The Healthcare Plus Podcast

Each week, the Healthcare Plus Podcast will bring together leaders from across the healthcare industry to share the latest insights, offer solutions to some of healthcare’s greatest challenges, and provide replenishment and well-being tools. Hosted by Quint Studer and Dan Collard, co-founders of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group, you’ll leave each episode with practical tools, techniques, and best-practices to reinforce the great work you’re already doing and address your organization’s unique pain points.

Previously known as The Busy Leader’s Podcast, this weekly series has evolved from a tool to learn from leaders as we navigated the pandemic to now focus in on the changemakers moving healthcare forward. To listen to the latest episode of The Healthcare Plus Podcast, subscribe to the show, or find past episodes of The Busy Leader’s Podcast, click below.


61_Human-Centered Leadership: What It Really Looks Like with uleadership

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guests Kay Kennedy, Lucy Leclerc, and Susan Campis

When Kay Kennedy, Lucy Leclerc, and Susan Campis started the research for Human-Centered Leadership in Healthcare, they had a long list of survey questions. However, it really came down to these two questions. First, describe the leader you’ve had in the past or currently whom you would follow to the ends of the earth. What does that leader look like? The second question was to describe the leader you’ve had in your current career and your life who made you want to leave a position or leave the profession. All that research and those conversations led them to create a body of work called “Human-Centered Leadership,” and it’s all about being high-touch in a high-tech world.

It’s not just a theory; it’s a philosophy, an approach, and a lens through which to see the workplace. They operationalized all their research into specific behaviors leaders can use to create these cultures of excellence, trust, and caring, and that are going to bring about the outcomes we’re all looking for.

At the center of Human-Centered Leadership is the idea that great leaders not only hit the metrics, but they also stay balanced and healthy in the process. Once you really understand the impact your own wellness has on your team, you can create a culture where well-being is a priority for everyone.

They are big believers in the butterfly effect. If a butterfly flaps its wings in South America, the changes can resonate to cause a tornado in Texas. If every leader makes one small change—wherever you are in the world and whatever the size of your environment, whether it’s a small unit or a system—that energy emanates outward and can make a big change. So flap your wings!

Contact information:



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60_Banner Health: Removing the Barriers to Employee Well-Being with Nicole Stec

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guest Nicole Stec

Health systems are providing employees with more well-being resources than ever, but most have a utilization problem. This week’s guest is Nicole B. Stec, director of well-being for Banner Health based in Phoenix, AZ. In this podcast, Nicole discusses Banner Health’s system-wide comprehensive well-being strategy called “MyWell-Being.” Banner has figured out that the ticket to increasing utilization of these services is to lower the barriers to team members accessing them—in other words, you take the service to the person, instead of trying to take the person to the service.

In this podcast, you will learn about:

  • Banner’s “five-pillar” strategy that represents the different dimensions of well-being: physical, mental, intellectual, social, and financial. It all adds up to well-being for the whole person.
  • How they worked with their EAP to embed onsite and virtual counselors within their 30 hospitals across the system to help team members struggling with stress and burnout during COVID.
  • Creative strategies they used to create a private, discreet experience for employees and achieve a higher utilization of services. (For example, counselors hand out business cards with QR codes people can scan to quickly and easily make appointments, and they can make appointments during work hours, without using PTO.)

Ultimately, Banner’s emphasis on well-being underscores its belief in investing in its most valuable asset: its people. Having a great well-being program helps with recruitment and retention and creates a better, more meaningful work experience…which is what today’s employees want.

In addition to being the director of well-being for Banner Health, Nicole is a national speaker on employer on-site clinics and well-being strategies. For the past ten years, Nicole has worked in community and corporate health settings, designing and implementing population health management strategies for organizations, including healthcare systems, small businesses, the U.S. military, and local government.

In her current role, Nicole is responsible for Banner Health’s system-wide well-being strategy for 55,000+ team members located in six states. Nicole recently implemented the Banner Strong Center for Healing to support the mental well-being, healing, and recovery of healthcare workers post-pandemic. Nicole has also increased Banner’s team member well-being engagement to more than 50 percent in the past two years with the introduction of a holistic well-being approach and new wellness technology.

