Belying The Name Of His Organization, Lloyd Dean Has Brought Forward Thinking And Growth To Dignity, One Of The Nation’s Largest Health Systems.

June 20, 2017
Healthcare Services

He is, in the words of no less an authority than Fortune magazine, “the most connected Bay Area CEO you’ve never heard of.” As CEO of San Francisco-based Dignity Health, Lloyd Dean, whom we placed in 2000, has done nothing short of guiding one of the nation’s largest health systems through the precarious and uncertain waters of the 21st Century healthcare sector with aplomb and fortitude. He is “a go-to community leader,” Larry Baer, the CEO of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, said in 2013.


Dignity operates healthcare facilities across 22 states, including more than 400 hospitals, urgent and occupational care centers, imaging centers, and home health and primary care clinics. It has 39 hospitals in its portfolio.


No matter how tumultuous and challenging the healthcare industry becomes year to year, Dean has managed to instill calm and direction in Dignity’s operations. In 2012 Dignity closed on the $450 million purchase of U.S. HealthWorks, the nation’s largest independent operator of occupational medicine and urgent-care centers; the move brought Dignity into an additional 16 states. Dean aims to have Dignity rank as the third-largest health system in the U.S. by 2020.


He is well on his way. Take, for example, the first quarter of 2017, when Dignity posted operating income of $30.8 million on revenue of $3.25 billion, compared with an operating loss of $47.5 million on revenue of $3.08 billion during the same quarter in 2016. In fiscal year 2016, Dignity invested $680 million in capital projects, and another $2.2 billion in charity care, as well as community health and support. Dignity has also formed a partnership, Precision Medicine Alliance, with Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives to create what will be the largest community-based precision medicine program in the country.


The second-oldest child born to a Michigan foundry worker and a housewife, Dean, who also serves on the boards of McDonald’s and Wells Fargo, is an American Horatio Alger story in the truest sense—a leader who is redefining what it means to lead a complex healthcare system. “I love what I’ve been able to do in this job,” he told Fortune. “I hope I’ve provided an example.”

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