Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, this week was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare in Modern Healthcare's 2012 rankings - where he placed as the top Texas healthcare executive, and the only one from Houston to make the prestigious list.
Ranked number 15th on the list released Monday, Wolterman was among such notables as Chief Justice John Roberts (#1), as well as President Barack Obama (#4), U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (#5) and GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney (#13). Roberts, who cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the constitutionality of the individual mandate, catapulted to the top of the list. It was Wolterman's fourth and most prominent ranking on the list.
"I am truly honored to have been voted among the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare," said Wolterman, who has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. "But leaders are only as good as the people who surround them, so I share this moment with the dedicated and excellent employees at Memorial Hermann whose commitment to advancing health is second to none.
"Without our employees doing their best daily to provide the highest level, most innovative and safest care possible, this recognition would not have been possible. So, I thank them and ask that they share this moment with me," Wolterman said.
Under Wolterman's leadership over the last decade, Memorial Hermann has differentiated itself as one of the preeminent health systems in the United States - being named one of the top 15 health systems (top 5 large health systems) by Thomson Reuters for clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency.
Recently, Memorial Hermann was one of five hospitals around the country - and the only one in Texas - selected to participate in a $200 million project initiated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to increase the number of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) to help alleviate the nation's shortage of primary care providers. The system also was selected by CMS to participate as an Accountable Care Organization.
Considered the "must read publication" in the healthcare industry, Modern Healthcare received more than 21,678 nominations for its 11th annual ranking of the 100 Most Influential People. Among the healthcare leaders represented were association and corporate executives, consumer advocates and lobbyists, physicians, and leaders of some of the largest healthcare systems in the country.
The top 300 candidates, based on those 21,678 nominations, made up the final ballot, said David Burda, Editor of Modern Healthcare. Readers then voted for the five candidates on the ballot of 300 who they believed were the most influential in the industry. Some 220,330 votes were cast during the voting period from May 7 through June 15. Reader votes counted toward 50% of the outcome; the senior editors of Modern Healthcare determined the other 50%.
"The winners were those individuals in healthcare who were deemed by their peers and an expert panel to be the most influential individuals in the industry, in terms of leadership and impact," said Burda, adding that the leaders on this year's list of 100 Most Influential all possessed in common a certain fearlessness. "Rather than play it safe and hope the storm passes, they're embracing the changes in the industry. They're grabbing the clouds, reshaping them and making it rain for their organizations, patients and constituencies."