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May 1, 2024: In this special keynote of This Week Health, Bill Russell talks with Sarah Richardson, the newly appointed President, 229 Executive Development Community for This Week Health. She brings a vibrant energy and wealth of expertise from her extensive career in healthcare technology. They discuss her motives behind the transition and touch on the importance of fostering effective networking and collaboration in the industry. As they delve deeper into our conversation, they ask thought-provoking questions like, why does the healthcare industry need continual executive development? What transportation does Sarah's background in technology and hospitality sector offer to the industry? And how does her move align with her passion for creating positive changes in the industry?

Key Points:

  • Sarah’s Role Transition
  • Executive Development
  • Transformative Leadership
  • Power of Collaboration

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Transcript

This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

Today on Keynote

That's the piece I love, is the story behind the story. Like, why do you do what you do? Why did you write this book? Why did you start this company? Why did you create this organization? Why did you do the things that you did? Why did Do something audacious. Why did you climb Mount Everest?

My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, where we are dedicated to transforming healthcare one connection at a time. Our keynote show is designed to share conference level value with you every week.

Today's episode is sponsored by Quantum Health, Gordian, Doctor First, Gozio Health, Artisight, Zscaler, Nuance, CDW, and Airwaves

Now, let's jump right into the episode.

(Main) β€Š Alright, it's Keynote, and today we have a special announcement and special guest on the show, Sarah Richardson.

Who has joined the team at This Week Health as the president of executive development for the 229 community. Sarah, welcome to the show.

Thank you, Bill.

This is the second time I've gotten to do this in so many months, and I'm getting to work with some of my favorite people in the industry.

But while that's exciting in and of itself, I'm excited about what we're going to be able to do for the industry and for the 229 community. it's just exciting. I think the first question people want to know is, Why would Sarah Richardson make this move? why are you making this move?

I love that question because you said it just in the beginning. You get to work with some of your favorite people. And we have multitudes of favorite humans based on what we get to do for a living. I mean, let's be honest, we work in healthcare technology and our whole careers have been dedicated to serving others and to help things be better in every situation that we encounter.

And I have known you and Drex for such a long time. And we've always discussed the idea of what would it look like if we worked together someday? Well, lo and behold, that someday made itself available. And so there's those moments in your life when you're like, I've done so many amazing things. Now I get to do something that I've never been able to do before full time professionally, and something I've always wanted to do, and have been building towards the ability to make that available to others.

So here we are and what an amazing time to do it, such a time of transformation and just energy and all the different aspects that bring us all together. to me, it's the perfect example of like one plus one and more is an exponential effect on you bring really good people together and amazing things happen.

don't want to assume that everyone who's listening to this knows who you are and what your background is. What I'd like for you to do in the context of. Why this move makes sense for you. I mean, talk about all the different things that you have been a part of, former CIO, concierge leadership, executive development, talk about just all aspects of that and how it lends itself to what you're going to be doing here.

Sure. So what I find most interesting is that my first degree, I started my career in hospitality in Las Vegas. I opened four casinos in an airline before I got into healthcare. So I have this background of the desire to create amazing experiences for people. When I had the ability to transfer it into healthcare back in 2000, it stayed in healthcare.

And then I had, again, the privilege of being able to work for HCA for almost a decade and then through acquisition work for Optum for a period of time. Moved to Tivity so I've been able to be a CIO for almost 15 years in four different organizations and four different types of organizations. All that time, I've always been involved in education and development and leadership and creating communities and solving problems and bringing people together in a way that you get to talk about what's really happening in a space that says, I can tell you the truth.

Like, here's what's happening in my career, here's what's happening in my life, here's what's happening in my organization. All those things get solved for in the same time. And that's really what you've always, said about This Week Health and 229, is that you solve things one connection at a time, one conversation at a time.

