Leading the future of healthcare with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Women We Admire is proud to present The Top 50 Women Leaders in Healthcare for 2024. When it comes to serving the health and wellness of local communities and people across the world, it’s imperative that healthcare leaders value and embody tolerance, fairness, and open-mindedness. The women leaders in healthcare we honor have accomplished truly astounding feats in the U.S. healthcare system and beyond to ensure that everyone has access to life-saving treatments and quality preventative care and that healthcare facilities have the technology, staff, and resources they need to thrive. 

We salute the amazing work of Elissa Charbonneau of Encompass Health. She’s an award-winning Chief Medical Officer, recognized three times in a row as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives for her influential work. Also awarded is Esezele Payne, Vice President at Atrium Health, who excels at uncovering cost-saving opportunities without sacrificing service quality.  Lastly, we highlight Amy Moss, who serves as Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations Hospice at Amedisys. As a triple-boarded physician in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine, she provides innovative models of care for patients in need of home care.

Please join us in celebrating The Top 50 Women Leaders in Healthcare for 2024.

1. Nicole Cooper
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer & Executive Vice President, United Way Worldwide

Nicole M. Cooper serves as Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President at United Way Worldwide, guiding global, domestic, and state public policy and advocacy efforts, public-private strategic partnerships, social innovation investments, and the 211 helpline network throughout the US. Her efforts are to reimagine and rebuild systems that address inequities and better serve communities. Cooper previously served as the SVP of health equity strategic partnerships at UnitedHealth Group, co-leading the UHG Office of Health Equity, while serving on the executive UHG Women Leader Advisory Council and the UHG African American Leader Advisory Council.

Cooper formerly served as head of healthcare policy at Lyft, where she developed and managed Lyft's federal and state healthcare policy agenda, working to expand Lyft's presence in the healthcare sector. She previously served as VP of corporate social responsibility at UnitedHealthcare. Before joining UnitedHealthcare, Cooper was an Obama Administration political appointee and part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services team responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act. Cooper served as a policy advisor to key leaders in the agency, including the Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health.

Cooper holds an undergraduate degree from Spelman College, an MPH degree in health management and policy from the University of Michigan, and a doctor of public health degree in health policy from Harvard University.

2. Elizabeth Ransom
Chief Medical Officer, Providence, Central Division 

Elizabeth Ransom is the Chief Medical Officer at Providence Central Division, having previously served in the same role for the Oregon Region. Providence is one of the nation's leading healthcare delivery systems with 51 acute care hospitals, over $25B in revenue, 120,000 caregivers, and $1.5B in community benefits and is now organized through three Divisions.

As CMO, Ransom has responsibility for medical and clinical staff alignment locally and regionally, provider engagement, strategy, and operations-related needs across the care continuum. She oversees the acute care environment in collaboration with the Providence physician enterprise, ambulatory care network, and population health initiatives, and she drives clinical innovation and scales clinical care to improve quality and reduce the total cost of care.

Prior to working at Providence, Ransom held leadership positions at Texas Health Resources and Henry Ford Health System. Ransom graduated from Wayne State University with an MD and from McGill University with an undergraduate degree in microbiology and immunology. She completed her residency in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Health System.

3. Esezele Payne
Vice President, Atrium Health

Esezele Payne is the Vice President of Atrium Health, a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education, and compassionate patient care based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She leads high-impact operational functions for Atrium Health, including directing an environmental services team with 1.6K staff across 50 facilities, managing a $500M operating budget, and overseeing vendor contracts worth $100M. 

She excels at uncovering cost-saving opportunities without sacrificing service quality, like negotiating $8M in savings with the renewal of major service contracts. Payne has also implemented multiple workplace wellness and sustainability initiatives, including donating 9K pounds of unused prepared food in partnership with a nonprofit and spearheading a workplace wellness survey. Payne has been recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal with the Healthcare Hero Award, Women’s Business Achievement Award, and other accolades.

Payne has more than 15 years of professional experience in cost reduction, contracting, strategic communications, project management, process improvement, and vendor management. Prior to joining Atrium Health, she worked as a vendor manager and director of operations for Carolinas Healthcare System. Earlier in her career, she was a strategic sourcing manager at CB Richard Ellis, managing $50M of vendor spending on the global corporate services team. In that role, she drafted and negotiated hundreds of contracts that yielded cost savings, developed national sourcing strategies, established performance management tools, and created sourcing strategies for key clients. She has a JD from the American University Washington College of Law.

4. Elissa Charbonneau
Chief Medical Officer, Encompass Health

Elissa (Lisa) Charbonneau was appointed as Chief Medical Officer of Encompass Health in June 2015. As chief medical officer, Charbonneau oversees medical operations, quality, and patient care for the company’s over 160 hospitals across the country, which have a combined annual discharge of more than 230,000 patients.  

Prior to her current role, she served as the company’s vice president of medical services. From 2001 to early 2015, she served as medical director at New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland, a joint venture of Maine Medical Center and Encompass Health, where she was a staff physician since 1992. Driven by a commitment to mentorship and helping patients receive the best care possible, Charbonneau has presented on timely topics including clinical leadership, post-acute care, patient-centered data models, opioid reduction, and post-COVID care. 

In 2020, 2021, and 2022, she was recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives. Charbonneau received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, a master’s degree in natural sciences/epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Temple/Moss Rehab in Philadelphia, where she was chief resident in her final year. She is board-certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Osteopathic Board of Rehabilitation Medicine. Charbonneau lives in coastal Maine with her husband and two rescue dogs.

5. Sangeeta Bhorade
Vice President of Medical Affairs in Organ Health, Natera

Sangeeta Bhorade is the Vice President of Medical Affairs in Organ Health of Natera, a global leader in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) testing, dedicated to oncology, women’s health, and organ health. They aim to make personalized genetic testing and diagnostics part of the standard of care to protect health and enable earlier and more targeted interventions that lead to longer, healthier lives. While some set out to build a test, they set out to achieve the mission of changing the management of disease worldwide by using DNA testing to proactively inform treatment. Through a cfDNA technology platform approach, they've pioneered noninvasive testing in unlimited applications, each with its potential to revolutionize care for patients.

Bhorade is a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where she also completed her residency and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care and ultimately developed a passion for caring for patients who have undergone lung transplantation. She served as a Medical Director at the University of Chicago in their inaugural lung transplant program. She later joined Northwestern University as a Professor of Medicine to initiate their lung transplant program, where she was able to develop the program into a premium lung transplant program in the region. She has published extensively on optimizing immunosuppression and chronic rejection in lung transplantation to improve transplant patient outcomes during her 27 years as an academic physician.

Bhorade is very well regarded in the transplantation field across all organs with over 80 papers published to date. She was the past Chair of the Thoracic and Critical Care Community at the American Society of Transplantation and a program committee member for the American Transplant Congress for all solid organ transplantation. She was also a program organizer for the Cutting Edge of Transplant (CEoT) which is intended for all primary stakeholders in transplantation as well as the UNOS/OPTN Region 7 Thoracic Committee Councilor (meetings included all solid organ transplants). 

