August 21, 2019

Podcast #5: The Healthcare Journey of A Change Agent

Chandana Fitzgerald

Chris Coburn was always predisposed for a career in healthcare

In this podcast, the Chief Innovation Officer for Partners Healthcare and an old friend of HealthXL talks to us about how growing up in a large healthcare family (his father was a thoracic and general surgeon) not only taught him the Darwinian aspects of food, but more importantly prepared him to be a go-getter from an early age. Chris reflects on early organisational lessons – from his time on the student council to his time at NASA, the National Institutes for Health and Capitol Hill –  and their significance in shaping his understanding and navigating of organizations and their cultures. 

Prior to joining Partners, Chris was the founding director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations and served for 13 years as its executive leader. During this time, he played an instrumental role in enabling the creation of 56 spin off companies. There were none before Chris. Talk about nurturing internal innovation, eh? 

While Chris’ successes are numerous and impressive, they have been patiently fought. Learning about large organizations and creating change in large organizations is a lifetime journey and as Chris attests, it’s best when you start early. 

If not for this gig right now, Chris would probably be cycling across the US again (just like he did in 1981!)

Episode #5 Chris Coburn

Available now on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and Castbox

About Chris: Chief Innovation Officer, PHS; President, Partners HealthCare International .Partners consists of Harvard University affiliates Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and McLean Hospital. Partners is the nation’s largest academic research enterprise with over $13 billion in annual revenue, 1.5 million patient visits and $1.7 billion in research expenditures. It also has a managed care organization, out-patient facilities and community hospitals. Partners 6,200 faculty are appointed at Harvard Medical School.

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