Dr. Lily Henson. Photo courtesy Piedmont Augusta
Dr. Lily Henson. Photo courtesy Piedmont Augusta

Piedmont Augusta CEO named as one of Modern Healthcare’s 2024 Women Leaders

(Story and featured photo courtesy Piedmont Augusta)

Just weeks after completing her first full year at the helm, Piedmont Augusta Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lily Jung Henson has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of its Women Leaders for 2024.

Of the 30 female leaders recognized across the country, Henson is the only hospital leader in Georgia and South Carolina to have received the award. The profiles of all the honorees are featured in the current issue of MH magazine and online at ModernHealthcare.com/WLAwards, according to a news release from Piedmont Augusta.

“Our 2024 honorees for Women Leaders and Rising Stars represent all corners of the industry, including providers, payers, suppliers and associations,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor-in-chief of Modern Healthcare. “These women are working diligently to advance the objectives of their own organizations, with a focus on improving the patient experience. At the same time, they are advocates, tackling equity issues within their own organizations and the broader community.”

Piedmont Hospital

This prestigious recognition program acknowledges and honors women executives from all sectors of the healthcare industry for their contributions to care delivery improvement, health equity, policy and gender equity in healthcare leadership.

“I am completely blown away by this incredible honor,” Henson said. “I have been extremely fortunate to be part of teams who focus on patient-centered care, exemplify teamwork and connections and embrace the future. Piedmont Augusta is a family, and their energy, passion and dedication is inspiring. I learn from them every day, and together we are proud to be Piedmont.”

As the first female CEO of Piedmont Augusta Hospital, Henson oversees an entity with more than 4,000 employees. She also has oversight over 25 bed Piedmont McDuffie Hospital and Piedmont Summerville Hospital, which is licensed for 200 beds, the release continued.

Before coming to Augusta, Henson served as CEO of Piedmont Henry Hospital, a 259-bed facility in Stockbridge, Ga. Piedmont Henry, with 1% of the state’s acute care beds, was pushed to the brink during the pandemic, caring for 5% of the state’s hospitalized COVID patients. She left a legacy of other notable achievements to include earning Level III trauma designation and planning for a $215 million-expansion, which will increase the hospital’s number of licensed beds by 37%.

Piedmont’s Augusta clinical hub became part of the nonprofit system on March 1, 2022. Henson assumed her position on Jan. 9, 2023.

Henson also serves on numerous local boards, including the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Augusta Symphony, Augusta Technical College Foundation, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area, and the local chapter of the American Heart Association, the news release said.

As a first-generation Chinese American raised in Spanish Harlem in New York City, she is passionate about helping others grow in their careers. She was a clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she trained many medical students and residents. In her current leadership role, she serves as a mentor to aspiring physician leaders through the American Academy of Neurology and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Henson says her priorities as the leader of Piedmont’s Augusta clinical hub include further engraining the Always Safe principles of patient-centered care, being a mentor, ensuring all team members feel safe in their environment and continued workforce development.

“My role as I see it is to empower our team with the tools needed to provide the highest level of care in every encounter,” Henson said.

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