50 great African American leaders in healthcare to know

The best healthcare delivery requires leadership from diverse backgrounds and experiences. This list highlights African Americans who have taken on leadership roles across the country at hospitals and health systems as well as in national organizations. Both established and emerging leaders are featured on this list. These individuals influence how their organizations approach healthcare delivery, develop healthcare policy and advocate for the next generation of leaders.

Becker's Hospital Review accepted recommendations and conducted internal research to develop this list. Individuals cannot pay for inclusion on this list, which appears in alphabetical order.

Contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com with any questions or comments on this list.

Deborah Addo. CEO of Inova Loudoun Hospital (Leesburg, Va.). Ms. Addo spent three years as CEO of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Va., before becoming CEO of Loudoun Hospital in 2018. She also has experience as COO and senior vice president of Hagerstown, Md.-based Meritus Health and as vice president of patient care services at Washington County Health System, a 300-bed hospital. Ms. Addo has a focus on financial management and organization re-engineering, strategic planning, physician engagement and population health.

Elizabeth Appling. Chief Diversity Officer of Erlanger Health System (Chattanooga, Tenn.). Ms. Appling is the chief diversity officer of Erlanger Health System, overseeing efforts to develop a respectful and inclusive culture. She is a 20-plus year veteran at Erlanger, previously serving as the employee relations representative for the health system. In addition to her role at Erlanger, she is a member of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management and serves as a board member on the diversity committee of the Tennessee Hospital Association.

Bryan Bennett. Executive Director and Founder of the Healthcare Center of Excellence. Mr. Bennett is executive director and founder of the Healthcare Center of Excellence, a research and consulting organization that aims to help healthcare organizations implement and manage technology, processes and human resources. He also writes on big data and health technology transformation for the HIMSS Future Care website. In addition to his work with the Healthcare Center of Excellence, Mr. Bennett is an adjunct professor for Chicago-based Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies and teaches consumer behavior for West Virginia University's Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program.

Tanya Blackmon. Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of Novant Health (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Ms. Blackmon, Novant Health's executive vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, has worked at the organization since 1992. She has served in numerous leadership positions since then, including COO of Novant Health Charlotte (N.C.) Orthopedic Hospital and president of Novant Health Huntersville (N.C.) Medical Center. In her current role at Novant, Ms. Blackmon focuses on using diversity and inclusion to strengthen the organization and create a positive work culture.

Mary Blunt. Senior Vice President of Sentara Healthcare (Norfolk, Va.). In her role as senior vice president at Sentara Healthcare, Ms. Blunt oversees the health system's Hampton Roads region, which includes seven hospitals. She is also responsible for post-acute services in the Hampton Roads region, comprising seven nursing homes, two assisted living facilities and PACE programs. She has worked with Sentara since 1987, serving in numerous leadership roles, including as president of Sentara Norfolk (Va.) GeneralHospital, before assuming her current role. In addition to her Sentara responsibilities, Ms. Blunt serves on the American Hospital Association's Committee on Research and Committee on Nominations.

Denise Brooks-Williams. President and CEO of Henry Ford Wyandotte (Mich.) Hospital. Ms. Brooks-Williams became president and CEO of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital in 2013, overseeing a hospital with 2,400 employees and 600 medical staff members. She is a board member of the Institute of Diversity and serves as a delegate to the Regional Policy Board 5 of the American Hospital Association's Section for Health Care Systems. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Ms. Brooks-Williams to the Certificate of Need Commission, and she has served as president of the National Association of Health Services Executives.

Monique Butler, MD. COO of Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center. Prior to joining Children's Hospital of Michigan as COO, Dr. Butler was vice president of medical affairs and CMO for Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit and DetroitReceiving Hospital, both a part of DMC. She is a board-certified internist and lean six sigma certified. In addition to her responsibilities at Children's, Dr. Butler is a member of the American Heart Association Metro Detroit Chapter's advisory board and co-founded the Young Doctors of Detroit program.

Tracy Carter. Vice President of Government Relations at The MetroHealth System (Cleveland). MetroHealth named Ms. Carter vice president of government relations in January 2018. She previously served as an executive at Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health System before joining MetroHealth in 2015. Throughout her career, Ms. Carter has focused on healthcare policy and patient advocacy; she advocates for laws that protect public hospitals and low-income populations. She is proud to have led a regional coalition that successfully lobbied for Medicaid expansion. Today, 700,000 Ohioans have access to Medicaid coverage.

