Cerner Government Services President Travis Dalton is a Pinnacle Awards finalist in the Healthcare Executive of the Year category. Here, he shares some of last year’s accomplishments, what has made him successful, how he helps shape the next-gen GovCon leaders and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2017?
Dalton: I am proud of representing a great team of individuals dedicated to health care and improving the lives of our active duty service members and veterans. The last year has been a monumental effort with big changes and achievements for the team. We continue our progress on the Defense Department with our GoLives and optimization in the Pacific NW. Those sites continue to achieve operational achievements and HIMSS-level achievement… We are proud of the progress and work we do.
We successfully kicked off the Wave 1 sites for DOD as we move out with earnest on the program. We were awarded the VA EHRM contract and have kicked off the program with enterprise design and site-level kickoffs also in the PNW area. In addition, we created Cerner Government Services, which I am honored to be the president of and serve alongside great partners like Leidos, the two greatest clients in DOD and Veterans Affairs Department that you could possibly have and a dedicated group of associates that are mission focused.
What has made you successful in your current role?
Dalton: I think a willingness to take risks and persist in the face of many obstacles. Knowledge, experience, intelligence and talent all matter but a relentless pursuit of client value is what we strive to attain. We are focused 100 percent on our clients, being strategic with them, solving problems and bringing value. As a compass, that has allowed us to galvanize around a mission and for me to help lead a great group of dedicated folks.
My father was a 40+ year high school basketball coach and guidance counselor. I learned a lot about team building and continue to carry those lessons with me to this day. Setting a strategic vision, finding and motivating talent, big program execution background have all allowed me to help lead the team. It’s easy to lead when things are going well, but leadership is most required when things are off track. Knowing and seeing that coming are of paramount importance.
How do you help shape the next-generation GovCon leaders?
Dalton: This is probably aside from our clients my favorite part of the job — having the opportunity to work with great people and seeing them learn, grow and succeed. I think it’s important to ensure young leaders have a proper appreciation for the mission, the right profile for success and then to give them direction and support but let them thrive. We have a very entrepreneaurial culture at CGS and I think that permeates and spurs creativity among the team. I think pursuit of talent and spending real time with young people that have potential is crucial. The most important asset we have as an organization is our people. I am inspired every day by them and hope I can give something back of value.