, August 27, 2008 —
magazine has named Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (Emeritus), executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), as one of the 100 most powerful people in health care for 2008. Dr. Benjamin shares this honor with current APHA members Carolyn Clancy, MD; Karen Davis, PhD; and Margaret (Peggy) O’Kane.
In its seventh year of publication, the annual “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” list is compiled through Modern Healthcare reader nominations and votes. Driven through the Internet, hundreds of thousands of votes were cast to come up with this year’s diverse list. In this presidential election year, the issue of comprehensive health reform emerged as a top priority. In addition, many of the top 100 powerful people voted to this list attribute their ranking to strides made on the health care IT front, as well as improvements in health care quality.
“It is an honor to have Dr. Benjamin and others working in the public health sector recognized among the most powerful in health care,” said Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, chairperson of the APHA Executive Board. “Their inclusion signifies the growing acknowledgement of the importance of bringing public health into the discussion around national priority issues such as health reform, especially in such a critical presidential election year.”
Dr. Benjamin has been the executive director of APHA since December 2002. He came to the post from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he played a key role in implementing Maryland’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Dr. Benjamin was named to the list last year as well.
Dr. Carolyn Clancy has served as the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality since 2003. AHQR’s mission is to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness and efficiency of care for all Americans. Agency priorities include patient safety; care management and prevention; health IT; effective health care, including comparative effectiveness; value in health care and innovations in health care delivery. In addition, Dr. Clancy holds an academic appointment at George Washington University School of Medicine and serves as senior associate editor of Health Services Research.
Dr. Karen Davis, another featured APHA member, is president of the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable. Prior she served as chairman of the Department of Public Health and Management at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Margaret (Peggy) O’Kane, an APHA member since 1978, serves as president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of health care everywhere. Under Ms. O’Kane’s leadership, NCQA has developed broad support among the employer and health plan communities.
The list of health care leaders was published in the Aug. 25, 2008, issue of Modern Healthcare and can be found at http://modernhealthcare.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=100mpphotogallery2008.