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August 22, 2016

In their own words: Our interviews with 18 of health care's 'Most Influential'

Daily Briefing

Modern Healthcare's most recent ranking of the "100 Most Influential People in Health Care" features some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry, including dozens of leaders at Advisory Board member organizations.

We've interviewed more than a dozen of this year's honorees in our "Lessons from the C-suite" interview series. Hear directly from these prominent leaders.

No. 2: Anthony Tersigni, president and CEO of Ascension

Anthony shares his thoughts on where the health care industry is headed, how his health system approaches potential partners, and one of his biggest fears when running a $21 billion enterprise.

Key except

Q: Where's Ascension headed?

Tersigni: Here's the destination point for us: We need to have the capability of taking care of 30 million lives, from birth through death.

That’s the bottom line—that’s where our growth is focused.

And that's different from historically, when you'd capture a snapshot of an organization like ours by comparing hospital beds or annual revenue.

Read our interview with Anthony.

No. 14: Trevor Fetter, chair and CEO of Tenet Healthcare

Trevor Fetter discusses how Tenet rebounded from a crisis, and why the investor-owned company is pursuing population health.

Key excerpt

Fetter: You have to remember why you're doing population health and have a good reason to do it.

Not to be cool, not because Modern Healthcare says you should be doing it, but because it will provide better care for the local community and you have the capability to make it work.

Read our interview with Trevor.

No. 16: Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health

Dean talks about his unusual path from teacher to pharmaceutical executive to hospital leader, and why he wants patients to always have "Dignity with them."

Key excerpt

Q: How does your teaching background inform your management style?

Dean: Successful educators tend to have three key attributes.

One, you have to be able to listen. Two, be able to take complex principles and ideas and put them in a language that people will understand. Three, motivate and create the desire in individuals to learn—to get them to focus together on a common project.

Read our interview with Lloyd.

No. 20: Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives

Kevin Lofton offers his perspective on how being an ED administrator helped prepare him for life as a hospital leader, what he's learned since his days as a 'baby CEO,' and his vision for the future of CHI.

Key excerpt

Lofton: About 95% of my job is to be forward-thinking, looking out to see where CHI can go. [And] we're focusing more on the continuum of care, especially because of health care reform and changes in care delivery. As part of that, improving management of population health—keeping people healthy in our communities—and looking for growth outside of the hospital.

Read our interview with Kevin.

No. 25: Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health

Fine talks about his lifelong strategy to "plan the work, and work the plan"—and how that's helped him beat cancer, build his career, and rise to CEO of 25-hospital Banner Health.

Key excerpt

Q: We've been asking CEOs in this series: How big does your health system need to be? How big is too big?

Fine: To just be bigger isn't valuable. If you can't manage the business to get enhanced clinical outcomes, a stable financial environment, the ability to reinvest in yourself you can’t be successful as an operating company. We feel in the future, that requires an operating company mode. If you are a holding company, I don't know how you get the required clinical results.

Read our interview with Peter.

No. 29: Toby Cosgrove, CEO of Cleveland Clinic

He barely got into med school. Now he runs the Cleveland Clinic. Read about how CEO Toby Cosgrove sees the industry, and his secrets of success.

Key excerpt

Q: Travel back in time to Toby Cosgrove, age 35. How would you mentor your 35-year-old self?

Cosgrove: That's a hard one. I'd try and take a lesson that worked for me the first time around. I knew that there was somebody better doing everything that I was, and so I would go and try and learn from the best places.

I am a shameless stealer of ideas. I learned about valve repair in Paris, I learned about minimally invasive robotic surgery at Stanford, I learned about aortic aneurisms in Texas, and on and on.

Read our interview with Toby.

No. 30: John Noseworthy, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic

John Noseworthy explains how the Mayo Clinic is forgoing traditional M&A to instead use "knowledge as an integrator."

Key excerpt

Noseworthy: Every patient who comes to Mayo has a team. If more than one physician is needed—and 95% of the time, more than one is—the team focuses around that patient and shares their knowledge of how best to handle the problem.

Since this is at the heart of what we do every day.

Read our interview with John.

No. 34: Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Health Care

Skogsbergh discusses the changing relationship between hospitals and physicians, how he's led Advocate through new contracting and integration models, and what it means to be a "system" at this moment in health care.

Key excerpt

Q: Let's start at the beginning: Why did you get into health care in the first place?

Skogsbergh: I thought I'd be a teacher and a coach—that's what I went to school for, playing baseball at Iowa State and getting a degree in teaching.

But my mom was a nurse, and encouraged me to think about a career in health care. And it helped that I had mentors along the way who were gracious enough to give me a chance. Leaders like Steve Ummel, who was president and CEO of Memorial Health System in South Bend, Indiana, when I was starting out about thirty years ago.

It's been a wonderful decision.

Read our interview with Jim.

No. 42: Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health

Hochman discusses his transition from doctor to CEO, the traits of an aspiring clinician leader, and the importance of disruptive innovation.

Key excerpt

Hochman: I use the analogy that iconic companies can go out of business. Kodak stayed on film too long, they didn't think about images. And where's Blockbuster? For those of us in health care, if you're not thinking that way, you're going to get lost.

Read our interview with Rod.

More "Lessons from the C-suite"

No. 55: Ram Raju, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, explains why he has spent the last 12 years working to improve public health systems, and reflects on whether it was "absolutely nuts" to take a 90 percent pay cut. Read our interview with Ram.

No. 56: William Carpenter, chair and CEO of LifePoint Health, shares his thoughts on what's ailing rural hospitals, how LifePoint Health rallies staff around its mission, and the keys to expanding while maintaining quality. Read our interview with William.

No. 58: Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health, talks about her leadership style and what lies ahead for her system. Read our interview with Sarah.

No. 74: Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, discusses his organization's commitment to public service and how he keeps Scripps connected to its founding mission. Read our interview with Chris.

No. 75: Joel Allison, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, shares how he worked with Baylor Scott & White Health President and CMO Bob Pryor to create a super-system and foster a shared culture. Read our interview with Joel.

No. 76: Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health (formerly North-Shore Long Island Jewish Health System), discusses his path to becoming CEO and the challenges of branching into the insurance business. Read our interview with Michael.

No. 90: Steven Safyer, president and CEO of Montefiore Health System, explains how a tuberculosis outbreak on Rikers Island inspired him into leadership and why patient volumes aren't behind his expansion model. Read our interview with Steven.

No. 91: Ernie Sadau, president and CEO  of Christus Health, talks about his journey from hospital patient to hospital CEO, how he's dealing with his top three challenges, and why he doesn't allow BlackBerries in the boardroom. Read our interview with Ernie.

No. 92: Mary Brainerd, president and CEO of HealthPartners, talks about her system's efforts to "out-MinuteClinic MinuteClinic" and its experience as a provider, insurer, and pharmacy. Read our interview with Mary.

The best practices to engage your leaders

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But if organizations are going to become truly great places to work, they need leaders who are energized and excited by their work.

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