Please tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare:
I’m a physician by training and a practicing clinical psychiatrist. I got inspired to pursue healthcare after getting engaged in global health projects in college, and really enjoyed being able to help underserved communities. During that time, I was in Peru and Haiti, and felt that I could contribute meaningfully as a physician. During medical school, I observed in my psychiatry rotation that there was so much need in the behavioral health space, especially for opportunities in improving quality of care and resource allocation to mental health conditions. Throughout residency, I’ve worked on advocating for state bills – ensuring network adequacy and access to treatments for mental health and substance use disorders – and have also completed a health policy fellowship. In addition, I became passionate about quality improvement methodology and have worked to get advanced training to support deepening my toolkit in helping others, in addition to direct care. I really got involved in leadership to make broader scope change in healthcare settings, especially focusing on clinical redesign, performance improvement, enhancing service excellence, and supporting leadership development. I especially enjoy building teams that accelerate clinical transformation and learning as part of care delivery. I love what I do to support excellent care delivery here at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, serving as the Chief Medical Officer of the organization.
What activities do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my family and exploring fun, new activities in the greater Houston area. We love trying out new restaurants as well as going to eat at classic favorites – we’re especially grateful and for the diversity of ethnic food here in Houston, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Ethiopian, Japanese, Korean, Italian, BBQ, Tex-Mex… and the list goes on! One of my biggest passions is to explore other cultures through traveling – I have been lucky enough to do some international trips to Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, to name some of the last few. In addition, I love staying active by doing mountaineering/hiking (usually in a different country…), running, and bicycling.
What is your favorite ACHE memory or activity?
I have really enjoyed various courses and groups I’ve met through ACHE. Most recently, I enjoyed a physician specific event that helped connect physician leaders in the Houston area to a terrific speaker on governance/medical-legal updates on medical staff affairs. It was great to connect with others, learn together, collaborate to deepen content knowledge, and build a stronger network of professionals interested in enhancing care and working on challenges in healthcare. I also love the mentorship focus in ACHE as well as the accessible educational offerings through the chapter and national ACHE.
How do you envision healthcare in the next 10 years?
After the Public Health Emergency and COVID-19 pandemic over the last several years, I have seen extensive healthcare consolidation as well as shifts in clinical practice, especially leaning more on telehealth and digital technologies. I envision that over the next 10 years, there will be more emphasis on several factors:
- population health and non-medical drivers of care;
- payment reform to enhance new models of care – paying for value;
- integration of services, especially between primary care and behavioral health, toward whole-person care;
- digital interface with start-ups and artificial intelligence (and the ethics/application embedding technology in care delivery);
- care outside of traditional care settings (hospital, clinics) to home-based and settings convenient to consumers