Women’s Series Luncheon: Leaders Defining Healthcare
October 11, 2019
The Chamber hosted its Women’s Series Luncheon, Leaders Defining Healthcare, at the Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Convention Center sponsored by Greenberg Traurig. It was a panel style presentation featuring Kelly Cullen, Tampa General Hospital, Kimberly Guy, BayCare Health System, Lauren Key, AdventHealth, and Yvette Tremonti, Moffitt Cancer Center. The panel was moderated by Danielle Vona, The Marketing Posse.
The discussion started out with each of the panelists giving a brief overview of their current positions and how they got there. Kelly kicked it off, stating that she knew from a young age she wanted to be a nurse thanks to her Aunt serving as a mentor to her. She realized the impact and value she could have on someone’s life. Starting her career in the ER as a nurse, she was given a leadership opportunity to become a charge nurse, and once she did, she knew she wanted the rest of her career to be in leadership.
Lauren entered the healthcare field right out of college and never left. She’s worked and been exposed to almost every type of medical field and organization you could imagine. She’s been with AdventHealth for the past 8 years.
Kimberly spent the first part of her healthcare career in Raleigh, North Carolina and was eventually recruited to run St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital. Once here, she was offered to run the Children’s Hospital and a Retirement Community as well. Now, she runs St. Joseph’s main hospital, as well as 6 other hospitals in the network.
Yvette started her career at Ernst & Young, initially working on an audit of Tampa General Hospital as her first experience with healthcare. She left to become the Director of Accounting at Moffitt and has been with the organization for 22 years, spending 9 years in her original role and then becoming the Vice President of Human Resources. She eventually moved into strategy and then into partnerships, which lead her to her current role overseeing IT, finance, planning, design & construction, strategy and more. From a personal side, her son was diagnosed with leukemia 6 years ago, and she experienced Moffitt from the patient side as well. She was happy to report her son is in remission.
Danielle started off the questions by asking what each of the panelists felt was the biggest challenge the industry and the community are currently facing. Each panelists agreed the rising cost of healthcare and prescriptions and the access to healthcare were at the forefront of challenges. Kimberly also went on to say that mental health and substance abuse are issues that we are facing across the country. Lauren touched on educating the consumer to know the type of healthcare they need. For example, when you need the ER versus when you may just need urgent care.
Following up from that, they were asked what each of their organizations are currently doing to help consumers deal with the high cost of healthcare. Kimberly explained at BayCare they have a medication assistance program emphasizing the importance of keeping patients that need medication on it, despite the cost. They partner with existing agencies to meet needs in the community and to help decrease the cost of care. Kelly stated that Tampa General Hospital also provides a prescription assistance program. Tampa General just acquired 18 imaging centers which give patients access to various tests at a lower cost. She emphasized that healthcare needs to be much more preventative and not so reactive as it has been. Lauren informed us that AdventHealth is working hard at providing pricing transparency, and trying to educate patients before their procedure even begins to estimate costs and ensure there are no surprises when they receive their bill, in addition to helping patients understand what the various charges mean. Yvette echoed that Moffitt is dedicated to pricing transparency as well and being upfront with patients about the cost of the care they’re receiving.
Touching on Kimberly’s earlier statement regarding mental health and substance abuse, Danielle asked the panel what they thought were mental health issues that we are addressing and not addressing. Kimberly discussed a community-wide initiative that was started by BayCare to create a nonprofit to increase awareness of where to go for mental healthcare and decrease the stigma of getting help. According to a recent study in our Bay Area, there are big opportunities that exist in these 5 counties to address suicide and other mental health concerns on the front end. The plan is to start at the schools and hopefully work towards ensuring people never end up in the position of needing to be in a mental health institution. But, in order for that to happen, people need to be able to access the services to get help, which is the goal of this nonprofit. Lauren echoed Kimberly’s sentiments, emphasizing that BayCare truly was the pioneer to bring this initiative to life.
The panelists were then asked to share something exciting that is on the horizon for each of their respective organizations. Kelly explained that TGH has partnered with GE to coordinate care more efficiently and effectively using AI (artificial intelligence). This helps to improve quality, safety and costs. They also have rolled out a program called OnMed, which allows you to go into a booth (similar to a photobooth) to see a doctor virtually and be scanned using infrared scanning technology to get health information about you and receive medical information and advice from the doctor specific to your current ailment. The plan for TGH is to hopefully be able to put these booths out in the community. Lauren announced that AdventHealth is planning to roll out a partnership with Phillips where patients will have the control and opportunity to send health information (at their discretion) to their healthcare providers from the comfort of their own home. The goal of this is to help give physicians a better picture of your overall health, if you’re so inclined. AdventHealth will be the first hospital in the country to test this pilot program which is anticipated to start rolling out in December/January time frame. Yvette discussed Moffitt’s CAR-T clinical trial and how they have treated the most CAR-T patients out of any cancer center in the country, which is exciting because CAR-T has a very good prognosis. In addition she touched on Moffitt’s expansion to a new hospital on a new campus with anticipated opening in 2023. Kimberly revealed that St Joseph’s Children’s is the first hospital in Florida to launch a program called Surgical Theatre, a virtual 3D program that allows children to see inside their own bodies and see what’s going on. Doctors are using it to plan their surgeries, and it has already changed some of the ways that they can perform and approach surgeries. St. Joseph’s is also expanding facilities, and as of next year the women’s hospital will be connected to St. Joseph’s main hospital.
The session winded down with a few audience questions, one being if you could personally solve one issue, what would it be? Yvette simply stated to to cure cancer. Kimberly said to find a way to ensure the next generation doesn’t have to deal with some of the major health issues we’re currently faced with. Lauren declared that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. Kelly hoped to improve the coordination of care, creating some type of navigation for patients and families.
Each of these women had incredible insight into the healthcare challenges and successes that we have as a community and as a nation. Each touched on how great the hospitals are in this area and how they all partner and work together collaboratively for the betterment of the people who live in Tampa Bay. There are many exciting opportunities on the horizon for healthcare as a whole, and this community is bound for success with these women at the forefront of care.
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