NCHL Names North Shore-Lij Health System President and CEO Michael J. Dowling Recipient Of 2011 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award

Share Article

Michael Dowling is being recognized for bringing innovation and accountability to healthcare and for creating a culture of mentorship at North Shore-LIJ Health System. He will be honored at NCHL's Invitational Symposium and Award Dinner on November 15, 2011.

News Image

Michael J. Dowling

“Dowling is a visionary leader who embraces innovation to achieve outcomes and in doing so, has led North Shore-LIJ to be noted for programs that reduce medical errors, foster continuous learning, embrace accountability, and recognize success."

The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), a leading authority on researching and implementing best practices to achieve leadership and organizational excellence in healthcare, has named Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive officer of North Shore-LIJ Health System, as the recipient of its 2011 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award for bringing innovation and accountability to healthcare and contributing significant and lasting improvements to the field. Mr. Dowling is recognized for creating a culture of mentorship and learning at North Shore-LIJ that underscores his commitment to future generations of healthcare leaders.

“Michael Dowling is a visionary healthcare leader who embraces innovation to achieve outcomes and in doing so, has led North Shore-LIJ to be noted for programs that reduce medical errors, foster continuous learning, embrace accountability, and recognize success,” NCHL CEO Andrew Garman said. “During his tenure, North Shore-LIJ has become the largest integrated healthcare system in New York State, and it was the recipient of the National Quality Forum’s 2010 National Quality Healthcare Award. His commitment to education is unparalleled, highlighted by the opening of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in 2011, whose innovative curriculum will immediately put students into patient-care settings.”

Mr. Dowling will be honored on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at an awards dinner at The Union League Club of Chicago, where he will be presented with an original glass sculpture by Czech-born artist Martin Rosol. This celebration, which brings together healthcare’s luminaries and notable leaders from academia, research, and the nation’s prominent health systems, is held in conjunction with NCHL’s Invitational Symposium, whose theme this year is Building a Legacy, Creating Health.

Under Mr. Dowling’s leadership, North Shore-LIJ’s achievements have included:

  •     The first healthcare organization to establish a corporate university
  •     The first healthcare organization to name a chief learning officer
  •      The first health system to receive the Ernest A. Codman Award from The Joint Commission for its commitment to quality and patient care
  •     One of the first healthcare organizations to volunteer to participate in the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Quality Incentive
  •      Among the first non-profit hospital systems to publicly disclose its hospitals’ CMS quality performance data, patient satisfaction scores, and hospital-acquired infection rates.

“All of these accomplishments point to Michael as a leader who has undertaken bold initiatives to challenge his organization to achieve high performance while never losing sight of its main objective to provide high quality and excellent healthcare,” said Christy Harris Lemak, NCHL’s chief academic officer and an associate professor at the University of Michigan.

The Selection Committee that chose Mr. Dowling included chairs Joanne M. Disch, PhD, RN, University of Minnesota School of Nursing and R. Timothy Rice, Cone Health; Javon Bea, Mercy Health System; Robert H. Brook, MD, ScD, RAND Corporation and the 2010 recipient of the award; Larry Duncan, El Paso Children’s Hospital; Glenn Fosdick, The Nebraska Medical Center; Kenneth Kizer, MD, Medsphere Systems Corporation; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Christy Harris Lemak, PhD; Elizabeth McGlynn, PhD, Kaiser Permanente; Kenneth A. Samet, MedStar Health; Gail L. Warden, Henry Ford Health System.

Mr. Dowling was named president and CEO of North Shore-LIJ in January 2002, after serving as its executive vice president and chief operating officer for five years. Before joining the health system in 1995, he was a senior vice president at Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Mr. Dowling served in New York State government for 12 years, including seven years as state director of Health, Education, and Human Services and deputy secretary to the governor. He was also commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services. Prior to his public service career, Mr. Dowling was a professor of social policy and assistant dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services.

A native of Limerick, Ireland, Mr. Dowling earned his undergraduate degree from University College Cork, Ireland and his M.S.W. from Fordham University. He has received honorary doctorates from Hofstra University and Dowling College in New York.

His numerous honors and awards include the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee, the 2011 CEO Information Technology Award from Modern Healthcare magazine and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Mental Health Association of New York State, and the Alfred E. Smith Award from the American Society for Public Administration. He is chairman of the North American Board of the Smurfit School of Business at University College in Dublin, Ireland. He is also a board member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a board member and Fellow for the New York Academy of Medicine, and past chairman and current board member of NCHL.

The Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership is awarded annually to that individual who has made significant contributions to the health field, including the mentoring of future leaders toward the goal of transforming organizational performance and improving health and healthcare in the U.S. It is named for Gail L. Warden, founding chairman of the NCHL Board, Chairman Emeritus of Henry Ford Health System, and one of healthcare’s foremost leaders. The NCHL Leadership Award was established in 2005.

The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) is a not-for-profit organization that operates in partnership with Rush University Medical Center and the University of Michigan. It is an industry catalyst to assure the availability of accountable and transformational healthcare leadership for the 21st century. Its vision is to optimize the health of the public through leadership and organizational excellence. As the authoritative and objective source on healthcare leadership, NCHL conducts research on global best practices and tests new models for leadership excellence within its Leadership Excellence Networks (LENS). For more information please visit NCHL’s website at


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lisabeth Weiner
Visit website