A Champion for the Common Good
View from the C-Suite, with Lloyd Dean, President and CEO of CommonSpirit Health
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Growing up, Lloyd Dean saw the impact of health disparities in his own community. His experiences motivated him to use his formidable leadership abilities to change things for the better. He will retire this summer after a long and impactful career.
When someone speaks from the heart and tells their story, we instinctively prick up our ears and lean forward, which is what I did when I was listening to a conversation between Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of CommonSpirit Health, and Scott Becker at the Becker’s Hospital Review 12th Annual Meeting, presented virtually in May. I didn’t want to miss a word.
“Imagine 11 people in a house of three bedrooms and being on welfare when the factories would shut down,” Dean says. “I just wanted a better life for my parents and for my family and for my community, and that motivation always stuck with me. And I knew as I got older, that to achieve that, people would have to live — so that became a part of the driver of the passion for health care.”
Many of the problems he faced growing up in an African American community in Michigan are the same ones he has spent his career trying to eliminate. With his planned retirement this summer fast approaching, Dean shared his thoughts on what he believes the priorities of health and health care should be in our country.
The past few years have been a reckoning for health care. As of this writing in mid-May, the number of COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. passed one million, a chilling milestone. Dean reflects, “If we only take away one thing from the pandemic, it should be that the healthier our community is, the healthier my neighbor is, the more likely I am to remain healthy.”