Michellene Davis. Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at RWJBarnabas Health (Toms River, N.J.). Ms. Davis joined RWJBarnabas Health in 2009 and became the executive vice president of corporate affairs — and the first person of color to serve as an executive vice president for the health system — a short time later. In her current role, Ms. Davis oversees policy development and governmental efforts as well as the health system's external affairs, healthy living programs, and community and employee wellness initiatives. She created the RWJBarnabas Health Women's Leadership Alliance and Institute for Corporate Internship. Ms. Davis has previous experience as chief policy counsel for former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.

Lloyd Dean. President and CEO of Dignity Health (San Francisco). As president and CEO of Dignity Health, Mr. Dean is responsible for the health system's strategy and overall management. He brings more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare leader to overseeing the direction of Dignity Health's 39 hospitals and 400-plus additional care sites, including ancillary services, home healthcare and medical group foundations. Mr. Dean spent time as COO of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care before joining Dignity Health in 2000.

Gregory Duckett. Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Baptist Memorial Health Care (Memphis, Tenn.). Mr. Duckett serves as senior vice president and chief legal officer of Baptist Memorial Health Care. He is responsible for executive leadership and guidance of the system and he assists on legal and strategic matters related to Baptist Memorial. Beyond his work with Baptist Memorial, Mr. Duckett serves on the Tennessee Election Commission, the board of the National Civil Rights Museum, and the University of Memphis Board of Visitors.

Willarda Edwards, MD. Board Member of the American Medical Association. Dr. Edwards became an American Medical Association board member in June 2016, and she has served on the AMA's House of Delegates for nearly 20 years. Throughout her career, Dr. Edwards has served in AMA leadership positions, including chair of the Council on Constitution and Bylaws and chair of the Women Physicians Congress Governing Council. Equipped with more than three decades of clinical experience, she currently provides internal medicine care at a two-physician private practice in Baltimore. Dr. Edwards is a past president of the National Medical Association and has served as the national health advocacy director for the NAACP.

Vanessa Ervin. President and CEO of Carobell (Jacksonville, Fla.). In addition to serving as president and CEO of Carobell, a licensed nonprofit providing medical care for the developmentally disabled, Ms. Ervin is a member of the Onslow County (N.C.) Hospital Authority and serves on the American Hospital Association's board of trustees. While at Onslow, Ms. Ervin played a key role in adding a new emergency department wing, surgical pavilion and pet therapy program to Jacksonville, N.C.-based Onslow MemorialHospital. She also served on the North Carolina Hospital Association's board and received the association's 2015 Trustee Merit Award.

Mary "Toni" Flowers. Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Roper St. Francis (Charleston, S.C.). Roper St. Francis named Ms. Flowers the health system's first vice president and chief diversity officer in September 2016. She is responsible for cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion at Roper St. Francis. Ms. Flowers has experience as president and CEO of Ethos Worldwide, a consulting, leadership development and coaching firm, and was a faculty member and executive coach for the American Hospital Association-affiliated Institute for Diversity. She has advised diversity leaders at hospitals and health systems nationwide and assisted in creating organizational diversity as well as disparity strategic action plans.

Jerry Fox. Senior Vice President and CIO of BJC HealthCare (St. Louis). Mr. Fox joined BJC HealthCare in 2017 as the senior vice president and CIO after spending around seven years as the global CIO of Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee. While at Rockwell, Mr. Fox oversaw IT strategy and operations for the automation company, which includes more than 25,000 employees worldwide. Mr. Fox also has experience as chief technology officer and director of global IT operations for Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp.

Garth Graham, MD. President of the Aetna Foundation (Hartford, Conn.). Dr. Graham is president of the Aetna Foundation, responsible for the foundation's philanthropic work and grant strategies. Prior to joining Aetna, Dr. Graham served as deputy assistant secretary of HHS, where he led the Office of Minority Health, introducing new federal grants programs to address inequalities in healthcare and health outcomes for minority and vulnerable populations. He also spent time as the assistant dean for health policy and chief of health services research at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville.

Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN. Vice President of the American Nurses Association (Silver Spring, Md.). Dr. Grant has more than 30 years of nurse leadership experience and currently serves as the vice president of the American Nurses Association. He is also the burn outreach coordinator for UNC Health Care's North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., and oversees burn education for physicians, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals. Dr. Grant previously served as the president of the North Carolina Nurses Association from 2009 to 2011, the same year he was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing.

Patrice Harris, MD. Immediate Past Chair of the American Medical Association. Dr. Harris, the immediate past chair of the American Medical Association, has served on the association's board of trustees since June 2011. A psychiatrist, she has also served on the board of the American Psychiatric Association and was an APA delegate to the AMA. Dr. Harris previously served as a member of the governing council of the AMA Women Physicians Congress and is the founding president of the Georgia Psychiatry Political Action Committee. She previously served as director of health services for Fulton County in Georgia.

Trent Haywood, MD. CMO of Clinical Affairs for the BlueCross BlueShield Association (Chicago). As CMO of Clinical Affairs for the BCBS Association, Dr. Haywood oversees efforts for BCBS companies and stakeholders to create affordable healthcare choices for members. He also leads the National Council of Physician Executives, which includes CMOs and chief pharmacy executives who drive clinical direction across BCBS companies. Additionally, Dr. Haywood oversees clinical direction of Blue Health Intelligence, an independent licensee of the association. His prior experience includes serving as senior vice president and CMO of VHA Inc. and deputy CMO at CMS.

Sandra Johnson. Vice President of Revenue Cycle Management of Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore). Ms. Johnson is responsible for the revenue cycle for five of the Johns Hopkins hospitals as the health system's vice president of revenue cycle management. She joined the system in 2012 and oversaw the EMR implementation across Johns Hopkins Health System. She also spent time assisting with the creation of a shared services center for health information management and is preparing for an EMR double upgrade. Ms. Johnson is a fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Ken Jones. President of Presence Saint Francis Hospital (Evanston, Ill.). Mr. Jones became president of Presence Saint Francis Hospital in May 2017 after spending 20 years in hospital administration and clinical operations. He previously served as CEO of Fort Wayne, Ind.-based St. Joseph Hospital, where he improved employee satisfaction, recruited new physicians and led a $6 million renovation of surgical suites. In addition to his role at St. Joseph, Mr. Jones was a board member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Northeast Indiana and the Fort Wayne Urban League. He now oversees operations at Saint Francis, which has a level 1 trauma center.

Wright Lassiter. President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System (Detroit). Mr. Lassiter joined Henry Ford Health System as president in December 2014 and spent the next year leading the board and senior management through comprehensive strategy planning. He has since led the hospital through two successful mergers with Jackson, Mich.-based Allegiance Health and Flint-based HealthPlus of Michigan, a health plan. Henry Ford is a $5.5 billion health system with six hospitals and several ambulatory and retail health services locations. Mr. Lassiter previously served as an executive with Dallas-based Methodist Health System and Fort Worth, Texas-based JPS Health Network.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD. President Emerita of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Princeton, N.J.) and RWJF PIK Professor of Health Policy and Health Equality at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey assumed her role as RWJF PIK Professor of Health Policy and Health Equality at the University of Pennsylvania on Jan. 1, prior to which, she was president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for nearly 15 years. She is former member the President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition as well as the White House Health Care Reform Task Force. She previously led the Institute on Aging at University of Pennsylvania and served as chief of geriatric medicine at its school of medicine.

George Lewis. President of Kettering Physician Network (Dayton, Ohio). Mr. Lewis became president of Kettering Physician Network in 2013 after spending time as vice president of San Diego-based Scripps Health. He has more than 20 years of financial, operational and strategic planning experience in healthcare, previously holding senior leadership positions at Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health and Loma Linda (Calif.) University Medical Center. In his current role, he is responsible for the eight-hospital physician network.

Stephen Lockhart, MD, PhD. CMO of Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.). Dr. Lockhart has overseen clinical quality at Sutter Health since January 2015 as CMO. An anesthesiologist by training, he organized medical teams from Sutter Health that traveled to Haiti in 2010 to treat individuals affected by the earthquake. He also helped establish an orthopedic residency program in Haiti. Dr. Lockhart was appointed to California Gov. Jerry Brown's advisory committee on precision medicine in October 2017.

