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Top 10 books health execs should read in 2017


Healthcare leaders share their top book recommendations.


Healthcare leaders share their top book recommendations.




“On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s”

by Greg O’Brien

“In the coming years, managed healthcare organizations will be facing increasing challenges from the direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s. More than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, about 35 million people worldwide. The incidence of Alzheimer’s is increasing in the U.S. and throughout the world. What have you done today to address the impact of this condition on your population?”

- Joel V. Brill, MD, chief medical officer, Predictive Health, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor





“The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands”

by Eric Topol, MD

“Topol offers a great deal of insight into the merging of technology, genomics, and access to information as drivers toward consumerism in healthcare.

- Don Hall, principal, Delta Sigma LLC, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor





“Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance”

by Atul Gawande, MD

“I highly recommend this book to anyone in healthcare who hasn’t yet read it. While the book was written almost a decade ago, it remains relevant in this era where the focus on quality and performance has intensified. The book provides moving accounts of real-world challenges and solutions to some of the most complex global healthcare problems. It also shares successes and triumphs, giving us reason to be optimistic about our ability to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

- Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE, CEO, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy





“Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling”

by Edgar Schein

“The book offers an important reminder to leaders that asking is often more powerful than telling. Leaders of the future will have to be comfortable with complexity and generous with power, because a lot of the solutions to the challenges we face lie in coproducing outcomes with staff, patients, families and communities, or lie in the ideas of others. By asking, rather than telling, we empower those stakeholders to bring forward their perspectives and insight, helping us to build trust and solutions together.”

- Derek Feeley, president and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement





"The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations”

By Marcus Aurelius, translation by C. Scot Hicks and David Hicks

“I have found it most inspiring to learn from great leaders of the past and apply that knowledge to my current situations. This is a book about wisdom, humbleness, and finding peace and joy, even when surrounded by turmoil. How to make the often-harder right choice over the easier alternative without regard to self-interest. An excellent roadmap to keep me grounded and focused on what is truly important.”

- Chad Johnson, senior vice president and executive director, Phoenix Children's Care Network





“Churchill: The Power of Words”

by Winston Churchill; selected, edited, and introduced by Martin Gilbert

“It’s a collection of most of his essays from early childhood until just before his death, documenting a lifetime of public engagement on the issues he cared about. It shows how, through analysis, thoughtful reflection, articulating ideas, and advocating for them, one man and ideas can literally change the course of history. With the election, new Congress, and a new president talking about fundamental healthcare change, the book is a great testament to the efficacy of perseverance and the need to continually challenge oneself to generate new, meaningful, realistic but creative ideas. Doing so allows one to engage, mostly with people you disagree with, and achieve meaningful results.”

- Joel White, president, Council for Affordable Health Coverage





“Unconventional Leadership: What Henry Ford and Detroit Taught Me About Reinvention and Diversity”

by Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System 

“This book was a quick, very inspiring read that navigated the reader through the author's challenges in leading hospital turnarounds. Highlights included how the author changed a stale culture and improved patient experience and quality, all while improving finances from red to black in legacy organizations.” 

- Claire Zangerle, chief nurse executive, Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh





“Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

“For anyone working inside healthcare trying to capitalize on enviable life and business lessons from outside of healthcare, I'd recommend this book. In examples that resonate across our lives at work, rest, and play, Duhigg connects the dots about what really matters to us at our core and how to apply that understanding in ways that authentically engages and coaxes higher performance out of ourselves and others for the long term.”

- Perry Cohen, PharmD, chief executive officer, The Pharmacy Group, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor





“The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves”

by The Arbinger Institute

“I am quite fond of the Arbinger Institute books and its new one is ‘The Outward Mindset.’ This is the third in a series of books on relationships and working and living with others. The first book, ‘Leadership and Self-Deception’ should be required reading for everyone in leadership and for those exhibiting disruptive behaviors.”

- Alan R. Ertle, MD, MPH, MBA, chief medical officer, Mercy Medical Group, Inc.



“What She Left Behind” 

by Ellen Marie Wiseman

“This is a novel about a rich young woman who is committed to an insane asylum in the 1920s because her family feared her romantic involvement with a young immigrant. It’s a page-turner, not a policy treatise, but it stands out as a fascinating-and frankly horrifying-read on how people with mental illness were treated in the early 20th century. The book is especially relevant to me as Medicaid plans do a great deal of work to address mental health issues. While we have a ways to go to ensure everyone has access to high-quality mental health services, this book shows how far we have come in an engrossing read that toggles between the past and today.”

- Margaret Murray, CEO of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor


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