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Michael Dowling Named America’s Most Influential Health Care Leader

Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling, who championed innovation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and was just as aggressive toward health equity and gun violence as a public health crisis, has been selected as America’s most influential leader in health care by Modern Healthcare.

The respected industry publication announced its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” in its December 5 issue, selecting Mr. Dowling No. 1, ahead of national brand leaders from the likes of CVS Health, UnitedHealthcare and Moderna as well as President Joe Biden (9th) and Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (11th).

Modern Healthcare’s ranking is determined by peers and the publication’s editors based on leadership and impact. This represents Mr. Dowling’s 16th year on the Modern Healthcare list; he ranked second nationally in 2020 and third last year.

“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,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor of Modern Healthcare. “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.”

As leader of New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, Mr. Michael Dowling guided Northwell Health through the darkest days of the First Wave and then worked to upend health inequalities laid bare by the pandemic. One of those initiatives became reality in 2022 when Northwell Health unveiled its Center for Maternal Health. Its goal is to improve maternal health, particularly in underserved communities, by focusing on the continuum of care while addressing health conditions that can occur from pre-conception through the first year after delivery.

“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,” said Mr. Dowling. “Of course, our daily focus is on our sickest patients. 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. The health system donated supplies to Ukraine – embroiled in an unprovoked war with Russia since February – aligned efforts with Doctors Without Borders and offered telehealth equipment and expert support to aid the frontline.

Finally, Northwell continued its mission of 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.

To see Modern Healthcare’s Top 100, go to:


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