Patricia Salber, CEO of Health Tech Hatch
Patricia Salber’s BIO
Dr. Salber is the Founder and CEO of Health Tech Hatch, a resource for healthcare entrepreneurs that provides a platform for crowdfunding as well as concept testing by representative end-users (patients, caregivers, clinicians). The site recently served as the co-design platform for HHS’ Healthfinder.gov mobile app Challenge and ONC’s Blue Button Patient Co-Design Challenge. Also, the company was chosen to be a delegate to the inaugural TEDMED Hive.
She is a board certified Internist and Emergency Physician with for more than 15 years experience as a physician executive. She has had leadership roles in many different areas of health care including medical groups, health plans, employer groups, and non–profit organizations. She served as the first Physician Director of
National Accounts for Kaiser Permanente, Medical Director of the Kaiser Permanente-General Motors Team, and Chief Medical Officer for a Medicare Advantage plan as well as the Center for Practical Health Reform. She has founded three companies and served on the boards of a number of other healthcare organizations. She also founded and contributes regularly to a popular, widely read healthcare blog, The Doctor Weighs In and she is co-founder of Health Innovation Media that brings together influential healthcare bloggers, journalists, and social media leaders to provide an independent view of healthcare innovation.
Dr. Salber went to medical school and trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a Pew Fellowship in Health Policy at the same institution. She has an MBA from the University of California, Irvine. She was the first woman to serve as President of the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and she went on to serve on the board of the national organization. She founded Physicians for a Violence-Free Society while working full-time as an Emergency Physician at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco. She was one of the first physicians to advocate for physician training in the area of Domestic Violence.
Pat has been honored with many awards over the years including being featured on the cover of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s 1997 Annual Report for outstanding contributions to the Program. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and serves as a peer-reviewer for many others. She is a frequent speaker and author of a book (The Physicians Guide to Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse), numerous textbook chapters and well as journal articles.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Please tell us about the inception of Health Tech Hatch.
Patricia: As I contemplated how I could contribute to the burgeoning mHealth revolution, I spent a lot of time talking to entrepreneurs in the space.
I am a physician executive with years of experience as a clinician and a health insurance executive. I am not a developer, so I was looking for ways that my particular background could bring value to the space. When I asked entrepreneurs what they needed, they responded “help me raise money and help me connect with physicians and patients to get early feedback on my product.” So that is what we built.
We went live as a crowdfunding platform at the 2012 Health 2.0 meeting in San Francisco. A few months later, HHS approached us about providing a platform to help patients link with developers for the HHS Healthfinder.gov Challenge.
2. Given your current professional and personal goals, please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Patricia: Whew! This is a hard question. Needless to say the days are long and jam-packed with things to do ranging from product development to customer engagement. We have bootstrapped so haven’t really been spending time on fund-raising, but that, of course will be in the near future.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
Patricia: Expensify –helps me organize expenses related to travel – very helpful to have it all organized before the trip is over. All things “G” – we use google drive, google calendaring, google+, google hangouts (and now we use the new uberconference addition to google hangouts).
Twitter! We are big fans of twitter and use to engage in the health tech conversation and quickly learn about new trends, companies, products andso forth.
4. What are tricks for accomplishing so much under tight deadlines?
Patricia: Just do it. Don’t let things pile up on your desk. If you really can’t do it now, be sure it is on a “to do” list or entered into your calendar so a reminder is generated. Once you have cataloged the issue, then put it in a file where it can easily be found.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Patricia: Another interesting question. Let me start with worse advice – my college counselor said “don’t be pre-med, women don’t get into medical school” And, in fact, they didn’t in those days. In med school, the person who was to become my husband said, “reach high – think big” – it has helped to make my career quite a wild ride.
• Self-control. Managing disruptive impulses.
6. What are your strategies for building awareness of Health Tech Hatch, for the short term and the long term?
Patricia: We rely heavily on social media to build awareness – @healthtechhatch has about 6700 twitter followers and my blogging persona, @docweighin, another almost 14,000. We try to stay active on LinkedIn, Facebook, google+ and others. We have also engaged a professional PR person on occasion. Then of course, there is the every important strategy of “showing up.” You need to be where the action is.
7. What is your proudest achievements, personal and professional?
Patricia: Personal: being the mother and step-mother to three kids all of whom are grown now. One is a radiologist, another a nurse, and a third works on the business side of healthcare. Also, my almost 35 year relationship with my husband has served as an important foundational element in my life. I have been very lucky in the personal realm.
Professional: I think having the opportunity to work with young companies and entrepreneurs to help them achieve their dreams. I had a well-compensated and interesting career as a health insurance executive, but it wasn’t nearly as rewarding, personally, as what I am doing now.
8. How do you maintain the work/life balance? Is it a challenge or does it come naturally
Patricia: Since I was balancing kids and family life when I was a medical resident and first in practice, work life balance is a breeze now that I am running Hatch. My offices are located in my home. My husband also works at home. So work and family life just sort of happen.
9. What are your top 3 book recommendations?
Patricia: Biz Books: The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, and Cracking Health Costs by Tom Emerick and Al Lewis.
Entertainment: Best book recently “The Book Thief” – I listen to all my entertainment books using Audible.com. The reading of the Book Thief was magical.
10. What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?
Patricia: MedShare – it is an organization that repurposes hospital equipment and supplies. This accomplished two things: it makes needed equipment available to hospitals in the developing world (and here in the US) available and it keeps this equipment out of landfills. I am a member of the Western Regional Council of the Organization.
Futures without Violence – years ago I founded and ran a non-profit called Physicians for a Violence-free Society. I was working closely with the Futures organization (then called the Family Violence Prevention Fund). Futures has had a global impact on violence prevention with domestic violence assaults in the US now down by more than 60%.
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Patricia: The turning point for me was in graduate school when my major advisor said to me, “I know you really want to go to med school instead of being a PhD researcher. I am going to help you.” And, he did.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in a career in the healthcare industry?
Patricia: The healthcare industry is very complicated. Try to get experience in many different aspects of the industry – ranging from care delivery, to insurance, to private purchasers, and government entities. The more you know, the more valuable your contributions.