Top 100 'Most Influential' People in Health Care
Photo: KnowInsiders

Modern Healthcare last week released its "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" list for 2021, awarding the top two spots to vaccine innovators for their roles in producing effective Covid-19 vaccines.

Vaccine innovators topped the list

In this year's ranking, Modern Healthcare selected Pfizer chair and CEO Albert Bourla and Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel to top its 2021 list in recognition of their work developing "vaccines for the deadliest global outbreak in the last century." According to Modern Healthcare, Bourla was awarded the top spot because "Pfizer's influence and scope" gave him an "advantage" over Bancel.

Photo: Pfizer
Dr. Albert Bourla on Pfizer's R&D Transformation. Photo: Pfizer

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine became the first to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA), in December 2020, and the first Covid-19 vaccine to gain full FDA approval for individuals ages 16 and older in August 2021.

Photo: The Times of Israel
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. Photo: The Times of Israel

"This experience taught me not to fear failure," Bourla said. "In science, failure comes with the territory. In science, failures don't set us back—they actually keep us moving forward."

Shortly after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted a EUA, Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine was similarly authorized. Moderna's vaccine is currently under consideration by FDA for full approval. In response to the development of the vaccine, Bancel said, "It is promising to see clinical and real-world evidence adding to the growing body of data on the effectiveness of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine."

Top hospital leaders on the list

Modern Healthcare also included several hospital leaders among the top 25 honorees for 2021, recognized in part for their roles in combating the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to create "a safer and more effective health care delivery system," including:

3. Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health

4. Eugene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health

11. Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare

12. Greg Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente

13. Samuel Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare

14. Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence

Dr. Harrison ranked No. 3 in 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare

Photo: GlobeNewswire
Dr. Harrison. Photo: GlobeNewswire

For the fourth consecutive year, Modern Healthcare magazine has named Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain Healthcare president and CEO, to its 2020 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, ranking him 3rd with the top spot going to the nation’s frontline medical workers.

Modern Healthcare cited Dr. Harrison’s willingness to help fellow caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic by sending 100 Intermountain employees to New York City last spring to assist Northwell Health and New York-Presbyterian health systems during their surge.

Caregivers from both those organizations returned the favor this fall, coming to Utah to help during Utah’s surge in COVID-19 cases.

Atrium Health’s President & CEO No. 4 on “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” List

Photo: Charlotte Observer
Eugene A. Woods - Atrium Health’s President & CEO. Photo: Charlotte Observer

For the sixth consecutive year, Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods has been honored as one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” rising to No. 4 on this year’s prestigious who’s who list which includes government administrators and executives, elected officials, academics and thought-leaders, as well as senior-level executives within the health care field. Honorees are chosen by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare as being among the most influential in the industry, in terms of leadership and impact. Last year, Woods ranked seventh on the list.

Other honorees

Modern Healthcare's latest ranking also featured several infectious disease experts, industry leaders, and federal and other officials who have been focused on combating the pandemic or played otherwise notable roles in shaping America's response to the pandemic, including an industry-wide drive toward digitization and a focus on diversity and inclusion. For instance, the list featured:

5. Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance

6. Karen Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health

7. David Fialkow, co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst

8. Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group

9. Judith Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic Systems

10. Annie Lamont, co-founder and managing partner of Oak HC/FT

14. Gail McGovern, president and CEO of American Red Cross

15. Bonnie Castillo, executive director of National Nurses United

16. Ernest Grant, president of American Nurses Association

17. Beverly Malone, CEO of National League for Nursing

18. Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union

19. Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives

20. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

21. Alex Gorsky, chair and CEO of Johnson & Johnson

22. Stephen Ubl, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

23. Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare

24. Andy Slavitt, co-founder and general partner of Town Hall Ventures

Providence’s Rod Hochman, M.D., and Rhonda Medows, M.D., recognized among the 100 Most Influential People

Providence is proud to announce that its President and CEO Rod Hochman, M.D., and President of Population Health Rhonda Medows, M.D., was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare for 2021. The complete ranking can be found in this week’s issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, and a feature article and profiles of the winners are available at

In addition to his role at Providence, Dr. Hochman serves as this year’s chair of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees. Dr. Medows is chair of the Catholic Health Association Board of Trustees. She also serves as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control.

Providence is proud of the contributions both leaders have made to health care. Their leadership has played a critical role in helping communities across the country navigate the pandemic. They have also been tireless advocates for supporting the safety, health and well-being of caregivers on the front lines. In addition, they have focused on advancing equitable access to vaccines, testing and treatments for individuals and communities who are most vulnerable. Congratulations to all who have been designated with the industry’s highest honor.

Kenneth L. Davis, MD, CEO of Mount Sinai Health System, Recognized as One of the “100 Most Influential People”

The magazine said that under Dr. Davis’s leadership during COVID-19, “Mount Sinai became the U.S. epicenter for COVID-19 and emerged as a response model.” Modern Healthcare also cited Dr. Davis’s financial leadership and his work to place Mount Sinai at the forefront of building a population-health and value-based model of care, focused on wellness, health equity, and preventive care.

Prior to becoming CEO, Dr. Davis conducted groundbreaking work in Alzheimer’s research that opened new avenues in the relief of symptoms from this devastating disease. His research led to the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of three of the first four drugs approved for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his role as CEO, Dr. Davis served as Dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine from 2003 to 2007. He served as President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2006 and has received its Joel Elkes Research Award, Daniel H. Efron Research Award, and Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award. The American Psychiatric Association has honored Dr. Davis’s work, and in 2002 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

How Modern Healthcare made the list

For the list, Modern Healthcare accepted nominations starting in June. Each applicant was required to answer three questions:

1. What actions did the nominee take throughout 2021 to help improve their organization's clinical, operational and financial goals?

2. How did the nominee contribute to a culture of innovation?

3. How did the nominee help shape health policy at a local or national level?

The publication then asked readers to cast ballots for their preferred candidates among 300 finalists. Modern Healthcare's senior editors made final determinations on who made the list, taking readers' votes into consideration.

This year’s list reflects the complexity of the health care industry and includes many new players.

The complete ranking can be found in the December 20, 2021, issue of Modern Healthcare magazine. The winners’ profiles and a feature article are also available at

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