Episode #144: Why you should care about platforms and flywheels in healthcare – with Sara Vaezy, Chief Strategy & Digital Officer at Providence Health


In this episode, we have the unique opportunity of being introduced to two critical components in the future of healthcare delivery: platforms and flywheels.  We also have the great fortune of being introduced to one of the national leaders in digital healthcare, Sara Vaezy. Our guest will share why and how platforms and flywheels are necessary for healthcare systems to remain competitive in the digital era, and why they’re important now.

Sara Vaezy is the recently appointed Chief Digital Officer for Providence where she is responsible for digital strategy, product innovation, marketing, digital experience, and commercialization for the integrated delivery network which includes 52 hospitals and over 1000 clinics serving over 5 million unique patients. In addition to her work at Providence, Sara serves as the NCQA Board Director, as a member of inaugural class of the Frist Cressey Ventures Collective, a Health Evolution Forum Fellow, a World 50 Digital 50 member, and a Forbes Business Council Member. She has won numerous awards and recognitions that include a Becker’s Rising Star in Health IT (2020) and a Becker’s Women to Watch in Health IT (2020 & 2022). Sara holds an MHA and an MPH in Health Policy from the University of Washington School of Public Health and BA’s in Physics and Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. 

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • Why platforms and flywheels are vital for the mission and viability of healthcare systems. 
  • Examples of platforms and flywheels outside of healthcare and how they enhance consumer acquisition, engagement and retention. 
  • Why platforms are a prerequisite for healthcare systems to compete effectively in the digital era.  
  • How flywheels can also support the transition to value-based care 
  • The ‘know me, care for me, and ease my way’ promise that Providence Health makes to its patients, and how that directs their digital health strategy and deployment. 

There are numerous lessons to be learned from Sara Vaezy in this dialogue – lessons about healthcare consumerism, digital healthcare, the competitive landscape and value-based care.  Speaking with Sara is always a privilege, a pleasure and a deeply inspiring experience. 

Until Next Time, Be Well.

Zeev Neuwirth, MD