Arthur Fougner was elected last year to lead the Medical Society of the State of New York, the state’s primary nonprofit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students. The Northwell Health gynecologist is responsible for advocating on behalf of physicians across the state and advancing legislative agendas to improve public health. He also is New York’s delegate to the American Medical Association and will serve until the end of 2020.
The 2020 Health Power 100; 51-100
The 2020 Health Power 100; 51-100
David Reich first arrived at Mount Sinai in 1984 to complete his residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in cardiothoracic anesthesia. He worked his way up the ranks of the institution, first as chair of the department of anesthesiology and later taking on a second leadership role as president of the Medical Board. A prolific medical expert, Reich has published more than 200 articles and served as editor for a number of publications.
Among the top lobbyists in Albany, Harold Iselin is one of the most knowledgeable experts on health care policy. Among the clients that Iselin and Greenberg Traurig represent in Albany are advocates for people with special needs, home care and elder care providers, insurers and other medical associations. Iselin, a U.S. Justice Department veteran who also co-chairs the law firm’s government law and policy practice, also specializes in insurance issues.
A formidable lobbyist, Tom Connolly has spent the past decade cycling in and around New York state government. Connolly, Bolton-St. Johns’ top health care lobbyist, previously served as director of the Council on Health Care Financing. In this role, he wrote several laws that had a significant impact on New York state health care, include the Health Care Reform Act, a mandatory Medicaid managed care law, and a law to establish hospital reimbursement methodology.
The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences isn’t just a top New York medical school – it’s also part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development program. The institution, which opened a downtown site in 2017, bears the family name of Buffalo billionaire businessman Jeremy Jacobs – whose nephew, state Sen. Chris Jacobs, is running for Congress. Michael Cain, the university’s vice president for health sciences, has been the school’s dean since 2006.
The Business Council of New York State is a leading advocate in Albany on behalf of New York businesses, including some 2,400 member companies that collectively employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers. Lev Ginsburg heads up the Business Council’s advocacy work for insurance, unemployment and financial services. He has campaigned against the proposed single-payer system bill called the New York Health Act, arguing it would “increase taxes a staggering amount.”
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, a staunch advocate for ending the “war on drugs,” doesn’t just talk about social justice – she’s been in the trenches. Prior to joining Drug Policy Alliance in 2017, she worked at Human Rights Watch, where she researched the interconnected web of drug trafficking and corruption in Colombia. Her 2018 book, “There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia,” won the Juan E. Mendez Human Rights Book Award.
Todd Rogow oversees Healthix, the largest public health information exchange in the country. As a partner in New York’s Statewide Health Information Network, the information technology company connects more than 6,000 health care sites in New York and Long Island. Rogow, who joined the company in 2015, helped drive its growth in recent years, and was promoted to the top post last year, replacing longtime leader Thomas Check.
With state officials eyeing cuts to close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, one potential target is the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, a Medicaid program providing home attendants or health aides to New Yorkers with chronic illnesses or physical disabilities. But advocates like Bryan O’Malley blocked proposed cuts last year, and are gearing up for another fight. Before he came on in 2011, O’Malley was deputy director for health and human services for the state Senate.
Marki Flannery is a leader who won’t quit. Her brief hiatus from a leadership role at Visiting Nurse Service of New York was short-lived. She left in 2017 only to return a few months later as president and CEO. Today she is in charge of a service that reaches more than 135,000 patients per year, and oversees a licensed home care agency that is now the largest in New York City.
Ordained Baptist minister Charles King brings an evangelical zeal to advocating for New Yorkers with AIDS/HIV. He co-founded Housing Works in the 1990s alongside fellow members of the AIDS activist group ACT UP. Known for its iconic bookstores as well as its advocacy work, in 2018 Housing Works announced a merger with Bailey House, creating one of the largest providers of HIV housing and primary care in New York City.
Lisa David has dedicated her career to advancing public health. She has a diverse resume of leadership roles spanning three decades, pivoting from Columbia University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to Medicines360 to Planned Parenthood. David now oversees New York City’s largest public health nonprofit organization, working on various programs including initiatives to curb tobacco use and diabetes/obesity, prevent HIV/AIDS and promote maternal and child health.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City is the largest branch affiliate of the Virginia-based National Alliance on Mental Illness. As executive director, Matt Kudish is responsible for expanding the organization’s outreach and partnership efforts. Before joining the organization in 2017, Kudish was senior vice president of caregiver services at CaringKind, an Alzheimer’s organization. He also served as director of Hamilton-Madison House Knickerbocker Village Naturally Occurring Retirement Community in Manhattan.
