March 2016

Cover Story

Last summer, Norwegian Cruise Lines approached the Port of Seattle with a plan. The company wanted to expand its Alaska cruise business by using much larger ships and wanted the port to upgrade Pier 66 so the 5,500 people on board each ship and all their luggage could be quickly loaded and unloaded. The port was interested.

From this Issue

As technology improves and Americans spend more on treatments to cure or prevent disease and injury, 2016 is likely to be a challenging year in health care. Doctors, nurses and clinicians are learning to work in new and innovative ways as consumers rely on video consults and their smartphones as diagnostic tools. The 18 honorees in Seattle Business magazine’s 2016 Leaders in Health Care Awards are up to the challenge. All are champions for change, compassionate visionaries who believe in better patient care.

Last summer, Norwegian Cruise Lines approached the Port of Seattle with a plan. The company wanted to expand its Alaska cruise business by using much larger ships and wanted the port to upgrade Pier 66 so the 5,500 people on board each ship and all their luggage could be quickly loaded and unloaded. The port was interested.

Friends and I were talking recently about one of Seattle’s infrastructure problems — don’t remember if it was the abysmal traffic, rising homelessness, the messy waterfront — and I said, as I often do in these situations, “Maybe it’s time for Buddy Cianci.” All told, Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci, who died in January, was mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, for 21 years. He also was a convicted felon.

Since ending her term as governor of Washington in 2013, Christine Gregoire has lived a somewhat less public life taking care of grandchildren, chairing the 2015 advisory committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and serving on the boards of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center. She is coming out of semiretirement to head up a new initiative aimed at raising Seattle’s awareness of itself — and its international profile.

Harlan Robins is solving scientific puzzles to improve the way the health care industry diagnoses, monitors and treats diseases around the globe. His company, Adaptive Biotechnologies, has pioneered a patented immunosequencing technology that leverages next-generation sequencing to profile T-cell and B-cell receptors of the adaptive immune system.

Challenging the status quo of health care delivery is what the CHI Franciscan Health Care team likes to do. Led by Matt Levi, director of Virtual Health Services, and Lana Adzhigirey, Care Transformation Progam manager, the team plays a critical role in implementing modern technological initiatives at CHI Franciscan.

For the past several years, Julia Colson has helped bring free dental, vision and medical care to nearly 8,000 people in a safe and respectful environment. She is the project director for Seattle/King County Clinic, a large-scale, volunteer-driven free clinic event that has taken place at KeyArena during a four-day period in October 2014 and October 2015. The patients seen were primarily the working poor who waited in line overnight at Seattle Center to be admitted. Discussions and fundraising are under way to determine whether the event can be held again this October.

Designing a whole new world of proteins to address 21st-century problems in biomedicine, energy and technology is all in a day’s work for David Baker. Baker, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences, is leading a team of researchers tackling the problem of protein folding with an online puzzle video game. A world-renowned expert in proteomics, Baker has his research group developing methods to predict and design the three-dimensional structures of proteins.

The heart and soul of Colleen Delaney’s medical practice is patient care. “To provide meaningful hope to patients where their future is uncertain and to walk that path with them is what I care most about,” she says. “I develop long-term relationships with my patients and their families. Now, I have the opportunity to make an even bigger impact on a more global scale. This drives me to work harder.”

Mark Adams is a change agent. He has been the catalyst for transforming the way CHI Franciscan delivers health care — improving patient access to care and advancing patient outcomes through innovative tools. He led the creation of CHI Franciscan’s Health and Informatics Department in 2013 and managed the successful systemwide implementation of the organization’s Epic EHR system on time and under budget.

Since joining The Polyclinic in 2001, Anita Geving has helped transform the company into the leading independent, multispecialty medical practice in the Puget Sound region. The clinic has grown from 83 physicians and 425 staff members in 2001 to more than 200 physicians and advanced practice clinicians today, along with 1,025 staff members. It provides care to more than 200,000 patients at 15 locations in and around Seattle.

Thomas Martin, former CEO and superintendent of Lincoln County Hospital, has increased access to health care throughout his community and continues to remain an important advocate for rural health care and critical access hospitals all across the state.

As chief executive of acute care for the Swedish Health Services system, June Altaras guides her team to deliver the most efficient, effective and reliable care in Swedish hospitals by working directly with chief executives at each campus.

For the past 40 years — his entire career — Rich Umbdenstock has been leading change in a field where he says “doing the extraordinary is the ordinary.” Along the way, he has helped to improve the quality and safety of health care for Americans.

Winner: CHI Franciscan Health Care Transformation Services Team; Silver Award: Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed)

Winner: Julia Colson, Seattle/King County Clinic; Silver Award: Swedish Community Specialty Clinic Dental Program

Winner: David Baker, University of Washington; Silver Award: HealthSparq

Winner: Colleen Delaney, M.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research; Silver Award: Charles E. Murry, M.D., University of Washington

Winner: Mark Adams, M.D., CHI Franciscan; Silver Award: Joanne Roberts, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett

Winner: Anita Geving, The Polyclinic; Silver Award: Sundeep Malik, M.D., Physicians Anesthesia Service, Seattle

Winner: Thomas Martin, Lincoln Hospital, Davenport; Silver Award: Rand Wortman, Providence Health & Services, Richland

Winner: June Altaras, Swedish Medical Center; Silver Award: Sarah Patterson, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Rich Umbdenstock, American Hospital Association

Honoring brilliant leaders doing heroic work.

The debate about rules for the ‘sharing economy’ creates its own kind of disruption.

Seattle startup provides one-stop shopping for algorithms.

The CEO is getting results in his bid to make the agency less intractable.

New pizza places embrace taste, not geography.

Bringing cord stem cell discoveries to the marketplace.

Former Governor Christine Gregoire takes on new responsibilities as CEO of Challenge Seattle.

When the desultory style of Seattle’s mayor leaves you wishing for a felon.

Ted Fick’s leadership style is worth emulating.

How to reduce estate tax liability with a charitable trust.

A vast network of community guilds makes Seattle Children’s a fundraising juggernaut.