What healthcare leaders need to know now

 

Delvecchio Finley: Medical care only part of the solution to health disparities

By | August 24th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Delvecchio Finley: “Even though access to care and the quality of care is important, access to stable housing, food sources, education and jobs play a greater influence collectively on our overall health.”

 

Delvecchio Finley doesn’t shrink back from a challenge.

 

That’s one of the reasons his last two jobs have been leading California public health organizations with different but significant issues. But as he surveys the changes needed not only within his own health system but throughout the nation as a whole, he is adamant that healthcare is only part of the solution for what ails the U.S.

 

“Even though access to care and the quality of care is important, access to stable housing, food sources, education and jobs play a greater influence collectively on our overall health,” says Finley, CEO of the Alameda Health System. “I think the evolving research in the field is making it a lot more evident to all of us that those issues are significant social determinants of health.”

 

The interconnectedness of all those factors makes health disparities harder to eradicate, Finley says, but one way to begin is to address the lack of diversity in healthcare leadership and the healthcare workforce as a whole.

 

“Making sure that our workforce is representative of the community we serve – that people who are coming to us for care aren’t just the recipients of that care but can also play a major role in providing or facilitating that care – is what starts to provide access to good jobs and stable housing, and in turn begins to build a good economic engine for the community.

 

“Thus, you’re reinvesting in the community, and that’s how we start to get at the root of this and not just through the delivery of the services.”

 

Finley has some life experience along those lines. He grew up in public housing in Atlanta, where access to healthcare was poor even though the actual care was excellent when he and his family received it. In his neighborhood, he says, the three fields of employment that offered paths to upward mobility were healthcare, education and law enforcement. He was a strong student, and enjoyed helping people, so he was eyeing a future as a physician during his undergraduate years at Emory University, where he earned his degree in chemistry.

 

“Upon finishing my degree, I realized that I loved science but wasn’t necessarily as strong in it as I needed to be to become a doctor,” he says. “But I still loved healthcare and wanted that to be something I pursued.”

 

He explored other avenues and ended up earning his master’s in public policy at Duke University. Finley was the first member of his family to graduate from college and to get a graduate degree as well, but not the last, he is quick to point out. Read more…

 

 

Debra Canales strives to put people first in the mission of healthcare

By | August 17th, 2016 | Blog | 1 Comment

 

Debra Canales: “Leadership is not just from the neck up.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

Shortly before making the move into faith-based healthcare, Debra Canales remembers giving her former boss the business book “Jesus, CEO” by Laurie Beth Jones. He was grateful for the gift – but hid it in a brown paper bag.

 

“He didn’t feel safe,” Canales remembers now. “It was a pretty revealing moment.”

 

Years later, Canales is earning bouquets of accolades for her bold, holistic leadership at Providence Health & Services in Seattle, where the spiritual aspect of healthcare and work is welcomed as a natural byproduct of being human.

 

“What continues to draw me to healthcare is being able to bring my whole self to work as I center myself and think about a bigger purpose,” she says. “Leadership is not just from the neck up.”

 

Canales’ heartfelt worldview is expressed in very tangible ways at Providence, where in just two years as executive vice president and chief people and experience officer she helped achieve a 50 percent increase in women in senior leadership roles. She also led efforts to provide monetary assistance for employees coping with the high cost of healthcare premiums.

 

“I came to Providence because, when I talked with Rod Hochman (Providence’s CEO), he put people as the number one pillar of his strategic plan,” she says. “That was significant. It was a deeply rooted commitment, and part of that was shaping our talent strategy to be reflective of our communities.”

 

The medical assistance program offers free or reduced premiums tied to household income and the federal poverty level. Caregivers (which is what Providence calls all of its employees) who are at less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level pay no premiums or deductibles and are given seed money to cover out-of-pocket costs. Employees at 250 to 400 percent of the federal level get a 50 percent break on coverage.

 

“When we think about extending and revealing God’s love to the poor and the vulnerable, we need to take care of our own and extend that compassionate service to them as well. There has been an outpouring of gratitude and support, especially from a lot of single mothers and fathers,” Canales says. Read more…

 

 

A sense of mission drives Ketul Patel at CHI Franciscan Health

By | August 10th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Ketul Patel: “People support what they help to create. If a staff member feels they’re part of a decision-making process that is helping to move the organization in a certain direction, they’re going to unite behind that.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

Every month or two, CEO Ketul J. Patel journeys to the convent where the Sisters of St. Francis live and spends some time with the religious women who provide the missional context of the organization Patel leads, CHI Franciscan Health in Tacoma, Wash., part of the Catholic Health Initiatives system.

 

“I leave energized every single time I go there because of the amount of passion they have for this organization,” he says. “I have always felt that faith-based organizations have an extra touch of focus and mission than others. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of sisters to work with.”

 

Patel was raised in the Hindu faith but went to Catholic grade schools and high school growing up in Johnstown, Penn., 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. In an earlier role, he also worked for several years at a Catholic hospital in Chicago run by another group called the Sisters of St. Francis, this one based in Indiana.

 

“The Catholic faith has made a pretty substantial imprint into not only my career, but my life,” he says. “It’s given an extra allure to this type of organization for me.”

 

It’s also given a sense of urgency to the strides Patel hopes to make in reshaping CHI Franciscan and the other CHI hospitals he oversees as senior vice president of divisional operations for the Pacific Northwest Region. His goal, he says, is to have a top-performing organization with a mission-based focus on quality, safety and patient experience.

 

“We want to have a system of the most talented providers and innovative services in the Pacific Northwest,” Patel says. “Because of that, we just went through a significant structural reorganization to focus on those areas.”

 

Chief among the changes is the SafetyFirst Initiative, what Patel calls “a system-wide effort aimed at eliminating all preventable safety events.”

 

“We’ve branded it throughout the entire CHI system, and we’re seeing declines in serious safety events at all of our hospitals that have implemented SafetyFirst. It’s something our clinical staff is very proud of.”

 

The sense of service that Patel believes is a necessity for healthcare leaders comes from his parents, he says. Patel was born in Kenya, as were both his parents. His father is a retired physician. His mother, who passed away last year, was a nurse. Read more…

 

 

Gene Woods’ influential leadership poised to enhance Carolinas HealthCare System

By | July 27th, 2016 | Blog | 1 Comment

 

Gene Woods: “One of the biggest levers in diversifying an organization is when the board declares that it’s a priority. That was done at CHRISTUS and again here at Carolinas. I think it is an obligation of governance.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

It’s the little things that tell you a lot about people.

 

After CHRISTUS Health nominated Eugene “Gene” Woods, its chief operating officer, for Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare awards, the respected executive took a position as president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System. But when Woods was presented the award at a Chicago banquet six months later, two tables of CHRISTUS people, including President and CEO Ernie W. Sadau, flew in to show their appreciation to Woods. It was a classy move that revealed volumes about the character of both CHRISTUS and Woods.

 

“CHRISTUS Health was honored to support Gene’s acceptance of this award for the same reason we nominated him—because we firmly believe that his time at CHRISTUS had a positive impact on our ministry,” Sadau says. “Our relationship was truly a symbiotic one, and we wanted to honor that and cheer Gene on to his future endeavors.”

 

Woods helped lead CHRISTUS’ international expansion, expanding in Mexico, and establishing flagships in Chile and Colombia, where he was able to use his Spanish fluency (his mother is from Spain) to communicate with the teams there.

 

“I really enjoyed working with Ernie, the sisters and the whole CHRISTUS team,” Woods says. “We were able to diversify the organization and reposition CHRISTUS internationally. But I’ve always had the goal of serving as the CEO for a large nationally recognized organization committed to being a model for redefining healthcare in the next decade. And that is why I am so excited to be leading Carolinas HealthCare System. It has the depth and breadth of capabilities to chart a new course.”

 

Carolinas is not a turnaround situation. It’s a historically successful healthcare provider and the second largest public healthcare system in the nation, serving patients through nearly 12 million encounters each year. But, during his interview, Woods says board chair Ed Brown quoted the famous adage that, “What got us here won’t necessarily get us there.” Read more…

 

 

Patricia Maryland: Taking risks helps leaders grow

By | July 8th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Patricia Maryland: “I think we’ve made some great progress to expand healthcare access for many minority populations, but we know that coverage alone is not enough to eliminate healthcare disparities.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

Patricia Maryland is talking about her role as chief operating officer for the Ascension Health system, but her message seemingly echoes the philosophy of her entire career: to grow, you must take risks.

 

“A major part of my role is leading through change,” she says. “The healthcare industry is going through tremendous transformation which requires leaders to challenge the way we deliver care.”

 

While Maryland has been honored with a number of awards during the four years she has served as COO and president of healthcare operations, she says the arduous role that preceded her promotion stretched her in ways that made her current success possible.

 

In 2007, Ascension asked her to leave St. Vincent Health in Indiana and move to Detroit to become the CEO of St. John Providence Health System and Ministry Market Leader for Michigan. The recession was just getting started; General Motors and Chrysler were restructuring their debt through bankruptcy. The economic pain that Detroit became famous for was just taking shape. As a result, St. John was hurting too.

