Influential Leader

Kevin Lofton

CEO Emeritus, CommonSpirit Health
Recognition Year(s): 2022
School: J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
Location: United States

Kevin Lofton is an influential and long-serving healthcare leader. He became CEO Emeritus of CommonSpirit Health in 2020 after serving as its CEO as well as CEO of its predecessor organization, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), for 18 years. Lofton is a Life Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Lofton has had broad impact across the sector’s landscape by helping to increase the number of underrepresented healthcare executives and physicians. He’s a founding board member of the Institute for Diversity, president of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), and a board member of both the Morehouse School of Medicine (SOM) in Atlanta and Board of Visitors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine.

Lofton has also helped reduce care disparities. Through his work with the Morehouse SOM, he addressed primary healthcare needs of people of color and underserved populations. At CHI, he started United Against Violence, which works with local ministries to reduce violence—something he viewed as a public health and behavioral issue.

Lofton’s decades-long effort to increase equity in healthcare yielded important changes nationally. He was founding chair of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Equity of Care Initiative, which was later joined by the Catholic Health Association, American Association of Medical Colleges, and America’s Essential Hospitals. During Lofton’s tenure as chair of AHA, the association convened a special advisory group on improving hospital care for underrepresented populations.

Under Lofton’s leadership, CHI was transformed from a hospital company to an innovative, diversified 29.6 billion USD healthcare entity with 137 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites in 21 states. He led the organization through a multitude of changes in healthcare delivery, including implementation of a 2.5 billion USD clinical IT and electronic health records system, contributing 2 billion USD in community benefit and financial assistance to local communities and awarding 9.2 million USD in grants and multiyear funding to build healthier communities in the U.S. and internationally.

For more than a decade, Lofton has funded participation by Robinson College of Business students in the Everett Fox Student Case Competition at the annual NAHSE Educational Conference. The competition is a scholarship program that utilizes case study methodology to provide graduate students with an educational experience that enhances their problem analysis and presentation skills while exposing them to real-life health services administration issues. Dozens of students in the Robinson College of Business Master of Health Administration program—the same program from which Lofton graduated—have taken part in the competition, thanks to his support.

Following his 2020 retirement, Lofton’s board commitments have included Gilead Sciences, Inc., the Rite Aid Corporation, and the Georgia State University Foundation Board of Trustees. He remains fully engaged in shaping the future of healthcare in America.