Building a People-Centered Health Care System: Dr. Richard Gilfillan, Georgetown University School of Medicine Commencement

Dr. Richard Gilfillan, MD


This week, Dr. Richard Gilfillan’s 2015 commencement speech at Georgetown University School of Medicine entitled, “Building a People-Centered Health Care System” debuts on the Medical Commencement Archive.

Gilfillan has been a leader in U.S. health care for over than 25 years, developing organizations that deliver better outcomes for people and communities.

Gilfillan began his career as a family medicine physician and later became a medical director and a chief medical officer. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He launched and became the first director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in 2010 and worked with payers and providers to develop innovative models for improving patient care and reducing costs.

He is currently the President and CEO of Trinity Health, the $14.4 billion Catholic health system that serves communities in 21 states with 86 hospitals, 123 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide more than 2.2 million visits annually.

Dr. Gilfillan’s speech revolved around the idea of innovating opportunities for bringing health care to as many people as possible in the country.

“Taking the perspective of a person or family being cared for in our system we ask ourselves how would we choose priorities, design the lab, or set visiting hours sensibly? We integrate the resulting ideas into our conversation. Doing this significantly expands our thinking and will lead to better decisions.”

He concludes by advising the graduating class to incorporate five principles into their daily encounters with patients and hospital staff:

“Be humble. Be curious. Be bold.Laugh a lot, enjoy your work, and celebrate your team.And remember that listening well to your patients is the starting point of great patient care."

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