Our fifth class tack­les chal­lenges

Top 25 Women man­age change in tu­mul­tuous times

Modern Healthcare - - 2013 TOP 25 WOMEN IN HEALTHCARE - Mer­rill Goozner Edi­tor Mod­ern Health­care

As the new edi­tor of Mod­ern Health­care, I take great pride in in­tro­duc­ing this ex­tra­or­di­nary group of lead­ers—the fifth time this mag­a­zine has hon­ored the Top 25 Women in Health­care, spon­sored by Furst Group. What’s most strik­ing about this year’s honorees is not their demon­strated abil­ity to over­come the bar­ri­ers that his­tor­i­cally kept gifted and am­bi­tious women from ris­ing to the top of their re­spec­tive fields—im­pres­sive as that is. Rather, it is how their for­ma­tive pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ences served as a cru­cible for hon­ing the skills they would need to take on the most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges fac­ing any ex­ec­u­tive in any in­dus­try to­day—man­ag­ing the tu­mult of the rapidly chang­ing health­care field. Think about it. HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius over­came many hur­dles to win two terms as gover­nor of Kansas. But how she must yearn for those sim­pler days now that she is tasked, amid vir­u­lent op­po­si­tion, with con­vinc­ing 50 mil­lion Amer­i­cans that sign­ing up for health in­sur­ance is the right thing to do. And while glass ceil­ings and pa­tri­ar­chal at­ti­tudes still ex­ist, it is no­table that this year’s honorees with the most longevity on the list—three have been hon­ored four or more times—have been on the front­lines of health­care’s most sig­nif­i­cant con­tro­ver­sies. Karen Ig­nagni, pres­i­dent and CEO of Amer­ica’s Health In­sur­ance Plans, heads the trade group whose mem­bers are on the fir­ing line with the startup of the in­sur­ance ex­changes. Sis­ter Carol Kee­han, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Catholic Health As­so­ci­a­tion, must ne­go­ti­ate the tricky ter­rain be­tween her mem­bers’ con­cerns about re­li­gious lib­erty and the re­quire­ments of the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. And Dr. Risa Lav­izzo-Mourey, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion, over­sees the phil­an­thropic jug­ger­naut that pro­vides the in­tel­lec­tual un­der­pin­nings of the health­care re­form move­ment, an awe­some re­spon­si­bil­ity. The com­pe­ti­tion was stiff to make it onto this year’s list. Read­ers sub­mit­ted a to­tal of 555 nom­i­na­tions, best­ing the record 324 nom­i­na­tions re­ceived in 2011, the last time we hon­ored top women in the field. Se­nior edi­tors at Mod­ern Health­care judged the nom­i­nees based on five cri­te­ria: the qual­ity of their lead­er­ship of an or­ga­ni­za­tion or com­pany; abil­ity to ef­fect change in health­care; will­ing­ness to share ex­per­tise with oth­ers in the field; serv­ing as a role model or men­tor for oth­ers; and ex­tend­ing their lead­er­ship be­yond their own or­ga­ni­za­tion. Our spon­sor played no role in se­lect­ing the honorees. I in­vite you to read the short bi­ogra­phies in this pro­gram. I think you will agree that this year’s honorees not only de­serve this honor, but also our thanks. They are suc­ceed­ing at the ul­ti­mate chal­lenge for any leader—man­ag­ing change.

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