That is so valuable and so important. Yes, I have my credential coaching background through the International ICF. Yes, I've done myriad Education opportunities through other well known associations. But I also had the opportunity to be a student in many of those environments, inclusive of things like the Scarlet Leadership Institute at Belmont through HCA years ago.

I'm still friends with Joe Scarlet. I still know my proctors from that organization. We still do leadership programs here and there together. And so the ability to bring everything together all at once and solve for situations in a time when As you well know, being executive can be very lonely because you're trying to figure things out all the time, and you don't want to be by yourself on an island.

And so the main draw, or one of the primary draws to This Week Health and to 229 is the fact that we bring people together In a space that says you don't have to be the smartest person in the room. You don't have to have all the answers in the boardroom right now. You get to figure that out with us.

So when you go to those other environments, you can show up the way that both you're expected to, but also the way that you want to.

Yeah. For those who've been to a 229 project meeting, I opened with the Dwight Eisenhower quote, which is a leader in isolation is sure to fail. And, one of the reasons we designed the 229 project was to make sure that no leader would be in isolation.

And we want to give leaders the opportunity to build out those networks of peers that they can rely on especially at times like through the pandemic and other things that I'm sure we're going to continue to be facing within healthcare. things are moving very fast and it's very challenging in that role.

It's great to have. Do we say Rolodex anymore? do you have to be to say Rolodex? I mean, I guess it's contacts. But a list of contacts that you can reach out to and call and just bounce ideas off and hear. What other people are doing. people may not know this, I mean, you've been around on This Week Health since the get go.

I mean, we, went out and formed an advisory group of several CIOs, some partner companies, and some friends, retired CIOs and others. And I said, look I'm getting started in this thing. It's media. I don't even have a background in media. I have no idea what I'm doing. I just want some people around who I can bounce ideas off of.

and you and Drex amongst others Lee Milligan and David Bensema and Frank Nydam and others, and we've added some people since. In fact in our last meeting, I realized. I'm gonna have to add some more people because you guys are now part of, the other side, but throughout that whole time you've been around helping to guide the direction and all of the decisions that we've been making in this.

I've sort of taken this in a lot of different directions just to give people some background, but I think the question people want to know now is what does this look like? All right. So you're going to be joining. What are you going to be doing? What does it mean to be the president of executive development?

Is there a need for executive development in our industry?

There's always a need for executive development. And I'll go back and just say, we're not going to have a hard time finding colleagues to join the advisory board. In fact, people reach out all the time and like, how do I get more involved with what Bill is doing?

That's because it's created that community. And if you look even at my LinkedIn profile, even before I said, Hey, I'm going to come work with you and Drex, it was, I'm a super connector. I actually borrowed that from one of my other friends, because every day, there's that responsibility to thoughtfully connect people and make them better.

Even before this call, I was connecting two people who were looking to do advisory work, and one's really good at it, and one needs to get into it. And so, that space where you make the connections where people need to be inspired and motivated by others. And this goes back to how you aren't lonely.

Well, as executives, We need to have fantastic emotional intelligence. We have to be able to communicate effectively. We have to know to be strategic in our thinking and our planning. We have to make decisions. We have to be accountable. And rather than being vulnerable, I would say be accountable because if you show up with accountability and authenticity, you are vulnerable because you're automatically saying, I've got this and I'm the one responsible for it.

That creates. Dynamics amongst peers and teams and others that always need to be there. And when you have that level of adaptability and integrity in an organization, wow, is the factor that I talk about. And I do everything from private coaching today. I do workshops for other healthcare systems.

Moments where I used to have to take PTO to do it, now it's part of what I get to do all the time. We get to bring people together in cities where they are. We get to host programs where people come together in very unique and beautiful settings to be able to truly have that ability to think differently, not think when you're in a box, whether you're in your office or your cube or a hotel room, wherever you may be.

You get to get out and think about ways to solve for all of that. Those are the opportunities we bring forward. And why it's so important is that. When I tell every single person that has a coaching conversation with me, or even a colleague conversation, your conversations with me are confidential. We only talk about what we talk about.

