Monday, April 15, 2019

Semra Aytur, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy




Today’s guest is my colleague, Dr. Semra Aytur. Semra is an associate professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy, and holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Health from Boston University. Her research focuses on socio-ecological resilience. She has published 40 academic papers, books, and book chapters on topics related to public health. In this interview we talk about her journey from discovering the field of public health as an undergraduate, her pursuit of technical skills to support her passion for public health, and examples of her interdisciplinary research blending together fields such as epidemiology, engineering, and urban planning to improve community health and health equity. It was fun for me to get into depth with Semra about her background, and I hope you enjoy the conversation, too.

Links to the Podcast:

Soundcloud: 
Full Length: https://soundcloud.com/healthleaderforge/semra-aytur-phd-mph-associate-professor-of-health-management-and-policy/
Abridged: https://soundcloud.com/healthleaderforge/semra-aytur-phd-mph-associate-professor-of-health-management-and-policy-abridged/
Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-health-leader-forge




Podcast Outline (applies to the full-length version)

0:01:31 background, undergraduate at Brown - thinking about medicine
0:06:20 discovering public health research and epidimeology
0:08:42 sleep research - bridging medicine and public health
0:09:49 defining epidimiology
0:11:40 going to Boston University for an MPH degree
0:16:06 glimmerings of becoming a researcher vs. a practitioner
0:17:01 moving to Dallas
0:19:17 primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention
0:20:36 desire to develop skills to lead primary/secondary prevention
0:22:21 attraction to methodogical rigor of epidimeology
0:25:01 working with the CDC
0:27:22 PhD in epidimiology at UNC Chapel Hill
0:29:04 TA/RA to help pay for school
0:32:10 PhD vs. professional masters - learning research inquiry
0:36:52 learning about civil rights - seeing the intersection between epidimiology and justice
0:40:22 dissertation - built environment and health
0:53:41 doing a post-doc
0:54:41 working in King County (Seattle) public health department
0:56:16 coming to the University of New Hampshire
0:57:50 academic rank - promotion to associate professor
1:00:13 the importance of mentorship in academia
1:03:08 leadership in an academic environment
1:05:06 learning to teach
1:07:24 research - the socio-ecological model
1:10:33 research - Urban Containment and Health Outcomes
1:17:27 research - Climate Change and Adaptive Governance  a case study
1:26:01 research - Photovoice and Sport participation for youth with disabilities
1:34:57 the generation of research ideas
1:37:39 summarizing her agenda: socio-ecological resilience

1:39:04 careers in public health


Links to Topics Discussed:

Semra Aytur - CHHS web page

The Social-Ecological Model: A Framework for Prevention

John Snow

Photovoice project with Northeast Passage

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Brown University







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Friday, March 15, 2019

Alex Walker, Executive Vice President and COO, Catholic Medical Center


Today’s guest is Alex Walker, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. Alex took an unusual route to senior leadership in the healthcare field. Prior to joining Catholic Medical Center in 2012, he spent more than twenty years practicing corporate law and litigation at one of New Hampshire’s largest and most prestigious law firms.

In the podcast we talk about Alex’s journey from his early experiences in the Marine Corps, to what it was like to rise to become President of Devine and Millimet, and ultimately his decision to change careers and industries and join the team at Catholic Medical Center.

What I thought was especially interesting about Alex’s story was how he described the experience of joining a mission driven non-profit hospital, and how important that was to him. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.



Podcast Outline

Time Topic
0:01:27 Becoming a Marine - growing up, diversity
0:08:34 coming home, Umass Boston - first in family to go to college
0:13:55 law school at Northeastern
0:18:13 joining the firm of Divine Millimet in Manchester, NH
0:22:27 the partnership model of law firms
0:25:47 commercial litigation
0:27:11 defending Catholic Medical Center during de-merging
0:31:25 becoming Chairman of Divine Millimet
0:35:29 what do people misunderstand about the practice of law
0:38:06 coming to CMC
0:42:24 about CMC
0:46:37 from general counsel to COO
0:51:17 inernal focus of the COO
0:53:27 Granite One System
0:58:32 Affiliation with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health
1:03:40 leadership philosophy
1:04:55 how did leadership style change coming from law to healthcare
1:06:37 influences on his leadership style
1:11:23 organizaitonal culture
1:13:53 importance of mentors
1:16:15 advice to early careerists



Links to topics discussed:





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Friday, February 15, 2019

Heather Staples Lavoie, President of Geneia


Today’s guest is Heather Staples Lavoie, the President of Geneia in Manchester, New Hampshire. I had the opportunity to hear Heather speak recently at a UNH CEO forum during which she described the exciting work Geneia is doing in the health analytics field, so I invited her to be on the program to share both her journey as a serial healthcare entrepreneur, and Geneia’s story, too.

In the podcast we discuss Heather’s career and how she discovered a passion for healthcare analytics. We then talk about the various products and services Geneia has developed to help improve the delivery of healthcare and mitigate provider burnout (we talk about the Physician Misery Index Geneia has developed to measure the pain clinicians feel from the array of administrative tasks that take them away from providing care).

I really enjoyed talking with Heather because her experiences in small firms are so different from mine, and I believe analytics, AI, and machine learning are going to transform healthcare.

