Beth Bortz, Class of 2007
President and CEO, Virginia Center for Health Innovation
What is new and exciting with you now or since your time with Lead Virginia?
In addition to starting a new non-profit entity and serving as its founding President and CEO (the Virginia Center for Health Innovation), I’ve been fortunate to join a number of boards and advisory groups that have expanded my connections and reach. These include the American Board of Family Medicine (as the public member), the Virginia All-Payer Claims Database Advisory Committee, the National Task Force on Low Value Health Care, the American Board of Medical Specialties Task Force on Data and Information Sharing, the Chapter Advisory Board for Kappa Delta Sorority at William & Mary, and the Lead Virginia Board of Directors.
How has your experience with Lead Virginia helped prepare you for challenges like navigating the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a professional with experience in health policy, I work primarily with health care professionals whose training demands that in addressing a contagious disease, your first priority is to stop the spread of the virus, in order to save lives. Within this community, there is no question that you have to successfully address the medical problem before addressing other economic challenges. Lead Virginia helped me to understand why other communities of professionals might prioritize differently, and how to work with others of differing perspectives to share insights in a respectful and collaborative way, with an end goal of trying to move away from “either/or” to “both/and.” Listening is especially critical in these situations, and Lead Virginia is actively building a community of respectful listeners.
How did Lead Virginia shape you as a leader?
Lead Virginia gave me the personal confidence to take some additional professional risks and put my networking skills to work to test new ideas and secure new partners.
Since Lead Virginia, how have you put your social capital to work?
I’ve recruited more than 50 organizations to join the Virginia Center for Health Innovation – either as board or advisory committee members – and many of these new partnerships have a direct Lead Virginia connection.
What was your biggest takeaway or lesson learned from Lead Virginia that continues to resonate with you today?
Civil discourse is essential in a well-functioning democracy. We need to listen more. When we do, we find that we agree on more than we thought possible, and usually some compromise exists.