Bo Bartholomew, Chief Revenue Officer, Shearwater Health

What led you to join Leadership Health Care?

Initially Leadership Health Care was called Young Healthcare Leaders and served as an outlet for young leaders to find a way to both network and learn from the vibrant Nashville Health Care Council and its leadership. The more the program offered the more the name needed to change. I joined as part of my executive development plan at HCA. My CEO at the time required both board service and community involvement outside of work. Leadership Health Care quickly became an outlet to contribute and learn beyond the four walls of the hospital, and to see what was going on across not just the city but also the country.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a member of Leadership Health Care?

I think the most rewarding part of being a member of Leadership Health Care is well beyond simply networking but plugging into an extremely unique community around the health care ecosystem in Nashville. I have heard many describe that over time it begins to feel like a family. Learning how to help each other and the different businesses by looking out for each other is the best part of Leadership Health Care. Every human being is made for community. Many of us get it through our kid’s schools, church or neighborhoods. Leadership Health Care offers the opportunity to join a community around our work that elevates all of us to be better but keeps us integrated into the fabric of a health care community unlike anywhere in the world.

What is your favorite thing about Nashville?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Nashville referred to as the “Third Coast.” Nashville has the best of West Coast, L.A., and San Francisco hip culture combined with the best of the New York knowhow, all mixed with a dose of Southern humility. Growing up in Nashville, it felt like a small town full of bright and entrepreneurial innovators that stayed under the radar and impacted the world through music and Southern culture. Now the secret is out and the world realizes we do wear shoes and know how to get things done, especially in health care. Our Nashville Health Care Council Family Tree is evidence of both the supportive culture and the expertise that is here in Nashville. There is no better city in the country to find exciting opportunities in health care and in your social life, than Nashville. It’s a great place to work hard and play hard.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The single best piece of advice is hard to nail down. I have had the benefit of being mentored by some of the most remarkable people in the world (in my opinion). Here are a few nuggets that come to the top of my mind:

  • Always be prepared—there is no replacement for putting the work in ahead of time.
  • Learn at least one new thing every day.
  • Give back—there is nothing we’ve ever gained on our own, so pay it forward.
  • Relationships make the world go ‘round—invest in every one of them.

As I reflect on these, I find that my father, Sam Bartholomew, Jr., and mentor, Clayton McWhorter, have had an enormous impact on my life. Invest in finding a mentor at every stage of your life and career and then seek to mentor others whenever you are given the chance.

What famous business person do you most admire and why?

The list could be a long one for this question. I admire Clayton Christensen’s business literature and philosophy and have found that his books and articles are well worth the investment of time. The business leaders I admire the most are those who are not in the headlines but are humbly making their businesses better. Sticking to the Nashville market, I have admired the unique but different leadership styles of Charlie Martin, Milton Johnson, Harry Jacobsen and Joey Jacobs. Learning how they navigated their challenges impresses me more than any of their accomplishments. I would be remiss if I did not recognize my father, Clayton McWhorter and Tommy Frist who have all poured into my career.

As you think about the future of the health care industry, what is most motivating to you?

For the past four months, I have spent time meeting with an average of five people a day across the country and across all sectors of the health care industry. There are so many exciting and innovative ideas, companies and strategies out there that I have the most optimistic outlook on the health care industry I have ever had. The regulatory landscape aside, there are technologies that are truly impacting efficiency and quality of care. The more providers and payers are at risk, the more aggressive they are in their investments in these areas. I am also encouraged by the effort to bring global best practices to bear. Countries are pulling the best talent, ideas and companies from around the globe to benefit our country. I could not be prouder to have had the opportunity to serve our industry and find ways to make it better—this is what motivates and wakes me up every day.

Last year my family faced several different medical challenges and to see our lives directly impacted by the improvements in the health care industry only further reinforces my motivation to make a difference in the lives of patients we serve in our industry.