Should you choose to share more, that's your decision. And people know that about me. They can trust the conversations, they can trust where we're going to go with them, and it's safe to be able to share different aspects of career and otherwise. How many people reach out to both of us, Bill, on a regular basis?

How Asking for career advice or career conversations. Hey, I'm looking to do something different. Hey, I need help over here. And guess what? That's what we do for them. Do we tell each other or to whomever those people may be? Absolutely not. That's not our story to tell, but you create a space that does that over and over again.

And people really want to be a part of it. And that is unique. And that is special. And whether that's that independent or that concierge or that this week health aspect that is brought to the table. Absolutely. We help people be the best version of themselves every time they choose to interact with us.

I'm going to go through each one of these so people get a better picture of how they can get involved and what does it look like? But it's interesting as I listen to you talk about all these things. There are so many things we can do that we haven't like organized or packaged.

it's You, I, and Drex sitting around going hey, somebody called me up and asked if we can help them with this. you're not even on board yet. you will be by the time this airs. But and I are talking to each other every day. It's like, hey, somebody just asked, can we help them with, They're go to market.

And the answer is, yeah, I mean, three former CIOs who are buyers with hundreds of millions of dollars of budget. Yeah, we have a good idea of what CIOs are looking for with regard to messaging, what they're looking for. And so there's a whole host of things, but I want to talk about the things we are doing.

So we bring people together, right? So, we have the 229 summits. where we bring people together for two and a half days. Drex is doing it around security. You and I will be doing little different kinds of meetings. One of the things that we've been talking about is what does it look like to reach out to mid market CIOs?

because what we found is when we bring these people together, if they have similar problems and like problems, the meetings are more valuable to them as opposed to, I've been in some of these meetings where I'm sitting there in The large academic medical centers up in front and they're saying things and I'm sitting there going, it's not relevant to me at all.

Like, it's amazing that you do that. I don't have that budget. I don't have that staff. I don't have this, I can't do any of that stuff. But if I'm sitting around like rural healthcare, if I'm sitting around with 15 rural healthcare CIOs, and we're just talking about our challenges and those kinds of things, the creative solution that you've come up with for your rural health system likely is something I can do at my rural health system.

It absolutely is. And here's when you think about it, and we've all worked. I mean, you think about the three of us, the types of facilities we have worked in, the types of environments we've worked in. I've worked in For profit. I've worked in not for profit. I've worked in trauma one, academic. I've worked in a smaller community based facility environment.

Like, we've worked in those scenarios, and so we know what it feels like, to your point, to be the one who has all the money in the world, to the one that has barely enough to get by. I mean, I've worked in facilities where Our new systems were the three year old handoffs from the parent company that was in the county, and I'd be like, hey, you guys are getting to work, you got a job on the support team.

Where I've worked for Fortune, 50 companies where you always got to do what was the best thing to do, and to live in all those environments. So I feel like, I don't want to say it's scrappy because it certainly isn't, but you like us in a rowboat and we're going to get wherever we need to be.

Anyway possible because we've been there and we've done it. And that's what's really important. And I'll just say having the aspect of being a female in technology, I've done it and I've been the least represented person, most of the time in the room and had to learn to swim on my own. And I've always had such amazing mentors, male and female, and people to watch and follow.

You and Drex being two of them, which I love is the Yes, we can. And we're thoughtful about how we say yes, because you cannot say yes to everything. And you can certainly let people know this is what we excel at, and this is maybe where we don't. Either way, we have all of these partnerships across the continuum.

So I love solving problems that are real, especially when it bodes well for patient care and patient outcomes. So we get to do that. So if it's not us, it's somebody we know. So either way, the people that we are bringing together and serving still walk away with an answer. And that's our responsibility to our industry.

going to take this show on the road. So this fall, we're going to be doing city tour dinners. We're going to be going out around the country. You, I, and Drex, sometimes we'll be together. Sometimes we'll, just go to a city by ourselves and meet up with the people in those cities.

