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AHN Chief Medical Officer Donald Whiting, MD, named one of the nation’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives by Modern Healthcare

Donald Whiting, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Allegheny Health Network (AHN), has been selected by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of 2021’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

Each year Modern Healthcare recognizes a select group of clinician executives – physicians and nurses – who are deemed by their peers and an expert panel to be the nation’s most influential leaders across a variety of industries and institutions, including health care, retail, education, and government. The 2021 list of honorees are profiled in this week’s issue of the magazine (    

“Clinical leadership is needed now, more than ever, to champion evidence-based approaches that will mitigate the impact of the pandemic and address the longstanding health inequities that have become even clearer as a result of COVID-19,” said Aurora Aguilar, Modern Healthcare editor. “The 2021 class of 50 Most Influential Clinician Executives did not shy away from the challenges of caring for patient populations during a pandemic. They found inspiration in knocking down hurdles and fighting for top-quality care for their patients and staff.”

Along with Dr. Whiting, this year’s group of honorees includes Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and chief medical advisor to President Biden, and Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, the U.S. Surgeon General, among many other representatives of leading US health systems.

In selecting Dr. Whiting, Modern Healthcare cited the way he marshaled Western Pennsylvania’s clinical leaders in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the key role he played in AHN’s much-praised mass vaccination campaign, which has delivered more than 360,000 vaccine doses and counting to residents of western Pennsylvania.

“All of us at Highmark Health and AHN are thrilled that Modern Healthcare has recognized what we have long known about Dr. Whiting,” said David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark Health. “His remarkable leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitating unprecedented cooperation among health systems and other organizations to help guide our region’s response to the crisis, is an example that everyone should aspire to when confronted with such a formidable public health challenge.”

In addition to his role as AHN’s CMO, Dr. Whiting also serves as the long-time chair of the AHN Neurosciences Institute, and as president of AHN’s 1,400-member physician organization.

“Dr. Whiting is an exceptional leader who has been essential to our organization’s success, not only throughout the pandemic but across three decades of clinical excellence and innovation,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO. “Few clinicians have had such a long and positive impact on our region’s health, and Modern Healthcare’s honor only further underscores how fortunate we are to have him on our team.”

A pioneer in the use of deep-brain stimulation to treat movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease symptoms, Dr. Whiting joined AHN in 1990 as a neurotrauma fellow at Allegheny General Hospital. He has been an active member of many of his field’s leading professional and scientific organizations over the years, including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.


About the Allegheny Health Network:
Allegheny Health Network (, a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of 13 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,500 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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