August 25, 2020

Modern Healthcare names Laurie Carrier a Top 25 Innovator for 2020


“I am fortunate that I work with very innovative colleagues who push us as an organization to do better and think deeper,” Dr. Carrier told the Chicago-based, national magazine on learning she’d been named a Top 25 innovator. “I feel like my role is to be receptive to their great ideas and to support my colleagues in thinking big and forward while helping to advocate for those innovations.”

Heartland Health Centers is proud to announce Chief Medical Officer Laurie Carrier, MD has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s Top 25 Innovators.

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The complete ranking is featured in the August 24 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, and profiles of the winners are available at

“Innovation is just part of Laurie’s vision to empower people to care for themselves and others,” said interim CEO Nicole Willis. “She inspires our staff to deliver the highest quality care to those who face some of the greatest health challenges: immigrants and refugees, people with chronic health conditions and anyone who has suffered from systemic inequality.”

“We’re extremely proud of Laurie for receiving this award,” says Board Chair Phillip Dothard. “She is a trusted and skilled provider possessing the generosity of spirit and humanity that allows her to form powerful and life-changing connections with her patients. The dedication and simple kindness she expresses truly sets her apart from many in her field.”

A double-boarded psychiatrist and family practitioner, Dr. Carrier has been Heartland Health Centers’ CMO since 2015. Prior to that she served as director of behavioral health.

In this role, she put Heartland Health Centers at the forefront of integrated primary & behavioral health care. Of our 18 health centers, 4 are speciality clinics providing team-based primary care within community mental health centers. She has ensured access to psychiatry at all sites including our school based health centers. She has also helped support the phase-in of a warm-hand off model in primary care advocating for the formation of the Behavioral Health Consultant role, who work with our general patient population.

Carrier has also supported the growth of integrative medicine practices at Heartland, understanding the importance of the mind-body-spirit approach to health and growing the team from 1 to 3 integrative medicine physicians. She has also strongly supported the use of group medical visits (e.g., acupuncture, yoga for chronic pain, cooking and nutrition for diabetes).

Practice transformation is a third area of innovation the award recognizes. Last September, Heartland Health Centers was one of 22 health care organizations the American Medical Association recognized as inaugural recipients of a Bronze Joy in Medicine award for outstanding efforts to address the systemic causes of physician burnout in areas such as assessment, leadership, teamwork and practice-environment efficiency.

Lastly, Modern Healthcare recognized innovators who have responded rapidly to the coronavirus pandemic. Heartland Health Centers’ response has included rapidly adapting to provide telehealth services, drive-through testing since April, and pop-up community testing since May.

Heartland Health Centers is a federally qualified health center with 18 locations providing nearly 30,000 patients from Chicago’s North Side, nearby suburbs and beyond with a medical home for affordable and comprehensive primary care, oral health care, and mental health care services. More information is at