Before joining Natera, Sangeeta was most recently the Medical Director of Pulmonology at Veracyte, focusing on ILD, Lung Cancer, and Lung Nodule Management. In her role, she was able to promote the Envisia diagnostic test as the premium genomics test for ILD. She was instrumental in building a novel lung cancer diagnostic test and furthered the management of lung nodules.

6. Trudi Trysla
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Fairview Health Services

Trudi Trysla is the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Fairview Health Services, an industry-leading, award-winning, nonprofit offering a full network of healthcare services. Trysla has more than 20 years of legal experience in health care. She develops Fairview’s overall legal strategy and leads the legal and ethical adherence to federal and state law and healthcare public policy. She oversees Fairview’s legal and risk management functions. 

Before joining Fairview in 2008 as associate general counsel, Trysla served as senior legal counsel at Medtronic Inc. as legal counsel for Mayo Foundation and as an attorney in private practice. She earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska. 

She is licensed to practice in Minnesota and the Eighth Circuit. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Minnesota Bar Association’s Health Law Governing Council. Medtronic is active on various Fairview boards and community boards, including the Fairview Pharmacy Board, the Minnesota Center for Health Care Ethics, and the Minnesota Epilepsy Foundation. She is a frequent lecturer on healthcare topics, including accountable care organizations and models.

7.  Denise Juliano
Group Vice President of Life Sciences, Premier

Denise Juliano currently serves as Group Vice President of Life Sciences, leading Premier’s PINC AI Applied Sciences team which is the research and analytics division of Premier. She is responsible for developing strategic business relationships with life sciences companies and health systems and expanding the utilization of PINC AI Applied Sciences solutions.

Prior to coming to Premier, Juliano retired from Merck after a successful 30-year career. During her time, she worked for MSD, an innovative, global healthcare leader that is committed to improving health and well-being around the world. She spent the last five years of her career at MSD as part of a division focused on managing all enterprise efforts with Merck's top customers as part of an executive leadership initiative to transform the company from a product and geographically focused into a leading customer-centric organization. 

In previous roles, Juliano worked in various areas within the commercial organization, including global and U.S. marketing, and U.S. sales, leading a large team of business managers, medical group account executives, and customer team representatives in the Greater NYC/CT Region. She has extensive experience in account management, leading both national account executives and customer managers in managed markets for over 10 years. 

Juliano graduated magna cum laude with a degree in health science from Seton Hall University. She also obtained her master’s degree from East Stroudsburg University in exercise physiology/cardiac rehabilitation. Juliano participated in Executive Education at the Harvard Business School of Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has been involved in community service for the last 20 years. She has served on the board of SAMA for the last six years and achieved her SAMA certification in 2016, she previously served on the board of directors for the North Penn Senior Center for five years. Juliano joined the Board of Trustees of CancerCare in April 2022.

View the complete list of awardees

8. Amy Moss
SVP of Clinical Operations Hospice, Amedisys

As the Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations Hospice at Amedisys, a leading provider of healthcare in the home, Amy Moss oversees the delivery of compassionate and high-quality care to patients and families across the country. Moss is a healthcare executive with over two decades of experience leading clinical quality and operations programs nationally. 

Moss is a triple-boarded physician in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine. She has a proven track record of developing and implementing innovative models of care that support aging in place, patient safety, and clinical excellence. She has also been instrumental in facilitating successful acquisition transitions and expanding regional and national responsibilities. She has previous experience at the director level with Texas Health Resources, Kindred at Home Hospice, Health Science Center, Pacific Retirement Services, Odyssey Hospice Care, Inc., Lakewood Village Retirement Community, and Vitas Healthcare.

Moss is passionate about advancing the field of hospice and palliative care and advocating for the needs of patients and caregivers. She holds a business degree from Texas Woman's University and is a fellow in internal medicine.

9. Soumi Saha
SVP of Government Affairs, Premier

Soumi Saha is the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and a member of the executive team at Premier, a leading healthcare improvement company uniting an alliance of more than 4,400 U.S. hospitals and 250,000 continuum of care providers to transform healthcare. Both a pharmacist and lawyer, Saha's career has been dedicated to driving innovations in high-quality, cost-effective healthcare and resilient supply chains.

Under her leadership, Premier has become a national authority in ensuring the perspective of the nation's healthcare providers is represented in Washington, DC, and in advancing policies that both address vulnerabilities and modernize the U.S. healthcare system from building resilient supply chains, adopting value-based care, tech-enabling healthcare, and eliminating gaps in care. 

Prior to joining Premier, Saha held positions with the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente, and CVS/Caremark. She holds a PharmD and a JD with a concentration in health law from the University of Maryland.

10. Kelly Parsons Kwiatek
Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Halifax Health

Kelly Parsons Kwiatek is the Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Halifax Health, a 678-bed, Daytona Beach-based community health system. Kwiatek joined Halifax Health in 2019 after serving as a shareholder with the law firm of Cobb Cole for 15 years. 

In private practice, she was board-certified by the Florida Bar in Labor & Employment Law and has received many awards. A graduate of Syracuse University, where she received an undergraduate degree in musical theater, she later earned a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law in 2004. 

Kwiatek is the immediate past chairperson and legal counsel on the board of directors of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, a trustee for Daytona State College, a commissioner for the Judicial Nominating Committee for the Seventh Circuit, and an honorary member of the Halifax Area Civic League and Easterseals. She is married with two children and a dog.

11. Brenda Connelly
President, The Springs Living, LLC

Brenda Connelly is the President of The Springs Living, overseeing all aspects of the company across 20 senior communities offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

Previously, Connelly held the role of chief operating officer, effectively leading the company-wide operational COVID response, while working closely with statewide organizations, including serving on the Long-Term Care COVID Forum in Oregon and the Montana governor’s COVID Advisory Task Force. From 2018 to 2020, Connelly served as the company’s chief quality officer. In that role, she developed and implemented a comprehensive, company-wide quality program that improved clarity of quality standards, resources, compliance, and resident satisfaction. Connelly joined The Springs Living in 2010 as executive director of The Springs at Whitefish in Montana and was promoted to multiple positions before becoming chief quality officer.

Connelly serves on the Oregon Health Care Association Quality and Compliance Council and is a Customer Advisory Board member for Point Click Care. She received a Special Services Award from the Oregon Health Care Association in 2021 and was named to McKnight’s Senior Living Women of Distinction Hall of Honor in 2022. Connelly has earned a master’s degree in quantitative management, and health analytics from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She has a Bachelor of Science in nursing from North Dakota State University.

12. Christina Barrington
Vice President of Pharmacy Programs, Priority Health

Christina Barrington is Vice President of Pharmacy Programs at Priority Health, where she leads all aspects of the pharmacy division. In her role, she is responsible for setting strategy for the pharmacy department and managing the pharmaceutical services budget across the organization. 

Prior to joining Priority Health, Barrington held numerous leadership roles within the pharmacy profession. After completing her hospital clinical practice residency, Barrington served as clinical director and coordinator of clinical support services for a large teaching hospital.  She has served as a pharmacy executive for several regional and national health plans. 

