At Arthur Diamond Associates we spend a lot of time talking to business leaders and industry influencers. This is our monthly Q&A that shares insights from executives at the top of their game. This month, we talk to Myrl Weinberg, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Council.
What attracted you to your current position?
The National Health Council (NHC) is unique in that its respected, dues-paying members represent all of the stakeholders in the health community. I saw a tremendous opportunity to engage these organizations and companies in identifying and creating solutions for some of our country’s most challenging health care issues. I believed that the NHC should be recognized as the premiere organization leading the nation’s health care discussions from the viewpoint of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
In addition, I had (and continue to have) a great appreciation for the role of patient advocacy organizations and knew the NHC could assist these organizations in meeting their missions by working together with them on issues they all have in common.
Where trends do you see impacting the industry you are in, in 2-4 years?
There is a rapidly growing recognition of the importance of engaging patients and the organizations that represent them in all aspects of health research, health policy, and health care delivery decisions. Developing and implementing effective models for meaningful patient engagement will have a tremendous, positive effect on the health of our nation.
On the business side, the rise of social media and mobile technology will continue to challenge our member organizations. Anticipating emerging technologies and being out front in their use to significantly and positively impact progress in accomplishing the organization’s mission is and will be a huge challenge.
Who has been your mentor?
I have had, and continue to have, a number of mentors. Among them is John Graham, currently CEO of the American Society of Association Executives and who was CEO of the American Diabetes Association when I worked there. Later, John served on the National Health Council Board of Directors and I served on the ASAE Board of Directors. Throughout the years John has offered wise counsel and demonstrated effective leadership both in CEO roles and as Board Chair for a number of organizations. I always watch and learn from him!
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve received?
Whatever you undertake, do it the best you possibly can and try to do it better than others. Also, having deep respect for others and being able to truly listen to their points of view are critically important for real success.
What was your first job?
I was a computer programmer and trainer of programmers for the National Life and Accident Insurance Company in Nashville, Tennessee. Even then I was oriented toward trying to engage people in the workplace so that they aspired to keep learning and do their best, no matter what the task.
What accomplishments are you most proud of at the National Health Council?
The National Health Council has built an infrastructure and processes that are respected, credible, and enable the NHC and its member organizations and companies to effectively tackle some of the most complex health research and health policy issues affecting people with chronic conditions. We are accomplishing important advancements in our nation’s health research enterprise and health care system that are of immediate and significant benefit to the patients we serve.
In addition, the NHC’s Standards of Excellence Certification Program and the related technical assistance we provide serve to ensure that the NHC’s voluntary health agency members meet the highest standards of transparency, accountability, and good public stewardship.
I am particularly proud of NHC’s role in founding the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) and the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO). These two organizations play a vital global role in advancing the interests of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I was a rodeo queen and barrel racer!
What’s next for the National Health Council?
The health care delivery system in the United States is evolving faster than ever before. Creating a solid 10-year, or even a 5-year, strategic plan is futile. As I look ahead, I see the NHC as being an even stronger stakebroker – a convener of the best minds on patient engagement in all aspects of health research, health policy, and health care delivery decisions, and the recognized thought leader on ensuring a vibrant future for the community of patient advocacy organizations.