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Emerging Leaders in Healthcare: Russell Graney of Aidin

News
Article
MHE PublicationMHE September 2023
Volume 33
Issue 9

Russell Graney, Founder and CEO, Aidin, which helps patients find the best quality care after they leave the hospital while at the same time helping hospitals nationwide streamline the process of discharging patients, is one of the 12 up-and-coming leaders in healthcare included in the annual Managed Healthcare Executive feature.

We are thrilled to present this year’s list of 12 emerging leaders in healthcare. Managed Healthcare Executive editors picked the emerging leaders from a list of almost 40 nominees. They come from the full gamut of U.S. healthcare, including companies harnessing the ever-increasing amount of healthcare data, community health worker organizations addressing social determinants of health, and enterprises devoted to improving Medicaid program access and quality. These leaders are tackling the challenges of the 21st century with creativity, dedication and insight. They give us confidence in the future of healthcare.

Graney

Graney

I am from Fairfax, Virginia, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. I began my career at Bain & Company in New York working with Fortune 50 companies in tech, finance and consumer products. My first venture, in 2009, was a charter elementary school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, which today serves more than 600 students every year. In 2011, I led the sale of my private equity firm’s largest investment, a case-management services company. I left private equity to build Aidin when my uncle was diagnosed with early- onset Alzheimer’s disease. I live in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.

Career turning point: When I was first exploring starting Aidin, my boss at my private equity job sat me down to convince me not to try. But as he explained his reasoning — the risk, the career path, the opportunity at my current role — I realized these were all of his reasons not to start something. None of them resonated with me. I was eager to take a risk early in my career, knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur in the long term. I never planned to stay in finance.

Learning to sift advice through the filter of the speaker turned out to be an essential skill for starting a business. As Aidin got up and running, I spoke with healthcare veterans of all stripes and heard contradictory advice every day. Learning to absorb the right input and moderate the rest helped Aidin find its footing quickly.

Long-lasting COVID-19 Effect: COVID-19 impacted case management teams acutely and immediately and has forever changed the practice landscape, from the fire drills in early pandemic days to clear out hospital beds and create capacity, to massive shifts toward remote work and collaboration and new reliance on community partners for tight partnership. Nearly a decade into our work at Aidin, COVID-19 highlighted how closely our clients rely on our work in day-to-day and emergency situations. We are in awe of the heroes who stepped up during the pandemic to care for others at their own risk, and we are more committed than ever to enabling the recognition of case management as the strategic mission critical role it is.

What I would change about U.S. healthcare: If we are going to have a free market healthcare system, I want it to be a well-functioning market where supply and demand are transparent, where consumers are empowered with the right information to make rational decisions and where quality care leads to more visibility and referrals. Today, too many healthcare decisions are made without access to basic information, leading to an inefficient, irrational market.

Book everyone in healthcare should read: “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux is a major influence on how we work as a team at Aidin. We embrace fluid roles and teams, holistic jobs that invite everyone to participate in strategy and implementation, and collaboration that brings out the best across everyone. The book outlines the evolution of how people work together based on the technology available to them.

Guilty pleasure: I live in Brooklyn where, for better or worse, the world is at your fingertips. When I realized that a delicious bakery just a 15-minute walk from my house offered delivery until 10 p.m., my twice weekly “walk-and-a-cupcake” ritual turned into a thrice-weekly “cupcake-but-no-walk” ritual.

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