Antoinette Hardy-Waller, MJ, BSN, RN
An influencer for change, with more than 30 years of business, clinical and board expertise, Antoinette Hardy-Waller is an accomplished leader, entrepreneur and champion for diversity and equity, whose career demonstrates strong proficiency in starting, growing and leading complex, highly regulated businesses.
Toni began her career as a critical care nurse in a top 100 hospital. Transitioning from acute care to post-acute care utilizing her nursing skills and leveraging her relationships to build her first home care company. A decade after founding and serving as CEO of her Chicago-area home care company, Toni sold it to Columbia HCA, where it became the regional flagship for large Columbia Home Care division. Columbia HCA, a public company with $17 billion in revenue, 340 hospitals and 182 home care companies in 36 states. She launched a second home care company, years later, selling it to a private equity group. Leveraging her background and expertise, she has consulted with major health systems nationally, to include St. Luke’s-Roosevelt, NY, UF Health Shands and Duke University Health, in creating and executing business strategies to optimize revenue, reduce costs and ensure clinical excellence enterprisewide.
Toni is a well-respected, engaged and experienced board member. She contributes in a thought-provoking manner that allows for exploration of different perspectives on complex problems. She serves on the board of CommonSpirit Health, the largest nonprofit health system in the country with revenues exceeding $33 billion, 142 hospitals across 21 states and 700 care sites. Toni chairs CommonSpirit’s Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Committee and is a member of the Human Resources/Compensation Committee. Previously, she was Vice Chair of the Board of Stewardship Trustees for Catholic Health Initiatives, the legacy organization that joined with Dignity Health to form CommonSpirit Health. She was instrumental in providing oversight for the merger as a member of a special task force. Toni has served on several other boards, where she has demonstrated her business acumen and strategic foresight.
Toni is a strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, and believes that diverse perspectives, unique life experiences and backgrounds enhance business success. She founded and is President of The Leverage Network, a nonprofit organization that prepares, positions and promotes black executives for senior executive and board roles in healthcare. This work has informed and influenced how healthcare organizations make decisions on issues that impact communities of color, which experience inequities in access to care and disparities in health status and longevity.
For her contributions to the industry, Toni has been recognized with numerous awards and honors. These include: Named one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s Top 75 Black Healthcare Leaders to Know for two consecutive years; Appearing on the cover of Modern Healthcare magazine for a feature article, “Diversity Starts at the Top”; and Recognition as one of the National Association for Healthcare Executives’ 50 Inspiring Leaders.
Toni has authored a number of journal articles, including: “The Disparity Challenge: How Governance can Lead the way in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” Frontiers of Health Services Management, 2023; “Responsible Governance has its Hand on the Pulse of Quality,” The Governance Institute’s 2021 Biennial Survey of Hospitals and Healthcare Systems; “Why ending disparities in healthcare must start at the top,” the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals & Health Networks, 2017; and “Increasing Board Diversity: An Imperative for Success in the Next Era,” Nursing Administration Quarterly, 2015.