Welcome to another episode of The Health Management Academy’s The Table Podcast. In this conversation, our host and CEO Renee DeSilva, engages in a thought-provoking dialogue with Dr. Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM, Senior Physician Executive, Nonprofit Healthcare at Amazon Web Services (AWS).Listen in as Renee and Dr. Shippy delve into the heart of The Health Management Academy’s AWS Technology Fellows program—an initiative that unites promising technology leaders. Together, they explore how this program empowers these leaders with a blend of essential skills: from honing their leadership capabilities to enriching their business acumen and deepening their technical healthcare expertise. The overarching goal? Equipping them to spearhead their organizations into a future characterized by innovation and progress.
The conversation takes an enlightening turn as they traverse the dynamic landscape of healthcare’s current evolution. Amidst transformative times, all stakeholders are rallying for a fresh approach to care delivery. The imperative to reimagine the healthcare landscape has never been stronger.
Naturally, the conversation turns to AWS’s unwavering customer-centric ethos. Driven by an obsession with customer satisfaction, AWS is attuned to the resounding chorus of health systems across the nation. These institutions are voicing the desire for their leaders to possess unparalleled expertise in the realm of technology. As Renee and Dr. Shippy delve into this aspect, they reveal how AWS is responding to this demand. The conversation also navigates towards sculpting these high-potential technology leaders into future executives who will command and orchestrate the ongoing technological transformation.
Join us in this illuminating episode as we uncover the intricacies of leadership, technology, and the future of healthcare—all from the vantage point of industry visionaries.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM is Amazon Web Services (AWS) Senior Physician Executive, Nonprofit Healthcare. She earned a B.S. in biology from Texas A&M University and an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where she also completed her residency in internal medicine. Dr. Shippy has served on local, state, and national councils and committees and held volunteer clinical faculty positions at Baylor College of Medicine and UT Health in Houston.
Renee DeSilva 00:13
Angela, hi, nice to see you.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 00:15
It’s great to be here.
Renee DeSilva 00:16
It somehow took us getting to Nashville advisor to have a proper ketchup absolutely have to do better. Yes, 2023, longtime friend and colleague excited to chat with you about all the things that are going on. Maybe we’ll just start with I got to know you probably five years ago, when you were serving in a health system role. Yes, you’ve since transition to AWS and are now working on impacting healthcare from outside the four walls of an organ of a provider. So, talk to me about how you’re thinking about that.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 00:46
Sure. So one of the things as an end user of technology my entire career was I learned the importance of what technology can do and nothing put like underline that underscored it more than during COVID. So I will tell you in a weekend, in my previous role, we spun up a dashboard that was used throughout the entire time for COVID. And that’s when I said, technology is what’s going to help us get to the next step in how we deliver care.
Renee DeSilva 01:14
I remember those days you were running the operations or control center and trying to figure out how all that would work. So yes, coincident commander. Yes, yes. All right. So you talked about the role of technology when you were in the throes of doing working on care delivery. As I was walking the vibe space, almost every part of that floor is covered by technology and the promise of AI and really the potential there. What is your perspective? As you think about it, what’s the what’s the what’s the potential of cloud enabled care at scale? And your mind?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 01:45
Sure, no, that’s a great question. So at AWS, I mean, we do see that, you know, AI NML is one of the most transformative technologies that’s out there, and especially when you look at the fact that across healthcare, the digitization has been happening for the last decade. So now it’s about how do you take this technology, iterate, build on it, and continue to use it to help inform how care is delivered? So one of the things that AWS that we’re looking at is, how will we help our customers integrate that technology and be part of the solutions that they need for the future. So for instance, AI, and ml can be very transformative when it comes to like reducing redundancy, and processes and roles, it can help them decrease cumbersome tasks. And it can also be very helpful to redeploy resources to where they’re really needed, which is to direct patient care, and more, more, more helping the workforce have greater opportunities to really have more of a seamless workflow.
