Fierce Healthcare's 2020 Most Influential Minority Executives in Healthcare

It feels like a different world from when Fierce Healthcare first put out the call for nominations for our 2020 Most Influential Minority Executives in Healthcare awards at the beginning of 2020.

In those pre-pandemic days, we said we wanted to recognize leaders of different racial and ethnic backgrounds who are shaping the way healthcare of the future will be delivered.

We wanted to find leaders who'd made a measurable impact on healthcare in the past year and have a demonstrated track record in paving the way forward for everyone. Those awards were originally going to be published this spring.

Then COVID-19 hit.

As with so many things, our plan for the awards got delayed as our team scrambled to report on the crisis sweeping the globe. Even six months later, our newsletters are regularly packed with COVID-related payer, IT and regulatory updates.

RELATED: Nominations for FierceHealthcare's 2020 Most Influential Minority Executives in Healthcare

Of course, along the way, we've witnessed a sea change in the national conversation about racial justice after a video of the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers went viral. Protests sparked in cities across the country called not only for an end to police brutality, but for more honest dialogues about race in every corner of our society. 

Healthcare is not immune to the need for this conversation. 

Study after study have shown the healthcare industry continues to suffer a lack of adequate representation, bias and disparate compensation. Research has shown very real consequences for patients in the form of poorer outcomes and led several national medical organizations to declare racism a "public health" concern. 

These two issues — the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equality — are inextricably linked as the spread of the virus and the resulting health outcomes have disproportionately hurt non-White Americans. Groups such as the American Medical Association and America's Essential Hospitals have announced initiatives in recent months to take action against structural racism. 

“The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others have forced a long overdue national reckoning over racial justice and equity,” said AEH association board of directors Chairwoman Susan Ehrlich, M.D., who is CEO of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, in a statement earlier this summer. “We must lead that conversation for our hospitals and the marginalized populations they serve.”

The media, as well, must take an honest look at the issues raised. FierceHealthcare and our parent company are taking steps to examine our own policies, including how we train, how we hire and where we spend corporate dollars. In our newsroom, we've had discussions about how we can better represent different voices in our coverage, as well as issues involving race and social disparities.  

We recognize it is in this new context that we bring these 10 very deserving honorees to you. In this group, we have health system leaders, physician executives, health IT experts and insurance leaders who are each working to make an impact on their corner of the industry. 

Learn more below about what each of them are doing.