2019 Leaders in Health Care, Oustanding Medical Center Executive, Puget Sound Region: Paul Hayes, R.N., Brian Knowles

The executive director of Harborview Medical Center and the executive director of Bailey-Boushay House are being honored as Leaders in Healthcare

This article appears in print in the March 2019 issue. See more about the winners of the 2019 Leaders in Healthcare Awards hereClick here for a free subscription.

Gold Award
Paul Hayes, R.N.
Executive Director, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle

Since November 2014, Paul Hayes has served as Harborview Medical Center’s executive director, overseeing a complex facility with more than 5,000 employees, a $1 billion budget and a mission to care for King County’s vulnerable populations. Harborview also is the Pacific Northwest region’s Level I trauma and burn center.

Previously, he held executive roles at Valley Medical Center in Renton, where he oversaw expansion and community engagement projects. When UW Medicine and Valley aligned, Hayes served on leadership committees and backed diversity initiatives. He has received recognition for work to improve care for LGBTQ patients.

At Harborview, he has continued a focus to build a diverse, equitable workplace delivering high-quality care to all patients. He launched a peace project after incidents of racial/religious tension and mass violence occurred around the world. The project’s symbol is a blue ribbon on hospital name badges with the word “peace” displayed in multiple languages. Hayes also instituted a panel promoting diversity and training with zero-tolerance for harassment, and he formed a committee focused on enhancing worker well-being while he models exercise and diet.

Hayes’ parents encouraged public service, and he has always sought work in places that embrace “care and service of vulnerable populations,” he says. While Hayes watches performance metrics at Harborview, he values employee ideas, such as a popular $5 cafeteria meal. He believes a mission is best carried out by maintaining relationships. “I listen very intently,” he says.

He also shows up at all hours, holding “town hall” forums even at 2 a.m. for the night shift.

Silver Award
Brian Knowles
Executive Director, Bailey-Boushay House, Seattle

Brian Knowles started working at Seattle’s Bailey-Boushay House in 1992, when it opened as the first skilled nursing facility in the United States built to serve AIDS patients at the end of their lives. It has since added a homeless shelter and other HIV/AIDS care programs. As executive director, Knowles is responsible for operations of the Virginia Mason-owned facility, including an inpatient nursing care program. He built an outpatient program providing multiple services. Known for a compassionate leadership style, Knowles ran focus groups to learn about concerns among his homeless clients. Around housing needs, he created a life-skills class, and he recently led the starting up of a city-funded emergency homeless shelter. 

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