Nicole is a graduate of the University of Southern California (BS), the University of Phoenix (MBA), and the University of South Florida (MPH). She also holds many certifications, including being certified in public health (National Board of Public Health Examiners) and a certified wellness practitioner (National Wellness Institute).

Nicole’s Gratitude Group Presentation


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59_Why You Should Pursue a “Best Places to Work” Designation with Denise Webber and Jim Ulrich

Hosted by Dan Collard with special guests Denise Webber and Jim Ulrich

Being on Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work” list is an honor. But the real reason the designation matters is that preparing for it creates the best patient care possible. Denise Webber, FACHE, president/CEO of Stillwater Medical, and James P. Ulrich, Jr., MHA, FACHE, FHFMA, CEO of York General, head up organizations that are longtime designation “regulars.” Stillwater has been a Best Places to Work organization for eleven years and York for nine years.

In this podcast, special guest host Dan Collard, cofounder/partner with Quint Studer of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group, talks with Denise and Jim about why being with people at the most critical times of their lives creates a responsibility to be the best we can be. Seeking a Best Places to Work designation helps achieve that. The data is invaluable. It gets us focused on the right things, shows us what’s going well, and pinpoints areas for improvement. (Side note: Don’t wait until you’re ready to apply to start this journey.)

Denise and Jim share some of the benefits of being named to the Best Places to Work list:

  • It provides a good road map/game plan for success. It really promotes the foundational skills that make an organization run smoothly.
  • It creates a great culture that permeates every corner of your organization. (It’s not department-specific.)
  • It helps promote continuous improvement as you strive to move up the list every year.
  • It gels your leadership team together in a really unique way as it requires a lot of collaboration.
  • It shines light on some things you might not normally look at (the demographics of the workforce, for example).
  • The skills you develop in the process help you manage the ever-changing healthcare landscape. (Jim says York’s rock-solid culture and strong team helped them navigate COVID.)
  • The designation will help you attract talent and organically retain the talent you have. It means something.
  • It gives you a great chance to see where you compare to others and helps you figure out whom you can learn from.
  • It gives you a great opportunity to celebrate, shine the light on your heroes, and focus on your strengths. It reminds you to narrate to your community how good you are!
  • It helps you see you are on the right track. The third-party validation is reassuring to patients, community, and employees.

One of the biggest benefits of this designation is the impact it has on the community. It promotes involvement and ownership. With hospitals often being the largest employer and literally the ones caring for community members, there’s a sense of obligation to make life better for everyone. We don’t just have a seat at the table, we get to help set the table—and being a Best Places to Work organization builds the trust that allows us to do so.

Contact Information:
Denise Webber
Stillwater Medical Center
Cell 405-880-5117

James P. Ulrich, Jr., MHA, FACHE, FHFMA
Chief Executive Officer
(402) 362-0445 Office
(308) 340-1752 Cell

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58_Relieving Fear and Anxiety in Patients and Employees with Mindy G. Spigel, RN, MSN, CPXP

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guest Mindy G. Spigel, RN, MSN, CPXP

Anyone who works in healthcare knows patients struggle with anxiety and worry and fear. Yet it’s easy to get so caught up in our day-to-day work, with all its stress and chaos, that we can lose sight of this truth—as well as the fact that employees, too, can be fearful. In this episode, Mindy G. Spigel, RN, MSN, CPXP—author of the new book There’s a Snake on My Head! Strategies for Alleviating Fear and Anxiety in Healthcare for Patients, Families AND Healthcare Teamsexplores this critical subject.

Mindy says when we talk to a patient, we need to imagine they have a snake on their head. That snake is fear. If we can’t get rid of the snake first, how will they hear anything we say? They won’t—and compliance and outcomes will suffer. She says in her research study interviewing families about their fears and how to reduce them, the findings boiled down to this: “Keep me informed, keep me safe, keep me comfortable.” She hopes shining a light on this topic will not only lead to better outcomes, it will help healthcare workers reconnect to their purpose.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why acknowledging and reducing fears in both patients and employees matters
  • How we can train ourselves to see the “snakes” on people’s heads
  • Impactful steps we can take to help reduce those fears and worries
  • How to also reduce anxiety for employees (including new hires and transitions in leadership)
  • Why we’re still playing catch-up after COVID-19—and how we can rebuild camaraderie, trust, and those critical networks and learning environments

Mindy G. Spigel, RN, MSN, CPXP, is a nurse with over 40 years of experience in healthcare, working in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Mindy has taught in academic and clinical settings and has been honored to speak at numerous national, state, and local conferences.

