54, CEO, Novant Health
University of Louisiana
at Lafayette, B.B.A
Norwich University, MBA
Armato oversees a 27,000-employee system where $4.6 billion in annual revenue and higher profit enabled thousands to receive annual bonuses, including the boss, whose compensation tops $3 million. Inspired to work in health care because of his experience as a Type 1 diabetic, Armato joined Novant in 1998 and became CEO in 2012. He’s led steady growth to its current roster of 14 medical centers and more than 1,500 physicians, mostly in the Charlotte and Triad areas.
What is North Carolina’s key challenge?
Affordability. There are significant differences among our community members, which have translated into a discrepancy in opportunities. We’ve seen that social determinants of health, like housing and education, have a direct impact on quality of life. Our challenge is to provide for our communities through affordable health care, but also partner with organizations to improve access to affordable housing and education. The business community has an opportunity to partner to address these disparities and make our communities stronger.
Did your lifelong experience with Type 1 diabetes motivate you to spend your career in health care?
My journey with diabetes is one of the main drivers for a career in health care, and I have not shied away from talking about it. If we want to truly improve our country’s health care system, we must be compassionate caregivers and draw upon our own experiences. Managing a lifelong condition such as diabetes provides a unique perspective to running a health system beyond numbers on a spreadsheet or discussions in the boardroom.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I live on a farm. I have always been an outdoors person, and I own horses, chickens and even feed deer on my farm. I get a lot of joy from being outside with my animals, including my golden retriever.
Key 2018 accomplishments?
Over the past several years, we’ve taken significant and intentional steps to care for and engage our own team members. It’s important to me that Novant Health is a great place to work in addition to being a great place to receive care. We’ve increased our team-member engagement rankings from around the 40th percentile in 2015 to the 87th percentile in 2018.