I am honored to have Gwen MacKenzie as the keynote speaker for day 2 of VUE15. I met Gwen back in 2008, when she was CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care, and Voalte was just starting out on our mission to improve healthcare communication. Gwen is one of the few RNs who has risen through the ranks to become CEO of a hospital system. Voalte was fortunate to have a local hospital leader who was willing to invest in technology that drives innovation in the field of nursing.
Gwen spearheaded a nine-year transformation of Sarasota Memorial Hospital into a regional healthcare network before returning to her home state last year to lead Ascension Health‘s Michigan market. This morning it feels like things have come full circle having Gwen back in Sarasota for VUE15, our first User Experience conference, discussing with Voalte customers how technology will play a role in the industry’s transformation.
As Senior Vice President, Ascension Health and Michigan Market Executive, Gwen helps set high-level strategic goals for the health system as it transitions to a value-based care delivery model. Ascension Health is the largest not-for-profit institution for healthcare in the country, and the largest Catholic institution, covering 24 states and including 131 hospitals. Gwen talked this morning on a high level about transformation in the industry.
“When talking about clinical transformation, the words to keep in mind are profound, disruptive, radical and innovative,” Gwen said to our audience of 100 VUE15 attendees. “If you’re not feeling uncomfortable in your environment, you’re probably not moving fast enough. This is not a time for comfort, it’s a time to keep moving.”
Robert Jones, Senior Director of IT at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Michigan, a Voalte customer hospital, asked Gwen about Walgreens and CVS entering the healthcare market: “How do you see that from a competitive perspective?”
“We can be a collaborator or a competitor, and I think we’ll be both,” Gwen responded. “We better pay attention to what they are doing, because we are going to go head-to-head when it comes to population health. We are going to have to be careful so hospitals are not marginalized to the point that we only provide ICUs and everyone else does everything else.”
Gwen gave a phenomenal presentation this morning that touched on numerous timely topics in our industry, from population health to wearable technology to virtual care. It was an honor to have her here at VUE15, where we are looking forward to the many changes healthcare technology is bringing to life.
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.