In addition to her role in pharmacy management, Barrington has conducted extensive research into the impact of value-based benefit designs and is a pioneer in risk-based contracting strategies. Additionally, she has served as the vice chairman of the board of managers for the Illinois Foundation of Quality Health Care and as a member of the URAC Measures Advisory Research Group. As an active member of AMCP since 1996, she has held the office of president of the Midwest Affiliate for two terms and currently serves on the Finance Committee. Barrington graduated from the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis with a PharmD and an undergraduate degree in pharmacy.

13. Monika Valentine
President, Discovery Medical Services, Discovery Behavioral Health

Monika Valentine is highly effective at conceptualizing and implementing processes and improvements to programs from the ground up to position firms for market growth. Before becoming President, of Discovery Medical Services, at Discovery Behavioral Health, which operates treatment centers across the United States, she served the company as the Vice President of Business Operations, Discovery MD.  

Valentine is a results-oriented senior executive with a proven track record of providing operations solutions for a number of corporations. She has successfully helped turn around and leveraged her experience to promote efficiency across business and healthcare operations. 

She was previously the director of regional and workers’ compensation consulting at The Redwoods Group/A Crum Forster Company in North Carolina; executive director/CEO of OccMed Colorado; executive director/CEO at OCCOLV, LLC, in Colorado; and director of occupational medicine and specialty practices at HealthOne Clinic Services, LLC, also in Colorado. Valentine is a student of learning; she earned her undergraduate degree in business administration, MBA, and post-graduate certification in HR at Villanova and attended the Vanderbilt University Leadership Excellence Certificate program. 

When she isn't working, Valentine and her husband have a private nonprofit, The Valentine Foundation, Inc. Their philanthropy work supports various organizations like Mile High-RETAC, which provides placement of AEDs in underserved communities and makes CPR training available in places where resources are limited.

14. Sandra Ogunremi
Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Monument Health

Sandra Ogunremi is the Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Monument Health. She leads organizational initiatives, workshops, and training on diversity and cultural proficiency, and due to her great strides, she was appointed the first leader in Monument Health’s history to focus on DEI strategies.

In July 2018, Monument Health was recognized, alongside four other healthcare systems, by the American Hospital Association and received the Equity of Care honoree award. Ogunremi received the award on behalf of Monument Health and is quite proud of the great strides made by Monument Health.

Ogunremi is an ordained minister with Assemblies of God. She has served as the Black Hills’ Sectional Representative for the Women’s Ministry in South Dakota since 2008. She has taught throughout the United States, Canada, Africa, and England. She is most fulfilled when being used as a conduit to positively impact lives. Ogunremi is also a seasoned conference speaker. She speaks locally, nationally, and internationally.

She earned a Doctorate in Health Administration from Central Michigan University in 2009. She has a Master of Science in Administration and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. She is certified in Diversity Management with the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity. She is a Cornell University Certified Diversity Practitioner and a Stanford Certified Project Manager, and she holds other certifications that enable her to do her best work.

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15. Chantelle Schenning
VP of Healthcare Transformation & Public Policy, Invitae
Founder, Chantelle Schenning LLC (Advising Companies & Individuals)

Chantelle Schenning is the Vice President of Healthcare Transformation and Public Policy at Invitae, a leading medical genetics company trusted by millions of patients and their providers to deliver timely genetic information using digital technology.

Her career spans 16 years of healthcare experience, starting at the frontlines of patient care in low-income community clinics and Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she recognized systemic opportunities to improve the population’s health and shifted her trajectory from medical school to healthcare leadership. Her comprehensive background encompassing clinical and leadership roles, a myriad of clinical settings and sectors, and academic achievements, including a Ph.D. in health services, underscores her profound expertise and impact across diverse tiers of the healthcare landscape. 

At Johns Hopkins, she was an operations leader in radiation oncology. Driven to make a difference upstream in patients’ health, Schenning joined Kaiser Permanente. She led clinical operations in primary care and complex care management with interim roles across many departments. She also presided over campus-wide telehealth implementation in 2016, achieving the highest utilization rates in the region. She was promoted to regional executive consultant for the region’s VP/COO. In that role, Schenning spearheaded a Kaizen-inspired, human-centered design strategy across multiple clinical departments, yielding remarkable results, with patient access and satisfaction scores surging by up to 20% within just six months of implementation and receiving the Press Ganey Success Story Award.

At Invitae, she launched and led the government affairs team from an altruistic stance of always doing her best for patients. Her team championed legislative introductions to improve patient access to services, advocated successfully for appropriations including $15M for the VA, and established a first-of-its-kind private-public partnership during the pandemic. Outside of policy, Schenning helped source one of the company’s largest health system partners within four months of hire, influenced Invitae's medical affairs’ engagement in health economics research, and crafted a genetics-based oncology care model. Her role evolved to Healthcare Transformation & Policy, where her team advanced Invitae becoming the first-ever genetic testing company on a prominent National Quality Forum committee, helped develop a clinical playbook for genetics implementation in community cancer centers, and cultivated a collaboration with an HBCU to expand genetics access to underserved populations in the “Black Belt.”

16. Laura Tomaino
SVP of People & Culture, HealthEdge

Laura Tomaino is the Senior Vice President of People & Culture of HealthEdge. She first joined the company in 2013 as a senior human resources generalist. HealthEdge is on a mission to drive a digital revolution in healthcare. They connect health plans, providers, and patients with end-to-end digital technology solutions to support new business models, reduce administrative costs, and improve health outcomes. 

Tomaino is a dynamic human resources executive who built out a Strategic People & Culture function over the last decade. Starting as a team of one during a high growth period, she helped lead the company through significant growth (150 to 1500 employees) and revenue growth – from venture-backed to private equity partnership. Experienced in global people operations with a passion for the employee experience. She thrives in fast-paced environments, breeding an optimistic "can-do" spirit and turning ambiguity into opportunity. Her mission is to deliver innovative solutions to the overall business strategy, as well as to recruit, engage, develop, and retain top talent. She is committed to building diverse cultures of growth, development, belonging, learning, connection, change resilience, and career fulfillment while empowering everyone to give their best and continuously improve.

Previously, Tomaino was a human resources coordinator at Harvard University's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She earned a master's in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard Extension School and an undergraduate degree.

17. Amy Milunas
Vice President of Operations, Sonrava Health

Amy Milunas is the Vice President of Operations and Integration of Sonrava Health, the parent company of Western Dental & Orthodontics. She first joined the company in 2015 as senior director of operations. Sonrava has recently grown from five states to 20 and now has 550 locations with more under LOI and APA coast to coast. They have expanded their footprint substantially and the services they are supporting and now have over 10 brands and organizations under their umbrella. Milunas and her team are responsible for the growth of the general base business, as well as the stable integration and growth of their acquired locations and De Novo builds throughout the country.