And some of it will be facilitated conversation. Some of it will be listening. Like what would help you to be a more effective leader? What, Services would help. What would help you to develop a better team and those kinds of things. I think people expecting us to sit here and go, Oh, we're going to roll out this curriculum and these things and whatever.

It's like, it's not how we've done things ever here. I mean, it's sort of like. What would benefit the community? What would benefit y'all? And yeah, let's let's see if we can put that together for you. So city tour dinners this fall, we're going to be doing that. You're going to be doing a podcast.

one of the things that people want to know is odd because women executives a lot of times get pigeonholed into this. You're going to talk about female issues. You're going to talk about female in leadership and whatever. And we had this conversation and you said to me, it's like, I want to address all of healthcare.

I will talk about these things and I will highlight the successes in this area, but I want to be seen as more than just a woman leader. I want to be seen as a leader in healthcare.

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Talk a little bit about what your podcast might look like and who you might be talking to and that kind of thing.

Sure. Absolutely. And here's why I love that question primarily is twofold. There are already so many amazing women in IT groups out there. I like to be a part of those or help those flourish. And that's what we're going to call my podcast is Flourish. And here's why. It's bloom where you were planted sort of a thing.

There are so many people I meet every single day, whether that's even this morning, I had a startup. That reached out and said, can you help me with my pricing model? I'm like, sure, of course I can, because I know the CEO and this is not work that's like contracted. This is like, can you help me with my pricing model?

Yes. Let me ask a couple of people what they believe as well. And I'll ask people from all different sizes of facilities. But the reason I'm so invested in that startup's success just in general is why it was started. It was because of a death of a family member that led to a mission motivated desire to do something new and different in our industry.

That's the piece I love, is the story behind the story. Like, why do you do what you do? Why did you write this book? Why did you start this company? Why did you create this organization? Why did you do the things that you did? Why did Do something audacious. Why did you climb Mount Everest?

I have like one of my girlfriends who did that and I'm like, every time she calls me with something about work, I'm like, you climbed Mount Everest. It cannot be that hard to do what you're doing every day at work. Come on, let's put it in perspective. But the fact that those are the kinds of moments that we have with individuals and The conversations I'll bring to the table will be everything from incredible origin stories to like, hey, we did that, especially when that audacious goal was something that maybe they didn't believe they could actually accomplish.

So it'll be just stories of a bit of a wonder and amazement, but also solutioning in a way that. We're making the world a better place because of what we're doing. And here's how we're bringing people together at the same time while we're doing it. So those are the types of stories that you will hear in my podcast.

And it may be healthcare adjacent. There's an author I want to interview. She wrote the book Generations. Her name is Jean Twang and she is from UCSD. She was on Bill Maher. So I'm not sure she's going to say yes to me, but I'm sure as heck going to make the effort to go out there and have a conversation with her, because I love the way that she defines how five generations are coming together in our different industries, as an example.

that's exciting. Essentially it's celebrating and honoring. So it's celebrating the stories and it's honoring the people who are making healthcare work. my belief has always been you hire great people and then you figure out what you're going to do.

And some of that's sort of coming through. Like we, we have a program already in process here, the city tour dinners, the summits and we have this vision for taking all the things that make you, which is concierge leadership, the coaching the 15 years of experience as a CIO the network of people and the people you're connected with all those things and then saying, okay, how can we serve the industry together?

And we're answering some of those questions as we move forward. And so people are probably sitting here going, how can I get involved? And the answer to that is. Just reach out. I mean, you could hit the 229 page on This Week Health. You could reach out to Sarah, me, Drex, and say, what does it look like?

