Dowling named nation’s ‘most influential’ healthcare leader

Industry publication Modern Healthcare has named Michael Dowling, Northwell Health’s president and CEO, as the nation’s most influential healthcare leader.

In his role, Dowling is an advocate of innovation in fighting COVID, who pushes for health equity and the sees gun violence as a public health crisis.

In this year’s annual ranking, published earlier this month, Dowling was listed ahead of President Joe Biden (9th) and Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (11th).

“The past year had been one in which disrupters turned into major players and industry leaders raised their voices to effect change within their organizations and the broader community,” Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor of Modern Healthcare, said in a statement.

“Our 2022 ranking of the ‘100 Most Influential People in Healthcare’ recognizes these individuals who are transforming a major sector of the nation’s economy and are focused on improving care and payment models,” Podmolik added.

This year, Northwell, under Dowling’s leadership, continued to address health inequities, including by opening its Center for Maternal Health. The center is focused on improving maternal health, including in underserved communities.

“This remarkable recognition truly is a reflection of the collaboration and work ethic elicited by thousands of Northwell team members who deliver compassionate care to our patients each and every day,” Dowling said in a statement.

“Of course, our daily focus is on our sickest patients,” Dowling added. “But to serve our broader community, we also look at health trends both looming on the horizon and lurking under the cover of darkness. That’s why we’ve taken a stand against gun violence. That’s why we’ve opened Northwell’s Center for Maternal Health to reduce maternal mortality, especially among black Americans.”

Northwell has also looked beyond borders to offer aid where it’s needed most. This year the healthcare system donated supplies to Ukraine, as it grapples with an unprovoked war with Russia since February.  Here, Northwell aligned efforts with Doctors Without Borders and offered telehealth equipment and expert support to aid the frontline.

Northwell is also shining a light on gun violence in 2022 by launching an advocacy campaign to ensure that guns in homes with children are locked and out of harm’s way. Northwell launched its Center for Gun Violence Prevention in 2020 on the heels of hosting its first forum on the issue in 2019. Guns are now the No. 1 cause of death among Americans 19 and younger.

Dowling has appeared on the Modern Healthcare list 16th time,  and was ranked second in 2020, and third in 2021.

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