Northwell CEO Dowling honored as nation’s top healthcare leader

Northwell CEO Dowling honored as nation’s top healthcare leader
Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling. (Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling has been named the most influential healthcare leader in the nation by Modern Healthcare, his 16th appearance on the publication’s list.

Dowling, who was ranked second on the list in 2020 and third last year, was ranked higher than President Joe Biden, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and other brand leaders Moderna, UnitedHealthcare and CVS Health.

“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.

“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,” Modern Healthcare Editor Mary Ellen Podmolik 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.”

Aside from its continuing efforts to combat the coronavirus, Northwell also held its fourth annual conference on gun violence earlier this year. Northwell’s Center for Gun Violence has engaged hospitals and national health systems to work with communities and implement intervention programs.

The center also works to promote education on gun violence and launch awareness campaigns promoting gun safety to avoid accidental shootings and suicides, which account for roughly half of all gun-related deaths in the country.

As of this year, according to Modern Healthcare, guns are now the No. 1 cause of death among Americans 19 years old or younger.

Northwell also launched the Center for Maternal Health this year, aimed at addressing health conditions that could occur from pre-conception up to a child’s first year, particularly in underserved communities.

“Of course, our daily focus is on our sickest patients,” Dowling said. “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 worked with Doctors Without Borders by offering telehealth equipment and providing aid to Ukraine during the war against Russia.

Dowling, last year, was also named to the Top CEOs 2021 list by the job recruiting site Glassdoor, which compiled voluntary employee feedback from thousands of companies to rank America’s 100 best leaders.

Dowling earned a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award with a 96 percent employee approval rating, which placed him No. 22 among large company CEOs in the United States.

Dowling ranked second among the nation’s top healthcare/hospital CEOs on Glassdoor’s list, and he was first among all New York CEOs. Glassdoor also ranked Mr. Dowling among the nation’s Top CEOs in 2019, placing 44th overall. Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Glassdoor did not issue a Top CEO list in 2020.

During Dowling’s tenure as CEO, Northwell Health has become New York State’s largest health system, with 23 hospitals, approximately 800 ambulatory and physician practices, and $13.5 billion in annual revenue. He came to the system following 12 years as secretary of health, education and human services under former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

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