Contact Mindy Spigel, RN, MSM, CPXP

Mindy’s New Book: There’s a Snake on My Head! Strategies for Alleviating Fear and Anxiety in Healthcare For Patients, Families AND Healthcare Teams
Beryl Institute Research
Gratitude Symposium Presentation


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57_The Evolution of Patient Care: Moving to a Patient Partnership Model with Clay Linkous

Hosted by Dan Collard with special guest Clay Linkous

Like most of us, Clay Linkous—managing director of patient experience for ChenMed—is a product of his life experiences. His approach to healthcare is an aggregation of what he’s learned from his background in exercise science, a full-time ministry role, a black belt in Six Sigma, his master’s in healthcare administration, and his marriage to a critical care nurse. His background has shaped a leader who is driven by compassion, innovation, measurement, and, of course, good outcomes.

In this podcast, special guest host Dan Collard, co-founder/partner with Quint Studer of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group, talks with Clay about the evolution of the patient experience. Linkous says we’ve moved from patient satisfaction (how happy they are) to evidence-based practices (measuring how well clinicians do the things that result in great care) to patient engagement (getting patients more invested and involved in their own care after they leave the hospital setting).

Clay explains that we are now in the patient partnership phase, which means we not only try to affect outcomes at the bedside, but we work to change patient behaviors (diet, exercise, etc.) that are impacting their overall health. This level of compliance from patients requires a trusting relationship with providers. High levels of trust lead to better listening and more compliance, thus better outcomes.

So how do we build this level of trust? Linkous says we start by reducing anxiety by creating more experiences that lead to positive emotions and fewer that lead to negative ones. Clay says that ChenMed has some interesting models in place for building trust. Their approach involves building on some foundational things that have worked well, infusing new learning from neuroscience around human behavior, and learning from organizations outside the industry, like Ritz-Carlton and Chick-Fil-A.

Chen Med is also taking a closer look at the social determinants of health for their patients. By thinking more broadly than traditional medicine and looking at how housing, transportation, and other factors that happen away from the bedside impact the patient partnership, they have been able to get better outcomes.

While they are still innovating and evolving, one thing is for certain. Linkous believes that all of this requires leaders and the care team to feel (and express) a deep compassion and care for others. The old adage comes to mind: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

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56_Moving from the Great Resignation to the Great RE-SIGNation: Re-Recruiting High Performers with Dr. Thom Mayer

Hosted by Dan Collard with special guest Thom Mayer

Special guest host Dan Collard, Co-Founder/Partner with Quint Studer of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group  interviews Thom Mayer, MD, an emergency medicine physician, medical director for the NFL Players Association, and author of the book Battling Healthcare Burnout: Learn to Love the Job You Have, While Creating The Job You Love.  He says the Great Resignation is the perfect time to think about who we should re-sign: attracting and hiring high performers is great, but we can’t assume they’re going to stay. We need to focus on keeping them.

During his work as an ER physician, Dr. Mayer learned the basics for retaining the best people. Simply put, “please” and “thank you” matter! At the end of every shift he would personally thank every nurse, every tech, and every housekeeper. And he would ask “What could I have done to make your job easier today?” He says this practice was humbling but also enlightening.

In this podcast he’ll share other insights he has learned from his career. For example:

  • A good culture is about two things: 1) making patients happy, and 2) doing the right thing for the people who take care of the patients.
  • The concept of leadership is worthless because it’s a noun; it’s something you say. Leading is a verb—we demonstrate leadership by our actions, not our words.
  • Every person on the team is a leader—they lead themselves or they lead other team member
  • The work of battling burnout begins from within. Every team member is a performance athlete, involved in a cycle of performance, rest and recovery, over and over and over again. This is why it’s so vital to invest in yourself and your team.
  • One of Dr. Mayers’ favorite tools is the Love, Hate, Tolerate tool because it forces a lot of reflection
  • How do you get a great job (like one with the NFL)? Don’t focus on resume building. Instead, build trust and relationships and your career will take care of itself.

Finally, he’ll talk about why the true key to battling burnout is not about building resilience in people, but adaptive capacity. Those who use the systems and processes have to be the ones who re-design them. That’s why Dr. Mayer is adamant that innovation doesn’t belong in the C-suite.  As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, leaders are dealers in hope. Our role is to create the trust and hope that empowers the frontline people to say “I see a way to do it better.”


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55_Connecting Goal Setting to Real Results with MUSC

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guests Dr. Cory Robinson and Mary Finley

In healthcare, we focus heavily on numbers and metrics, but how do we ensure we are connecting these numbers to real patient outcomes? Goal setting is one of the best ways to make sure your metrics are tied to real results. In this week’s podcast, Quint chats with Dr. Cory Robinson and Mary Finley from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, SC, where they have collected some best practices around how to set meaningful goals, tie them to results, and ultimately achieve organizational and operational excellence.

Here are some of the things you will learn from this week’s podcast:

  • Why a strong goal-setting process is the foundation for organizational excellence and why devoting some time to it is a good investment (MUSC does a goal-setting retreat.)
  • How to make sure you are focused on the right goals
  • How to pick which metrics to focus on and how to best weight goals
  • How to align and cascade goals across an entire organization
  • How to provide support for team members who aren’t achieving goals
  • How to manage an organizational goal where you might not have direct impact
  • When and how you should modify goals mid-year

Organizations and people thrive where there is clarity and prioritization. A solid goal-setting program helps us know where to focus to achieve the desired outcomes. This dynamic duo from MUSC will show you how to get everyone rowing in the same direction. 

About Dr. Cory Robinson

Dr. Cory Robinson is the System Administrator for Performance, Health Solutions and Health & Wellness for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Health System and a Faculty Member at the Medical University of South Carolina, College of Health Professions. He is a member of the MUSC Health System and Charleston Division Executive Leadership Teams. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of vital administrative functions of the health system.

Cory completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Erskine College (Due West, SC) and received both his Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Doctorate of Philosophy in Health and Rehabilitation Science (PhD) from the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC). He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Lean Six Sigma Professional, Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award National Examiner.
Contact:, 843-792-5412

About Mary Finley

Mary Finley is the Director of Performance and Alignment for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), a role she assumed in September 2019. In this role, she oversees the measurement and monitoring performance for the MUSC Health System, which includes goal/ target setting and benchmarking. Finley joined MUSC in June 2009 and has held positions within HR and Analytics. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Clemson University and her Master of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Contact:, 843-792-0317

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54_How Aramark Healthcare+ Made Caring Part of Its DNA with Bart Kaericher

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guest Bart Kaericher

The team at Aramark Healthcare+, which provides food, facilities, and uniform services to healthcare organizations, knows that vision statements are more than just words. They’ve figured out how to operationalize theirs—“Together we serve. We solve. We strengthen.”—to create a culture of caring, empowered employees and make patients’ lives better.

This week’s guest is Bart Kaericher, President and CEO of Aramark Healthcare+. He talks about how they shift their employees’ mindset to remind them of the bigger picture and the role they play in the healing process (e.g., “food is medicine” and “by creating a clean environment, we keep patients safe”). A few of the things you’ll learn in this podcast:

  • How Aramark employees serve as true partners with clinical staff, anticipating and solving problems before patients hit the call button
  • How the company brings its “serve, solve, strengthen” statement to life
  • How Aramark’s culture inspires and empowers employees to innovate using their heart and their common sense……and how that freedom and flexibility leads to “magic moments” and creates amazing patient experiences
  • Face time counts: why spending so much time on the road and with frontline employees not only helps him learn but reenergizes and replenishes him
  • How to learn and harvest best practices from vendors and different industries and scale them throughout your organization
  • Creative ways Aramark leverages its “food as medicine” philosophy to create happier, healthier caregivers

About Bart Kaericher

Bart Kaericher is the president and CEO of Aramark’s Healthcare+ division. Before joining Aramark in 2021, Kaericher served as senior vice president of sales & marketing, retention & strategic partnerships for Morrison and Crothall, divisions of Compass Group, NAD. While at Compass, he played an instrumental role in driving new business and building a culture focused on healthy growth. Kaericher also served as sales leader & architect on several prominent account wins and led strategic retention efforts. Prior to his tenure with Compass Group, NAD, Kaericher worked for more than a decade at B. Braun Medical Inc.