Kevin Lofton. CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives (Englewood, Colo.). Mr. Lofton joined Catholic Health Initiatives in 1998 as the Southeast Region president before being named COO in 1999 and executive vice president in 2000. He became president and CEO in August 2003. Mr. Lofton serves on the board of directors for the American Hospital Association, where he chaired the Special Advisory Group on Improving Hospital Care for Minorities in 2007, and on the diversity committee for the Catholic Health Association. In 2015, he received the American College of Healthcare Executive's Gold Medal Award in the healthcare delivery organization category — ACHE's highest honor bestowed on outstanding healthcare leaders.

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN. CEO of National League for Nursing (Washington, D.C.). Dr. Malone first became president of the American Nurses Association in 1996 and served two terms representing the 180,000-nurse organization. She also served on former President Bill Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry for four years before joining HHS as deputy assistant secretary for health in 2000. Dr. Malone currently serves as CEO of the National League for Nursing, an organization that offers professional development, networking, nursing research grants and public policy initiatives for 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.

Patricia Maryland. Executive Vice President of Ascension and President and CEO of Ascension Healthcare (St. Louis). Dr. Maryland served as president of healthcare operations and COO of Ascension healthcare before being promoted to executive vice president of Ascension and president and CEO of Ascension healthcare. She also has experience as president and CEO of St. John Providence Health System in Warren, Mich., where she promoted alignment between health ministries within the Ascension Michigan system. Dr. Maryland has dedicated her career to strategic planning, patient care operations, service line management, finance and clinical program development and evaluation at healthcare institutions.

William McDade, MD, PhD. Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for Ochsner Health System (New Orleans). An anesthesiologist, Dr. McDade serves as executive vice president and chief academic officer for Ochsner Health System, which includes 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and 80-plus health centers and urgent care centers. He also leads Ochsner's medical school established in collaboration with the University of Queensland in Australia. His previous experience includes serving as deputy provost for research and minority issues at University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Education's National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation and serves on The Joint Commission's board of commissioners.

Margaret McKenzie, MD. Hospital President of Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital (Warrensville Heights, Ohio). Dr. McKenzie became president of Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital in May 2017. She joined Cleveland Clinic in 1995 as a physician and rose through the ranks to become section head of general obstetrics and gynecology. Throughout her career, Dr. McKenzie has taken on leadership challenges including the development of the Physician Diversity Scholars Program for Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at South Pointe Hospital, and served as the president of the Cleveland Clinic Women's Professional Staff Association.

Tonisha J. Melvin, DNP. Director-at-Large of the American Nurses Association (Silver Spring, Md.). Dr. Melvin is a nurse practitioner at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Ga., and director-at-large of the American Nurses Association. She is an environmental health registry specialist at CNVAMC and serves as a specialty examiner for compensation and disability claims. Dr. Melvin also co-founded the Melvin Family's Meal Donation, which feeds families during the holiday season, and she has begun efforts to prevent adult and childhood obesity as well as promote nurse health and wellness.

Jennifer Mieres, MD. Senior Vice President of the Center for Equity of Care and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Northwell Health (Great Neck, N.Y.). Dr. Mieres is a cardiovascular physician by training and leads Northwell Health's Center for Equity of Care. She also oversees the Katz Institute for Women's Health and serves as the health system's chief diversity and inclusion officer. In 2014, she received the American College of Cardiology's Women in Cardiology mentoring award in acknowledgement of her dedication to promoting female leadership in healthcare. She routinely appears on local and national media outlets to share her expertise, including the "Today Show" and "Good Morning America."

Karen Morrison. President of OhioHealth Foundation and Senior Vice President of External Affairs for OhioHealth (Columbus). Ms. Morrison has spent more than 20 years at OhioHealth, serving as an executive, attorney and lobbyist before entering her current role as president of OhioHealth Foundation and senior vice president of external affairs for the health system. Ms. Morrison is responsible for leading the enterprise strategy for external relations and overseeing corporate reinvestment as well as government and regulatory affairs. She also provides fundraising leadership to advance OhioHealth Foundation's philanthropic mission. In addition to her role at OhioHealth, Ms. Morrison is a member of the board of trustees for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Marvin O'Quinn. Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Dignity Health (San Francisco). Mr. O'Quinn is responsible for operations at Dignity Health's 400-plus service locations as senior executive vice president and COO. He also oversees integrated process management and ambulatory operations for the system and supervised the 2011 restructuring of the operations leadership. He joined the system in 2009 after spending time as president and CEO of Jackson Health System in Miami, Fla.

