Mission Health President and CEO Ronald A. Paulus, MD, Among Top 50 Most Influential in Nation

Ranked No. 13 of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders by Modern Healthcare

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 19, 2017) – Mission Health President and CEO Ronald A. Paulus, MD, has been named one of the nation’s “Top 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders” by Modern Healthcare magazine.  Through its Awards and Recognition program, Modern Healthcare selects awardees from all health sectors nationwide based upon nominees’ executive responsibility, leadership, professional achievement, innovation, community service and nationwide voting.

“Dr. Paulus has brought a unique passion for patient safety, quality and patient and team member experience to Mission Health,” said Dr. John Ball, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mission Health. “I congratulate him on this very well-deserved award and commend him on his demonstrated national leadership in improving clinical outcomes, care efficiency and the patient and team member experience.”

Shortly after becoming Mission Health’s President and CEO in September 2010, Dr. Paulus introduced his vision of a BIG(GER) Aim — a multi-faceted quality initiative designed to get every person to their desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and always with an exceptional experience for each patient, family, and team member.  Since adopting the BIG(GER) Aim, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics/IBM Watson for an unprecedented fifth time in six years beginning in 2012.  Mission Health’s inpatient mortality rate is now more than 40% lower than expected given the severity of the patients served, which translates into more than 500 patients going home to loved ones every year who would have died in a typical hospital.

Within Mission Health, Mission Hospital has been recognized among the very best performing hospitals in the nation and was recently named by US News and World Report as only one of sixty-three hospitals nationwide with top performance in all nine disease areas evaluated.  Similarly, Mission Hospital’s readmission rate is significantly less than expected given the severity of the patients served and is among the lowest in the nation and.  Beyond Mission Hospital, Mission Health member hospitals have been named Joint Commission Top Performers and Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals.  These honors under Dr. Paulus’ leadership underscore Mission Health’s performance and commitment to outstanding care, clinical excellence and the communities of western North Carolina.

“Individual awards and recognition like this are very nice, but in reality they reflect the team’s performance, not just mine,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized as a leading physician executive by Modern Healthcare and my national peers.  With healthcare changing so rapidly and so dramatically – particularly in rural regions like western North Carolina where residents are older, poorer, sicker and less likely to be insured – it’s often hard to judge progress in an objective manner.  But most important, this recognition is a positive reflection of the extraordinary dedication, support, talent, compassion and commitment of all Mission Health caregivers who I am inspired and proud to work alongside to support everyone in western North Carolina.”

Ranked at number thirteen on the list, this is the second time that Paulus has been nationally recognized by Modern Healthcare.

The complete ranking list is a main feature in the June 19 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, available at http://www.modernhealthcare.com/community/50-most-influential/2017/.


Dr. Paulus received his medical degree from The School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and his Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in health care management and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and speaks nationally on the topics of health care quality and efficiency, innovation, physician leadership and new models of care.

Prior to joining Mission Health in 2010, Dr. Paulus served as Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations at Geisinger Health System. There, he was responsible for the operations of its $1.3 billion clinical enterprise (including three hospitals, a 750+ multispecialty group practice and more than 40 ambulatory care facilities). While at Geisinger, Dr. Paulus also served as Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for ensuring system-wide innovation.

Prior to joining Geisinger, Dr. Paulus was Co-founder, President and later CEO of CareScience, Inc. (previously NASDAQ: CARE), now part of Premier health care informatics, a clinical solutions and data analytics provider that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of health care. Before that, he served as Vice President of Operations at Salick Health Care, Inc. (previously NASDAQ: SHCl), a national provider of oncology and dialysis services acquired by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.


Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. For the fifth time in the past six years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company and part of IBM Watson Health in 2017. We are the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 12,000 team members and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.

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