Kaericher holds an MBA in pharmaceutical & healthcare marketing from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, and a BS in business from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He has also completed Cornell University’s Executive Healthcare Leadership Certificate online program.

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53_The Evidence Is In: We Can Heal Ourselves by Serving Others with Stephen Trzeciak, MD, MPH

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guest Stephen Trzeciak, MD, MPH

With stress and burnout at an all-time high, we need to be more conscious than ever about self-care. In this episode, Dr. Stephen Trzeciak shares how caring for and serving others actually replenishes us, and shares the physical and psychological benefits of helping others. We’ve always known compassion feels good to both parties. What we may not realize is there’s a wealth of data proving compassion heals both parties in profound and measurable ways.

Dr. Trzeciak’s first book, Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference, coauthored by Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, lays out the evidence that compassion benefits patients, care providers, and organizations. Their new book, Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself, reiterates that message in light of the burnout crisis, and gives a specific prescription for building energy, resilience, and happiness by investing in caring relationships.

In this podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Why serving others is really the best medicine for yourself
  • How to ask the right questions and show people you really care
  • How to recognize the nine (on average) opportunities for empathy each of us face every day and maximize them
  • How to support people through tough times, even when you can’t fix everything
  • Why ruthless leaders don’t do well and the benefits of compassionate leadership

About Stephen Trzeciak:
Stephen Trzeciak, MD, MPH is a physician scientist, Chief of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care, and Professor and Chair of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey.  Dr. Trzeciak is a practicing intensivist (specialist in intensive care medicine), and a clinical researcher with more than 120 publications in the scientific literature.  His scientific program has been supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with Dr. Trzeciak serving as Principal Investigator.

Dr. Trzeciak is the co-author of two books, Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference, and Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.  Broadly, Dr. Trzeciak’s mission is to raise compassion and altruism globally, through science.

Learn more about upcoming events at 
All in-person attendees at the RYTO Conference  will receive a copy of Wonder Drug.

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52_Optimizing Relationships with Outside Contractors: How to Create a Win-Win for Both Organizations with Shannon Heard and Kevin Graves

Hosted by Quint Studer with special guests Shannon Heard and Kevin Graves

Many organizations depend on outside contractors for key components of their operations. Yet when outsourcing parts of your work, it can be a struggle to bring both teams together to create a seamless experience for everyone. Also, at times there can be a tendency to treat outside contractors like a commodity. Not only is this bad for the relationship, it also keeps you from maximizing outcomes. When managed well, these partnerships can lead to amazing results.

The current staffing shortage showcases just how valuable contractor partnerships can be. We need great partners more than ever! As healthcare organizations everywhere were stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH) leaned on their strategic partnership with Aramark to hire and onboard almost 400 people in just 30 days to staff the entrances of their hospitals.

In this podcast, Kevin Graves from Baylor Scott & White and Shannon Heard from Aramark Healthcare + share best practices for how to integrate outside contractors and build a cohesive culture across large teams. You’ll learn:

  • How to build a culture of collaboration where everyone feels like they’re part of the same team, even if they come from different organizations.
  • How to engage contractors in conversations that make them feel like true partners, and why this is so important.
  • How to leverage your relationship with partner organizations to bring in new resources and talent when things get tough.
  • Why you should be using metrics to drive your decision-making process, and how this keeps decisions from being personal or emotional.
  • How the Aramark culture helps them nurture incredible long-lasting partnerships that create a win-win for both organizations.

About Kevin Graves

Kevin Graves leads hospital and clinic operations in hospitality for Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas and one of the top 10 not-for-profit healthcare systems in the nation. He led the development and integration of BSWH Hospitality Services, resulting in over $31 million annualized savings, standardization of operating practices, and significant improvement in patient satisfaction.

About Shannon Heard

Shannon Heard is a healthcare executive who currently serves as regional vice president for Aramark Healthcare +. In partnership with Baylor Scott & White Health, Shannon has successfully led a workforce of over 3,500 team members throughout the state of Texas through the integration of hospitality services. During the merger of Baylor and Scott & White, Shannon was instrumental in bringing all related services under one umbrella of leadership, while implementing strategies to result in multi-million-dollar cost reductions and improving upon key performance metrics.





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