James Page Jr. Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore). Mr. Page is responsible for diversity-based initiatives for Johns Hopkins in his role as vice president and chief diversity officer. He has previous experience as assistant vice president and chief diversity officer of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and directed nationwide diversity for DaVita, a 35,000-employee organization. In addition to his role with Johns Hopkins, Mr. Lewis serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Marlon Priest, MD. Executive Vice President, CMO and Market Leader for Senior Services of Bon Secours Health System (Ashland, Ky.). Dr. Priest has served as Bon Secours Health System's executive vice president and CMO since 2006. He oversees clinical care and innovation across the system, which includes 19 acute care hospitals. Prior to joining Bon Secours, Dr. Priest spent time in various leadership roles at University of Alabama at Birmingham, including chief quality officer at UAB Hospital.

Terika Richardson. President of Advocate Trinity Hospital (Chicago) and Advocate South Suburban Hospital (Hazel Crest, Ill.). Advocate Health Care appointed Ms. Richardson president of Advocate Trinity Hospital in 2016. In her current role, she oversees the 300-physician hospital that delivers care to more than 90,000 patients per year. Ms. Richardson also oversees Advocate South Suburban Hospital, a nonprofit acute care facility. She previously served as CEO of Retreat Doctors' Hospital, a 227-bed hospital in Richmond, Va.During her time at Retreat, she grew the hospital's outpatient surgery program and implemented robotic surgery to drive inpatient volume.

Gary Richberg, BSN, RN. Administrator of Pacific Rim Outpatient Surgery Center (Bellingham, Wash.). Mr. Richberg spent four years as the administrator of the Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery in Las Vegas, Nev., before becoming the administrator of Pacific Rim Outpatient Surgery Center in 2006. He oversees fiscal and clinical management of the center, which focuses on orthopedic and spine procedures including total joint replacements. Beyond his work as an ASC administrator, Mr. Richberg consults with ASC clients on financial benchmarking.

James Robinson III. President of Saint Joseph Hospital – Chicago. Dr. Robinson has 20-plus years of experience in hospital administration and clinical operations. He became president of Presence Saint Joseph Hospital – Chicago in May 2017 after serving as senior vice president and CEO of Memphis, Tenn.-based Methodist South Hospital, a 145-bed institution. He also has experience as medical director and CEO of both the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a 244-bed tertiary care teaching facility, and Dublin, Ga.-based Carl Vinson Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Samuel Ross, MD. CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System and Executive Vice President of Bon Secours Health System (Ashland, Ky.). Dr. Ross is CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, overseeing 778 employees, and market leader for Ashland-based Bon Secours Kentucky Health System. Prior to joining Bon Secours, Dr. Ross was executive vice president and CMO of Dallas-based Parkland Health and Hospital System. In addition to his responsibilities at Bon Secours, Dr. Ross serves as chair of the Women/Minority Business Initiative and vice chair of the executive committee for the Maryland Hospital Association.

Brandi Smith-Gordon. Vice President of Philanthropy at Lakeland Health and President of Lakeland Health Foundations (Benton Harbor, Mich.). Ms. Smith-Gordon became the vice president of philanthropy at Lakeland Health and president of Lakeland Health Foundations in 2017 after spending time as director of development for Lakeland Health Foundations. She previously spent 20 years building a career in development, journalism, television and film production as well as marketing. Shortly after Ms. Smith-Gordon took the helm, the hospital secured a $100,000 donation to support the Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion.

Rick Stevens. President of Christian Hospital (St. Louis). Mr. Stevens is the president of Christian Hospital, a BJC HealthCare affiliate. He joined BJC in 2016 after spending four years as the chief administrative officer and vice president for Sutter California Pacific Medical Center St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco. In his current role, Mr. Stevens oversees operations at the 220-bed Christian Hospital, calling on his more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.

