Episode #90: ‘How COVID-19 is Reframing Healthcare in America’ with Dr. Tony Slonim, CEO of Renown Health

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

On Friday March 27th 2020, I launched a limited podcast series addressing how the COVID-19 pandemic is reframing American healthcare.  You can find the introduction episode here.  In this series, I’ll be interviewing future-facing, courageous healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs – asking two questions:

(1) How is the COVID-19 pandemic immediately changing the way you’re delivering healthcare?   (2) How will COVID-19 reframe American healthcare for years to come?

Our guest this week is Dr. Anthony Slonim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Renown Health in Reno, NV.  Over the last four years, he and his colleagues have created one of the most innovative and progressive health services organizations in the country. Dr. Slonim is a nationally recognized thought leader. Modern Healthcare has named him one of the “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives” of 2019. He has also been named a “Physician Leader to Know” every year, since 2014, on the Becker’s Hospital Review. A board-certified pediatric intensive care doctor by training, Dr. Slonim has authored more than 15 textbooks and published more than 60 academic journal articles. Before joining Renown Health, Dr. Slonim served in executive leadership roles at Barnabas Health in NJ, Carilion Clinic in VA and Children’s National Medical Center in DC. Dr. Slonim currently chairs the American Hospital Association’s Systems Council, representing more than 300 integrated health systems nationwide.

In this interview, we’ll cover a number of topics including:

  • How the public health mindset/model is augmenting and perhaps superseding the medical mindset/model in the COVID-19 era
  • How the current pandemic is pushing many more Americans into an existence of extreme scarcity, and the economic effect on the social determinants of health and health outcomes
  • How Renown Health’s unique approach and operating structure – which is focused on prevention and health as well as healthcare – have prepared and positioned it to address the current situation.
  • The escalation of behavioral and mental health conditions – a lesser talked about consequence of the pandemic, which can easily overwhelm our healthcare system, unless we find new ways to assist people.
  • How we must use this opportunity to methodically, systematically and cautiously reframe our approach – to be prepared for not only the shock waves of this current crisis; but to be prepared for future such events by focusing on health and establishing a prepared public healthcare system.
  • The importance of leadership at this point in time, especially at a time of widespread uncertainty and anxiety, which can cause individuals and organizations to recede into a vegetatitve mode of self-preservation.

Dr. Slonim is an exceptional CEO.  In addition to being a seasoned HC executive, he is a seasoned physician and an expert in public health. In a previous interview we conducted I mentioned that we needed more CEO’s with these sorts of credentials. That was true then, but even more so now, in this COVID-19 era.  Our interview ended up going into a discourse on the type of intentional leadership that will be required in this time crisis and its aftermath. He has a perspective that I hope others leaders can be inspired by and benefit from.

These are unprecedented times, so I hope you find valuable information, guidance, and inspiration in listening to these experts and entrepreneurs share how they are adapting to this pandemic (in real time); and how they’re thinking about and planning for the future.

Until next time, be safe and be well,
Zeev Neuwirth MD