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Modern Healthcare - 2021-05-03

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Recognizing healthcare’s diversity leaders

FRONTLINE

When Modern Healthcare began celebrating the Top 25 Minority Leaders in 2006, the pool of candidates was much narrower than it is today. But the influence of those who became perennials on the list—Gene Woods, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Lloyd Dean and others—grew far beyond their organizations and their communities as they took the national stage. As the industry saw advancements in the number of persons of color entering leadership positions, our program expanded to include those “To Watch.” That added honorees like Delvecchio Finley, Debra Canales and Dr. Sachin Jain. They, too, have taken on new roles, and in some cases, at institutions that reflect the evolution of healthcare itself. I am very proud of recognizing leaders who were or are the first in their roles, in part because I am Modern Healthcare's first Latina and first female editor. But the fact is our world is changing, and soon, minorities will no longer be factually called that. The country's population is expected to drastically change over the next decade, making persons of color no longer the smallest ethnic demographic group in America. And identity, both ethnically and as it relates to gender, is becoming a more publicly discussed issue. As a result, we have decided to increase the frequency of our program recognizing leaders of color from every other year to every year. We're also changing the name to be more reflective of our current and future society. Modern Healthcare's Top Diversity Leaders will honor persons of color who hold senior executive titles in all sectors of the industry and have proven records of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. We're also expanding eligibility to leaders who identify as members of the LGBTQ community. We'll continue to celebrate those “To Watch,” as well as the “Luminaries” who will help guide our selection of honorees. In addition, we'll recognize organizations that implement meaningful programs that advance professionals in underrepresented groups. We will begin accepting nominations for this year's class on May 3. Over the past year, we've seen increased gaps in the opportunities provided to some Americans to thrive in this country and we encourage all leaders in healthcare to advocate for successors strengthened by adversity. This award is about perseverance. It's about the winners' journeys. I can't wait to tell your stories. Thank you to Furst Group and NuBrick Partners for their ongoing support of this program.

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