Van Gorder at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.
Chris Van Gorder's rise to the ranks of health care CEO began rather abruptly. In November 1978, Van Gorder, then a Monterey Park, CA, police officer, was rammed by a vehicle while pursuing a suspect. He spent the next year at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital recovering from serious nerve damage to his back and neck, injuries that forced his retirement from law enforcement. But the incident awakened his passion for another area of public service: health care.