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There’s a Better Way: Smart Talk on Healthcare and Technology
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There’s a Better Way: Smart Talk on Healthcare and Technology

Author: Surescripts

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The American healthcare system is one of the most innovative in the world, but it’s also riddled with complex challenges, such as access to affordable medications, inefficiency and administrative burdens, and communications barriers between providers.. In this podcast series, host Melanie Marcus, Chief Marketing Officer of Surescripts, sits down with some of the most inspiring leaders in healthcare today for in-depth and personal conversations about the industry’s challenges and opportunities. Each episode presents a new conversation with people who are driving industry innovation through their work, and helping to usher in a new era of American healthcare. Through this podcast, you’ll be exposed to new perspectives on stubborn healthcare challenges, how technology can be used to improve care and what the future might hold for an industry in the midst of rapid change.
10 Episodes
As President of Kroger Health, Colleen Lindholz leads a team of 23,000 healthcare professionals in nearly 2500 pharmacies in 37 states who care for more than 14 million patients annually. In this episode, Colleen shares passion for wellness and nutrition, and health and how Kroger is working to deliver whole patient care. Melissa and Colleen also discuss how the pandemic laid bare existing inequities and how technology can help pharmacists get the right therapy to the right patient at the right time, increasing adherence and improving patient outcomes. Finally, Colleen explains what keeps her motivated in her career, and what’s currently inspiring her.
In this episode, Melanie sits down with Lee Barrett, Executive Director and CEO of EHNAC, a national healthcare accreditation organization. Previously, he was the President and CEO and sat on the board of directors at HealthEC, a consulting and solutions provider of products for ACOs, Population Health, HIEs, web portals, EMR and transactional platforming. As a health IT and security guru, Lee has plenty of thoughtful perspectives to share on data privacy, cyber security and tech innovation in the healthcare space. He explains how we've come a long way as an industry in providing a level of support and assurance for stakeholders, and why stakeholder trust is the name of the game in the industry today. Lee also shares his perspective on what’s on the horizon for the future of the industry, including in areas like telehealth, medical devices and cryptocurrencies.
In this episode, Melanie sits down with community pharmacist Michele Belcher. Michele is president of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the owner of Grants Pass Pharmacy, which dates to 1904 and is the last independent pharmacy in Grants Pass, Oregon. Elected president of NCPA in 2022, Michele has long been active in state and federal legislation impacting community pharmacies as well as Oregon’s state pharmacy coalition. When Grants Pass was hit hard by the Delta variant, Michele led the charge for her community pharmacy to rise to the occasion and rallied colleagues to administer COVID-19 vaccines to a particularly vulnerable population: the developmentally disabled. And as the country continues to face a shortage of primary care physicians, Michele is advocating for pharmacists to expand the clinical services they provide. A community pharmacist that easily moves between small town America to the nation's capital, Michele is a leader to watch as the healthcare industry continues to undergo rapid change.
In this episode, Melanie sits down with Dr. Nele Jessel, the Chief Medical Officer of athenahealth. With two medical licenses—one to practice in Germany and one to practice in the U.S.—Dr. Jessel is a board-certified clinical informaticist and pediatrician with a passion for improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes through technology. A self-described EHR cheerleader, she first became interested in clinical informatics as a means to bring the revolutionary potential of HIT to pediatrics, a specialty where its adoption has lagged. During the episode, Melanie sits down with Dr. Jessel for an in-depth conversation about her childhood in Germany, her decision to go into medicine, and why she believes the solution to clinician burnout could potentially lie in more technology, not less. Dr. Jessel also explains why it’s always been her goal to use technology to allow her and the clinicians she supports to practice old-fashioned medicine in a high-tech setting.
As other guests have shared, there’s often a strong link between a parent’s professional world and the career their child chooses. In other words: “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In this episode, Melanie sits down with someone who understands this connection firsthand: Sam Lambson, the Vice President of Interoperability at Oracle Cerner. While Sam was growing up, his father worked in tech and manufacturing, which led him to move the entire family to Hong Kong just as Sam was entering high school. During his time in Hong Kong, Sam learned about the power of connection and the role of technology in the world—lessons which stuck with him as he moved into adulthood. Today, he calls himself a “technologist at heart” as well as an evangelist for “all things interoperability.” Since joining Oracle Cerner in 2015, his mantra has been to “make care more affordable, accessible and better coordinated.” During the episode, Sam shares his beliefs on innovative solutions for healthcare affordability in America, and how technology can drive results at scale to improve care for millions. He also shares more about his remarkable career path, what inspires him, and how he navigates such a critical and exciting role.
