Honoring Healthcare Leaders of Pennsylvania


Healthcare is personal, and Metro’s Healthcare Power Players know that. They tirelessly lead the way in conducting ground-breaking research, creating patient-focused solutions, increasing access to care, and advancing healthcare reform. From physicians to executive leaders, these healthcare professionals are working hard to improve patient outcomes and promote a preventive approach to care. Join us in congratulating our Healthcare Power Players and their commitment to serving our community.

Knowing that only around half of U.S. adults have rated the quality of healthcare they receive as ‘excellent’ or ‘good,’ Wendy Nickel has dedicated her career to quality improvement, helping advance patient satisfaction programs through data evaluation. Nickel is the president of the Health Care Improvement Foundation, a Philadelphia nonprofit that translates the community’s voice into actionable strategies through its collaboration with health systems and other stakeholders. When discussing how Pennsylvania policymakers can advance health equity, Nickel stated that “policymakers [should] engage community organizations and individuals to better understand their unique healthcare priorities and [the] barriers to achieving positive health outcomes […] and develop collaborative and creative solutions to overcoming [these barriers].”

Since 1980, the Health Care Improvement Foundation has been a recognized leader in regional efforts to improve the quality of care for vulnerable communities in the Delaware Valley. Through funding received by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, HCIF has introduced several health literacy initiatives, which since 2010 have educated over 20,000 providers and more than 1,500 patients. HCIF’s signature program, Partnership for Patient Care, is a collaboration between Independence Blue Cross, stakeholders, and over 40 leading hospitals and health systems that funds quality and patient safety improvement initiatives. PPC most recently launched Health Equity Data Strategy, a collaborative identifying and addressing health disparities by collecting race, ethnicity, and language data and implementing solutions that promote health equity.

“Healthcare, specifically Medicaid, is enormously satisfying work for me,” says the executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, Laval Miller-Wilson. “At its core, it is about addressing inequality and economic security, racism and racial equity, and the future of our diverse society.” Miller-Wilson is a Harvard College and University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School graduate who leads PHLP, a nonprofit advocating for healthcare reform and providing free legal services to help Pennsylvanians access state and federal health coverage.

PHLP offers numerous complimentary legal resources, including a Medicaid Eligibility Manual and other self-help materials that guide and educate individuals and healthcare providers through legal processes. Additionally, PHLP runs a toll-free legal helpline on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1-800-274-3258. Through this helpline, the team at PHLP guide individuals through the process of appealing Medicaid denials and taking legal action to enforce their Medicaid rights. PHLP’s hotline also provides advice on Medicaid eligibility issues to social workers, PA MEDI counselors, doctor’s offices, and caregivers.

Though heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., research indicates that around 80% of cardiovascular diseases are largely preventable through lifestyle choices—which is why preventive medicine is at the center of Dr. Sanul Corrielus’ practice. Dr. Corrielus is the founder and CEO of Corrielus Cardiology and a community cardiologist who is deeply passionate about raising awareness about heart disease and educating Philadelphians on cardiovascular health. Dr. Corrielus emphasizes the need for healthcare professionals “to be intentional in strengthening […] provider-patient relationships in order to deliver optimal care,” which is why his team takes a patient-based approach by centering the needs and goals of individuals.

Dr. Corrielus has a dual focus on the prevention and treatment of heart disease through integrative and noninvasive care, offering comprehensive cardiovascular risk evaluations, cardiology consultations, and expert management. Dr. Corrielus’ practice also provides concierge medicine, an alternative approach to healthcare that allows for same-day appointments, 24-hour access to physicians, and home visits. Ultimately, Corrielus Cardiology is built on the premise that every patient deserves personalized medical services, and that with the right plan of action, cardiovascular disease is highly preventable.

Healthcare innovation is further guided by the data and results of scientific research studies, which explore new treatments, solutions, and approaches to care. CenExel HRI, formerly Hassman Research Institute, is at the forefront of this innovation, conducting clinical trials and studies at their Early Phase Unit in Marlton, New Jersey, and their main facility in Berlin, New Jersey, both just 20 minutes from Philadelphia. Brothers Dr. Howard Hassman, chief scientific officer, and Dr. Michael Hassman, principal investigator, work together to guide this leading clinical research organization.

When asked about the future of healthcare, Dr. Howard Hassman shared the following: “we have started to see and will need to continue researching the targeted pharmacogenetic treatment of various psychiatric disorders, [since there is a] strong potential that precision medicine helps tailor drug [therapies].” In their positions at CenExel HRI, the Hassman brothers advance therapies and facilitate the administration of both inpatient and outpatient Phase I-V research trials in a range of therapeutic areas, including addiction, general medicine, neurology, and psychiatry. Through these studies, CenExel HRI not only puts itself at the front line of medical innovation but also allows participants to hold a more active role in their healthcare and play a part in developing new treatments.

The Healthcare Power Players list recognizes over 80 leading professionals who have shared their experience and advice in this field, highlighting the services and resources that their organizations provide. These individuals set an example for other experts across the nation by demonstrating innovation, dedication, and passion in their work to help others.