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Modern Healthcare released its annual list of the “Top 25 Emerging Leaders,” recognizing young health care leaders who have sparked growth and innovation in the industry.
For the list, Modern Healthcare readers nominated promising young health care leaders serving at various levels of provider, insurance, policy, supplier, and vendor organizations.
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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 or contribute to a culture of innovation and transformation within their organization
- Help their organization achieve or exceed its financial, operational, and clinical goals
2022’s ‘Emerging Leaders’
This year’s list features 25 leaders.
This year, 18 emerging leaders at provider institutions made the list:
Robert Bressler, SVP and general manager of virtual primary care at Teladoc Health. Bressler leads Teladoc’s Primary360—a virtual primary-care service that helps identify and treat previously undiagnosed chronic conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. In 2021, Teledoc conducted over 13.7 million virtual visits, up from 10.6 million in 2020. Last year, Teladoc posted a revenue of $2 billion, which marked an 86% increase year-over-year.
Steven Chew, VP of service lines at Tampa General Hospital. Chew is responsible for Tampa General’s service lines, including orthopedics, neurosciences, heart/vascular, and women and children. Notably, he oversaw the launch of the Global Emerging Diseases Institute—a partnership between Tampa General and the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine that focuses on research, teaching, and clinical care, including the treatment of patients who suffer from Covid-19-related conditions.
Josh Cohn, chief development officer at AbsoluteCare. Cohn delivers business development expertise to the value-based primary-care provider that serves members at higher risk for chronic conditions. Cohn secured $105 million in funding from Kinderhook Investors to develop AbsoluteCare’s team-based, holistic care model.
Nichole Davis, enterprise administrator, OR surgical processing, Enterprise Surgical Operations at Cleveland Clinic. Davis has managed and overseen enterprise-wide projects, including surgical instrument standardization, the management of a multimillion-dollar budget, and the expansion and standardization of the sterile processing department. As an administrator, Davis plays a critical role in strategic operations across more than 13 ambulatory surgery centers within the Clinic.
Sara Greenbaum, regional market president at Eleanor Health. Greenbaum leads operations in Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington state for the mental health services and addiction treatment provider. Before joining Eleanor Health in 2021 as VP of growth operations and implementation, Greenbaum held leadership positions at Beacon Health, and served as senior director at CVS Health, where she contributed to the HealthHUB operation.
Blake Henderson, director of diffusion of excellence at the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Henderson helped develop critical business systems at the VA, including the Light Electronic Action Framework and the Remote Veteran Sleep Apnea Management Platform. During his tenure, Henderson launched the VHA Diffusion Marketplace—a platform that includes 75 evidence-based innovations that include implementation guidebooks and a searchable database.
Roger Kapoor, SVP at Beloit Health System. Since joining the health system, Kapoor has served as VP of medical affairs, VP of clinics, and medical director of clinics before stepping into his current role. Kapoor helped re-engineer the health system’s culture and patient experience. As a result, Beloit’s patient-satisfaction scores increased from the 16th percentile in December 2020 to the 88th percentile in November 2021.
Joseph Leggio, executive director of international services at Northwell Health. Leggio transformed Lenox Hill Hospital‘s unit ward clerks into patient-service facilitators and fostered the transition from reactive to proactive patient rounding. As a result, Lenox Hill’s HCAHPS scores increased from the 12th percentile in 2016 to the 62nd percentile by the of 2021.
Mairéad McInerney, corporate director of population health-wellness coordination and member experience at AmeriHealth Caritas. During her tenure, McEnery has served as corporate director of population health integration and corporate community care team program manager. She created the organization’s community care management team model, which joins community health workers, nurses, social workers, and housing experts to help address the needs of both patients and families.
Maria Morales Menendez, COO at Delray Medical Center, part of the Palm Beach Health Network. Menendez oversees operations at the 523-bed acute-care hospital with a Level 1 trauma center. She organized several process improvement projects and developed the Market Throughput Team, which has helped decrease length of hospital stays by 15%.
Caroline Njau, SVP of patient care services and CNO at Children’s Minnesota. Njau is responsible for patient care operations across two hospital campuses. She oversees patient and family services and nursing strategy, education, and professional development.
