Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Nancy Howell Agee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carilion Clinic

Nancy Howell Agee serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Carilion Clinic. 

On April 1st, Nancy will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Nancy's session, click here.

Question: What do innovators/entrepreneurs from outside healthcare need to better understand about hospital and health system leaders?

Nancy Howell Agee: Perhaps one simple message…ours is an innately human "business". At our core are people caring for people. So, the rules they teach you in business school don't often apply. Health care is complex (who knew) and solutions are rarely simple.

Q: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

NHA: In a word: collaboration. Carilion has been a pioneer in unique public-private partnerships for at least a decade. We developed a medical school and research institute with Virginia Tech. Now we are engaged with Radford University to merge our Jefferson College of Health Sciences into a major new health sciences campus in Roanoke. Unique, mutually beneficial partnerships like these and other clinical partnerships are creating our future. Anyone who has ever been married knows that partnerships aren't always easy; they take a ton of work. The rewards, however, are greater than either partner could achieve on their own.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

NHA: In many ways, I think the criticism is valid. The pace of change today is unprecedented and yet, as a field, we aren't adopting technological solutions very quickly. Going forward, technology will be essential to providing care that’s both affordable and accessible. Our work ahead is to help consumers be as facile with health care as they are with Amazon or Uber.

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