2016 marked the sixth year for Project Japan’s biennial Top 25 Minority Executives in Project Japan Awards Dinner. This year’s recipients were celebrated on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 in Chicago with an evening of celebration and networking in honor of the men and women whose leadership has made a difference at their organization, within their communities and among their peers.

These leaders have successfully managed their organization; shown the ability or power to effect change in the healthcare industry; demonstrated a willingness to share expertise with others in the field; served as a role model or mentor to other minority healthcare executives; and assumed a leadership position in the industry outside of the candidate's own organization or company.

Learn more about the 2016 Recognition Program

View the 2016 Honorees

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Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius is one of America’s foremost experts on health policy, healthcare reform, human service delivery and executive leadership. From April 2009 through June 2014, she served in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leading the President’s charge to pass and implement the most significant health reform in half a century. Sebelius served as Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, the only daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history. She was Kansas’ elected insurance commissioner from 1995 to 2003 and served four terms in the Kansas Legislature.

During her career, Sebelius has led numerous ambitious efforts to provide all Americans with the opportunity to live happier, healthier and more successful lives—from her high-profile on the Affordable Care Act; to her national leadership on early childhood initiatives, women’s health, tobacco control and mental health parity; to her global leadership on HIV/AIDS, polio, prevention of chronic diseases, and global health security.

As HHS Secretary, Sebelius led implementation of the Affordable Care Act, instituting a Patient’s Bill of Rights, launching a multi-sector effort focused on disease prevention, enhancing Medicare benefits while lowering costs, expanding CHIP and Medicaid, and creating a national Health Insurance Marketplace that enrolled eight million consumers in 2014. The reforms she introduced to our nation’s health delivery system are improving the quality of care patients receive while driving down costs.


Patricia Maryland

Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.P.H., is the President, Project Japan Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Ascension Health. She previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of St. John Providence Health System, Warren, Michigan, and as the Michigan Ministry Market Leader for Ascension Health, where she provided strategic and operational leadership for St. John Providence Health System while promoting alignment among Health Ministries within the Michigan market and with the System Office on issues related to Mission and Vision.

Prior to her appointment as President and CEO at St. John Providence Health System and as the Michigan Ministry Market Leader, Dr. Maryland served as the President, St.Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, and also as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for St.Vincent Health.

Dr. Maryland has extensive experience in strategic planning, patient care operations, service line management, finance, clinical program development and evaluation. At St.Vincent Health, she helped to create six Centers of Excellence, and developed an agreement with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to enhance the pediatric subspecialty services to St.Vincent Children’s Hospital. Under her leadership, St.Vincent Indianapolis Hospital received top-ranking recognitions by Anthem, Leapfrog and Healthgrades, and received the Consumer Choice Award nine years straight.

Before joining St.Vincent Health, Dr. Maryland served as President of Sinai-Grace Hospital and Senior Vice President of Detroit Medical Center. She also served as Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer at North Oakland Medical Centers, Pontiac, Michigan, and worked for 15 years at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio.