10 Emerging Industry Leaders: Charlette Stallworth

October 28, 2020
Karen Appold
Karen Appold

Volume 30, Issue 10

Managed Healthcare Executive's October issue headlines 10 healthcare leaders in its fourth annual "10 Emerging Industry Leaders" feature. MHE spotlights each leader individually with a video interview to accompany the Q&A between MHE and the emerging leader.

Charlette Stallworth, MBA, vice president, strategic partnerships, Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Palo Alto, California

I grew up in Atlanta with my parents and two sisters. I have a B.S. in physics from Georgia State University and an MBA from Baylor University. My first career was as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, where I held several leadership positions, including company commander in the Republic of Korea and special assistant to the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon. I left the Army to attend graduate school and then launched a career in commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase and later at BBVA Compass.

My career in healthcare began when I was hired by one of my bank clients, Baylor Scott & White Health, as director of capital finance. I have held leadership positions in healthcare business development and in my current role as vice president of strategic partnerships at Stanford Children’s Health. In these roles, I have identified, structured and maintained key partnerships. I have also provided leadership in helping inventors and startups move innovative healthcare therapeutics, devices and diagnostics from bench to bedside, which is both rewarding and exciting.

Why did you choose your profession?

After serving my country as an Army officer and then working with company CEOs as a commercial banking relationship manager, I wanted to work in an industry with an even closer connection to helping people. My roles in healthcare fulfill this goal.

What has been your biggest learning experience in the industry? What did it teach you?

I have learned that incorporating the perspectives of patients and physicians in strategy and financial planning are critical to successful, long-term execution.

How has COVID-19 affected your responsibilities and how your organization operates? How might your job and your organization change because of the pandemic?

Before COVID-19, it was important to meet in person with partners and prospective partners. Since COVID-19, the paradigm has changed, and I, like many others, now rely on video meetings and phone calls. We must continue to move forward and make things happen despite obstacles. Stanford Children’s Health has been able to leverage synergies within Stanford Medicine and with external partners to continue providing the highest-quality healthcare in changing environments.

The pandemic is creating a new market landscape and new opportunities to partner with healthcare systems, corporations and startups. The pandemic is also creating uncertainties; we’re developing strategies to meet the challenges to come.

How has the current discussion of racism and healthcare inequity affected you, your outlook and your organization? What has been the short-term response, and what do you envision happening over the longer term to your organization and American healthcare?

I appreciate the current discussion of racism and healthcare inequity. One colleague called me to discuss what is happening and how she could be more aware. We were both a bit uncomfortable with the conversation, and I appreciated her courage to take the initiative to reach out and be vulnerable. I think everyone should realize that African Americans are not requesting special treatment — we want fair treatment.

Healthcare inequity has long been a topic of discussion in minority communities. The National Minority Quality Forum and many other organizations work tirelessly to address and eliminate healthcare disparities and increase the number of minorities participating in clinical trials. I hope the current environment further invigorates these efforts.

Stanford Medicine has held town hall meetings with key leaders that address racism and has also published statements from leaders supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and several other initiatives focused on fair and equitable treatment of people. I really hope these efforts have a lasting positive impact.

What other kinds of changes do you expect to see in healthcare in the next five to 10 years?

I expect to see continuing, rapid adoption of telehealth, in addition to using other innovative technology such as wearables and robots. I hope our industry and government can fully embrace and maintain a V-shaped increase in the use of novel technologies for delivering and managing healthcare. We also need to achieve a basic level of internet service/technology available to all families, including those in rural and urban settings. Access to internet-based healthcare delivery will go a long way toward eliminating healthcare inequities.

What have you enjoyed about social distancing and extra stay-at-home time during the past few months?

The best part of the stay-at-home time is giving up the daily commute on U.S. Highway 101. Trading the commuting headache for work efficiency is wonderful!

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