Modern Healthcare last week released its "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" list for 2021, awarding the top two spots to vaccine innovators for their roles in producing effective Covid-19 vaccines.
How Modern Healthcare made the list
For the list, Modern Healthcare accepted nominations starting in June. Each applicant was required to answer three questions:
- What actions did the nominee take throughout 2021 to help improve their organization's clinical, operational and financial goals?
- How did the nominee contribute to a culture of innovation?
- How did the nominee help shape health policy at a local or national level?
The publication then asked readers to cast ballots for their preferred candidates among 300 finalists. Modern Healthcare's senior editors made final determinations on who made the list, taking readers' votes into consideration.
Vaccine innovators topped the list
In this year's ranking, Modern Healthcare selected Pfizer chair and CEO Albert Bourla and Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel to top its 2021 list in recognition of their work developing "vaccines for the deadliest global outbreak in the last century." According to Modern Healthcare, Bourla was awarded the top spot because "Pfizer's influence and scope" gave him an "advantage" over Bancel.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine became the first to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA), in December 2020, and the first Covid-19 vaccine to gain full FDA approval for individuals ages 16 and older in August 2021.
"This experience taught me not to fear failure," Bourla said. "In science, failure comes with the territory. In science, failures don't set us back—they actually keep us moving forward."
Shortly after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted an EUA, Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine was similarly authorized. Moderna's vaccine is currently under consideration by FDA for full approval. In response to the development of the vaccine, Bancel said, "It is promising to see clinical and real-world evidence adding to the growing body of data on the effectiveness of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine."
Top hospital leaders on the list
Modern Healthcare also included several hospital leaders among the top 25 honorees for 2021, recognized in part for their roles in combating the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to create "a safer and more effective health care delivery system," including:
- Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health
- Eugene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health
- Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare
- Greg Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente
- Samuel Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare
- Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence
Modern Healthcare's latest ranking also featured several infectious disease experts, industry leaders, and federal and other officials who have been focused on combating the pandemic or played otherwise notable roles in shaping America's response to the pandemic, including an industry-wide drive toward digitization and a focus on diversity and inclusion. For instance, the list featured:
- Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Karen Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health
- David Fialkow, co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst
- Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group
- Judith Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic Systems
- Annie Lamont, co-founder and managing partner of Oak HC/FT
- Gail McGovern, president and CEO of American Red Cross
- Bonnie Castillo, executive director of National Nurses United
- Ernest Grant, president of American Nurses Association
- Beverly Malone, CEO of National League for Nursing
- Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union
- Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
- Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Alex Gorsky, chair and CEO of Johnson & Johnson
- Stephen Ubl, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
- Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare
- Andy Slavitt, co-founder and general partner of Town Hall Ventures
(The Daily Briefing is published by Advisory Board Research, a division of Optum, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealth Group separately owns UnitedHealthcare) (Modern Healthcare, "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2021" list; Modern Healthcare, 12/18; Modern Healthcare list methodology, 12/18)