He Had Me at Stigma: An Interview with Gary Mendell

I heard Gary Mendell, the Founder and CEO of Shatterproof, speak a few weeks back at Liberation, Medecision’s annual healthcare summit. Gary spoke just after I facilitated a panel about BOLD leadership, the kind required for the transformative change facing the healthcare industry. But I didn’t have a chance to meet him. Probably a good thing; I’m not sure I could have said a word in that moment! Like every other person in that room, I was moved to tears, speechless, emotions tinged with some personal guilt. Guilt about the stigma that persists in our society today in the way…

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“What would YOU do?”: An Interview with Carina Edwards

I met Carina Edwards, CEO of Quil when in Philadelphia for the B!PHL Innovation Festival a couple months ago. We were both speakers at this great community event centered on innovation. Since meeting, I’ve talked with Carina a few times and feel like I made a fast, forever friend. Each conversation has been at a lightning pace, packed full of ideas, and fun!   Within the first fifteen minutes of our first discussion, I knew I was talking with a BOLD leader. Happily, Carina agreed to an interview. We quickly confirmed that she was born with curiosity, confidence, empathy and…

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Dare Me to Jump: An Interview with Jessica Harthcock

I first met Jessica Harthcock, Founder & CEO of Utilize Health, at a reception during the 2019 WBL Annual Summit in Dallas, TX. We struck up a conversation that would be the spark for this interview.  When I asked Jessica about her professional background, she literally lit up and the passion for her work started to spill out! She described how her company helps people with severe neurological conditions connect to the services they need. In offering the description and some of the success stories of their work, she left out a key fact. I asked her, “Why start a…

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Picture an Orchestra Conductor: An Interview with Carrie Whitcher

At my request, colleague (and BOLD leader himself), Matthew Taylor, Vice President of Information Technology at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield introduced me to Carrie Whitcher, Vice President of Health Care Improvement at Excellus BCBS. Within 5 minutes of talking with Carrie, I knew Matthew got it right. Carrie is a BOLD leader! Carrie led our conversation with the “why” she is passionate about making healthcare better.  I ask, “Why devote your career to improving healthcare quality?” Carrie describes being fueled in this pursuit from an early age having been raised with a younger sister with special needs that often required the…

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BOLD Constrained. BOLD Released.

“They hired me because I’m bold. They are afraid of me because I’m bold.” A recent conversation with an amazing heath care leader started with that quote. It encapsulated what I’ve heard recently in a collection of BOLD interviews. And it brought back a theme I’ve heard over the past several years with many BOLD leaders. Organizations wanting to change are not the same thing as organizations willing to change. Talk is easy. Doing is hard. It’s why the “D” in BOLD is about doing. There is a whole section in BOLD, the book, about doing. It is sadly not…

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“I think you need to go fly”: An Interview with Ben Carter

Benjamin Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Trinity Health, was a speaker at a recent Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) conference that I attended. I was looking forward to meeting him because a colleague, Mary Kay Plona, spoke so highly of him and the influence he had been in her career and life. Unfortunately, stepping out to take an urgent call, I not only missed the session, I missed meeting him. Dang! Mary Kay was kind enough, and Ben generous enough, to set up a recent BOLD leader conversation, for which I’m very grateful. BOLD is…

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When Only You See the Dead People: An Interview with Matthew Taylor

I first met Matthew Taylor, Vice President of Information Technology at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, several years back when we were both working for the Catholic Health Initiatives national office of Population Health. It was a new team charged with starting and leading a transformation to a new Population Health model across the CHI enterprise of over 100 hospitals/markets across country. One of my very first impressions of him would be one I would see play out over and over. Matthew was the one on the team that was always throwing out a new idea from something he read, saw, or…

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Ferociously Curious: An Interview with Coreen Dicus-Johnson

We were barely into our conversation about BOLD leadership when Coreen Dicus-Johnson, President and CEO of Network Health, headquartered in Menasha, Wisconsin, mentioned that her staff has told her she is “ferociously curious.” Curiosity, along with confidence, empathy and trust are the core characteristics of BOLD leaders who are capable of driving transformative change. When I asked what her staff meant by that, Coreen replied, “I ask a ton of questions. I look really deep into things and I’m constantly seeking better answers. I love what I do and want to know as much as possible about it.” She continued,…

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Wow. That’s going to work! An Interview with Rick Dow

Any conversation with Rick Dow is a fast drive through seemingly unrelated stories that all come back to some key notions that he has – and that I think he is honestly not aware of until you ask a couple questions. I met Rick many years ago when we served on a nonprofit board together. At the time he was at Northwest Airlines. He left NWA before the Delta acquisition and moved on to very different assignments at equally different types of organizations: Thomson Reuters, Burger King, and Midas International. Today his LinkedIn profile simply says “Marketer,” which I love,…

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Personal Tragedy into Positive Action: An interview with Julie Smith

Dr. Julie M Smith was the co-founder of CLG, Inc., which she describes as “the world’s premiere behavior-based strategy execution firm.” She and her colleagues have reason to claim that position having worked with many in the Fortune 500, at all levels of organizations, all around the world. As we were talking, Julie described the firm’s ability to develop deep relationships and deliver results so that they “became the behavioral-change firm that is often recommended board room to board room.” That is an enviable position for any consultancy and a great legacy. Combining all she knows from her CLG experience,…

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