Pamela Sutton-Wallace. CEO of University of Virginia Medical Center (Charlottesville). Ms. Sutton-Wallace joined University of Virginia Medical Center in 2014 and currently oversees the hospital's strategic direction and operations as CEO. Previously, Ms. Sutton-Wallace served as senior vice president of hospital operations at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., and has experience overseeing ambulatory services, inpatient operations and surgical services.

Nicole Thomas. President of Baptist Medical Center South (Jacksonville, Fla.). Ms. Thomas is the first female hospital president in Baptist Health's history. In her role as president of Baptist Medical Center South, Ms. Thomas oversees the operational and strategic direction of the health system's second-largest community hospital. Prior to joining Baptist Health in 2011, Ms. Thomas served as the assistant vice president of physician operations for St. Luke's Episcopal Health System in Houston and operations administrator at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. She also spent time as the chair of Women in Local Leadership for the United Way of Northeast Florida.

Bernard Tyson. Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals (Oakland, Calif.). As chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, known as Kaiser Permanente, Mr. Tyson oversees an integrated health system with $72.7 billion annual operating revenue. The health plan covers 11.8 million members across eight states and Washington, D.C. Mr. Tyson became CEO of the system in 2013 and assumed his chairmanship a year later after serving the system for 30-plus years. Mr. Tyson also serves as chair of America's Health Insurance Plans and on the board of directors for the American Heart Association. In 2017, Time Magazine included Mr. Tyson on its list of 100 most influential people in the world.

Michael Ugwueke. President and CEO of Methodist Healthcare (Memphis). Mr. Ugwueke became president and CEO of Methodist Healthcare in January 2018, previously spending three years as president and COO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Mr. Ugwueke has experience providing strategic and operational leadership to five adult inpatient hospitals and the health system's affiliated companies. Mr. Ugwueke served as senior vice president for Methodist North and South Hospitals as well as CEO of Methodist South Hospital.

Antoinette "Toni" Hardy-Waller, RN, BSN. CEO of The Leverage Network (Chicago). Ms. Hardy-Waller is CEO of The Leverage Network, a nonprofit organization that promotes the advancement of African Americans in leadership, entrepreneurial and governance roles in healthcare. The organization also works with partners to highlight the socio-economic challenges and health disparities for African Americans. Before co-founding TLN, Ms. Waller founded Strategic Health Transformations, a national consulting firm focused on helping health systems develop post-acute care continuums and strategies to meet accountable care requirements. She also has experience as vice president of strategic partnerships for Health Dimensions Group and founder and CEO of two skilled home health companies.

Bernard Wheatley. CEO of Schneider Regional Medical Center (U.S. Virgin Islands). Mr. Wheatley has served as CEO of Schneider Regional Medical Center since April 2013. As CEO, he oversees the medical center, which is an umbrella entity of three healthcare facilities — The Roy Lester Schneider Hospital, The Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute and the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center. He was previously vice president of operations at Athens (Ga.) Regional Medical Center. Dr. Wheatley is a fellow of the AmericanCollege of Healthcare Executives and a member of its examination committee.

Ruth Williams-Brinkley. President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals of Northwest (Oakland, Calif.). Ms. Williams-Brinkley joined Kaiser Permanente in 2017 as president of Northwest for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. She oversees the health systems care delivery and plan operations in Oregon and markets in Vancouver and Longview/Kelso, Wash. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Williams-Brinkley was CEO of KentuckyOne Health, a division of Catholic Health Initiatives, and CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based Carondelet health network.

Andrea Willis, MD. Senior Vice President and CMO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Dr. Willis is responsible for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's clinical initiatives and quality support as CMO. She ensures quality is at the forefront of the insurance company's discussions with customers, providers, regulators and other stakeholders. She previously served as the medical director of BlueCross, advising on care structures for the organization's programs, including CoverTennessee. Before joining BlueCross BlueShield, Dr. Willis served as the director of CoverKids, Tennessee's State Children's Health Insurance Program. She has also served as deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health.

Eugene Woods. President and CEO of Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.). Mr. Woods has served as president and CEO of Atrium Health since April 2016, overseeing 62,000 employees at 900-plus locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. He came to Atrium Health after serving as president and COO of Irving, Texas-based Christus Health. He has also served as senior vice president at Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives. Mr. Woods is the immediate past chairman of the American Hospital Association.


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