How can I be a part of this? How can we? Or they may have heard you say something like, Hey, I want, really want to help, the women who are coming together already, and they might say, I wonder what that looks like. Let's talk about that. Let's figure out what that looks like for us to help them to be successful in that endeavor.

What would you say to that question? Like, how can they get involved?

So what's interesting is that obviously people that I'm connected to, once I left Tivity, I could start to tell people where I was headed. I always believe it's appropriate to wait to let people know where you're headed until you're on your way there kind of a a thing.

And people calling me and saying, Come to your dinner in my city. I will get all of my CIO buddies together. A thing. Three people have already said these three cities are locked in. Whether they're on our radar or not, we got to go, Bill, because they want us to come. And they've already got a table full of their friends being a part of it.

We've had some of our partners say, I want to go to those dinners, too. I want to be The vendor partner who's at that event, just to sit there in a room and have a conversation. I've been invited to already be at an event with another women's healthcare group that says, Hey, like, I can't wait for you to be doing this.

Will you come and hang out with us at this event kind of experience? So, it's the ask us. Are we available? Does it make sense? Is the partnership there? Is the conversation there? Absolutely. And if we want to be there, but we can't for myriad reasons, then we'll find another way for it to be something that is lauded in our industry.

Because again, we can transform healthcare one connection at a time. There are multitudes of opportunities to do that. And after 30 years in IT and 24 of them, again, in healthcare and beyond, it's like, we can figure these things out together. And it's important to be able to do that because the relationships you create transcend where you work, what associations you're a part of, all the different aspects of what we do every single day.

That's the best part about what we do. It's the relationships that matter, the people that come together, and realizing that yes, we can. So if you want to be a bigger part, of what we're doing, then I think everybody knows how to find us. We actually answer our LinkedIn messages. Most people have our phone numbers.

We answer. Oh

man, speak for yourself.

Well, within reason, but if I know the person reaching out, I answer them. Like yesterday, someone said, Hey, I have a question about this. I used to work with this person 10 years ago. I'm like, Hey, how are you? Yes, absolutely. Call me. Here's my cell phone number. That's different, but yes.

People reach out to me on LinkedIn.

I'll answer.

Yeah, people think I'm on LinkedIn all the time, so they reach out to me on LinkedIn, and then I'll go out there and there'll be like 50 messages. I'll be like, oh my gosh. If you want to πŸ“ get a hold of me , Bill at ThisWeekHealth. com. old school.

It's the easiest way to get a hold of me. If you email me, I probably will give you my mobile phone. It's just the best way to get a hold of me. But LinkedIn messages, you're gonna have to wait a couple weeks till I get back to you. But you and Drex are great at that.

Well, I think about the fact if it says SuperConnector, and my desire is to help you solve problems, then so long as it's a legitimate connection that's being made. And I'm a part of a few associations, like I think Women's Business Leaders, U. S. Healthcare. I love that entire group. And sometimes the best way to message one another is on LinkedIn.

How many connections and followers do you have on LinkedIn?

here's what's fascinating is I think about 16 or 17, 000. And yet I keep meeting all these amazing people who have like 40 and 50, and I'm like, dang, how do you build an audience that big? And it's just over time, it's producing content that people find relevant and meaningful.

And as long as it's hitting the mark, then it's worth putting out there. As long as it's educating and making a difference, then I believe the content is important.

Wow. You're way beyond me.

Craig Richardville, one of our dear friends from both of us. Craig's got like 000 or more.

He should because it's Craig. But I'm like, dang, I want to be Craig when I grew up. It used to be I want to be Drex and I want to be Bill. Now that I'm working with you guys, I'm like, I just want to be like Craig now. I tell

you, I turned down a lot of them and maybe I'm the anomaly. And those that immediately follow up with a sales request, I immediately disconnect from them.

So, but yeah pretty big reach between you, me and Drex getting out in social media and getting the message out. Sarah, I am so looking forward to working with you on a day to day basis, but right now I'm going to let you get back to your vacation.

Thank you.

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