Melanie Plaksin, VP of experience at DispatchHealth. Plaksin supports DispatchHealth in its mission of “bringing the power of the hospital to the comfort of home.” She previously served as market director for Colorado and VP of market growth. In December 2020, Plaksin helped Delta Airlines develop Covid-19 testing locations at gates for international flights.
Sunitha Reddy, VP of operations at Prime Healthcare Services. Reddy streamlined Prime’s clinical, financial, and business operations to improve hospital and health system performance that resulted in $20 million in savings since 2019.
Lisa Rotenstein, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate medical director of population health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Rotenstein leads programs to improve the population health and mental health of patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Andrew Shadid, CEO of Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Shadid established clinical research and product development programs, created a model aimed at increasing access to underserved populations, and transitioned his group to telemedicine during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Matthew Siegler, SVP of managed care at NYC Health + Hospitals. During his time with the New York City municipal health system, Siegler has employed strategies in revenue growth, value-based payment, budgeting, and culture change, which resulted in the elimination of a $1.8 billion structural deficit.
Heather Signorelli, VP and chief laboratory officer at HCA Healthcare. Signorelli created the health system’s first national laboratory service line and released a laboratory utilization program that has saved the system $50 million. She also created HCA’s testing algorithm during the pandemic and helped source testing methods with 48-hour turnarounds, subsequently reducing testing turnarounds to 24 hours.
Mike Valli, EVP and Northeast general manager at Optum Provider Services. Valli oversees partnerships at over 650 healthcare providers across 19 states and is accountable for profit-and-loss for Optum’s Northeast region. (Daily Briefing is published by Advisory Board, a division of Optum, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.)
This year, three emerging leaders who work for insurers made the list:
Binoy Bhansali, VP of corporate development at SCAN Group/SCAN Health Plan. Bhansali delivers strategic leadership to the Scan Group, the parent company of Scan Health Plan—a Medicare Advantage plan that serves over 272,000 members across Arizona, California, and Nevada. Throughout his tenure at SCAN, Bhansali has coordinated several strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and external investments.
Tomasz Kawka, VP of M&A integration and transformation at Optima Health/Sentara Health Plans. In the three years since he joined Optima, Kawka has served as VP of M&A integration and senior director of transformation and innovation. He created partnerships with vendors that helped enhance member services in transportation and nurse-line management. Ultimately, these partnerships improved their members’ access to care and helped cut overall administrative and medical costs.
Sivan Mills, lead director of project program management at Aetna/CVS Health. In her six-year career at Aetna/CVS, Mills has served as business project program senior manager, business project program manager, and senior project manager. She developed and launched “Your Claims Explained”—a digital, interactive member benefits platform for the commercial market. As a result, the insurer saw improved member comprehension, digital engagement, and decreased call volumes.
Four emerging leaders from vendors and suppliers made the list:
Jeb Dunkelberger, CEO at Sutter Health|Aetna. Dunkelberger leads a health care company that was formed by Sutter Health and Aetna, a CVS company. The company provides the products and services of Sutter, Aetna, and CVS to help strengthen relationships with employers, consumers, and providers. Dunkelberger’s leadership led to the launch of 15 virtual-first primary-care centers that help narrow the gap between telehealth and in-person visits. His communications strategy allows members to navigate their care experience through short, automated videos, while a behavioral health navigation tool guides members to the best providers and services for their needs.
Dusty Lieb, chief investment officer at Echo Health Ventures. Lieb is a partner at Echo Health Ventures—a joint venture between Cambia Health Solutions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and Mosaic Health Solutions. As managing partner of strategic investment, he finds, invests in, and fosters the growth of health care technology and services companies. Echo’s portfolio of health care companies includes CityBlock, Avalon, Amwell, Aledade, Eleanor Health, FastMed, and Wildflower.
Michael Simonov, director of clinical informatics at Truveta. Simonov oversees informatics at Truveta. His data platform design and leadership of clinicians and engineers have improved Truveta’s clinical research solutions.
Abi Sundaramoorthy, EVP of clinical enterprise at Somatus. During her tenure, Sundaramoorthy has generated $4.5 million in savings through decreases in clinical variation and length of stay, along with enhanced clinical documentation. (Modern Healthcare Top 25 Emerging Leaders list, accessed 3/21; Modern Healthcare Top 25 Emerging Leaders list methodology, accessed 3/21)