Our editorial team has had the pleasure of conducting dozens of interviews during 2021. We enjoyed them all and learned so much. Here’s a look back at a few of our favorite conversations.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Luciana Borio on COVID—the past, the present, and the future

Luciana Borio, M.D., who warned the public in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal in late January 2020 about the pending COVID-19 pandemic, was a keynote speaker at RISE National 2021.

In this interview, Dr. Borio talked to RISE about COVID, what’s on the horizon, and what health plans can do to support their members.


Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson on digital innovation during COVID and the next steps for industry transformation

Another RISE National 2021 speaker also granted RISE an interview prior to her presentation.

Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a pediatrician, author of Mama Doc Medicine, and a pioneer in the use of the digital space to provide humanistic doctor-patient information, offered insight into the current landscape as well as the potential for even more innovation to transform the health care system into one that is both patient-centered and provider-centered.

Dr. Angela Huskey on emerging drug threats, the rise in substance use among the elderly

Angela G. Huskey, PharmD, CPE, senior vice president and chief clinical officer at Millennium Health, joined us for an episode of RISE Radio, our podcast series that focuses on issues that impact our three communities: Quality & Revenue; Member Acquisition & Experience; and Social Determinants of Health. During this 21-minute podcast, she discussed her work on identifying drug trends, emerging threats, substance use disorder, and the increase in drug overdose deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laura Cooley on simple recommendations that health care leaders can take to improve communication, outcomes

Laura Cooley, Ph.D., senior director of education and outreach, Academy of Communication in Healthcare, was a speaker this year at RISE’s Risk Adjustment Forum and Women in Health Care Leadership. In this interview, Cooley shares three time-effective steps health care leaders can take to manage complex change.

Dr. Heather O’Toole on population health, quality measures, COVID, telehealth, and opioid safety in the ambulatory setting

Heather O’Toole, M.D., chief medical officer at Innovation Care Partners, a clinically integrated network and an accountable care organization in Arizona, was this year’s recipient of RISE’s Martin L. Block Award. During this 36-minute podcast, she discussed with RISE Radio  the quality initiatives that have inspired her, including opioid safety in the ambulatory setting and training physicians on advance directives, as well as how the projects changed during COVID.

Melissa Quick shares a pulse check on SDoH: Barriers, funding, and congressional activity in 2021 and beyond

In this interview, Melissa Quick, co-chair, Aligning for Health, a coalition advocating to Congress for solutions to address social determinants of health (SDoH) across the country, spoke with RISE about current trends and challenges related to SDoH in the last year and what’s ahead. An advocate in the SDoH space, Quick discussed progress in recent years of health care organizations recognizing the impact of SDoH, the barriers of data sharing capabilities and what it’ll take to drive improvements, and recent proposed legislations making a difference.

Erin Hatzikostas on authenticity as a secret weapon for success

After more than 20 years in the corporate world, Erin Hatzikostas, a keynote speaker at the RISE Women in Health Care Leadership Summit in December, left her role as CEO at a health care financial institution and reimagined her career as a best-selling author, TEDx speaker, executive coach, and founder of b Authentic. In this interview prior to her presentation, she talked to RISE about strategic authenticity and how women can change the job rather than change themselves for the job.

A spotlight on innovative social determinants of health programs aiming to promote food access, partnerships across sectors

Ahead of the RISE Summit on SDoH, RISE spoke with industry experts April Schetler, MS, RD, FAND, assistant vice president, community health engagement, Virtua Health, and Shannon Velasquez, built environment coordinator, and John Vick, Ph.D., MS, (pictured) evaluation and assessment director, office of primary prevention, The Tennessee Department of Health, about their community efforts to address SDoH. The interviews spotlight how one health system launched a community-centered food access program by developing a mobile grocery store and how the Tennessee Department of Health aims to address SDoH in Tennessee communities through grant funding, partnerships at the state and local level, and cross-sector collaboration.