Scripps President and CEO Ranked among Nation’s 100 Most Influential People in Health Care

Van Gorder, Topol make this year’s Modern Healthcare list

Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder has been named No. 65 on Modern Healthcare’s annual ranking of the nation’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, which was published in the magazine’s Aug. 25 edition.

This is the sixth time that Van Gorder has landed on the prestigious list. Van Gorder oversees almost 14,000 employees at five acute-care hospital campuses and 25 outpatient clinics. Since becoming president and CEO in 2000, he has been instrumental in positioning the organization among the nation’s leading health care institutions.

Joining Van Gorder on the list is Dr. Eric Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps, who is ranked at No. 94. A world-renowned cardiologist and scientist, Dr. Topol leads Scripps’ efforts to test and validate genetic and wireless health technologies that promise to improve patient outcomes, individualize treatments and potentially lower the cost of health care.

Distributed nationally, Modern Healthcare is one of the nation’s largest health care trade publications. Nominations for the recognition program were accepted from March 17 through April 18. Readers submitted more than 15,000 submissions. The final ballot comprising 300 candidates was based on those receiving the most nominations.

Readers then voted for their top five candidates from May 5 to June 13. More than 31,000 ballots were cast, representing 155,000 votes for individual candidates. Readers’ votes combined with the opinion of the senior editors at Modern Healthcare determined the final ranking.

In January, Van Gorder was honored by the American College of Healthcare Executives with the Gold Medal Award, the organization’s highest honor. Last year, he received the Innovation Award from Press Ganey, a national firm specializing in patient experience improvement.

Board-certified in health care management and an American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow, Van Gorder also served as 2010 chairman of the association, an international professional society of more than 40,000 health care executives who lead hospitals, health care systems and other health care organizations.

In 2010, Van Gorder launched a new direction for Scripps. In anticipation of dramatic changes in health care, he “turned the organization on its side,” creating a horizontally matrixed management structure to identify and significantly reduce unnecessary variation in patient care and health care operations. The new “One Scripps” approach led to $141 million in performance improvements in 2011 and 2012, and more than $79 million in performance improvements in fiscal 2013.

Van Gorder’s forthcoming book, “The Front-Line Leader: Building a High-Performance Organization from the Ground Up,” which will be published in November, chronicles Scripps’ turnaround and Van Gorder’s journey from police officer to CEO of a major health system.

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Janice Collins
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