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Denver Health's Dr. Patricia Gabow Receives NCHL's 2008 National Healthcare Leadership Award

CHICAGO, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) said today it has named Patricia A. Gabow, MD, chief executive officer of Denver Health, as the recipient of the 2008 National Healthcare Leadership Award for her significant and lasting contributions to healthcare. Under her leadership, Denver Health has established a comprehensive, integrated healthcare system that achieves organizational excellence while treating at-risk populations, a model that is being adopted by other healthcare systems throughout the nation. She is additionally recognized for her commitment to building teams and mentoring the next generation of physicians and healthcare leaders during her 36-year career.

"Patricia Gabow has earned widespread recognition for her role in guiding Colorado's largest safety-net healthcare system and developing one of the country's most successful healthcare systems that has maintained its mission to care for uninsured and vulnerable populations while creating organizational excellence that has resulted in an ongoing thriving institution," said Marie E. Sinioris, president and CEO of NCHL. "Under her guidance, Denver Health separated from the city in order to achieve greater financial and operational agility, initiated an innovative and intensive transformational project that already has saved Denver Health $10.6 million, and has achieved critical quality measurements including having one of the lowest medical mortality rates among peers in the University Healthcare Consortium (UHC). With Dr. Gabow's encouragement, all Denver Health leaders share their leadership initiatives and learnings through publications and public forums underscoring her commitment to advance healthcare leadership."

Patricia A. Gabow, 64, joined Denver Health in 1973 as chief of renal diseases and later became director of medical services from 1981 to 1991. From 1992 to 1997 she served as manager and medical director of the hospital and then in 1997 became its CEO after the hospital changed its governance structure and became the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. In her role as head of the city's safety-net hospital system, she was appointed to the Denver Mayor's cabinet from 1992 to 1997 and continues to be an invited member at cabinet meetings.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in biology from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, PA and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she also completed her internship in medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Harbor General Hospital, which is now Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is a member of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System and has worked with the Institute of Medicine on policy issues related to healthcare quality improvement. Dr. Gabow is widely published and was named one of Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Women in Healthcare in 2005.

"I am most honored to be named the 2008 recipient of this prestigious national award," Dr. Gabow said. "Denver Health's integrated system has become a model for the nation and, in my view, this award belongs to everyone in the Denver Health family. My thanks go to the National Center for Healthcare Leadership for this recognition of Denver Health that lives its tagline 'Level One Care of ALL'."

Fawn Lopez, vice president and publisher of Modern Healthcare said, "Dr. Gabow should be congratulated not just for what she's achieved but also for what she represents for the future of healthcare leadership as a female physician running a public healthcare system serving the neediest of all patients."

The selection committee for the National Healthcare Leadership Award was co-chaired by Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management and Dean of School of School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars Sinai Health System.

Dr. Gabow will be honored on Friday, November 21, 2008 at an award event and recognition dinner at The Drake in Chicago that is being held in conjunction with NCHL's Invitational Symposium earlier that day. Dr. Gabow will be presented with an original glass sculpture by Czech-born artist Martin Rosol.

The NCHL National Healthcare Leadership Award is co-sponsored by Modern Healthcare. In conjunction with the award recognition event a special supplement of Modern Healthcare on healthcare leadership, which will include an interview with Dr. Gabow, will be published.


Denver Health is Colorado's primary "safety-net" institution and in the last 10 years it has provided more than $2.1 billion in care for the uninsured. Nearly $285 million of that care was provided last year, constituting 42 percent of all unsponsored care provided in metropolitan Denver and nearly 30 percent in the state. Twenty-five percent of all Denver residents, or 160,000 individuals, receive their health care at Denver Health and one of every three children in Denver is cared for by Denver Health physicians. Its main 477-bed hospital is the academic Level I Trauma Center in Denver's urban area.


The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) is a not-for-profit organization that 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). It provides innovative leadership development programs through the NCHL and GE Institute for Transformational Healthcare Leadership. For more information please visit NCHL's website at

SOURCE National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL)
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