Milunas’ education and career have provided her the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and expertise that allow her to contribute to organizations in the areas of operations, finance, marketing, team development, integration, and compliance. She is known for her empowering approach to taking on projects, developing and managing teams, and creating processes and procedures to improve or enhance. 

Previously, Milunas was a director of process integration and compliance at Smile Brands Inc., and before that, she was a district manager at Coast Dental. Earlier in her career, she worked with SmileCare as a director of field services and marketing. Milunas earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Irvine.

18. Jennifer Lohse
Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Aware Recovery Care, Inc.

Jennifer Lohse is the Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Aware Recovery Care, a leading provider of in-home addiction treatment services. In this role, she oversees the legal, risk management, compliance, and health information management functions, as well as the payer relations, human resources, and administrative operations. She first joined the company in 2022 as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary.

At Aware Recovery Care, she has also served as a member of the executive leadership team, as a corporate officer, and as a direct advisor to the governing board and several board committees. Lohse has an expansive comprehension of healthcare operations and routinely advises on multi-state and federal matters, including strategy development, mergers, acquisitions and partnership development, operational implementation, and governance.

Prior to joining Aware Recovery Care, Lohse served as general counsel, chief compliance officer, and corporate secretary at both the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the Center for Diagnostic Imaging/Insight Imaging, where she led the legal, risk management, and compliance departments.

Lohse received her law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis and her undergraduate degree from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in St. Joseph. She has been certified in healthcare compliance by the Compliance Certification Board. Lohse is also an active member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the vice chair of their Behavioral Health Task Force. She is also a member of the Health Care Compliance Association. She presents regularly healthcare care legal and business topics.

19. Laura Gwyn
Principal & Managing Director, Perkins&Will

Laura Gwyn is a Principal and Managing Director of the North Carolina practice of global architecture and design firm Perkins & Will. An architect, strategist, and mentor, she is known for her 360-degree perspective, gained from her experience in roles as an architect, construction manager, and owner representative. 

Grounded in expertise in health and well-being, Gwyn leads teams to apply equitable design to all project environments with a high level of care toward social, physical, and emotional well-being. She is also a member of the Perkins & Will Internal Project Delivery Board through which she advises on firmwide project execution and delivery. She is an active AIA speaker on career development, women in leadership, and sustainability and also chairs the Raleigh Women in Healthcare mentoring program.

Prior to her roles with Perkins & Will, Gwyn served with BBH Design, WakeMed, and Holt Brothers Inc. She graduated from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School with an MBA, from North Carolina State University with a master’s degree in architecture, and from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an undergraduate degree in architecture.

20. Sarah Moyer
Chief Medical Officer & Regional Vice President, Humana Healthy Horizons of Kentucky 

Sarah Moyer is the Chief Medical Officer for Humana Healthy Horizons in Kentucky, Humana’s Kentucky Medicaid business. Moyer, a board-certified family physician, believes that health is local and that it is critical to engage all parts of the community to implement bold, innovative ideas to improve health outcomes for everyone. As CMO of Humana Healthy Horizons in Kentucky, she leads the quality, population health, health equity, and care management strategies to ensure that Humana Healthy Horizons is putting health first for all members, associates, and communities across the state of Kentucky.

Prior to joining Humana Healthy Horizons, Moyer served as the director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, leading the community through the navigation of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid epidemic. She also served as the Quality Improvement Director while faculty at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, empowering the next generation of healthcare providers to ensure everyone can achieve their best health.

Moyer earned a Master’s in Public Health from Dartmouth College, a medical degree from Temple University, and an undergraduate degree in physics from Colorado College. She completed her family medicine residency at Wake Forest University. She now calls Louisville home and enjoys spending her free time with her husband and four children.

21. Maureen Donnellan Habel
Chief Human Resources Officer, Talbert House

Maureen Donnellan Habel is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Talbert House, a health and human services agency headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, serving southwest Ohio.

Together with CEO Neil Tilow and the rest of the executive team, her current priorities at Talbert House include workforce development; workplace culture; equity, inclusion, and diversity; leadership development and succession; and employee engagement and retention.

Starting her professional career with Business Information Solutions in Cincinnati, Habel spent ten years progressing through positions of greater responsibility in sales, marketing, and customer support, ending her tenure there as VP of development under the leadership of CEO Frank Albi. She left BIS in 2002 to work in the nonprofit industry for the Diocese of Covington as director of development, where she established a long record of success in recruitment, fundraising, community engagement, alumni relations, and diversity and inclusion under the leadership of David Otte, principal of St. Henry District High School. In 2012, she joined Management Performance International, and together with the president and CEO John Hawkins, she helped lead MPI’s leadership development and employee engagement capability area as VP of consulting, serving client companies in healthcare, manufacturing, consumer goods, and public service.

Habel is a graduate of East Carolina University, where she studied community ecology and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biological sciences. She has been recognized for her leadership contributions by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, the NAACP, and the Kentucky League for Educational Alternatives. As a public speaker, she has led workshops for SHRM, the American Marketing Association, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, several Chambers of Commerce, the Ohio Society for Association Executives, the Institute for Medical Leadership, and others. She has served her community as a volunteer for the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and coached USA Jr. Olympic Volleyball for ten years in Greater Cincinnati.

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23. Caryn Esten
Chief Transformation & Integration Officer, Froedtert Health

Caryn Esten serves as Chief Transformation & Integration Officer of Froedtert ThedaCare Health, Inc., which is the legal entity that now encompasses Froedtert Health and ThedaCare. The combined organization launched \in 2024. The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network is a partnership between Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin, supporting a shared mission of patient care, innovation, medical research, and education. 

In her role with Froedtert Health, Esten is responsible for key enterprise business functions, including transformation, enterprise strategy and performance measurement, integration, and strategy implementation. Prior to joining Froedtert Health in 2005, she held leadership roles with companies in the interactive marketing and financial services industries. 

An active community leader, Esten recently completed her service as president of the Board of Directors of First Stage, a Milwaukee-based children’s theater company, and as a member of the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center Board of Directors. She currently serves on the Next Generation Leadership Council for the United Performing Arts Fund and the PRIDE United Leadership Council for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

Esten graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in accounting, management information systems, marketing, and interpersonal communication.

24. Nicole Vorkapic
Vice President of U.S. & Canada B2B Business, Inogen

Nicole Vorkapic is the Vice President of U.S. and Canada B2B Business for Inogen. Inogen’s compact, lightweight, and travel-approved portable oxygen concentrators are designed to free patients from heavy tanks, manage tank refills, or be tethered to stationary systems. 

Vorkapic is a sales, marketing, and strategy leader, with over 20 years of experience in the medical device space from sales representative to VP, currently leading sales teams and building the strategy through cross-functional collaborations to grow revenue.

During her career, Vorkapic has driven multiple cultural change initiatives, including the reduction of company turnovers by hiring for cultural fit. She has led initiatives that grew revenue through the development and implementation of strategies and by shortening sales cycles through training on sales best practices company-wide. 

