Up & Comers: Healthcare Leaders Who Refuse to Wait

Patience may be a virtue, but it is certainly not top priority for the 12 newly honored Modern Healthcare Up & Comers. These dynamic under-40 executives have gotten to where they are by shunning patience and seizing opportunities to influence their colleagues and organizations. A few examples:

  • By age 35, New York-Presbyterian Hospital CMO Dr. Peter Fleischut established a Housestaff Quality Council that has become a widely recognized model of patient-safety initiatives.
  • As CMO of Albuquerque’s Molina Healthcare, Dr. Irene Krokos, 38, implemented a statewide medical-home program that was adopted by New Mexico’s Medicaid agency, significantly decreasing hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
  • Chad VanDenBerg of Atlanta’s Grady Health System spurred initiatives to successfully eliminate hospital-acquired infections, reducing them by nearly 40%. These improvements have saved Grady roughly $1.8 million.
  • In his first year as CEO of Lake Pointe Health Network in Texas, 38-year-old Brett Lee has spearheaded the opening of two ambulatory hubs (increasing outpatient visits by 30%), developed a medical home model for the community, and launched a corporate wellness program for area employers.

Up & ComersWitt/Kieffer is proud to have supported the Up & Comers program for the past 16 years. These impressive young executives are an essential engine of healthcare reform, and an exciting profile of the next generation of healthcare leaders, our CEO Charles W.B. Wardell III notes in his preface to Modern Healthcare’s Up & Comers cover story. “More than ever, we need fresh perspectives, and these Up & Comers are developing the policies and practices that will influence the next generation of patient care.”

Earlier this year, we surveyed more than 300 Up & Comer honorees from past years to understand what has made a difference in their climbs up the ladder. One unifying thread we heard over and over was the importance of mentors who taught them the ropes and provided meaningful counsel. (Here’s the full report: Great Expectations: What Makes a Rising Star?)

So yes, these rising executives are doers, movers, and shakers . . . yet they are listeners and learners as well. In the spirit of thinking big and exploring fresh ideas, we encourage you to read more about the 2013 winners below. After all, why wait?

Anuj Desai, Vice President of Market Development for the New York eHealth Collaborative

Beth Feldpush, Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at America’s Essential Hospitals

Dr. Peter Fleischut, Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Deputy Quality and Patient Safety Officer

John Gennaro, Director of the VA Butler Healthcare System

Dr. Irene Krokos, Chief Medical Officer, Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Brett Lee, CEO, Lake Pointe Health Network, Rowlett, Texas

Sean Sondej, Associate VP of Heart and Vascular Services, Duke University Health System

Airica Steed, Chief Experience Officer, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System

Henry Thompson, CEO, Community Health Center of Richmond, NY

Sean Tinney, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Medical West, Birmingham, AL

Chad VanDenBerg, VP, Quality and Performance Improvement, Grady Health System, Atlanta

Beth Walker, Chief Operating Officer, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans

By Paul Thomas, Senior Editor

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