Nashville Health Care Council
Knowledge is power.
In a rapidly shifting healthcare landscape, June Patterson knows the importance of ensuring the next generation of industry leaders is well equipped to meet new and constantly evolving demands to improve quality and efficiency.
"The executives who participate in the Fellows program have the influence to make change, and it's exciting to map out the multiple ways we can facilitate a platform for them to do so," she said. "My favorite thing to do is to be creative," she continued of modifying the agenda each year to keep one of the Nashville Health Care Council's signature programs on the forefront of innovation.
Growing up in Tucson, Patterson was drawn to the idea of a helping profession and also wanted to engage her creativity. "I always loved medicine," she added, "but I knew I didn't want to be a doctor." Graduating from Arizona State University with a journalism degree, she found a way to marry all her passions by becoming a medical writer and editor. "It gave me an opportunity to get the right information into the hands of the right people," she said.
"As a medical journalist," she continued, "I was providing the latest in medical research to practicing physicians who are at the front lines of care. I'm doing something very similar now with Fellows - delivering valuable information to executives who have the ability to shape the future of healthcare. I'm just delivering the content in a different way."
Patterson served as editor-in-chief for VersusMed for eight years and was offered the opportunity to move to Nashville as part of the executive team in 2007. After the company closed its doors, she worked in corporate event planning before coming to the Council to lead the Fellows initiative. She said her varied experiences are all put to good use in her current position. "My event planning background has trained me to think about how to give the Fellows the best experience," she noted.
Brainstorming with the program's co-directors - Sen. Bill Frist, MD, and Larry Van Horn, PhD, of Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School - is a regular activity as the trio continually look for ways to improve content and connect Fellows alumni in order to foster the networking and collaboration across disciplines required to solve big issues.
"Healthcare in the United States is a very complex system, and it's difficult to understand what areas to tackle that will benefit everyone. One of the greatest challenges that both our industry and society face is the social determinants of health," Patterson said of factors ranging from education to physical environment that impact an individual's health status. "These are tough issues to resolve, and it takes a lot of resources to figure out how to address them."
Like many with a journalism background, Patterson is a lifelong learner. "Healthcare impacts everyone, and there are so many layers to it that it can be difficult to comprehend. I have the unique benefit of learning something new about the healthcare industry every day so I feel fortunate to be an informed consumer," she said. "The more you know, the better you are at making good decisions."
She's also keenly aware that people communicate in many ways. "My actions matter," she said. "People, whether you know it or not, are observing you. I credit my parents with teaching me to be kind with my words and purposeful with my actions."
While her interests are varied, Patterson said she has the most fun when she's on the water, cooking or traveling. Not surprising for an Arizona native, Patterson loves being outdoors and counts the warm months as her favorites when she can swim, visit area waterfalls, paddleboard and kayak. Married last October to Andre Patterson, the couple spent their honeymoon in the sun at St. Lucia, but she said they are equally happy exploring big cities together or staying home and cooking colorful meals.
In the coming years, Patterson would like to pay her good fortune forward by establishing a scholarship fund for aspiring students, do more writing focused on helping young people become successful, and establish a platform to mentor and prepare young women to succeed in the workplace.
Whether helping support students or prepare the next wave of healthcare executives, Patterson is excited to share critical content to empower the next generation of leadership.