She is a customer-centric business development healthcare leader with an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Vorkapic’s senior operations and marketing roles accompany her sales experience and have allowed her to refine skills in strategy, process, and team development. Throughout her career, she has enabled and driven growth in mature and high-growth B2B companies, including Baxter and Applied Medical. As a lifelong learner with an insatiable curiosity, she naturally gravitates to processes and teams that need revitalizing or pioneer ideas that need developing. After all of her years of experience, she returned to school in 2018 and graduated from the Executive MBA program at Kellogg.

25. Kelly Cook Andress
President, SageLife

Kelly Cook Andress began her career in senior housing in 1989 at Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. where she was Vice President for Development and Finance. She helped define the company that came to define the industry.

She has been closely involved in the development of more than 20 communities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic; developing, acquiring, and operating senior communities at all levels of independence and care.

Seeing the evolution in senior housing move towards cookie-cutter, Wall Street-driven corporations, Kelly was inspired to forge a new definition of senior living; rooted in a dedication to building communities with the flexibility to adjust around residents as their desires and needs change. SageLife disrupts the negative paradigms around aging that have been barriers to the acceptance of senior living as an aspirational move; as the wisest choice for aging well. 

SageLife communities in Pennsylvania are Plush Mills in Wallingford, Daylesford Crossing in Paoli, Echo Lake in Malvern, and The 501 at Mattison Estate in Ambler. In addition, the company operates Artisan at Hudson in Hudson, Massachusetts, and Village Crossing at Worman’s Mill in Frederick, MD – which opened earlier this year.

26. Sandie Smith Black
SVP of Operations and Hospital Partnerships, Intuitive Health

Sandie Smith Black is the Senior Vice President of Hospital Partnerships at Intuitive Health, a pioneer of the combined emergency room and urgent care experience. Black started at Intuitive Health as the regional VP of operations and was promoted to SVP in 2022. She has been a leader in the healthcare industry for several decades, and her passion for the patient and quality care drives her strategic approach. 

Black’s career in healthcare operations spans the spectrum of multi-site leadership of over 100 sites and hospital department leadership, as well as ownership of an elderly care facility. She has successfully opened new markets, grown existing markets, and turned around challenging markets. 

Previously, Black was a VP of operations at Centria Healthcare. Earlier in her career, she worked with Healogics, Inc. as a program director. Black earned an MHA from Bellevue University and an undergraduate degree in arts and design from The University of Georgia.

27. Julie Schubert
Vice President of Professional Services, Artera

As the Vice President of Professional Services at Artera, Julie Schubert leads customer education and professional services. Artera is a SaaS digital health leader, building the future of healthcare communication. She’s also a corporate coach, seasoned healthcare consultant, and registered nurse with over 25 years of clinical, operational, and IT experience. 

Schubert is a pioneering healthcare change leader passionate about saving lives and leveraging healthcare technology to achieve better outcomes. She has a knack for developing the systems, structures, and teams to enable healthcare start-ups to scale with quality and reliability. She is known for effectively leading transformational change, growing teams, and achieving sustainable outcomes. 

After years spent thriving in the chaos of a trauma ER, Schubert is motivated to help care teams navigate the complexity and constant state of change in healthcare. This includes making performance excellence a way of life, as well as making it easier to do the right thing at the right time through enabling and innovative technology. Prior to joining Artera, Julie challenged the status quo and led advisory services for organizations such as IBM Watson Health, GE Healthcare, Huron, McKesson, and TigerConnect. She’s also forever grateful for the years she worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she had rich leadership development opportunities and mentorship.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and an advanced degree in leadership, organization, and management from Capella University.

28. Xochy Hurtado
Chief Operating Officer, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas

Xochy Hurtado is the Chief Operating Officer at Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. Building upon nearly 20 years of progressive leadership experience in the healthcare industry, Hurtado guides the direction of clinical and regional operations to ensure the organization’s mission and vision are realized. Her oversight of clinical operations includes two primary care clinics in San Antonio and two School-Based Health Centers in Schertz and Marion. Regional operations across MHM’s 74-county service area emphasize community health and wellness and include MHM’s Wesley Nurse Program; Community Counseling Services; and family wellness programs, such as Get FIT (Families in Training) and Blue Ribbon recognized Parenting Programs. She also oversees the Prosperemos Juntos/Thriving Together program that supports communities in cultivating behaviors, processes, and systems leading to a culture of health and sustainable improvements in well-being and equity.

Under her leadership, MHM has transitioned to telehealth for all clinical operations with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic; MHM Implemented PRAPARE (Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks and Experiences), a nationally recognized social determinants of health screening tool, in MHMs clinical and regional services. She serves as the executive sponsor overseeing the establishment of a Medical Legal Partnership pilot program within the organization to better serve the needs of patients and clients. During her tenure, MHM has been recognized as having “Top Decile Quality Metrics” for medical patient services. Hurtado also oversaw the organization-wide effort to implement two major process-improvement efforts: Becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and the first organization in Bexar County to become a Trauma-Informed Care Certified entity. Hurtado also directed MHM’s response to the changing healthcare landscape brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic and spearheaded efforts to ensure not a single outbreak occurred among staff or patients.

Hurtado earned her undergraduate degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University in College Station, a master’s degree with a specialization in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, and certificates in population health essentials and population health management and strategy from the Jefferson College of Public Health. In December 2023, she earned an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Hurtado is a member of the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative and a graduate of Leadership Women Texas 2020. She volunteers her time as a board member for the Trinity University Board of Visitors and the United Way of San Antonio. She also serves as a member of Methodist Healthcare System’s Clinical Excellence Committee and Ethics and Compliance Committee. Hurtado lives in San Antonio with her husband Todd and their two children.

29. Ruby Liu
Vice President of Enterprise Pharmacy, Alignment Healthcare

Ruby Liu is the Vice President of Pharmacy at Alignment Healthcare, a healthcare company that provides population health management services as a health plan and in partnership with health systems and provider groups around the country. In her role, Liu oversees all aspects within the pharmacy enterprise, from pharmacy benefit design, strategy, operations, clinical services, and regulatory compliance to vendor account management. She ensures the overall efficiency and effectiveness of pharmacy services for all products and markets. 

Since joining Alignment Healthcare in 2016, Liu has been instrumental in the growth and recognition of the organization’s pharmacy services. Liu has implemented strategic initiatives that align bridging gaps in care with profitable, high-quality pharmacy services. These pharmacy services have earned accolades, including the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s (PQA) Excellence in Quality Award for an impressive five consecutive years and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) highest 5-star rating for Medicare prescription drug plan services.

Before assuming her current position, Liu held clinical and leadership roles that span specialty pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management, and managed care. Prior to her tenure at Alignment Healthcare, she managed a start-up specialty pharmacy, pioneering innovative services aimed at enhancing health outcomes. This endeavor was particularly notable for its patient-centric focus on improving medication adherence among patients with HIV/AIDS. She also previously served as a clinical pharmacist at OptumRx, a division of UnitedHealth Group, where she was recognized as a subject matter expert in Medicare formulary operations and clinical programs. Liu has progressively ascended through leadership roles, utilizing her extensive experience in the industry to consistently provide pharmacy services of the highest quality, skillfully handling the complexities of the dynamic healthcare environment. 

