President of Patient Care Heroes offers insight into healthcare's future

Dr. Kellie Lease Stecher details how she sees hospitals and health systems growing in 10 years. 

Becker's asked health system leaders: Question: What will hospitals and health systems look like in 10 years? What will be different and what will be the same?

The executive featured in this article is speaking at the Becker's Healthcare 13th Annual Meeting April 3-6, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

To learn more about this event, click here.

If you would like to join as a speaker, contact Mariah Muhammad at For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessica Cole at

Kellie Lease Stecher, MD, OBGYN. Co-Founder, President of Patient Care Heroes (Columbus, Ohio): There is a need for almost everything in healthcare to change. In ten years, if we haven't adapted to the healthcare workforce's needs, then we will continue to see hospitals shut their doors and access to healthcare plummet. In the state of Minnesota, we have seen the largest nursing strike ever recorded and healthcare workers are leaving at “crisis” rates. In 2022 Minnesota nursing homes had the worst staff shortages anywhere in the country. In 2021, 117,000 physicians left their profession. We continue to see islands across the country where people don't have access to prenatal care or preventative services. Healthcare systems are failing us, yet, there doesn't appear to be any introspection or desire to right the ship. There is a need to treat people fairly, safely, and equitably, and yet, most systems don't have safeguards in place to protect their workforce from discrimination, harassment, or hate. We continue to promote leaders who don't care for people. We need people with empathy, understanding, and a desire to create change; instead, we have people in place that are obstructionists and promote the status quo. It's for this reason that I think more systems will cease to exist, and there will be more giant mergers, like the one proposed by Sanford and M Health. I can't imagine anyone looking at that merger and thinking this is good for patient care. This doesn't improve access, care, or employee relations. However, that doesn't seem to be the priority with most of these endeavors. Due to our inability to look at the foundation on which these systems are built, we will continue to put bandaids on huge cracks that eventually topple the entire system. If we were smart, we would go to the root and see why we are sick. They need to listen to the workers that are begging for help and stop leading with their egos.


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