Gary Kusnierz, MSEM
Vice president, performance excellence, Ministry Health Care (Menasha, Wis.)

Who he is: In his vice president role with Ministry Health Care, Kusnierz has been immersed in leading a 10-year, $200 million campus renewal effort for St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, Wis., scheduled to be complete in 2015. He oversees St. Elizabeth's internal process improvement activities and is responsible for all major capital construction projects that support these efforts, using an integrated project delivery team structure that focuses on evidence-based design, Lean principles, and major sustainability initiatives.

 Year in review: Under Kusnierz’s direction, St. Elizabeth recently completed emergency department/surgical procedure area brought two departments together to create a universal care center, in which spaces can flex depending on each department’s patient volume needs. The payoff: a virtually wait-free ED in which time to see a doctor has been reduced by 32%. Patients’ “would you recommend” scores have increased from 62% to 93%, putting St. Elizabeth in the top 5% of all EDs across the country.

What’s next: During the next 12 months, Kusnierz will continue the oversight of major capital projects across Ministry Health Care, including a new 90-bed tower at St. Elizabeth Hospital and several new primary care physician offices.


THE HCD 10 (Click any winner's name for more information):

  • Architect: Joan Saba, partner, NBBJ (New York)
  • Association/foundation executive: Tammy Thompson, president and founder, Institute for Patient-Centered Design (Atlanta)
  • Construction/building executive: Andrew Quirk, senior vice president and national director, Healthcare Center of Excellence, Skanska USA Building (Nashville)
  • Researcher: Nicholas Watkins, director of research, HOK (New York)
  • Facility manager: Dennis Monty, director of facilities planning, compliance, and special projects, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston)
  • Interior designer: Jean Hansen, senior professional associate and sustainable interiors manager, HDR Architecture (San Francisco)
  • Owner: Gary Kusnierz, vice president, performance excellence, Ministry Health Care (Menasha, Wis.)
  • Educator: Frank Zilm, Chester Dean lecturer on healthcare design, University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning
  • Rising star (under 40): Natalie Miovski, principal and director of healthcare, EwingCole (Philadelphia)
  • Firm of the year: NBBJ (headquartered in Seattle).