Industry insights

March 4, 2024

Council Member Spotlight: Danielle O’Rourke – CEO, Ludi, Inc.

Council Member Spotlight: Danielle O’Rourke – CEO, Ludi, Inc.

Danielle O’Rourke serves as Chief Executive Officer of Ludi, the leader in physician payment automation. Before taking the helm of Nashville-based Ludi as part of the company’s transformative growth recapitalization in December 2023, she served as COO since joining the team in 2019. Danielle has many years of experience as a health care leader working with businesses, from startups to large enterprises, in a variety of roles, including business development, strategy, M&A and investing. Prior to Ludi, Danielle founded ROND Capital, a Nashville-based private equity firm, where she served as CEO. Earlier in her career, Danielle held a principal position at Martin Ventures, worked at The Riverside Company and Brentwood Capital Advisors, and served on the board of directors for Ovia Health and Clockwise. MD.

What inspired you to enter healthcare? Tell us about your career journey.
I’m going to be honest, I stumbled into healthcare immediately after undergrad. I actually began my career as an investment banker focused on healthcare services and technology deals. I then progressed into being an investor where I was more generalist early in my career and later specialized in early-stage healthcare technology through my work at Nashville-based Martin Ventures. Today, I like to reframe this question as: What inspires me to continue to work in healthcare? And that’s easy: it’s the people. I think we all know the business side of healthcare can have a bad reputation given the complexities and political nature of our industry. However, there are so many people who have dedicated their lives and careers to making our healthcare system more affordable, more equitable and sustainable. It’s an uphill battle and it’s a privilege to get to work with such an innovative group of people day in and day out to do our part in helping make this very fragmented health care system a little better.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign a weakness, it’s a sign of strength to know what you don’t know and seek out others to learn from. If you aren’t pushed outside your comfort level, you aren’t growing in your career.

What advice would you give to other women who aspire to become leaders?
Always be yourself, don’t try to fit the mold, but instead find organizations and leaders who appreciate and respect what you uniquely bring to the table.

What are the most critical changes the industry needs to make to face the future effectively?:
We need to re-humanize patient care and put the emphasis back on the patient. But we can’t do that until we empower clinical teams to focus first and foremost on patient care. This includes 1) easing the administrative burdens our physicians face, 2) reducing the focus on productivity and increasing the focus on quality, and 3) fostering more collaborative environments between the business and clinical sides of healthcare delivery. This is where technology can lead the way, and what excites me about the work we’re doing at my organization.

How can women develop strong leadership skills?:
Stay curious and committed to learning. Attend workshops, conferences and courses to expand your knowledge on leadership trends and skills. Participate in professional organizations and networking events to connect with like-minded individuals. And as I mentioned before, be willing to take calculated risks and step outside your comfort zone. Also, be sure to give back to other women who are looking for opportunities to learn and advance in their careers! Pay it forward.

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