Why Dr. David Feinberg made the move from Google Health to Cerner 

David Feinberg, MD, former head of Google Health, officially takes the reins as Cerner's CEO Oct. 1. In a recent op-ed shared on LinkedIn, he shared the motivation behind taking on the new role: the opportunity to use tech to improve patients' lives every day. 

Dr. Feinberg brings more than 25 years of healthcare experience to his position as president and CEO of the Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR vendor. He joined Google Health in 2019 as vice president of the technology company's healthcare division, and prior to Google, he was president and CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger. 

He also spent more than 20 years at UCLA in a number of leadership roles, including president, CEO and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, and vice chancellor and CEO of UCLA Hospital System. While his time at Google, Geisinger and UCLA gave him the opportunity to help children and families and "impact healthcare and improve more people's lives around the world," he views Cerner the chance to make the biggest impact, according to his Sept. 27 LinkedIn article. 

"But the greatest impact I can have on healthcare quality and accessibility is at a company where every day we wake up thinking about how to use technology to improve people’s lives," Dr. Feinberg wrote. "That's why I chose Cerner." 

Dr. Feinberg cited two stories from over the past 25 years that have motivated him to improve the patient experience and healthcare access for underserved populations. The first was when leading the neuropsychiatric institute at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; he had to explain to a father that his 12-year-old son was having his first psychotic break and in a manner wasn't too clinical but rather conveyed people were caring for his son and he was being treated with dignity and respect. 

The second story involved a third-grade girl who had an appointment with Dr. Feinberg during his time at UCLA after she had written a haiku poem about tying yarn around her neck to kill herself. "She got an appointment with me at UCLA because her parents 'knew somebody' – they had connections. I wondered: How many other suicidal third graders are out there whose parents DON’T 'know somebody?' How will THEY get treatment?" Dr. Feinberg wrote. 

By developing technology to improve clinical, operational and financial outcomes for healthcare providers across the globe, "Cerner – more than any other company – provides me the unique opportunity to help improve healthcare and the patient experience for people like that 12-year-old boy, his father, and the third-grade girl who wrote her haiku poem," he wrote. "And for me, nothing is more important." 

 

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