 

“That was the most difficult time,” she says. “A number of our patients who were formerly employed ended up losing their insurance. We had to close hospitals. We had to consolidate programs and centralize services, and that was very risky. I had to lead through the change of reconfiguring the health system to create long-term sustainability given the external factors impacting the region.”

 

It was a difficult professional time. But on the personal side, Maryland says she was taking a risk there as well. “My daughter was going into senior year of high school; my son was going into eighth grade. My husband was transitioning his career as well. I knew I had to make sure my family was settled and comfortable back in Michigan after having been away for 4-1/2 years.”

 

Looking back, Maryland says the sizable risk proved to be more than worth it. Read more…

 

 

Strategic excellence is Tauana McDonald’s calling card at Trinity Health

By | July 1st, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Tauana McDonald: “I believe that having a diverse workforce as well as a diverse leadership team helps us serve our patients better.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

She paved the way for the ICD-10 project at Trinity Health in Michigan. She led the move to electronic health records. She mastered meaningful use. Now, she’s wrapping up bundled payments.

 

If you need a major project orchestrated correctly at Trinity Health, you inevitably turn to Tauana McDonald, senior vice president of clinical business operations for the Catholic health system.

 

“I know that I am not a clinician,” she says. “I identify the strategy needs and develop the plans. I lead the work from the corporate office so our clinicians don’t have to focus on operational issues and they can do the work they do best, which is taking care of patients.”

 

From the standpoint of organizational mission and personal satisfaction, it’s a role that McDonald says is a good fit for her.

 

“I think some of the projects I lead are making very positive change,” she adds. “That’s how I get to impact both the patients and the caregivers.”

 

McDonald came close to becoming a physician herself. Both of her mother’s sisters were nurses – one in the operating room and one in pediatrics. She remembers them both as being very nurturing people.

 

“People in the community looked to them during their most vulnerable times and there was something about that quality that really appealed to me,” she says.

 

Read more…

 

 

BCBSA’s Trent Haywood: Clinical executives essential in move to value-based care

By | June 24th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Trent Haywood: “The model used to be ‘the suits and the scrubs.’ ... It was very siloed, and as long as you stayed on your side of the fence, it worked well. The model is changing.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

Trent Haywood has multiple titles after his name – an MD as well as a JD. But to find respect and cohesion among his leadership-team peers as he moved into a role as a physician executive, he says his biggest lesson was to check his degrees at the door.

 

“Someone gave me advice early on that, if you’re going to transition away from the bedside, you have to become comfortable no longer being called ‘Dr. Haywood’ but just ‘Trent,’ ” says the chief medical officer of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “Being viewed as ‘the doctor’ has great social capital, but it prevents other executives from really getting to know you and sharing with you as a peer.”

 

But make no mistake – Haywood says he believes that more clinician executives are needed precisely because of their unique qualifications to bring the value to value-based care and to balance patients’ needs and concerns with healthcare finances.

 

“The business is evolving,” he says. “The model used to be ‘the suits and the scrubs.’ The suits did their thing, and the rest of us in scrubs did our thing. It was very siloed, and as long as you stayed on your side of the fence, it worked well.

 

“The model is changing. You have a new generation of clinicians who are going back and getting additional degrees. I think it’s going to continue to be the norm where you’re going to have many more clinicians in leadership roles.”

 

Read more…

 

 

After a complex merger, Ruth Brinkley works diligently to build a new culture at KentuckyOne Health

By | June 3rd, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Ruth Brinkley: “We know that a hospital only impacts 20 or 25 percent of health status. The rest are social determinants.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

Mergers and acquisitions are complicated equations when just two organizations are involved. But three? That’s a daunting challenge for anyone. Small wonder that Catholic Health Initiatives turned to a veteran CEO like Ruth Brinkley to choreograph the complicated venture and lead the new KentuckyOne Health system.

 

Brinkley, who revamped the sprawling organization to survive and thrive under reform, says the bumps in the road are beginning to get fewer and farther between. “I’m a big believer in culture and the impact of culture on strategy and on building excellence,” she says. “One of the things we have consciously worked on since the very beginning was to shape a desired culture. I would say we’re 60 to 70 percent of the way there.”

 

KentuckyOne Health is comprised of the former Saint Joseph Health System, the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, and the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. It is a complicated arrangement. Catholic Health Initiatives is a majority owner of KentuckyOne. The other owner is Louisville-based Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence. But the individual hospitals that were Jewish hospitals are still Jewish; the Catholic ones are still Catholic; and the university hospital remains secular. The partnership with the university was held up by former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who initially challenged a full three-way merger over concern that the public university hospital would be required to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And that, in turn, slowed down the process and the culture work by about a year.

 

Daunting? Absolutely. But Brinkley’s eyes were wide open from the beginning.

