R. Milton Johnson is chairman and chief executive officer of Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA. He began his 34-year career in healthcare in 1982, leaving Ernst & Young, where he had practiced as a CPA, to join HCA. After a series of advancements, which included head of the company’s Tax Department, senior vice president and controller, then executive vice president and chief financial officer, Johnson became president of HCA in 2011. He assumed his duties as CEO in January of 2014, becoming chairman on December 31st of that year. He was appointed to HCA’s board of directors in 2009.
In his role, Johnson leads a $39 billion integrated healthcare system that includes approximately 169 hospitals, 116 freestanding surgery centers, and more than 35,000 affiliated physicians in 20 states and the United Kingdom. HCA employs approximately 233,000 people, about 35 percent of whom are registered nurses.
HCA has seen steady advancement in its clinical agenda, and most recently under Johnson’s leadership, 78 percent of HCA’s hospitals reporting core measure performance data to The Joint Commission for 2014 were included on TJC’s 2015 “Top Performers” list, as compared to less than one-third of all TJC-accredited hospitals reporting 2014 data.
A committed volunteer, Johnson has held offices in a number of organizations within the healthcare industry and the community. Currently, he is chairman of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and serves on the boards of the Center for Medical Interoperability, Nashville Health Care Council and the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. A graduate of Belmont University, Johnson served for many years on the university’s Board of Trustees. In addition, he is the chairman of The HCA Foundation board.