Liu is a licensed pharmacist in California. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy, where she graduated summa cum laude. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, graduating magna cum laude, from New York University where she pursued a pre-medicine track.

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30. Tara Bryant
Chief Medical Officer, VIVA Health

Tara M. Bryant joined VIVA HEALTH in 2012 as the company's first full-time medical director. Now the Chief Medical Officer, Bryant is involved in the day-to-day clinical operations of VIVA HEALTH, working with front-line staff to advocate for members and deliver quality care. 

VIVA HEALTH's leaders pride themselves on being approachable, and Bryant is no exception. Her passionate dedication, deeply caring nature, and interdisciplinary approach make her a trusted advisor both in and outside the company. Bryant began her medical career in the nursing field and allows the patient-first mentality she fostered during that time to guide her work today. Her philosophy is, "You can't take the nurse out of the doctor." 

Bryant earned an MD from Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama and an undergraduate degree in nursing from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

31. Brenda Terzich-Garland
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & President, Applied Behavior Consultants

Brenda J. Terzich-Garland is the Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Applied Behavior Consultants, a human services agency dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and learning disorders.

Terzich-Garland is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been an officer of the California Association for Behavior Analysis. She’s also been certified by Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc. as a PECS Supervisor and Implementer. She’s an ACT Therapist and a member of the International Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the California Association for Behavior Analysis (Cal-ABA). She served as a board member for the B.F. Skinner Foundation and has received multiple awards for her work. 

Terzich-Garland is the author of the book The R.E.A.L. Model, Rethinking Generalization, published in 2020. She received her Master’s degree in Psychology (with a concentration in Behavior Analysis) from the California State University, Sacramento. 

32. Betsy Chapin Taylor
Chief Executive Officer, Accordant

Betsy Chapin Taylor is an award-winning author, speaker, and consultant, drawing on 30 years of experience in healthcare, philanthropy, and board governance. Taylor serves as CEO of the healthcare consulting firm Accordant, which focuses on advancing philanthropy and board governance. She is the author or editor of multiple books including Healthcare Philanthropy: Advance Charitable Giving to Your Organization’s Mission, Boards & Philanthropy: Developing the Next-Curve Revenue Source, Redefining Healthcare Philanthropy, Advancing the CEO’s Role in Healthcare Philanthropy, Transforming Health Care Philanthropy, and Systemization & Regionalization of Health Care Philanthropy. 

Her work has also been featured in trade publications, including Healthcare Executive, BoardRoom Press, Modern Healthcare, Trustee, STAT, Wharton Healthcare Quarterly, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Forbes, FierceHealthFinance, Healthcare Philanthropy Journal, Chief Executive Officer, Becker’s Hospital Review, and more; she has contributed more than 40 resources to the American Hospital Association’s trustee website. 

In addition to leading Accordant, Taylor is a faculty member for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a faculty member for The Governance Institute, and a frequent speaker at conferences for healthcare, philanthropy, and governance in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the National Speakers Association, and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP). She holds the highest level of certification in health philanthropy as a Fellow of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP) and was recognized with AHP’s highest professional honor, the Si Seymour Award, in recognition of her contributions to the profession. 

She received a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York and an MBA from the University of Georgia. Advancing healthcare is also deeply personal to her. She’s a breast cancer survivor, and her personal and family health experiences fuel her authentic passion and purpose to elevate health and well-being for all people.

33. Linda Finkel
Chief Executive Officer, AVIA

Linda Finkel is the CEO of AVIA, the nation’s leading network of healthcare organizations committed to leveraging digital to accelerate the transformation of care in our country. A results-oriented innovator, Finkel has been leading high-growth businesses to success and results for more than 20 years. As a healthcare leader, she has collaborated with hundreds of health systems and digital health companies to transform patient care, the health of her communities, and the financial sustainability of the providers and payers that serve them.

Prior to joining AVIA, she served as COO of Accretive Health’s population health business, where she held responsibility for the core elements of service launch and delivery. Previously, Finkel held several executive leadership roles, including co-head and COO of Bowne Business Solutions, now Williams Lea USA, where she led the business to market leadership with revenue of $300 million and 3,000 employees in four countries. Prior to her role at Bowne, she served as president of Donnelley Business Services, the leading business services provider to top-tier financial institutions and professional service firms, where she grew from $30M to $90M in less than four years. Finkel was part of the founding executive team of the company, which she helped take public and continued to run as the largest business unit of Donnelley Enterprise Solutions Inc., a publicly traded NASDAQ company. Finkel holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University.

34. Margot Case
Chief Growth Officer, Wondr Health

Margot Case serves as Chief Growth Officer of Wondr Health, a proven leader in digital behavior change with a clinically proven, personalized approach that helps people improve their physical health and emotional well-being by providing lifelong behavior change skills and tools. Wondr Health prevents and reduces the cost of chronic health conditions and improves the quality of life for its participants.

Case is a seasoned commercial leader with over twenty years of driving impact on health outcomes for payers and employers. She has diverse experience leading teams in high-growth, healthcare environments and is passionate about health tech innovation. Prior to working at Wondr Health, Case was the Chief Commercial Officer for Covera Health, and before that, she worked multiple roles at Anthem, Inc., WebMD Health Services, Axial Healthcare, and others. She first reached the C-suite as a senior vice president of operations at Onlife Health. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Vanderbilt University.

35. Merle Griff
CEO and Founder, SarahCare Adult Day Services

Merle Griff is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of SarahCare Adult Day Services, Inc. SarahCare provides best-in-class health-related care for seniors, offering a suite of services, including memory care, chronic care management, and restorative nursing, along with socialization and activities to complement the adult day care center. The U.S.-based company is developing internationally in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.  

She began her professional career working with children and youth as a play therapist. She developed therapeutic techniques that have been published and used throughout the world, namely Family Play Therapy and Intergenerational Play Therapy. As Director of the McKinley Center Intergenerational Project, she developed many programs that brought together children from babies through college-age with seniors.

Griff has served on numerous national boards and task forces, including being the past chairperson of the board of directors for NADSA, an invited task force member for the Assistant Secretary of Program and Evaluation in the Department of Aging, and a delegate to the last three White House Conferences on Aging. She is an active member of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Caregiver Workforce Group and a Thought Leader for HEOPS, Inc., a leader in managed care services.

She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences, host of the podcast Caught Between Generations, and a Forbes book author. Her latest book, Solace in the Storm: Caring for Loved Ones of Every Generation, was released in 2023. She has a PhD in human development and psychology from Walden University.

36. Morgan Haynes
President, Tribal Health

As President of Tribal Health, Morgan Haynes oversees executive strategy and business development, while fostering an inclusive culture of humanitarian purpose and professional growth. A healthcare change agent for the underserved, she is uniquely skilled at aligning solutions to care disparities with profitable, sustainable business programs. Under her leadership, the company has consistently driven year-over-year revenue growth and most recently, quadrupled its national presence in one year. 