 

“I did expect this to be a big job, a big bite, so to speak,” says Brinkley, who left Carondelet Health in Tucson, Ariz., to return to Louisville and CHI. “I believe in the merger, in the vision of what we set out to do. When the days or the issues get tough, I go back to the belief in that vision.”

 

Brinkley had already achieved much in her career as a CEO and a lauded leader in Catholic healthcare for many years. Her resume was full. But the prospect of the merger energized her, moved her geographically closer to her children and grandchildren, and brought her back to her what she calls her extended family at CHI.

 

Read more…

 

 

Nicholas Tejeda: The ACA reinforces the need for younger leadership

By | May 27th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Nicholas Tejeda: “I find that independent hospitals and smaller systems don’t appear to have the luxury or the comfort with taking a risk on people who might be younger.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

When Nicholas Tejeda got his first CEO post at the ripe old age of 32, he made a running bet with his assistant.

 

“Every time someone new would come into my office and meet me for the first time, our bet was, ‘How long will it take for the person to make a comment about my youth?’ Almost inevitably, it would be seconds, not minutes,” Tejeda remembers.

 

Now, two promotions later within the Tenet organization, the 36-year-old Tejeda is the CEO of a hospital that hasn’t even opened yet, the Transmountain Campus of The Hospitals of Providence in El Paso, Texas. The comments keep coming, albeit less frequently, and he sees it primarily as a function of working in healthcare.

 

“Certainly, no one is commenting in the Bay Area on anyone in technology being young when they’re 36,” says Tejeda, a student of history. “Quite the opposite – they’re considered quite aged for the industry at 36. But if you look back in time at what Thomas Jefferson was able to accomplish by the time he was in his early 30s, or Albert Einstein and his miracle year that he had well before his 30s, you realize that it’s a unique function of hospitals to look at youth that way.”

 

Tejeda says he finds that large health systems are more open to younger leaders than community hospitals or small systems.

 

“I find that independent hospitals and smaller systems don’t appear to have the luxury or the comfort with taking a risk on people who might be younger,” he says, “and it’s for a couple legitimate reasons. One is that they question the experience relative to the other people who are willing to come there. The other thing that the hospitals question is the young executive’s willingness to remain in the organization for a sustained period of time.”

 

Read more…

 

 

Sumit Nagpal’s technological innovations at LumiraDx take aim at overhauling care for people with chronic conditions

By | May 12th, 2016 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Sumit Nagpal: “Leadership is both about leading and but also about enabling people you work with to lead. It’s not a cult of personality; it’s a team sport.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

 

The challenges facing patient care go far beyond issues of EHR interoperability. Patients eat, drink, exercise, do home testing, take prescriptions and talk with friends and family in a plethora of ways that have nothing to do with doctors – so can all those everyday moments that don’t happen in a clinical setting be collated to keep chronic conditions in check?

 

Sumit Nagpal and his co-founders have been thinking and working on those questions for, oh, about 25 years now. Thus, LumiraDx, the latest iteration of their ideas, could be thought of as an overnight success that’s been two decades in the making, as customers are rapidly coalescing in their recognition of the transformation of patients’ lives that is possible with this new firm.

 

“We think of ourselves as an outcomes company,” Nagpal says. “Our approach is to coexist and make use of all of the existing infrastructure that’s already in place, including EHRs, and amplify it to find out more about individuals at risk, always safely, and always with their consent – identify them, risk-stratify them, and then help them achieve better outcomes through very targeted programs.”

 

Nagpal, Chief Architect of U.K.-based LumiraDx Holdings, and CEO of its U.S. unit located in suburban Boston, says to think of their offering as an “overlay” on top of existing systems that address needs inside the four walls of hospitals and physician practices, but currently in a siloed way. LumiraDx uses data from these systems, and joins it up with information from point of care and home-based diagnostic devices, social care systems, personal-activity trackers including wearables, and even social media to personalize and customize care solutions.

 

Are patients adhering to their medication schedules? Are they getting depressed and unable to do the things that will improve their well-being? Do they feel positive about their health? “All of that can provide context and inform us as we then work to help these individuals slow and perhaps turn back the progression of disease,” Nagpal says.

 

The successes are adding up quickly. Richard Branson’s Virgin Care rewarded LumiraDx with a national contract in England to help the company manage and improve outcomes across the high-risk populations it serves. That’s on top of LumiraDx’s contract with the National Health Service, the national payer for England, to join up health and social care data for the entire population of greater Manchester, affecting 2.9 million lives. Another contract with a major corporation will soon bring LumiraDx into 12 more countries in Western Europe and Scandinavia. And other agreements are in the works, including in the U.S. market.

 

Read more…

 

 

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