Dwight McBee on 'seamlessly integrating' health into the daily lives of Jefferson Health patients as chief experience officer

With nearly 20 years in the healthcare industry, Dwight McBee, BSN, RN, said he has always been wired to help people. 

He began his career in 2002 as a registered nurse at Lakewood, N.J.-based Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. From there, he went onto several other health systems and now serves as executive vice president and chief experience officer at Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health. 

Mr. McBee sat down with Becker's Oct. 11 to discuss his roots, greatest accomplishments and what the future holds for him at Jefferson. 

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity.

Question: What piqued your interest in healthcare?

Mr. Dwight McBee: I'm a nurse by training and I think I became a nurse simply because I'm wired to help people. I'm very high on altruism if you take those personality tests. But I think ultimately the reason why is that we have the opportunity to really help people at their worst, we have the opportunity to take care of people in their worst moments, and ultimately, we have the opportunity to express genuine love for another person. And we do that by delivering care, so I think that's really the best way to sum up why it took me a while to get there. I don't know if I was there at the beginning of my career, but I think as I season with time, I think it's really an opportunity to genuinely love one other person.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far — whether it be in your career in general or at Jefferson?

DM: There are so many things to point to, [but] I think the thing that I'm most proud of is the ability to bring the most valuable perspectives to the table. My job is to create space for the right voices to contribute to the design of healthcare. And so we do that by engaging with patients and with families and we bring them in the same room with our designers, our architects, our ISNT professionals, and our patients and our families here at Jefferson, through official formal structures, meaningfully engage with our healthcare team to create new systems and new processes for care delivery. That is, I think, my greatest accomplishment. Not only bringing those voices to the table and creating space for them, but also for our healthcare team to see that as a valued contribution and to see our patients and families as co-equal partners in the delivery of healthcare.

Q: If you could eliminate one of the healthcare industry's problems overnight, which would it be?

DM: The biggest problem we have in healthcare is that we're incentivized for taking care of people when they're sick. And I think the one thing I would change would be to flip that model and to allow our systems to incentivize things like care in the home, or preventative screenings or incentivize loved ones for supporting someone during their illness. I really think the model of care in this country is changing, but it's not changing fast enough. And if I were to change one thing, it's how we incentivize differently so that we're taking great care of ourselves and really focusing on wellness versus a sickness model of care.

Q: What are your goals for the next six months as chief experience officer of Jefferson? 

DM: The industry has changed dramatically. COVID has truly upended all of what we do here, so I think healthcare consumers' expectations have radically changed. We've seen an increasing adoption of telehealth services. We know that there's a greater emphasis being placed on healthcare convenience, and so over the next six months, my goal here at Jefferson Health as the chief experience officer is to develop the strategies to seamlessly integrate our health services into the daily lives of the population that we serve. How do we create a greater sense of joy in engaging in health activities? And it's not done easily, so we're thoughtfully and intentionally thinking about this future state that fully integrates health services into the daily lives of those we serve.

Q: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

DM: Well, it's very simple, this might shock you. I have a mentor; she's actually my pastor. One of the best pieces of advice that I got in terms of leading others is something that was told to me, probably when it was shouted at me, and that it's not about you. Leadership is not about you. Leadership is fundamentally about others. And so, that simple truth has stayed with me. It's carried me through all of the things that go wrong in leadership. When you can step outside of yourself and look at the challenges and the issues that we navigate from a different perspective and don't take it personally, I think that can be a powerful way to lead in healthcare and probably everywhere else in between.

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