As part of Authority Magazine's series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company,” Parveen Parwar interviews Premier President and incoming CEO Michael J. Alkire.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Igrew up in Akron, Ohio and my parents were the first in their respective families to go to college. I typically say that there were two “on ramps” for my career.
First, from an early age I always had an interest in technology and computer science. I studied computer science in college at Indiana State University. I then received my MBA from Indiana University and went on to work at Deloitte where I started my career in consulting.
In that role, I was exposed to lots of different issues and ideas in the business space. But because of my background in technology, I always found myself thinking about ways to use data to ensure businesses functioned better.
My second “on ramp” was an interest in life sciences and healthcare. My interest in these fields was spurred on by regular conversations with family on the various aspects of delivering care to patients. And while I was consulting, I was also exposed to new (at the time) methods for caring for distinct populations.
In my role now as President and incoming CEO of Premier Inc., I am able to bring those interests together. Premier has a thriving health IT business, offering apps that can help clinicians make the best care decisions, in real time, supported by data and evidence. We also conduct life sciences research to help determine which therapies work best in specific populations. And we organize data driven performance improvement collaboratives and offer consulting services to help individual providers improve quality, outcomes and value. So you could say that Premier is a perfect place for me given all my interests and experiences.
Like so many people across the country, I have family members who face health challenges and they inspire me to stand up for them and improve their experience. On the other side of that coin, I know how hard it can be to provide care in this country and I am committed to ensuring that our hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities — along with the doctors and nurses who work there — are able to continue to fulfill their missions and visions.