Imelda Dacones, MD, is among the Top 25 Minority Leaders for 2020 named by Modern Healthcare.

Imelda Dacones, MD, honored by Modern Healthcare among 2020’s Top 25 Minority Leaders


OAKLAND, Calif. Imelda Dacones, MD, president and CEO of Northwest Permanente, has been named to Modern Healthcare’s list of Top 25 Minority Leaders in Healthcare for 2020. Dr. Dacones was recognized for her leadership in delivering clinical innovations that led to significant reductions in pediatric opioid prescriptions, high survival rates among heart attack patients, and the screening of patients for social needs.

In its ninth year, Modern Healthcare’s biennial recognition program honors the top minority health care executives who are influencing public policy and care delivery models across the country. In doing so, it also highlights the continued need to nurture diversity in health care organizations.

“I’m honored to be recognized for driving innovations that improve health care outcomes, including programs that deliver clinical interventions and screening for pressing social needs that we can then help to address,” said Dr. Dacones, who leads more than 1,700 physicians, clinicians, and administrators at the largest independent, physician-led, multispecialty professional corporation in Oregon and southwest Washington. Northwest Permanente provides high-quality care to more than 620,000 members. “This award honors all of my colleagues and team members who, through the practice of Permanente Medicine, continually strive to provide high-quality, integrated, affordable health care.”

Dr. Dacones also serves as chair of the National Permanente Executive Committee (NPEC) of The Permanente Federation. NPEC is the executive leadership team of the Federation, which supports the work of more than 23,000 physicians and 80,000 care providers and administrative staff employed across the 8 Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs) caring for more than 12.2 million Kaiser Permanente members. The PMGs, with Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Dacones also is known for championing physician and women leadership; equity, inclusion, and diversity; workforce planning; and medical education, through her work with the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, slated to open this summer. 

A passionate advocate for the role of physicians in mitigating adverse impacts of climate change, Dr. Dacones has since 2016 led efforts consistent with Northwest Permanente values as a certified B Corporation. Northwest Permanente is the first physician-led organization in the world to be certified as a B Corp, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

In addition to her leadership role with Northwest Permanente and The Permanente Federation, Dr. Dacones is a member of Futuro Health’s board of directors. Futuro Health is a new nonprofit formed in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union–United Healthcare Workers West, launched in California in January with the mission of growing the largest network of certified health care workers.

Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 list also included Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief health officer (previously chief community health officer) at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. Profiles of Drs. Dacones and Choucair and all the 2020 honorees are available at the Modern Healthcare website.

“Executives honored on this year’s list of the Top 25 Minority Leaders are reshaping care delivery. They’re leading financial turnarounds, addressing social determinants of health and adopting new value-based models of care,” noted Aurora Aguilar, editor. “But perhaps most importantly, this class is ensuring that staff reflect their communities by vetting minority candidates for decision-making positions and making medical education more affordable for disenfranchised communities. We thank the 2020 Top 25 Minority Leaders for their contributions to the industry and society.”

About the Permanente Medical Groups 

The Permanente Medical Groups are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups composed of more than 23,000 physicians. We are dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and communities. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente — an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to more than 12.2 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in 8 states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia. 

About The Permanente Federation 

The Permanente Federation LLC (the Federation) is the national leadership and consulting organization for the 8 Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the PMGs to optimize care delivery and spread Permanente Medicine — medicine that is person- and family-centered, compassionate, evidence-based, technology-enabled, culturally responsive, team-delivered, and physician-led. The Federation, based in Oakland, California, fosters an open learning environment and accelerates research, innovation, and performance improvements across the PMGs to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming care delivery.