Week Eleven 3/29 to 4/4: Characteristics of Innovators and Change Agents in the Healthcare Sector


Innovators and Change Agents

This week we will talk about those who innovate and change. When I hear the words innovator and change agents, I immediately think of people who think outside the box to make necessary changes. They are the producers of the world; and they have the uncanny ability to lead and inspire others. They are true visionaries. Obvious people (to me) who come to mind are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Florence Nightingale, George Washington, and Barack Obama.

Innovators in the Healthcare Sector

Innovators in the healthcare sector have a hard job of leading those to accept new ideas. When it comes to health, many people don’t like change. Speaking of change, the person who chanted that word in the year 2008 was Barack Obama. He is a perfect example of an innovator in the healthcare sector. Although the Affordable Care Act (2010) has its fair share of opposition, it was President Obama’s primary platform; and he campaigned heavily for the bill to pass. His vision was for every American to have affordable, quality healthcare.

An interesting addition of the ACA was the creation of the Innovation Center (section 3021), which is a component of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It was formed by Congress to perform the following :

  • Evaluating new payment and service delivery models
  • Evaluating and advancing best practices
  • Engaging stakeholders to participate in developing new models for testing (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), n.d.)

This agency was created to assist in developing and evaluating methods to provide high quality, lost cost care for medicare beneficiaries. It would be interesting to see a productivity report since its inception. I did find a new ACA initiative (2-12-2015) for better oncology care that was developed from feedback from the oncology community, patient advocates, and the private sector (CMS, n.d.).

linda lopez

Change Agents and Death with Dignity

In the state of AZ, former Representative (and former State Senator) Linda Lopez introduced the Aid in Dying bill multiple times. Lopez was a supporter of the bill due to her own father dying an uncomfortable death (Fifth Freedom Foundation, 2003). Although the bills never passed, it shows the tenacity Ms. Lopez had; and her passion about supporting a cause she believed in (from her own personal experience). Regardless of your party beliefs, It is refreshing to observe a politician who rallies behind a cause (and not for political gains).


Final Thoughts…Innovate and Lead

I invite you to listen to the following TED talk by Simon Sinek. It may inspire you to be a change agent. What is your Why?



Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (n.d.). About the CMS innovation center. Retrieved from http://innovation.cms.gov/about/index.html

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (n.d.). New Affordable Care Act Initiative to encourage better oncology care. Retrieved from http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2015-Press-releases-items/2015-02-12.html

Fifth Freedom Foundation (2003). Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.choicesarizona.org/files/Newsletter-2003-2-Spring.pdf

Simon Sinek (2009, September). How great leaders inspire action. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action


5 thoughts on “Week Eleven 3/29 to 4/4: Characteristics of Innovators and Change Agents in the Healthcare Sector

  1. leahyamada

    Wow… I am completely inspired by the video you posted! Mr. Sinek is not only an amazing speaker but an innovation genius! I love the concept of appealing to the WHY rather than the WHAT. It is so true that we need to appeal to the reasoning as to why someone should buy-in to our policy rather than just knowing what our policy is. Lawmakers need to know why it affects them and how it will improve the quality of their life, which I guess works the same for clinical practice. As NPs, we are responsible to explain to our clients why it is in their best interest to take X medicine or try Y treatment. We are also responsible to create and rally for policy that explains why it will help the community. Again, great post and great video!


  2. LorraineKempton

    Great post Leslie. I think the problem with change as it relates to your topic, dying with dignity, is that people do not want to let go of the values from their upbringing or what is wrong or right in their minds. From the public’s perspective, I think many people are scared of the “what next?” What if we let people die with dignity, then what will that lead to later on? Many cite this issue as a deterioration of society or break from religion, instead of just taking it for what it is: someone is suffering and they want to end it. But I completely agree with your stance, and I challenge anyone to work in hospice like you have and not support this policy proposal to allow death with dignity! I did not work hospice, but I saw a lot of suffering in the nursing home early in my nursing career. Hopefully people will start to look at this issue more simply as black and white and leave other influencing factors out of it.


  3. kmangold78

    Thank you for this post. As I learn more about the political process this semester, I am intrigued by why some legislation seems to quickly pick up notice and advances through the political process while others do not make it through the process or do not pass. I’m particularly curious as to your thoughts on why the Aid in Dying bill was not successful in Arizona. What specifically in our political and social climates did not allow the bill to pass? I’m always curious about how culture plays a role in this too. It is unfortunate that Ms. Lopez worked so hard on legislation she had a personal connection to and was unsuccessful.
    Kara Mangold


  4. jennweitman

    I watched the TED talk by Simon Sinek (I’m a sucker for TED talks) and I found it to be a great representation of this week’s blog post! His idea of the “Golden Circle” was very interesting. I think understanding the “why” is a profound idea. As Simon mentioned, this is not always the easiest concept to understand. Explaining to people the “why” of a product/ idea/ concept, really does appeal to the listener. I really liked his story about Orville and Wilber Wright. The “why” behind the Wright brothers was to fulfill a lifelong dream with a love of inventing and flying. The “why” behind Samuel Pierpont Langley was driven by fame, money and success. In this example, an important characteristic of innovators has to do with the reason behind the idea. Simon Sinek believes that innovators who succeed do so because their idea springs from an honest and non-egotistical place. This TED talk definitely opened my eyes to a different way to look at innovation!


  5. nanettewhittington

    This was a great post. Do you see the Aid in Dying bill passing in Arizona anytime soon? When can it go before legislatures again. Although I really truly don’t know what my position on this subject is, I do believe that everyone should not experience any pain when dying. I definitely would choose comfort over status. I believe anytime you have a subject that you are passionate about and it hits close to home people tend to listen a little more. Although I am not personally a Barack Obama fan I do admire his tenacity when it to his healthcare policy.



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