An energetic and inspiring leader who has led operations for private, public, and federal healthcare systems, Morgan Haynes has more than a decade of expertise in business development, M&A, and federal contracting. She is recognized for her ability to drive transformative growth, recruit elite talent, and motivate a productive workforce at unprecedented engagement levels. 

She served as a top officer and advisor for telemedicine leader MeMD until its acquisition by Walmart. She is a passionate advocate for the medical ketogenic diet in managing intractable epilepsy. In addition to holding a Professional Human Resources certification from the Society for Human Resource Management and The Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional certification, she holds an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Arizona State University. Haynes was named 40 under 40 by Phoenix Business Journal and Staffing Industry Analysts.

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37. Van Ton-Quinlivan
Chief Executive Officer, Futuro Health

Van Ton-Quinlivan is the Chief Executive Officer of Futuro Health, whose nonprofit mission is to improve the health and wealth of communities by growing the largest network of allied healthcare workers in the nation. Focused on bringing untapped talents onto education journeys into healthcare credentials, Futuro Health recently announced a new commitment of $100 million from Kaiser Permanente to bring its workforce solution nationwide in aid of the industry. 

As an appointee of Governor Newsom, Ton-Quinlivan chairs the California Health Workforce Education and Training Council. She recently spoke at the World Health Organization convening in Geneva and keynoted the National Governors Association Healthcare Collaborative to share best practices for addressing healthcare workforce shortages.

Ton-Quinlivan is a nationally recognized expert in workforce development and a catalyst for inclusive economic mobility through higher education. Her distinguished career spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Formerly executive vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Ton-Quinlivan has been quoted for her expertise in The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Insider Higher Education, Stanford Social Innovation Review, US News & World Report, and other publications.

In 2013, Ton-Quinlivan was named a White House Champion of Change under the Obama Administration in recognition of her notable career in industry, education, and service as a community leader. She received the California Steward Leader Award in 2017 for her dedication to collaboration and work with public, private, and civic leaders to support economic and social mobility for state residents. From 2019 to 2022, she served as a mediaX Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.

Ton-Quinlivan serves on the boards of the National Student Clearinghouse and Silicon Valley Community Foundation and is a member of the International Women’s Forum. In addition, she is an advisor to the Achieve Partners Putting America Back to Work venture fund and the Apprenticeships for America Advisory Council. Ton-Quinlivan is a podcast host and author of the best-seller book, WorkforceRx: Inclusive and Agile Strategies for Employers, Educators, and Workers During Unsettled Times. She resides with her husband and two children in California.

38. Maysa Akbar
Chief Diversity Officer & Chief of Psychology in the Public Interest, American Psychological Association

Maysa Akbar is a respected scientist-practitioner and the American Psychological Association’s Chief Diversity Officer and Chief of Psychology in the Public Interest. She is charged with infusing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into the fabric of the association’s work.

As the leading architect of APA’s evolving EDI framework, Akbar works with APA staff, leaders, and members to refine and build consensus for an overall plan, operationalize its goals, and establish metrics to monitor and ensure progress. The CDO also serves as a spokesperson and advocate for EDI in the field of psychology, both within and outside the association. Before assuming the CDO post, Akbar was the founder and chief executive officer of a clinical practice based in New Haven, Connecticut, which specialized in race-based trauma. She created a consulting firm and educational network focused on organizational cultural transformation. Her firm delivered cutting-edge programs anchored in EDI to city governments, public schools, and court systems, among other entities. 

Akbar’s areas of specialty include racial identity development, racism, urban trauma, and allyship, topics on which she has authored research articles, books, and book chapters. Akbar is an experienced instructor and master trainer in EDI for both the medical and the broader community. She has a BA in psychology, an MS in community psychology, and a PhD in clinical psychology. She completed her pre- and post-doctoral training in clinical child psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine. 

39. Cornelia Vremes
Chief Operations Officer, Kugler Vision

As an accomplished healthcare executive, Cornelia Vremes possesses a breadth of knowledge and expertise in change and project management, process improvement, and financial management. Cornelia’s focus is on developing organizational excellence by transforming and optimizing operational systems, business processes, and clinical workflows, as well as leading strategic initiatives that drive company performance and growth. 

Being a lifelong learner, Vremes strives to instill the same passion for learning in everyone by sharing her knowledge and insights. She received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Bellevue University, and later a Master’s in business administration and a Doctorate in Leadership from Creighton University. Her doctoral dissertation focused on dyad leadership in healthcare settings. Vremes is currently teaching graduate courses in healthcare finance, change management, project management, and leadership studies.

40. Milica McDowell
Vice President of Product & Sales, e-Learning Division, Physitrack PLC

Milica McDowell is the Vice President of Product and Sales, e-Learning Division, at Physitrack, a London-based health-tech company that is the world leader in remote patient care. Since joining the organization, she has been responsible for launching Physitrack's professional e-learning division, Physicourses, which provides on-demand education and training to medical and wellness practitioners worldwide. She leads a global team of educators, authors, therapists, and operations professionals who curate education from world-class authors while partnering with industry-leading organizations such as the Gray Institute, Evidence in Motion, and the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Prior to joining Physitrack, McDowell was the senior director of medical at an international consumer product goods company, where she oversaw live and e-learning education and product development for medical and fitness professionals. She served as an adjunct faculty at her alma mater, Montana State University for nine years, where she taught undergraduate courses in human performance and mentored pre-medical students. Her professional background includes several successful brick-and-mortar startups, including an orthopedic and sports physical therapy clinic, Clearwater Therapeutics; a durable medical equipment company, Bluebird Medical Supply; a full-service fitness center, Epic Fitness; a CrossFit gym, CrossFit Send It; and a predictive analytics company in the biomechanics and motion capture space, 4CSports Injury Analytics. 

In addition to her role at Physitrack, McDowell currently serves as the Head of Professional Education at Fringe, a U.S.-based continuing education and product company. Additionally, she is a scientific consultant for several medical and fitness product companies that engage her expertise in research, literature review, and scientific product claims development as part of growth or go-to-market activities. She is the author of a series of evidence-based professional education programs, is a textbook chapter author, and has been invited to lecture at numerous national and international conferences. 

McDowell earned her master’s in physical therapy at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Idaho State University, where she studied predictive factors of non-contact knee injuries in skeletally immature female athletes. She is a member of the APTA, ACSM, and NATA and has completed 13 Ironman triathlons.

41. Carol McKinley
President & CEO, Simpson Senior Services

Carol McKinley serves as the President and CEO of Simpson Senior Services, a regional retirement system in the Philadelphia area composed of three retirement communities, three affordable housing communities, a home care company, and a rehabilitation company. She also serves as a member of the LeadingAge of Pennsylvania Board of Directors, a trade association representing more than 380 quality senior housing, health care, and community services across the Commonwealth. These providers serve more than 75,000 older Pennsylvanians and employ over 50,000 dedicated caregivers daily. She is a veteran health care executive and licensed nursing home administrator, having served in a wide range of health care and aging services for over 35 years.