Renee DeSilva 02:49
Yeah, I love that it’s both the provider and patient experience lens and figuring out a way to make work more efficient and reduce redundancy. As you’ve said, as I’ve spent time with our members across the Academy, the other big place that people really want help is around workforce and reducing maybe the demand on the workforce. Sometimes it’s called AI and human dyad models of care, just wondering how you think of that potential and how AWS is really thinking about capturing that?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 03:17
Sure. So, if you think about AI ml, and how it can help the workforce, a big part of it is, in part of this kind of ecosystem of healthcare, there’s a lot of rules and regulations, right? Interoperability is a big part of that. So how do you use this technology to help decrease the burden that comes from the regulatory comp, component, and then helps the workforce be able to do their job a little bit easier. So you’re gonna see AWS, working with customers to help with, you know, really bringing all those disparate data points together so that they can see it in one place. And that might be working with a service like AWS health, like Amazon health leak is a service that’s been purpose built to help our customers be able to take disparate data points, bring them together, and then get the insights that they need. From all of that data.
Renee DeSilva 04:05
Yeah, I love that we just did at the Health Management Academy, a survey of digital and IT executives around how should they be thinking, what are they thinking about it? Who are their major priorities in terms of their sort of it, and the two that just echo with what you said, is all of this around clinical automation, tracking, understanding real time where I am, and then just the stuff that’s not as sexy but really important, cyber and just the overall business continuity. So it feels like there’s alignment between what we’re hearing from our members and what’s on your roadmap and prioritization at AWS.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 04:37
Absolutely. And one of the things we’re seeing with customers is security is very important to them. It’s a top priority for us, and there’s some automation that can come to help them with security and help them with compliance audits. And then in turn, they also have options as well with disaster recovery. So that can be very helpful too.
Renee DeSilva 04:55
I think that’s, I think most systems would say that but they don’t yet have enough redundancy in that sort of business continuity perspective, and are really looking for help in that domain? For sure, absolutely. And
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 05:08
We have that for them.
Renee DeSilva 05:09
So, we’ve talked a lot about the potential here. But one of the things that comes up in a lot of my conversations with our members is just the huge demand for AI automation and its impact on clinical care. So how does AWS think about that?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 05:24
So, the way AWS thinks about it is in our breadth and depth to services, and one of them is Amazon Health Lake, which gives organizations the opportunity to bring all their disparate data together, like from the EHR, from payer data, from data from outside the system and bringing it together so that there’s one view of the patient medical record. And then Amazon health Lake, which is a purpose built service just to do this, when you can see all your data in one place. And it allows you to have insights so that you can go in a different direction so that you can help change the way patient care was delivered to that you can make the workflow seamless for providers.
Renee DeSilva 05:59
So, I got you were on the mainstage, I was here preparing and I got a flurry of emails and text messages related to an announcement that our organization just made. Launching a AWS technology fellowship. So very excited. Tell us, why don’t you give some context around what it is and how you’re thinking about the right folks that can be served that this fellowship program? Sure. So
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 06:23
The Academy AWS technology Fellows program is about bringing high potential technology leaders together, and really helping them with leadership skills, business, technical healthcare knowledge, they can lead their organizations into the future. And they’re also going to have access to Amazon’s leadership principles, our experts, our unique platform expertise to really help them with how do they think about technology? And how do they use it? Again, it’s going to be all about the workforce, it’s going to be all about patients, making it easier in the future.
Renee DeSilva 06:53
That’s brilliant. I am I’m reflecting as I spend time with these groups across the year, we do about 65 live events a year, often organized by by constituent there is such a hunger for both the technical acumen of what does it mean to be a technology leader in today’s times, but then also just the business acumen that how do I make a case for something the how do I think about sort of developing competencies around me. So our hope, one of our goals, and really partnering with AWS was around seeding the next bench of CIOs and other senior executives. And so we are really excited and deeply appreciative of the partnership. How do you think you’ll you’ll evaluate success here in a couple of years?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 07:34
I think there’s a couple of different ways. So at AWS, it’s all about being focused on the customer. And we’re customer obsessed, and we’re hearing from customers health systems around the country that they want their leaders to have this expertise. So that’s one way we’re looking at it. The next way we’re looking at it is how do we help these high, you know, high potential technology leaders, be the executives, they want to be in the future and lead the technology transformation that’s happening. So that’s another part like, really helping them understand that builder culture that we have AWS and then the last part I would say is, being part of the fellowship means that these are relationships are going to last forever, both amongst the fellows and with AWS as well. Absolutely.
Renee DeSilva 08:17
I like the other approach here is around really grounding and both clinical technical acumen as well as just sort of standard technical acumen. And this notion that it really will take the blending of clinical and more traditional IT skill sets to really unlock the potential here. And it sounds like you’d agree with that statement.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 08:36
Absolutely. Absolutely. I do.