As CEO of a nonprofit working to end stigma against mental illness and to improve the mental health of New Yorkers, Glenn Liebman is fighting an increasingly uphill battle. Rates of depression are surging nationwide, with suicides at their highest level since World War II. But now, thanks to Liebman’s efforts, mental health education will be required in New York schools. Liebman told Spectrum News that schools also need more psychologists and clinical staff.
Richard Park founded the first CityMD clinic on the Upper East Side in 2010. Since then, the urgent care company has grown to include more than 120 centers in New York, New Jersey and Washington state. Park led the company as CEO until mid-2019, when he negotiated a merger with Summit Medical Group. Since then, Park has stepped down as CEO, instead assuming the role of vice chairman of the merged company’s board of directors.
Catholic Health Services of Long Island has been led by Alan Guerci since 2013. A cardiologist, Guerci rose through the ranks within the network, which was founded by the Diocese of Rockville Center in 1997. Guerci oversees 18,000 employees who care for thousands of Long Islanders each year, with six hospitals and three nursing homes, physician practices, a home nursing service and community-based care for people with special needs.
Jed Levine became CEO of CaringKind in 2018 after spending three decades working for the Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving organization. He previously worked as the organization’s executive vice president and pioneered its Wanderer's Safety Program, which partners with the New York City Police Department to help locate people with dementia who get lost or go missing. He was recently appointed to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Age-friendly NYC Commission at the New York Academy of Medicine.
The New York City-based hospital that specializes in orthopedic care recently expanded its partnership with the Brooklyn Nets, opening a new outpatient center one floor below the team’s practice facility, the HSS Training Center. Louis Shapiro, who has been CEO since 2006, is credited with helping the hospital become a leading institution in its field. He serves on the executive committee of the Greater New York Hospital Association and previously served as board chairman.
The powerful American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is famous in Washington, D.C., for its lobbying against Big Tobacco and agitating for more funding for cancer research. In Albany, Julie Hart has led lobbying efforts for policies and programs to prevent and treat cancer since 2015. She has extensive knowledge of New York politics, having served as the New York state government relations director at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
The chairman of the private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners is a longtime political adviser, wielding immense influence in New York state politics – particularly on health care policy. Stephen Berger was the chairman of the powerful Berger Commission, officially called the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, which conducted wide-reaching capacity reviews of New York hospitals. The commission’s recommendations had a profound effect on New York’s health care system.
Since it was founded in New York City in 1990, the Latino Commission on AIDS has expanded to serve communities in more than 40 states and Puerto Rico. Guillermo Chacón has been president of the commission for more than a decade and oversees its efforts to develop HIV education and prevention programs in Latino communities. He is the founder of the Hispanic Health Network and was recently appointed to the city’s Commission on Human Rights.
The former Manhattan borough president is a longtime power broker in New York politics. C. Virginia Fields became president and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS in 2008, and since then has led the nonprofit’s efforts to help curb HIV and other health disparities in the African American community. In 2019, Fields oversaw a major rebranding as the commission broadened its scope beyond HIV, becoming the National Black Leadership Commission on Health.
Stacey Stewart leads the March of Dimes’ efforts to improve the health of mothers and infants. This is particularly important in the United States, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world. March of Dimes routinely evaluates all 50 states based on their maternal and infant mortality outcomes. Before joining the nonprofit in 2017, Stewart led strategic direction for United Way Worldwide as its first U.S. president.
It’s been a big year for Acreage Holdings founder Kevin Murphy, who shephered his company through a major acquisition by Canopy Growth, the largest cannabis company in the world. Murphy, a former Wall Street executive, founded Acreage Holdings and quickly grew the company into a major cannabis distributor, with a presence in at least 19 states. Acreage’s board members include former House Speaker John Boehner and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.
For the past 23 years, John Coppola has been advocating on behalf of people with substance use disorders in New York state and representing the health care providers who care for them. Coppola has been working to encourage state and local governments – and society at large – to treat substance use disorder as a mental health condition that receives the same health care privileges as any other medical condition.
Correction: An inaccurate description of John Coppola's background has been removed from this profile.
