision. 
  • Shreya Kangovi, founding executive director at Penn Center for Community Health Workers and associate professor of medicine at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Kangovi led the team that developed IMPaCT—a scalable program that relies on community health workers to enhance health care for high-risk populations. Notably, organizations in 20 states have replicated the program, making it one of the most widespread community health worker programs in the country.
  • Travis Messina, founder and CEO of Contessa Health. Messina developed a risk-based model that delivers hospital care in patients' homes.
  • Robert Montgomery, director of NYU Langone Transplant Institute, and chair of surgery at NYU Langone Health. In September 2021, Montgomery and his surgical team performed a ground-breaking transplant of a genetically engineered pig kidney to a patient on life support.
  • Terry Myerson, CEO of Truveta. Myerson leads Truveta, an organization founded in early 2021 by 14 health systems, that uses data to enhance patient care and save lives. 
  • Somesh Nigam, SVP and chief analytics and data officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA). Nigam oversaw the development of one of Louisiana's largest health care information databases—a platform that allowed BCBSLA to integrate its Performance Insights analytics platform with its AI solution to improve members' health. 
  • Scott Nordlund, chief strategy and growth officer at Banner Health. Nordlund leads the development and implementation of innovations in consumer- and patient-centered technologies across the health system.
  • Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica. During Oostra's tenure, ProMedica partnered with Kumanu, a well-being technology firm, to launch Resourceful, which helps employers identify and address unrecognized social determinants of health. 
  • Ben Quirk, chief strategy officer of CareMax. Quirk and his team developed a platform to collect and interpret data from a variety of sources, which has given providers the ability to deliver care more quickly.
  • Beth Ripley, deputy chief officer for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Ripley leads the VHA's 3D Printing Network and chairs the VHA 3D Printing Advisory Committee, which allow both the patient and the surgeon to visualize a reconstructive procedure through a customized 3D model.
  • Gary Russo, executive director of workforce intelligence at Providence. Amid the "Great Resignation," Russo has advanced the concept of predictive hiring, which uses data and analytics to help executives and managers make faster, more precise recruiting decisions.
  • Suchi Saria, founder and CEO of Bayesian Health. Saria founded Bayesian Health, an AI-based clinical decision-support platform that lets health systems use EHRs to identify disease complications early and improve patient outcomes.
  • Jeff Terry, founder and CEO of Clinical Command Centers at GE Healthcare. Terry leads the Clinical Command Centers, which deploy technology that uses AI, algorithms, and predictive analytics to capture data from daily hospital operations to properly distribute lifesaving resources.
  • Deneen Vojta, former executive VP of research and development at UnitedHealth Group. Throughout her careers, Vojta has accelerated the design, execution, and scaling of innovative programs, products, and services. (Modern Healthcare Top 25 Innovators - 2022 list, accessed 4/6; Modern Healthcare Top 25 Innovators methodology, accessed 4/6)
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