"Leadership is Learned Over Time"
Our C-Suite Perspectives series returned on June 15 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa with a discussion featuring Dr. Patrick Conway, the president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Conway talked about BCBSNC’s mission to achieve better health outcomes at a lower cost.
“We insure the majority of people in North Carolina for the majority of their lives,” said Conway.
He discussed his company’s investment in primary care. “Excellent primary care improves quality and lowers costs,” said Conway.
Conway also discussed BCBSNC’s investments in mental and behavioral health.
As for an overall approach, he said, “We have got to drive a system that supports people throughout their life.”
Conway explained how BCBSNC is making major investments in the community, including in the areas of housing and transportation. He said the company has made a million-dollar investment to prevent child abuse across North Carolina and is working to address the opioid epidemic.
Conway shared his perspective on leadership. “Leadership is learned over time and a huge driver of that for me has been mentors,” he said. He talked about, early in his career, having an opportunity to lead people and a budget.
These five things have been Conway’s guiding leadership principles and focus: family first, health impact, people and culture, learning, and joy in work.
Prior to becoming the president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Conway served as deputy administrator for innovation and quality at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is considered one of the driving forces behind the national movement toward value-based care, with healthcare payments tied to quality and innovation.
When he took on his role at BCBSNC, Conway said it was important to him to meet each staff person and shake everybody’s hand at work, including virtual handshakes with remote staff. “It was amazing,” he said. “They are a mission-driven group of people.”
“When I was thinking about taking on my role as leader of Blue Cross North Carolina, I thought about what healthcare could look like in North Carolina,” Conway added. “That vision guides me as a leader and brings focus to our company’s service.” He wants every customer to be treated like family.
Conway also took questions from the audience. He described how advanced data analytics, including artificial intelligence, will play a significant role going forward in healthcare.
We thank Dr. Conway for sharing his insight at C-Suite Perspectives. We also would like to thank all of our sponsors, including our series title sponsor, First Citizens Bank, and our presenting sponsors, Delta Dental of North Carolina, and the Marsh & McLennan Agency.
Our next C-Suite Perspectives at The Umstead Hotel and Spa will be on Aug. 24. At this event, you will hear from Ed Fritsch, the president, CEO, and director of Highwoods Properties, Inc.