Since joining the Community Service Society of New York in 2008, Elisabeth Ryden Benjamin has handled the prominent anti-poverty nonprofit’s efforts to shape health policy and advocate for consumers and the neediest New Yorkers. A veteran of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Legal Aid Society and Bronx Legal Services, she helps drive the Health Care for All New York Campaign, a state coalition whose goal is to ensure affordable, quality health care for all New Yorkers.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis is the leading provider of HIV care, prevention services and advocacy in the United States. As CEO of the organization – the first of its kind in the world – Kelsey Louie advocates for stronger policies at the city, state and federal levels to support ending the HIV epidemic. Previously, Louie was chief operating officer and senior vice president of HIV/AIDS treatment and support services at Harlem United.
In 2012, Bruce Richman learned from his doctor that although he is HIV-positive, he had effectively controlled the virus by taking medication every day, meaning it was impossible for him to pass HIV to his partner. He wondered why more people with HIV didn’t know about this game-changing scientific advancement. To spread this message across the country, he founded the Prevention Access Campaign, leading a massive campaign called Undetectable = Untransmittable.
Amida Care was founded in 2003 by AIDS community-based organizations, and today serves New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and chronic health conditions, including HIV and behavioral health disorders. Doug Wirth, who oversees the largest Medicaid special needs health plan in New York, served on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s task force to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020 and was a health policy adviser in New York City in both the Dinkins and Giuliani administrations.
Under Robin Vitale’s leadership, the American Heart Association in New York City isn’t just a health information and medical research organization – it’s a powerful advocate for policy reform. Thanks in part to Vitale’s tireless anti-smoking campaign, New York City raised the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21. She also pushed for better physical education and health teaching requirements in schools, including a mandate for student CPR training as a prerequisite for graduation.
While many New York policymakers are focused on the state’s Medicaid program, the New York City-based Medicare Rights Center is advocating for recipients of the country’s other big federal health care program. Frederic Riccardi took over at the national nonprofit in May 2019 from longtime leader Joe Baker. A longtime advocate for the rights of the elderly and disabled, Riccardi was once described as “attack dog disguised as a health insurance counselor.”
Herminia Palacio stepped down from her role as New York City’s deputy mayor for health and human services this past summer, moving over to lead the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization focused on reproductive rights. In addition to her recent experience overseeing the city’s public health and health care system, Palacio brings a range of experience to the role, having worked in academia, clinical medicine, health policy, crisis management and philanthropy.
The $3.75 billion sale of Fidelis Care from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to the St. Louis-based Centene Corp. in 2018 got political, thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to seize part of the proceeds from the sale and the related creation of a nonprofit, the $3.2 billion Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. When Centene promoted then-Fidelis CEO David Thomas to a new position last fall, Thomas Halloran was installed as acting leader.
Associated Medical Schools of New York focuses on educating the public on the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive physician workforce. Jo Wiederhorn, who has led the organization since 2002, is responsible for developing its numerous pipeline programs throughout various stages of each would-be physician’s medical education. Previously she was chief of staff to the dean at NYU School of Medicine and director of the school’s Institute for Urban and Global Health.
Almost immediately after she was appointed CEO in 2017, Kimberly Williams guided the New York City-based mental health organization through a major rebranding, changing its name from the Mental Health Association of New York City to Vibrant Emotional Health. The new name, Williams explained, would better convey a message of hope for those living with mental health disorders. As president and CEO, she advocates for better behavioral health policies for at-risk New Yorkers.
As the YMCA of Greater New York’s 10th leader, Sharon Greenberger oversees a program that serves more than 500,000 New Yorkers. After her hire in 2015, she launched Thriving New Yorkers, Stronger Communities, a strategic plan to reach 2.2 million New Yorkers by 2025. Greenberger has spent more than 20 years in the public and private sectors, including at New York-Presbyterian, the New York City Department of Education and the School Construction Authority.
New York Road Runners is a household name for most New Yorkers – even nonrunners. The organization, which serves 670,000 runners of all ages and abilities, organizes New York City’s annual marathon and hundreds of smaller runs throughout the year. Since 2010, Michael Capiraso has emphasized programs that encourage young adults and children to hit the pavement. Capiraso previously worked in brand marketing and organizational strategy for high-profile companies including Cole Haan and Calvin Klein.
While the Albany press corps lost one of its best scribes when Bill Hammond left the Daily News in 2015, the Empire Center for Public Policy gained an expert with a wealth of knowledge who continues to dig deep on policy issues. And with health care making up a huge chunk of the state budget – and a huge chunk of the budget deficit – Hammond provides invaluable and accessible analyses that are hard to ignore.
