What is the top challenge or obstacle facing health care today?
When building contextual frameworks to advance health care, the discussion of the role of systematic inequalities must be at the forefront. Health care disparities have been a driving factor of cost and access.
How are you preparing your organization for an uncertain future?
Leading within the state Medicaid agency has been challenging with the uncertainty at the federal level. It has also been necessary at times to transition workers from thinking like a state agency to a dynamic health care organization – to push those within the agency to expand their vision of health care beyond simply being a payer to being an architect of policy that can and will shift outcomes. /p>
What has you most optimistic about the future of health care?
The national conversation on health care has shifted to incorporate the discussion of the multitude of factors that contribute to health and wellness. Social determinants, access, stigma, and comprehension are all being incorporated into the conversation when policy is being developed. The role of personal responsibility is now being put into better context, as these existing factors are often out of the nexus of personal control frame health outcomes.
What motivates you to keep doing the work that you do?
Spending most of my career in Indiana and Nevada when I have a seat at the table, I recognize not many individuals look like me or have my background. I have an obligation to represent a diverse set of interests and bridge gaps of understanding. Building a system that works for everyone drives me to continue in this work.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring health care leader?
Do the hard work and listen. Engage those who are doing the work at the ground floor. Listen to the people who are affected by your policies. Engage those who both agree and disagree so that you can seek to understand the issue from multiple sides. Never be afraid to hear all opinions to inform your work.