Health System Resilience

Health Evolution’s Top 5 articles in May

Gabriel Perna | June 7, 2021

At March’s end, Health Evolution identified eight imperatives emerging post-pandemic, where leaders can focus to transform into stronger, more equitable and sustainable enterprises serving wider patient populations with a new standard of care services. We will develop multiple articles about each of the imperatives throughout the year. This month, we focused on health system resilience by examining how ChristianaCare built its Center for Worklife Wellbeing and SCAN Health Plan established a Togetherness Program to address loneliness and isolation in senior populations.

For a federal government lens, we interviewed National Coordinator Micky Tripathi about how ONC and other agencies are pulling regulatory levers to advance interoperability and improve public health infrastructure. Expanding to a global perspective, we look at how a successful program in the U.K. illustrates contract tracing’s potential to increase system resilience here in the U.S. as well. Lastly, with investment money being poured into digital health, five experts discuss, and disagree about, whether CEOs should anticipate a boom or bust 

Now, here are our most-read articles in May 2021. 

  1.  When trauma makes ‘time travelers’ of health care workers

In this powerful guest column, Tosan O. Boyo, Senior Vice President of Hospital Operations at John Muir Health, reveals personal experiences with political riots in Nigeria during the 1990’s, the U.S. Capitol insurrection and the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. “Trauma lives in the crevices of fears and memories. It knows your fragility. It embraces and transports you across eons. Trauma is a tyrant unbound by time and space,” Boyo writes. He also shares how he clawed his way back to the present. “My team needed me. I needed them more. We had battles to fight.” 

Read more 

  1. What’s driving the surge in digital health funding? 

Q1 of 2021 witnessed more $100 million-plus digital health “mega deals” than 2018 and 2019 combined. “There has been a mounting tidal wave of funding that has intensified over the last couple of years in particular,” says Sukanya Soderland, Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Health Evolution spoke with five people representing five different areas of the health care system impacted by the digital health funding boom. (This is this first in a two-part series and we linked to part 2 in the Editor’s note.)  

Read more 

  1. Northwell Direct CEO takes aim at the traditional model for health benefits 

Nick Stefanizzi, CEO, Northwell Direct, explains why it launched a direct-to-employer contracting company in June 2020. “Employers are frustrated because they have been raising the concern for a long time and year after year they continue to get hit with premium increases,” he says. Stefanizzi discusses competing with the “BUCA” [Blues United Cigna, Aetna} health insurance companies and Northwell’s approach in the landscape.  

Read more 

  1.  Geisinger’s Karen Murphy on the integrated health system’s next steps with digital health 

Geisinger Health System began building a new care delivery model in which patients will be able to monitor weight, blood pressure, glucose, and other metrics using a smartphone app. “We’ve been at this for the better part of two years of evaluating what we’re currently doing and then developing a vision for the future,” says Geisinger’s Karen Murphy, Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer. “We will use the patient-reported data to improve the way we manage chronic diseases.”  


  1. Managing executives who don’t recognize the value of diversity  

In our Confab leadership series, CEOs discuss the difficult work of diversifying the C-suite and senior leadership via sensitive discussions, making difficult decisions regarding personnel, and using data to inform and educate the executive team. “If they don’t get it then they don’t have a role on my team. It’s just that simple,” says Sachin Jain, MD, President & CEO, SCAN Group and Health Plan. Mandy Cohen, MD, Secretary, North Carolina HHS adds that “the hard thing as a leader is that you have to make those choices.” 

Read more 

What to expect at Summit 2021 

Summit 2021 is convening in-person and featuring a virtual component. Resetting the agenda – Leadership imperatives emerging post-pandemic,” is this year’s theme. A special Main Stage Interview with Greg A. Adams, Chair and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. Dozens of other discussion leaders will deliver insights about economic and policy outlook, incorporating and integrating new technologies, innovating care models and consumer offerings, confronting mental health, affordability and equity challenges, and more. 
When: August 25-27, 2021   
Where: Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, CA 

Learn more or Apply to Participate 

Upcoming webcast: Value-based care at a crossroads — Charting the course to 2025 and beyond 

Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | Time: 10–11 a.m. PT/1–2 p.m. ET 

Host: Kyle Armbrester, CEO, Signify Health 

Discussion Leaders: 
• Kevin Lembo, State Comptroller, State of Connecticut Officer of the State Comptroller 
• Judy Zerzan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, WA State Health Care Authority 

After a decade of experimentation with alternative payment models, we have the experience base to achieve transformational impact. The path forward will be based on key pillars of payment reform — advanced primary care and episode/bundled payments for specialty care. Learn how Connecticut is leveraging its employee benefit plan and Washington State is using both its employee benefit plan and the Medicaid plan as catalysts to standardize value-based care.   


About the Author

Gabriel Perna, Senior Manager, Digital Content

Gabriel Perna is the Senior Manager of Digital Content at Health Evolution. He brings 10+ years of experience in covering the intersection of health care and business. Previously, he was at Chief Executive, Physicians Practice and Healthcare Informatics. You can reach him via email at or on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna