Northwell CEO Michael Dowling recognized as one of the ‘Most Influential People in Healthcare’

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Northwell Health President and CEO Michael J. Dowling, who leads the largest health care provider and private employer in New York State, has been named to Modern Healthcare magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” ranking third overall.

In Modern Healthcare’s 2021 list, Mr. Dowling ranked highest among 25 health care system or hospital CEOs nationwide.

This year, Albert Bourla, chairman & CEO of Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals, ranked first and Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, ranked second.

National leaders ranked in this year’s list include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, chief medical advisor to the president of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious  Diseases (No. 20), President Joe Biden (No. 34), and Xavier Becerra, U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services (No. 59).

Last year, Mr. Dowling ranked second on the health care magazine’s annual list only after frontline workers who were named first.

Mr. Dowling’s innovation, leadership and strong stance on social issues such as gun violence as a public health crisis as well as immigration, racial justice and the opioid epidemic, have also contributed to him earning a place on Modern Healthcare’s prestigious list for the 15th consecutive year.

The health system recently held its third annual conference on gun violence Dec. 15 with prominently known physicians, government officials and a family member whose loved one died as a result of gun violence. In addition, Northwell established a Center for Equity Care, funded a $1.3 million employee innovation challenge encouraging development of new processes and initiatives to improve health care, and implemented a broad range of employee health programs that engaged tens of thousands of staff.

Modern Healthcare’s list includes the nation’s most prominent health care CEOs, elected officials and government administrators.

“This past year has shown us how vulnerable we still are to various pandemics facing health care, and how important it is to collaborate with our dedicated frontline workers and vanguard leaders to solve problems quickly in order to help our patients, families and communities through extraordinarily difficulty times,” Dowling said. “COVID-19 is ever-present and damaging. Gun violence continues to cripple us. And there are numerous other issues that are keeping our communities from thriving. It is our responsibility to partner with them to dramatically shift the situation in the right direction.”

In 2020, Northwell Health bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic with New York City as its epicenter. To date, the health system has treated more than 254,000 COVID patients across its network, including 64,000 COVID patients who were hospitalized.

To further combat COVID-19 this year, Northwell offered COVID-19 vaccines to employees and residents across the New York metropolitan region, leveraging community partnerships. In October, Northwell Health’s staff reached 100 percent vaccination, due in part to the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers.

“In 2021, we have made great strides in protecting our communities and country against coronavirus and its variants by making available COVID-19 vaccines to adults and children ages 5 and up, as well as booster shots,” said Dowling. “However, with approximately 200 million Americans vaccinated – about 61 percent of the population – the nation recently hit a grim milestone of 800,000 Americans who have died of the virus. The health system and our cities and towns across the country must step up efforts to continue education, testing, treatment and outreach to encourage as many vaccine-hesitant people to further stem the spread of coronavirus cases.”

In 2020, Dowling authored, “Leading Through a Pandemic: The Inside Story of Humanity, Innovation, and Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Crisis, a book that continues to offer guidance to health care leaders on how to avoid the spread of future viral illness. His vision and crisis management expertise helped manage the first coronavirus surge in New York City, establish one of the nation’s most state-of-the-art testing centers at Northwell Health Labs, innovate new ways to alleviate supply shortages and utilize the entire integrated health system to improve patient care.

During his tenure as CEO, Dowling has developed Northwell Health into New York State’s largest health system with 22 hospitals, approximately 830 ambulatory and physician practices, and $15 billion in annual revenue. His ability to grow the health system into a vast clinical, academic and research enterprise builds on a legacy of innovation dating back to his 12 years of public service overseeing health, education and human services for former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. To see the complete list of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” go to:

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