As the U.S. population ages, it’s also getting sicker: According to the CDC, more than a quarter of U.S. adults face multiple chronic conditions. An ever-increasing number of Americans are on a specialty therapy or medication—more than 66 million in 2022. The good news? Conditions that were untreatable decades ago now have effective therapies. The bad news? The journey from diagnosis to treatment remains costly and onerous: CVS reported that specialty medications accounted for more than 52% of drug spend in 2020. In addition, underserved and minority populations often don’t get the specialty medication access and education they need to improve their outcomes. Melanie will chat with Joel Helle on what's needed and what's next with specialty prescribing & dispensing—and how technology and innovation play important roles. We’ll ask Joel to share his professional and personal experience with improving the specialty journey—and why he’s passionate about making this process better for the pharmacist, for the patient, for the doctor. We’ll also talk about what inspires Joel—and what he thinks the future holds for a market ripe for innovation.
In this episode, Melanie sits down with Tina Grande, the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Healthcare Leadership Council. In her role, Tina helps to advocate for consumer-centered healthcare reform, emphasizing the value of private-sector innovation as well as public-private partnership. Tina has healthcare and policy in her blood: her father represented the Mayo Clinic on Capitol Hill, and she began her career as junior staffer in healthcare policy for Senator David Durenberger. In the early 2000s, she became an entrepreneur, creating a software that organized 44,000 pages of Medicare policy into a consumable format for policymakers and providers alike. During their discussion, Melanie and Tina dig deeper into Tina’s remarkable career at the intersection of healthcare, technology and national policy. Tina also shares her perspective on the mission and successes of the Council, what inspires her, and the key priorities she believes policymakers and healthcare leaders should keep front and center in the months and years ahead.
In this episode, Melanie sits down with Mariann Yeager, the Chief Executive Officer of The Sequoia Project, an independent advocate for nationwide health information exchange. Beginning her career in health IT in Nashville, Mariann eventually made her way to Washington, D.C., where she’s remained on the forefront of the digital healthcare transformation ever since. Melanie and Mariann discuss how in the not-too-distant past, healthcare was still largely being conducted on paper. However, we’ve made some incredible strides since then, and this episode dives into some of the most noteworthy discoveries, changes and evolutions in the healthcare industry in recent years. Mariann also shares her perspective on the complementary nature of private-public partnership on the journey to advance data sharing practices, how to use passion to keep yourself and others motivated, and much more.
TIME recently named Walgreens one of the 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022, noting that as of March 2022, the company had administered 60 million COVID-19 vaccines and 26 million tests. In this episode, host Melanie Marcus, Chief Marketing Officer of Surescripts, sits down with a guest who has had a truly noteworthy career, beginning as a cashier at the Walgreens across the street from her high school before rising through the ranks to become Vice President for Pharmacy Quality, Compliance and Patient Safety at the company. Today, Tasha Polster has overseen the national rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in thousands of stores across the country. As a healthcare leader who is helping to reimagine how care can and should be delivered in this “new normal,” Tasha shares her inspiring story, and her perspective on the value of innovation, collaboration and partnership during challenging times. 



Welcome to "There's a Better Way: Smart Talk on Healthcare & Technology", a new podcast series by Surescripts. In each episode, host Melanie Marcus, Chief Marketing Officer of Surescripts, sits down with some of the most inspiring leaders in healthcare today for in-depth and personal conversations about the industry’s challenges and opportunities. Through this podcast, you’ll be exposed to new perspectives on stubborn healthcare challenges, how technology can be used to improve care and what the future might hold for an industry in the midst of rapid change. If you’re up for smart, energizing and story-driven conversations with some of the nation’s top leaders in healthcare and technology, tune into There’s a Better Way, premiering on all major podcast apps this summer. Learn more.
Comments (2)

Shafiqullah Enayat


Jan 23rd

Patrick Keating

I'm not in healthcare IT, so not sure why but this podcast was recommended to me by Castbox. I listened to a couple episodes. it's just OK. perhaps if I were in the field I would have felt more connected

Sep 14th
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