Pat Carrier, President/CEO, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System

In the realm of modern health, sound thought and anticipation ultimately lead to success as the market continues to ebb and flow. Over the course of these continual shifts, several individuals in our local market are at the forefront of the health care industry. Pat Carrier, President/CEO, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System, is one of those people.

Q: What is the most significant change you have seen in health care in the last decade?
A: The Accountable Care Act, whether it actually goes into effect or not, is the most significant change, as it has been a catalyst for a call on health care reform.

Q: What do you think is going to be the most surprising health care development on the horizon?
A: I believe, due to funding pressures, many health care providers in the market will cease to exist in their present form.

Q: What do you wish someone had told you about being involved in health care?
A: That so many factors (government regulation, the growing number of uninsured, etc.) were completely beyond your control and would have tremendous effects on the health care system in general.

Q: What new development in medicine excites you the most for its potential effect on patient care, and why?
A: I feel the realization that the current system of care delivery is unsustainable and that the need for a system that rewards quality and good outcomes instead of volume of procedures is being sought after as its replacement.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest change in health care in the next 10 years?
A: A focus on preventive medicine fueled by technologic advances.

Q: Why are you passionate about health care?
A: Because it is all about helping people in need.

Q: Do you have a personal motto that you live by?
A: Make a difference.

Q: What is the best career advice you received?
A: Keep an open mind and be open to different opportunities, as there are many paths to success.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in health care?
A: I can’t say I was inspired by one person or event, but rather a series of circumstances that ultimately led me to my current vocation. I truly feel that I was guided by a higher power.

Q: What aspect of modern clinical care, in your opinion, has made the greatest difference in the lives of the most people?
A: The advances in pharmacology and diagnostic capability.

Q: In general, do you think patients today are better informed about health topics than in earlier times, and why or why not?
A: I do think patients are better informed and, without question, the access to information over the Internet is a major driver of that.

Q: What message about health and wellness do you most wish to communicate to your patients?
A: As good as our technology is, medicine still has many limitations. Each of us needs to take responsibility for living healthy lives, as preventing an illness is much better than treating an illness.

Q: What is the best advice you have been given?
A: That would have been from my grandfather, and it was basically, “Always try to do the right thing.”

Q: What motivates you each day?
A: We are in a ministry that really has the ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

MD News Future of Health Care 2011, San Antonio



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