Her academic credentials include a Doctorate in Administration and Leadership from The Indiana University of Pennsylvania; a Master of Social Work specializing in health care and gerontology from Boston University; and a B.A. in social work with a health care focus from West Virginia Wesleyan College.

McKinley has devoted much of her education and career to the care of older adults. She is committed to elders having quality lives, being treated and respected as adults, and receiving the care and services they need to live to their full potential. Motivated by the challenging healthcare environment, her overall goals are using creativity with available resources and finding ways in which elders can continue to be honored. She vigorously participates in streamlining care pathways through appropriate collaboration and partnership, including post-acute strategy, value-based care programming, value proposition development, and advancing partnership development. She has been active in strategic initiatives in person-directed services; dementia care strategies; technology advancements; renovating for relevance; and navigating new reimbursement models. In her endeavors, she has been an advocate for both state and national issues. She has spoken on the national and international level to advance the elder care agenda.

42. Charisse Litchman
Chief Medical Officer, BeCareLink

Charisse Litchman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of BeCare Link, an AI-driven platform for quantitative assessment of neurologic function. Since its inception in 2017, Litchman has helped guide the company’s vision and goal of fundamentally changing the way patients and medical professionals understand and manage chronic neurologic diseases, remove biases, and find new treatment options with better outcomes. 

Trained at Yale School of Medicine and Cornell-New York Hospital, Litchman has had a successful neurology private practice for 25 years, was on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine, worked with a Contractor Research Organization monitoring pharmaceutical trials, and created a migraine service at a telehealth company.

As CMO of BeCare Link, Litchman addresses the need for more objective, sensitive measurement of neurologic function that often makes clinical trials and drug development for neurologic patients long, expensive, and yield low-quality data. Remote, ongoing monitoring enhanced by artificial intelligence empowers real-time detection of subtle changes in neurologic function. The result is improved patient outcomes. Studies at Yale School of Medicine and Weill Cornell provide empiric proof of the app’s convergent validity with traditional, in-clinic neurologic exams.

A former assistant professor of clinical neurology at Yale School of Medicine, Litchman has published articles on headaches and multiple sclerosis and served as an editor of the first textbook on a rare soft tissue tumor. She earned a Medical Editing and Writing certificate from the University of Chicago. Litchman earned an MD in internal medicine from Yale University School of Medicine and an undergraduate degree in biopsych from Wesleyan University.

43. Jenna Hartter
Senior Director of Operations, Cubby Beds

Jenna Hartter is the Senior Director of Operations at Cubby Beds, where she leads supply chain, quality, and revenue operations, along with overall P&L responsibility. Cubby Beds manufactures and sells smart beds to improve sleep, safety, and sensory control for people with cognitive conditions. Since launching in 2020, Cubby has shipped thousands of beds to families of kids with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and many other conditions. Cubby is the only app-enabled bed on the market and is on a mission to provide revolutionary technology solutions that kids love, doctors trust, and families rely on. 

Before joining Cubby, Hartter was a fractional operations director for several direct-to-consumer startups and was an operations leader at Unilever. She has successfully led software and business process transformations, initial forecast and KPI development, and supply chain operations at organizations of many sizes. She holds a B.S. degree in finance and sustainability from Oregon State University. She has given her time as a volunteer with the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute as a Startup Mentor and as the treasurer for the Udall Alumni Association. 

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44. Elisa Gil-Pires
SVP of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer, Charles E. Smith Life Communities

As Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Elisa Gil-Pires oversees the health services (including palliative and hospice care) provided to the 1,000 residents living on the Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC) campus in Rockville, Maryland. These healthcare services include the Hirsh Health Center, an on-site medical center, the Warren R. Slavin Post-Acute Care Center, and the long-term care residents at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, the largest skilled nursing center in Maryland. She also provides geriatric primary care, as well as palliative care to her patients on campus.

Gil-Pires manages a full-time medical staff of six physicians and two nurse practitioners. She also monitors many consultants and specialists who attend to their patients who live on the CESLC campus. As medical director, she is very involved with community hospital partners in planning for the future of healthcare delivery to older adults, in the context of population health.

Gil-Pires is a certified medical director, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Medical Directors Association. She is triple-boarded by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Geriatrics, Hospice, and Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine. She also serves as a site director for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at the National Institutes of Health. Most recently has been appointed as the site director for the Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America. 

She is passionate about serving older adults and ensuring they receive the best specialized medical care and are treated with dignity and empathy and regularly presents at many medical symposiums held throughout the state of Maryland.

45. Elizabeth Johnson
Chief Executive Officer, MedicoCX

Elizabeth Johnson started her career in allergy and immunology and fell in love with the challenge of specialty medication access. Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer for MedicoCX, a group of independent specialists unified by patient-centric access to biologics, as well as a co-founder and the immediate past President of the National Association of Medication Access & Patient Advocacy (NAMAPA). Elizabeth is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with a rich background in patient care and holds multiple certifications, including a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Prior Authorization Certified Specialist (PACS), Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA), and Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC). These exemplify her knowledge of some of the most integral parts of medication access and the entire healthcare spectrum. 

Combining this knowledge with her love of training, Johnson has been able to successfully and consistently educate facilities and physician practices on various methods of acquisition for injectable and infused biologics and biosimilar medications. With a strong focus on understanding medical benefits and buy and bill, she continues to explain how each benefit impacts a patient, clinic/facility, and other key stakeholders. Her efforts have resulted in millions of dollars of unrecognized revenue for medical practices across the U.S., all while maintaining the patient and their affordable access to treatment as the highest priority. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of West Florida.

46. Veronica Glickman
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Autism, Behavioral, & Educational Services

Veronica Glickman, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Autism Behavioral and Educational Services, Inc. (ABES), has dedicated her professional career to working with those with autism spectrum disorder, and their families. Her career in healthcare began early 2000.

As an undergraduate student at Adelphi University, Long Island, NY, she worked towards her Psychology degree by providing vocational training and placement.

Since then, Veronica has earned: a Master of Arts Degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Hartford; a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University; and a Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Veronica’s experience spans from early childhood, 18 months through adulthood. With this, she’s created and supervised in-home and clinic-based behavior analysis programs, she has set up classrooms, trained professionals, and was an administrator at therapeutic day school. She continues to mentor and supervise students studying applied behavior analysis.

Veronica’s twenty-year plus tenure spans across four states: New York, Connecticut, California and Illinois. Upon diagnosing and recommending behavior analytic services in Illinois, Veronica found that there was a lack of service providers and ABES, Inc. was born.

Veronica has been invited to speak on many radio-talk shows and conferences regarding autism awareness and autism and safety. Recently, she co-authored a chapter named Inclusion is a Matter of Life and Death. More Than We Realize.

Veronica’s current interests include medical necessity for applied behavior analysis services, working with insurance companies and the legal aspect of when services get denied by insurance companies. Additionally, Veronica provides consultation services to other agencies on topics such as proper treatment plan writing, appealing denials, clinical support and set up, implementation of proper training programs, contract negotiations, credentialing, operations and quality assurance.

View the complete list of awardees