Links to Podcast:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/healthleaderforge/heather-staples-lavoie-president-of-geneia

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-health-leader-forge


Podcast Outline


Time Topic
0:01:27 education
0:03:57 moving to healthcare
0:06:17 early interest in health IT, HealthSource and Cigna
0:09:11 the draw to analytics
0:12:04 building Choicelinx, healthcare consumerism
0:19:07 "mid market customers"
0:19:40 Starting Choicelinx in a garage
0:20:18 taking the entrepreneurial leap
0:21:55 early days of a start up
0:22:34 angel and venture capital investors
0:23:57 pitching a start up to investors
0:25:32 circumstances beyond control - 9/11
0:27:32 deciding to sell Choicelinx
0:29:26 the sale to Cigna and transition to being a subsidiary
0:30:27 leaving Cigna for consulting
0:30:53 starting with Geneia, joining with Capital Blue Cross
0:32:42 the original vision for Geneia - Capial BC seeking diversification
0:35:20 what is a wholly owned subsidiary?
0:37:34 early stages of establishing the subsidiary
0:41:11 Geneia's products - Theon analytics
0:43:38 What is the value added to a community hospital?
0:48:32 argument for specialized firms doing analytics work
0:49:45 need for scale in the healthcare market, driven by payment models
0:50:51 management of client data
0:52:10 the Physician Misery Index
0:56:15 how Geneia's interface helps with decision making
0:57:46 remote patient monitoring services
1:04:46 other services
1:05:57 looking into the future - AI and Machine Learning
1:08:38 leading in an entrepreneurial organization
1:11:32 finding the right people
1:15:04 career opportunities in health analytics



Links to topics discussed:







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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Joel Hornberger, Chief Strategy Officer, Cherokee Health Systems


Today’s guest is Joel Hornberger, the Chief Strategy Officer and National Training Director at Cherokee Health Systems, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had the good fortune to hear Joel speak last fall at an event sponsored by the New Hampshire-Vermont Chapter of HFMA and invited him to be on the podcast, and I’m really pleased that he did. Cherokee Health Systems is a combined Federally Qualified Health Center and Community Mental Health Center, which is kind of unique. Cherokee provides care for more than 70,000 patients through it’s 23 brick and mortar locations and 23 additional telemedicine sites.

Cherokee has been an innovator in the area of integrating behavioral health and primary care, which is the focus of my conversation with Joel today. In the interview we talk about how Cherokee uses embedded behavioral health consultants (BHCs) to collaborate with primary care providers as well as the Clinic developed a unique rating system called the BPSA to quantify the needs of individual patients, among other things. I really enjoyed talking with Joel because his passion for integrated care and the FQHC mission is so apparent. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

During the podcast I make reference to a presentation that includes a floor plan used for integrating primary care and behavioral health, as well as the BPSA. You can find that presentation here.

Links to Podcast:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/healthleaderforge/joel-hornberger-chief-strategy-officer-cherokee-health-systems/

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-health-leader-forge

Podcast Outline

Time     Topic
0:01:58 education, VISTA volunteer
0:04:38 transition to healthcare administration
0:05:35 lessons from working in managed care in the 80's
0:08:05 Cherokee Health Systems - history
0:10:18 "going where the grass is brownest"
0:11:55 CMHC and FQHC - explaining what they are
0:16:21 growing from behavioral health to an integrated system
0:18:15 growing the system from 4 to 23 clinics
0:19:26 integrating behavioral health and primary care - treating the whole person
0:24:39 moving from co-location to integration
0:27:33 integrating beahvioral health consultants (BHCs)
0:29:38 an example of BHC treatment
0:32:26 the role of the BHC and behavioral treatment
0:33:56 training for BHC role
0:36:08 staffing ratios for BHCs vs primary providers
0:36:29 Services offered - Dental services
0:38:25 Services offered - addiction services
0:40:33 Grants and other funding for FQHCs
0:43:45 telemedicine to support school-based clinics
0:48:32 telemedicine in support of psychiatry
0:49:23 telemedicine - the aesthetics
0:50:22 telemedicine and licensing
0:51:49 Value-based contracts and the Bio-psycho-social Assessment (BPSA)
0:56:56 zip-code trumps genetic code
0:57:56 working with claims data
0:59:19 using the BPSA score to manage patients
0:59:59 using BPSA to guide preventive care, community health coordinator role
1:03:39 role as chief operating officer and now, chief strategy officer
1:08:03 what makes a good leader?
1:10:18 what do you look for when hiring a leader? Importance of fit
1:12:21 a difficult leadership lesson you learned the hard way? Making promises you can keep
1:17:28 why should early careerists look to FQHCs?

Links to topics discussed:

Cherokee Health Systems

What is Integrated Behavioral Health? AHRQ


Lebanon Valley College




Monday, January 14, 2019

We're back!

Greetings, friends! After an 8 month hiatus, the Health Leader Forge is back with new interviews. Tomorrow, January 15th we will release the first podcast of the new year. It is an exciting interview with Joel Hornberger, the Chief Strategy Officer and National Training Director for Cherokee Health Systems, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Cherokee Health Systems is a large, combined FQHC and CMHC, and they are leaders in integrated behavioral health, which is the focus of the interview.

Future podcasts already in the queue include an interview with the Heather Lavoie, President of Geneia, a healthcare analytics company located in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Brian Martin, President and CEO of Loring Community Hospital, a critical access hospital in Sac City, Iowa.

We're excited to bring you more interviews about the careers of healthcare leaders and their organizations - please subscribe and give us reviews on your favorite podcast app!



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkUYyqD0z6a5jRSZL7wNB3g