The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 13, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Dec. 8.
Next is Healthcare Industry Executive of the Year (Private Company) finalist Alicia Harkness, who’s a partner and the leader of Guidehouse’s Health segment. Here, she talks key achievements, success in her current role, primary focus areas going forward and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2020/2021?
One of the more recent achievements I’m proud and honored to be a part of is the proposal strategy and multiyear implementation of the VA’s Community Care program, supporting the legislative Mission Act giving veterans greater access to health care in VA facilities and the community while expanding benefits for caregivers and improving VA’s ability to recruit and retain the best medical providers.
We have supported VA’s Office of Community Care in providing an estimated 32.8 million community care appointments, improving access to care for our veterans by 30% since 2017, and increasing the number of veterans served by OCC by more than 20%.
What has made you successful in your current role?
You can’t be successful in this business if you don’t provide quality service. The ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their perspectives while driving change is critical.
Since my days as a competitive swimmer and musician, I’ve always found myself motivated by continually pushing myself to reach for my own personal best, whether it was in the pool or the mastery of a new musical piece. Now, I’m motivated and pushing not only myself, but also my team and our firm to do the same.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
In transitioning to my role as the leader of our Health segment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, I was humbled to work alongside a remarkable team as we remained focused on leading public and private sector organizations with various mission-critical initiatives through the uncertainty.
From response efforts to vaccine development and return-to-the-workplace strategies, we have worked tirelessly with our clients to ensure they can continue to effectively serve their patients, communities and employees.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
I’m very passionate about serving mission-based organizations, including those in the government, commercial and nonprofit sectors, and helping them transform to make a positive impact on society. As we look to the future, I remain laser-focused on future-proofing organizations for the evolving health care environment.
Facing a collapsing fee-for-service environment, price transparency, amplification of health equity, cybersecurity vulnerability, new drug acceleration and increased reliance on digital health, we have built an integrated team with deep industry partnerships to deliver informed solutions across the health care value chain.
We are focused on mastering these trends in payment, operational and consumer disruption, as this is key for health care organizations to help them build healthier communities while achieving sustainable margins, growth and innovation.