Press Ganey Honors HX23 Award Winners for Remarkable Leadership in Advancing the Human Experience of Healthcare

Recipients of Lifetime Achievement, Physician of the Year, CEO of the Year, and Nurse of the Year awards were honored onstage at HX23

ORLANDO, Fla.--()--Press Ganey, the renowned leader in patient, member, employee and consumer experience across the healthcare ecosystem, today announced the recipients of its HX23 Awards, at the organization’s annual national client conference. Recipients of these prestigious achievement awards were honored on stage by Press Ganey executive leaders during the event, which took place in Orlando, Florida this week.

“I’m humbled to be able to offer my congratulations to the professionals we honor this year. These honorees exemplify the excellence, resilience, and spirit needed to enhance and enrich the human experience of healthcare,” said Patrick T. Ryan, Executive Chairman, Press Ganey. “Each of them has a unique story of committed and compassionate leadership that inspires their teams and colleagues, encourages their patients, and makes the communities they serve a better place to work and live every day.”

Recipients of HX23 awards were selected based on input from their peers on how they are advancing the human experience of healthcare. This year’s winners are:

HX23 Physician of the Year Award: Willie Edward Lawrence Jr., MD, FAHA, FACC, Medical Director of Health Equity, Corewell Health South, Benton Harbor, MI
This award recognizes a physician’s tremendous commitment to exceptional leadership, compassionate and connected care, and the improvement of the human experience of healthcare. One of the leading interventional cardiologists in the country, Dr. Lawrence is admired by his peers and colleagues for his drive to improve health and reduce suffering and for his steadfast dedication to advancing healthcare. He serves as Medical Director for Benton Harbor, Michigan, ensuring the highest quality of care to patients in the community. A healthcare industry leader working to advance cardiological care, he serves as a member of the Association of Black Cardiologists and a 30-year volunteer for the American Heart Association. His care and leadership of his medical team has had an immeasurable impact on every life he touches – be it patients, families, staff, or his community.

HX23 Nurse of the Year Award – Front Line Clinical Nurse: Patrick Perl, RN, Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist, Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY
Patrick was peer-nominated for this award for exemplifying tremendous commitment to care innovation, transformation, and collaboration to support an exceptional patient experience on the front lines. Patrick led the "Share the Light - Shine the Light" program, an initiative to decorate the rooms of COVID patients with holiday lights, providing warmth and beauty in otherwise isolating spaces. The community rallied together, donating hundreds and hundreds of strands of lights, all attached with thank you cards for staff. In his own words, the goal of this initiative was to "band together and show our community hospital, our healthcare workers, and our patients that we care.” Patrick’s colleagues view him as the nurse every patient wants and every new nurse wants to be. His clinical expertise, compassion, dedication, advocacy, and humanity have been instrumental in fueling the resilience, morale, and pride of his team.

HX23 Nurse of the Year Award – Nurse Leader: Annie George, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, NPD-BC, CCRN-K, Corporate Senior Director of Nursing Excellence/ Research, NYC Health + Hospitals, New York, New York
Dr. Annie George was peer-nominated for this award for her overwhelming commitment to excellence and staff education as a nurse leader. Annie is an incredibly valued and important member of the nursing administration team at the nation’s largest municipal public health care system. She is empowering nurses to explore and share their thoughts, strengths and improvement ideas. Her focus on crafting a culture of nursing excellence and research across more than 70 patient care locations is fostering the next generation of front-line workers and nurse leaders. Annie also instituted the organization’s first “Doctoral Circle of Excellence” ceremony this year to recognize and celebrate 72 nurses from across the entire NYC Health + Hospitals system who have earned doctoral degrees. She is instrumental in facilitating and directing nurse-led research across the system, establishing and chairing the Scientific Review Committee, which approves all nursing doctoral projects. She also serves as co-chair of the system’s multi-disciplinary research committee on COVID-19 and other issues. She demonstrates daily a tireless commitment to engaging others in efforts to continuously improve our processes, enhance patient safety, and provide ever-increasing levels of quality health care.

HX23 is Press Ganey’s national client conference, which took place from February 6-8 in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resort. The event draws more than 3,000 health care executives, physicians, nurses, and other professionals from across the country to learn and collaboratively explore paths toward advancing the human experience of healthcare.

HX23 CEO of the Year: David Lubarsky, MD, MBA, FASA, CEO, UC Davis Health
This award is reserved for someone who exemplifies leadership, passion, innovation, and values at every level and in every aspect of their healthcare career. One of Modern Healthcare’s 2022 “100 Most Influential People in Health Care,” Dr. Lubarsky is honored this year for his overwhelming success since arriving at UC Davis in July 2018. He has increased revenues by more than 50% and established new initiatives to expand healthcare to the underserved while still maintaining financial stability. He has also led the way in technology and connectivity by creating a digital platform and virtual hospital, which has helped UC Davis adapt to industry evolution, while reinforcing empathy, inclusivity and a patient-centric ethic. He has been one of the leading innovators in the country in integrating his academic medical center with the rest of his community and in re-structuring his C-Suite to reflect the importance of human experience, digital health, and equity for all.

HX23 Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert A. Phillips, MD, PhD, FACC, Executive Vice President, Chief Physician Executive & Specialty Physician Group CEO, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX
Each year, Press Ganey honors one individual who has been an influential leader in their organization and community over the course of their career. This year’s recipient, Dr. Robert Phillips, is a dedicated and qualified leader and mentor and a living example of what it means to practice human experience healthcare. Dr. Phillips has spent decades delivering safe, quality care to everyone he encounters – making a lasting impact on his patients, co-workers, and health systems. He is well known for his work on a variety of fronts, though is perhaps most widely recognized for the progress he achieved with his approach to high reliability and COVID response management.

About Press Ganey
Press Ganey, the leading Human Experience (HX) healthcare performance improvement company, offers an integrated suite of solutions that address safety, clinical excellence, patient experience and workforce engagement. The company works with more than 41,000 healthcare facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality, and experience of care. Press Ganey is a PG Forsta company.


Press Ganey
Meghan Witthaus


Press Ganey
Meghan Witthaus