By Bill Hendrick

Michele Molden, the president and chief executive officer of the Piedmont Heart Institute, has been named one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2009 by Chicago-based Modern Healthcare magazine.

The magazine’s editor, David Burda, said the list recognizes female executives who are making a positive difference and whose work has led to significant improvements in health care delivery.

“With so many women in positions of authority in health care, the chances of changing the system for the better are greater than ever,” he said. The women on the list “were not satisfied with the status quo of the health care executive career track. They surely won’t be satisfied with the status quo of the health care system they increasingly run.”

Timothy Stack, the president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, said Molden “is tireless in her pursuit of making health care available to the communities we serve.”

He added: “Few individuals in the nation, men or women, possess the same leadership skills and willingness to give of themselves as Michele Molden. Her background, perspectives and natural characteristics are truly something that health care professionals in the United States should emulate.”

Molden said that though her name is on the list, “the honors really should be shared by the entire Piedmont family.”

“Each day all of us here work to fulfill the Piedmont promise — that we will do our best to do everything in our power to make you well and keep you well,” she said.

The magazine said Molden “facilitated the integration of three Atlanta-region cardiology groups and the corresponding formation of the Piedmont Heart Institute” and shares her knowledge of the hospital industry by serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

Molden helped create the Center for Health and Learning, a partnership between Piedmont Hospital and Mercer University, which includes the Piedmont Nursing Scholars program, a new Ph.D. curriculum in nursing, a new master’s level physician’s assistant program and a master’s level family therapy program.

Molden previously held leadership positions with St. Joseph’s Health System in Sandy Springs and with Olympic Health Management System of Bellingham, Wash.