Renee DeSilva 08:38
So, you mentioned AWS as customer obsessed. And one of the things as we were chatting with our members about the potential for us to do this, because we wanted to make sure that was aligned with just our own goals and strategies as well. They loved that because they are too on this revolution to be much more tapped into their their customers, their patience. And so just maybe elaborate on that, like how do you how do you think that some of that day one customer obsessed mentality that we all know from Amazon and AWS? Like, how do you think that translates into some of this programming?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 09:07
I think there’s a couple of different things that are happening in healthcare right now. One is, it’s a complete time of transformation, we have every single stakeholder saying they’d like to see care delivered in a different way. And now it’s time to truly reimagine it. So, in the past, in past roles that I’ve had, it’s been a focus on a particular initiative like one at a time. Today, I’m going to talk about providers, maybe tomorrow about patients then patient engagement. Now you really have to be able to do it all one at one time. And you have to be able to do it at scale, and you have to be able to do it faster. So now it’s no longer enough just to say, I know what the patient journey is now you have to understand the patient journey, understand how the workforce will have to take part in it, and you have to anticipate what’s next. And being able to do that is going to be dependent on having technology as part of the equation.
Renee DeSilva 09:57
Absolutely. You said something a moment about I want to go back to that one of the principles that AWS has around this builder, this builder culture, just say more about that, like, what have you noted? After you’ve gotten out of the provider lane? Like, what does it mean to be a builder in the context that maybe a large technology driven company would think about? I mean,
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 10:17
For AWS, what that means is like, we’re looking at our very broad platform of services that we have in the cloud, and the way that we can architect those together to solve any problem. And so in the way we do that is we’re working backwards from the customer or what the problem is. And there’s a lot that healthcare can learn from thinking, what is the problem? Who was the key stakeholder or the customer in it? And then what is it I’m looking to solve? And then how do I do it? And that’s a big part of what we do at AWS, when we’re thinking about technology. It’s about how do we take the breadth and depth of services that we have and bring them together into the solution that’s needed at the moment?
Renee DeSilva 10:53
Yeah. And are you? Do you have observations, just given how slowly you know providers typically move based upon your 20 years of work experience before landing here? How do you do you feel like that there’s maybe some greater urgency now than there was a few years back? Like, how are you seeing readiness play out from the provider landscape on this front?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 11:16
I mean, I think the good news is that COVID was a big, you know, proof of concept, right? And health care, every organization moved very quickly, what they did in the morning was different than what they did at night. And then after these last several years, they’re seeing they must move quickly. And I think that is what is driving kind of this new approach to how we’re going to use to how healthcare will use technology and how we will support them with customer obsession, builder thinking, day one, thank you.
Renee DeSilva 11:47
I love that. When I when I chat with our members, they talk a lot about that wanting to be a remnant right in terms of just exceeding your own expectations at the pace of change, and how quickly that you can move laying or trying to remove levels of bureaucracy and decision making to get to things faster. And so I know, as I’ve talked to some of our members who are engaged in this, this program, they’re really excited for the principles to come through as much as the technical acumen. And so I’m really excited to see what happens there.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 12:16
Yes, I’ve seen a lot of, I’ve seen a lot of healthcare customers really enjoy learning more about Amazon’s leadership, I’m sure, day one thinking, and so we’re excited to share that with them as well.
