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HEALTH CARE


LT. GEN. RONALD J. PLACE DIRECTOR, DEFENSE HEALTH AGENCY, FALLS CHURCH


Place oversees a task of almost unimaginable complexity: transferring control of military medical and dental treat- ment facilities from military departments to the Defense Health Agency (DHA). Aſter a pause during the pandemic, the transition is expected to be completed this fall. Meanwhile, Place has faced a new challenge: ensuring that active-duty service members get vaccinated against


COVID-19. By the end of June, 68% had received at least one dose, defense officials said, but it was proving difficult to convince all service members and VA workers to get their shots. In August, the Pentagon mandated that all troops must get the vaccine by mid-September. The DHA manages many military health services, including the TRICARE health benefit, for 9.6 million beneficiaries. A surgeon by training, Place was deployed to Afghanistan in 2001. He most recently served as the director of the National Capital Region Medical Directorate, and as interim assistant director for health care administration within the DHA. A native of South Dakota, Place also served as chief of surgery at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and was assistant surgeon general.


BRIAN SHEPARD CEO, UNITED NETWORK FOR ORGAN SHARING, RICHMOND


UNOS manages the nation’s organ procurement and transplantation network, under contract with the federal government. It’s a high-tech and high-emotion field, as UNOS educates and supports donors, patients and professionals while managing the national transplant waiting list and working to improve safety and equity in organ transplants.


Despite the pandemic, UNOS facilitated a record 33,000-plus life-saving transplants from deceased donors in 2020, employing about 450 staffers. “Our team is committed to our lifesaving mission, and to the patients we help, and worked through extra hours, last-minute changes and new technologies to keep the nation’s transplant system on 24/7,” Shepard says. He joined UNOS in 2010 and became CEO in 2013, having served as acting CEO since late 2012. Before that, Shepard worked in high-level positions in Virginia state government, including as director of policy in then-Gov. Tim Kaine’s administration. The Virginia native holds a history degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Virginia.


BEST ADVICE FOR OTHERS: Find a job where the mission matters. Nonprofit companies are just as technically, operationally and financially complex as for-profit companies, and we know that what we do changes lives.


RONY THOMAS PRESIDENT AND CEO, LIFENET HEALTH, VIRGINIA BEACH


Whether a patient needs a new aortic valve or a new Achilles tendon, LifeNet Health can provide it. The nonprofit, which employs 1,300 people worldwide and 913 in Virginia, is the fed- erally designated organ procurement organization for the state and is one of the world’s largest organizations that specializes in organ procurement, bio-implants and cellular therapies. Founded in 1982 as Eastern Virginia Tissue Bank, LifeNet has been led by Thomas since 2004. He serves on several boards, including those of the VCU College of Engineering Foundation, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Norfolk Academy School and the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. This year, the organization launched a newly expanded LifeSciences division to provide human cells, human tissues and other materials for scientific research, drug discovery and safety testing.


EDUCATION: Executive MBA, Case Western Reserve University; M.S in biomedical engineering, University of Akron


WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY WORK: The process of developing nascent and abstract ideas, ideas that others think are too risky or are not feasible, into full-blown programs with the help of diverse, creative teams who execute well and quickly — and seek forgiveness later if needed!


FARAAZ YOUSUF PRESIDENT, BON SECOURS — RICHMOND MARKET, RICHMOND


Under Yousuf’s leadership, the Catholic health system is looking to the future and growing rapidly to serve Richmond’s population — especially as it ages. In the last two years, Bon Secours launched a $50 million expansion of Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville, as well as a $119 million expansion of St. Francis Medical Center in Chesterfield County. It also began work this year on a $30 million free-standing emergency center


in Chester. While Bon Secours has traditionally focused on its hospitals, “as we advance in health care, we’re moving a lot of that care to the ambulatory or outpa- tient setting,” Yousuf said during the groundbreaking. Yousuf became the Richmond market president in 2019 aſter Bon Secours


and Mercy Health completed their merger in 2018. He oversees seven acute-care facilities and previously was chief strategy officer for the combined health system’s Atlantic Group. He holds degrees in health care administration and psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also on the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s board of directors.


108 VIRGINIA 500


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