Getting to Know: Rufus Phillips with the Association of Free and Charitable Clinics of Virginia | Economic news
Title: CEO of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, an advocate for the issues of free and charitable clinics; their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, technicians and other healthcare professionals; and the patients they serve
Not: 1961 in Washington, D.C.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Virginia, 1983; MBA, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, 1990
Career: Virginia Department of Economic Development, 1990-94; Lydall Southern Products, 1994-98; Luck Stone Corp., 1998-2005; Intrinergie, 2005-07; Virginia Medical Society, 2007-14; n1Health, 2014-16; Connecting to Healthcare Solutions, 2016-17; WellcomeMD, 2017-19, Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, 2019-present
Where do you live in the metropolitan area? Far West End
Better business decision: “Transitioning to a career in healthcare during a time of dynamic change and innovation in the sector, with an increasing focus on the triple objective: reducing the cost of care, improving the quality of care and patient experience, and improve the health of the population.”
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Worst business decision: “Pushing for an acquisition that made sense on paper, but didn’t fit the culture. As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. ”
Mistake you learned the most from: “Not having the right people on the bus. Having worked with a few teams in the past that were very talented but not cohesive, I’ve come to better appreciate how vital it is to hire and train people who are team players, have a strong emotional intelligence and adhere to the vision, mission and values of an organization.
What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years: “Free clinics and the vulnerable patients they serve have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, clinics have been particularly innovative and resourceful in the fight against the virus – providing education, testing and vaccines to at-risk populations – while staying on top of ongoing patient and chronic disease needs. Going forward, free and charity clinics will need to build and expand their capacity to meet pent-up patient demand and leverage creative solutions deployed during the pandemic, such as telehealth, to overcome the continued shortage of healthcare workers. and volunteers while creating more and easier access to care for uninsured and underinsured Virginians.
First job after college: Government relations intern for a trade association in Washington, DC, “I learned a bit about how sausage is made on Capitol Hill.”
If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently: “I would more frequently and generously express my gratitude to all the wonderful colleagues and mentors who have encouraged and advised me on my career path.”
Movie or book that inspired you the most, and why? “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman “opened my eyes to the idea that emotional skills as much, if not more than cognitive abilities, govern how organizations are run and run.”
Favorite and least favorite subject in school: Favorite: History; Least Favorite: Calculus. “I have always been drawn to the humanities and enjoyed interdisciplinary courses that synthesize ideas from different disciplines and stimulate more creative thinking.”