Renee DeSilva 12:28
So, I want to go back a little bit into your role as a as a fellow so you engage the way that we got to know you, that I got to know you was you were a you were in another one of our fellowship programs, and for physician leaders up and coming position leaders. And so maybe you just reflect on that experience. And you know, in my mind, what I what I think is so notable about it is you’re taking people who are already very accomplished in their career, and giving them an accelerator in some ways. And so how did the power of meeting with your peers and really creating these learning environments? How has that helped you as you’ve gone along?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 13:04
Now? That’s a really great question. So the fellowship was really transformational for me, and that I had a group of really high achieving folks in my cohort. And so that was one connection that I had, but then I had the executives and residents. And then I had, of course, the the investment that the health system had made in me as an individual. So what it did was it allowed me to hone my leadership skills, have more insight into how I was going to help change the way care was delivered at the time. And it also helped me have bonds with other like minded professionals that have lasted to this day. Like,
Renee DeSilva 13:43
I’m struck by that we just graduated a class of finance fellows. Yes, maybe my days wandering in here last Thursday. And I did the graduation talk and I reflected that of our we’ve now had more than 300 fellows graduate at 5% promotion rate, we’ve got three sitting CEOs that came through a fellowship program. And so my thought for this, it oriented this technology AWS technology fellowship is what can we create that when we look back in the rearview mirror, we see the next generation of folks leading the organization that really has this really in their DNA and culture. Absolutely. Absolutely. So maybe one final question for you actually, to one would be while we like the learning and the peer networking and chance to step away from your day to day work to really figure out then learn new skills. The other piece that we really want to push on is the action orientation. So there is a typically a action project that has both people love it, and it also I’m impressed the people have the time to do it. So talk about why that’s important and how you thought about that in your own fellowship experience. Sure.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 14:50
I think it’s really important for fellows to have a Strategic Action Project, one that allows them to have impact across their system. So either it’s going to be from a business standpoint, finance It’s going to be from the standpoint of clinical care where they’re making a true impact to the system, it’s going to be a lasting impact and one in which will lead to change, lower the cost or change the way they’re delivering and delivering care and in a particular department. So it’s, it’s a meaningful project, it truly is.
Renee DeSilva 15:19
Meaningful is right. And I, I’m always struck with at our events where we actually have the fellows bring their projects to life, and they engage with a small table around it, and they have such pride. And it’s just been a really nice way to really think through seating ideas that really do have the potential to really swing performance in the provider system. So it’s been great to see that
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 15:38
Absolutely. I mean, I remember my project, it was around sepsis at the time, that was a big focus, not only because it was so incredibly important for patients and their outcomes, but there was a financial component to it, there was also a regulatory component, right? And so it really helped galvanize how we thought about sepsis and treating it.
Renee DeSilva 15:55
Absolutely. And then the exposure that I think it gets folks in their systems, right, like as part of preparing for, they’re often presenting to folks that are several levels above them in terms of scope and of control. And so I think it’s this exposure and really invested, which, as we think through all the workforce challenges right now, just how key that is to really retain important crucial talent. Absolutely. All right, so if anyone wanted to learn more about this, where would they go to find out information?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 16:19
So, if they want to learn more, they should go to hmm, academy.com? There, they can learn more about the fellowship program.
Renee DeSilva 16:25
Perfect. And then I have one final question. Not at all related to the fellowship, per se. But I asked this question on every podcast that I host, which is the inspiration for the table is I really believe the power of conversation to move things forward. And if you get the right people around it, and you curate it, you walk away with insight and thoughts and maybe a new way of thinking, right? So, if you have the ability to curate your own table, who would you invite? And why?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 16:52
Okay, so first would be Prince. Oh, one of my little rain? Yes. Favorite performers of all time. It’s March March Madness. He was a crazy basketball. Yeah, he was a huge basketball fan. So it’d be fascinating to talk to him about what’s happened this year, you
Renee DeSilva 17:10
know, number one seeds left in the tournament?
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 17:12
Absolutely. And also, the other thing is to like his music catalog is phenomenal. Right? And the way he use technology and his music would be great to have that conversation with him. And I’ll tell you the other person. Yeah, the other person would be Gary Bisbee. Who is somebody that you and I both care deeply about founder of the Health Management Academy. Absolutely. who recently passed away. I mean, Gary was one of these people who would be so incredibly happy about this technology fellowship program happening. He was always curious about what the future of healthcare was going to entail. And I think as the conversation continued, as the party continued with you, me, Prince and Gary, I mean, at some point, he turned the table and start doing, you know, some kind of fireside chat or is that he was a master at doing that as well. But I just think there’s so much opportunity in healthcare to learn from other industries. And that’s why I would love to have the floor I love sitting around the table. Sounds like
Renee DeSilva 18:10
I got an invite to that dinner. Yeah. Okay. Perfect. Gary also was a opera singer. I don’t know if you knew that. I didn’t know rapper singer. So maybe, oh, it’s going to be on the guitar with a love that. Love that. Yes. Well, wonderful. It’s always so nice to connect with you. We’re really excited about the partnership. And hopefully we can come back this time next year and give an update on what we’ve got going on.
Angela A. Shippy, MD, FACP, FHM 18:30
Absolutely. So great to see you too. Thank you. Thank you.