In the 1960s, community health centers first began popping up – including a New York City storefront clinic. That clinic expanded into a network that evolved into the RCHN Community Health Foundation. At its helm is Feygele Jacobs, who came on in 2005 and now oversees the delivery of care for 25 million people. She sets the strategic goals of the foundation, the only one in the country devoted to local, nonprofit, community-governed health care providers.
It’s been six months since Christopher Del Vecchio was appointed CEO of MVP Health Care, a health insurance agency based in Schenectady. Del Vecchio, who has worked as an entrepreneur and consultant in health care and technology, served as MVP Health Care’s president and chief operating officer, and before that as executive vice president of strategy and innovation. He has a record of driving growth, including expanding MVP’s public programs throughout New York and Vermont.
Correction: An earlier version of this profile incorrectly identified the location of the company's headquarters.
Ryan Health is a federally qualified health center that serves around 50,000 patients every year, the majority of whom are Medicaid patients. Brian McIndoe has led the health center, which has locations across Manhattan, for the past five years. Named after a liberal congressman who championed its mission to provide health care for all, the center in 2018 changed its name from the The William F. Ryan Community Health Network to simply Ryan Health.
Correction: An earlier version of this profile misstated the length of Brian McIndoe's tenure leading Ryan Health.
Ramon Tallaj passed up an offer to serve as minister of health in the Domincan Republic, choosing instead to move to New York City to work with Latino communities in need. In 2015, he founded Somos Community Care, now a network of nearly 3,500 health care providers and 650,000 patients. Somos is the only physician-led performance health care provider participating in New York state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program for Medicaid redesign.
Mario Schlosser is CEO of Oscar Health, a New York City-based insurance company that champions pricing transparency and caters to millennials through its user-friendly interface and efforts to harness the power of digital innovation. Schlosser was previously a tech entrepreneur, and co-founded Oscar in 2012 alongside Kevin Nazemi and Josh Kushner, the brother of Jared Kushner. In 2018, the company caught the attention of Google’s Alphabet, which invested $375 million.
Anne Nolon has led Hudson River Health Care for nearly four decades. During that time, she has grown the organization from a single primary care site in Peekskill to a network of 28 federally qualified health centers across the Hudson Valley and Long Island. The organization also has eight affiliate health centers and a mobile health center van. Hudson River Health Care has a staff of 1,200 and serves more than 175,000 patients.
Since 1995, James Barba has led Albany Medical Center, the only academic medical center in northeastern New York and one of the region’s largest employers. He has been guiding the medical center through an ambitious renovation and expansion project for the past several years – including at $52 million pediatric emergency department. Barba sits on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council and on the board of the Greater New York Hospital Association.
Al Cardillo was first hired at the Home Care Association of New York State in 2007 as executive vice president. As president and CEO, he is responsible for nearly 400 health care providers that offer home- and community-based care to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year. For the past 30 years, Cardillo has worked in a wide range of roles, including health services development, administration, legislation and advocacy.
The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York speaks out on pressing issues confronting pharmacists across the state, from Medicaid fees to mid-year formulary changes to mail-order prescriptions. State lawmakers last year passed a bill that sets strict requirements for the licensing and regulating of pharmacy benefit managers, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed it. The nonprofit association, founded in the 19th century, is led by Steve Moore and Deanna Ennello-Butler.
Anthony Feliciano is an advocate, community organizer and supporter of the health care safety net through the New York City-based Commission on the Public’s Health System, which works to ensure that low-income and immigrant New Yorkers receive high-quality health care. Judy Wessler, a longtime health care activist who previously served as director of the organization, has continued to speak out on pressing issues. She supports the state single-payer care proposal – but argues it’s not enough.
As efforts to overhaul New York’s criminal justice system pick up steam, the treatment of inmates is under more scrutiny than ever – including the quality of care they receive. In New York City, the point person on that front is Patsy Yang, who oversees the delivery of medical, mental health and dental health services in the city’s jails. A veteran public servant, Yang has held a number of key health policy roles in city government.
A globally recognized expert in transgender medicine, Asa Radix helps oversee the care of more than 4,000 transgender and nonbinary people at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. Radix was recently named co-chair of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, which generates best-practice guidelines on transgender health. Originally from the West Indies, Radix is an associate editor of Transgender Health, the first peer-reviewed journal that aims to address the health needs of transgender individuals.