Get news alerts

Banner Health’s chief clinical officer recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives for 2024

PHOENIX (June 10, 2024) — Marjorie Bessel, MD, chief clinical officer at Banner Health, has been recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives for 2024. This marks the second time Dr. Bessel has been named to this elite group.

"Our 2024 honorees work in all corners of the industry at organizations of all sizes," said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor-in-chief of Modern Healthcare. "Yet they share a commitment to improving their organizations inside and out – building a stronger workforce, expanding access to care, and improving the bottom line. Our 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives also find time to be part of their communities – a crucial part of understanding patients’ needs and redefining healthcare."

This national recognition honors clinicians in executive roles who are leading the way to better health through their executive responsibility, leadership qualities, innovation, community service, and achievements inside and outside their organizations.

Dr. Bessel has been instrumental in designing, leading and securing funding at Banner for initiatives to combat clinician burnout, a crucial issue in healthcare. Her Cultivating Happiness in Medicine program has led to Banner recently achieving the lowest reported Maslach Burnout Inventory scores in the nation – 7.6%, vs. the national average of 9.9%. In addition, the American Medical Association named Banner a Joy in Medicine Organization in 2023 for meeting their strict criteria for burnout assessment, organizational and leadership commitment, efficiency of practice environment, and teamwork.

“Among Dr. Bessel’s many accomplishments, her greatest achievement may be her impact on combating clinician burnout,” said Peter S. Fine, CEO of Banner Health. “She has worked tirelessly to improve the well-being of our clinical team members, helping to rebuild morale and satisfaction and renew their commitment to this field, after the enormous pressures of the pandemic and its after-effects.”

Additionally, Dr. Bessel is spearheading efforts to more fully achieve the characteristics of a High Reliability Organization, focusing on engineering and processes in 2023 and cultural factors in 2024. Her 2023 results included reducing overall length of stay by 0.4 days and reducing long hospital stays by 50%, which collectively produced $27.9 million in savings. She is also leading initiatives to improve care efficiency and quality, which produced notable reductions in 2023 mortality rates, including 10.5% decline in risk-adjusted mortality and improvements in expected and observed mortality.

This year’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives are profiled in the June 10, 2024, issue of Modern Healthcare and online at

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit



Awards Banner Health Leadership

For further information contact us at: [email protected]

Download assets from the story

Dr. Marjorie Bessel headshot
Dr. Marjorie Bessel headshot
3.4 mb