In this conversation of Scrubbing In, the medical and OR innovation podcast powered by SpecialtyCare, SpecilatyCare CMO Lee Pepper and Dr. Raines discuss the entrepreneurial spirit that is pervasive in Nashville, how Nashville has grown into the healthcare capital, and how that growth can and will continue.
Todd Schlosser: Hello, and welcome to this episode of Scrubbing In, a podcast powered by Specialty Care. Hi, I’m Todd Schlosser and today we have a special treat for you. Specialty Care is at chief marketing officer Lee Pepper interviewing Dr. J. Patrick Raines. The dean of the Jack C. Massey graduate school of business. In this conversation, Lee and Dr. Raines discuss the entrepreneurial spirit that is pervasive in Nashville, how Nashville has grown into the capital for healthcare, and how that growth can and is continuing. Enjoy the conversation.
Dr. Raines: Where we just had two students win the, it was called the TVA Investment Challenge, and they did a 30% return on their portfolio over the last year. And excited the board of trustees when they told them about their returns. They wanted them to manage the university’s endowment at that point.
Lee Pepper: What a great opportunity.
Dr. Raines: Yeah, so it’s facilities and it’s faculty and its hands-on experiences and really we have tried hard over the last 15 years to give students experiences outside the classroom so they can be with groups and organizations and even travel to student events and organizations with like-minded people. So they can find things to do outside the classroom that are co-curricular. And I think that’s really helped.
Lee Pepper: Now, looking at Nashville, you know we’re known as the healthcare capital of the world. And Dr. Fritz was recently came by our offices and did a Q&A and he referred to Nashville as kind of the Silicon Valley for healthcare. What is it that we need to be doing in the Nashville community to maintain that mantra?
Dr. Raines: I have a pretty strong opinion about this. I think in the music industry Nashville is the Silicon Valley because that’s where the creativity is, that’s where the musicians are. People come here to record because of the great musicians and the great, here again, ecosystem that we’ve got. In the healthcare industry what we have are organizations, I think, that are successful and we have been tremendously successful with organizations like your own. And when you look at what we’ve done in the physician managed practice area, but we’re still just getting into bio-tech. We don’t do a whole lot with medical equipment, medical devices, yet. But physician managed practices and hospital corporations are truly, this is the capital for those things.
Dr. Raines: But we have to focus on quality outcomes and how to measure and how to deliver those things going forward. We just wrote a grant at Belmont, the dean of the pharmacy school and health sciences and myself put together a grant to go to Robert Woods Johnson about the culture of health and what would be the most important thing we could contribute to a culture of health. And we came up with a quality center essentially, which would try to teach Lean Six Sigma quality metrics and how to use process improvement to get to quality in healthcare.
Dr. Raines: Because I believe that’s the way in the future, everyone’s gonna get paid. So it’s fine to have facilities, it was fine to have lots of different organizations and so forth, but they’ve gotta produce quality. And so whatever we can do to promote that in all of our hospital organizations, I think that’s what will put us on the map.
Lee Pepper: And you know when you said that, I think that in Nashville, probably because of the diversity of healthcare companies we have, certainly in my experience, that people coming in even entry level have an opportunity to contribute to that culture of quality. You know I’ve spoken at Belmont a couple times and I always tell the students, in this day and age you can come into a company and you can make a difference and an impact right aways. You don’t need to wait around for 10 or 15 years because a lot of the technologies and the things that we’re working on were just invented recently.
Dr. Raines: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Well I agree with that 100%. Focus on how do you give a client, a patient, a customer, a quality experience will make a name for anybody. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, this is a little off the subject, but really it’s consistent. He’s an entrepreneur, he’s a serial entrepreneur. He’s 44 years old and he’s bought into robotic lawnmowers and they will cut your grass for you in six or seven hours. So it looks like a little robotic vacuum cleaner, and you never have to touch it. And they’re called GOATS.
Lee Pepper: Okay.
Dr. Raines: And so he’s got people who take them out and put them around the neighborhoods and then come back and collect them. And you’re looking at that going, that is a fantastic idea, but it’s really this idea of this is a city that is open-minded enough to accept new products and services. And his whole focus is on, you gotta have a quality guy in landscaping, effectively. It’s a different model, but it’s the same thing.
Lee Pepper: What would you think, when you’re at Belmont and you look out at some of the students who are graduating, is there anything that comes to mind that you say, you know, I can tell that that’s a Belmont? I can tell that’s a Massey grad.
Dr. Raines: Absolutely. And I hear this all the time. It’s what Massey wanted us to be, also he said ethical entrepreneurial and practical. That’s a little old fashioned word, but I think relevant is certainly a better word. And so when you talk to the CEOs and the others, HCA, the banks that have hired Massey graduates, they say number one, they got a tremendous work ethic. They’ve learned something somewhere along the line that is practical, pragmatic, it’s a learn it today, apply it tomorrow kind of philosophy. And as I like to say, they don’t expect to be vice presidents next week. So when you put all that, hard workers, they’ve got and education that is relevant because we try to do what the business community tells us they need us to do. And not high theory, we do somewhere we need to, but we’re listening to the business community constantly about what they need. Our students graduate, they hit the ground running, great work ethic. You know, they’re humble and they work hard and they got a good education.
Dr. Raines: And I think those, I just hear it repeatedly that people that are hiring our graduates are happy with them.
Lee Pepper: Well I know I appreciate the work you guys have been doing even for the business community through your executive learning network, which we’re big supporters of. And I know that my team, we love attending those each month, it’s been very helpful for us in our daily work lives.
Dr. Raines: This last one that we had was fantastic. I kept thinking I had to go, I had to go, but I couldn’t leave. She just did a great job.
Lee Pepper: Well and I think later on this month you’re having one the first F35 female pilots coming in.
Dr. Raines: Yes, she is.
Lee Pepper: So yeah.
Dr. Raines: It’s fantastic.
Lee Pepper: And the diversity is excellent too, just in the range of topics you guys have.
Dr. Raines: Yeah.
Lee Pepper: What’s next up for the Massey school? Do you have anything on the horizon that we should be aware of?
Dr. Raines: Well, as we passed all of the analytical data and score boards and other information that you have in overload, in abundance. We’re gonna have one of the best analytics programs around soon. We’ve been working very hard on it for a couple of years adding analytics and analytic talent and intellectual fire power, if you will, in all of our disciplines. So we’ve added marketing faculty who are doing a lot of consumer research and using a lot of data analytics. We’ve added multiple MIS, management information systems faculty who are using SAP, for an example, across their coursework and then at the end of the course doing visual analytics.
Dr. Raines: So that faculty is working hard to learn the skillset they need to teach data visualization using the tableau and the new Python and other software that they need to be able to use so that we can teach our students more data analytics. Because there’s not going to be less data. And I make this statement frequently, I think that’s the area that will feed students in 45 years. If they learn how to manage data, extract data, analyze data, that’s a skillset that will feed ’em. And we just need to do more and more, and a better job of that until we get all of our students with some programming skills. They don’t have to be programmers, but understand enough to be able to do some basic programming, understand big data, predictive analytics. Those types of topics are the things that students with those skills, I could place 50 of them today in the job market if I had them.
Lee Pepper: You know when we were touring and we were talking about some of the social media things that we do, and everybody gets excited about the social shares and kind of the visual piece of the graphic design and it’s nice, but I think I told you, you know the rubber meets the road for us when we can actually look at the data. Because we’re not doing it just for fun, like we actually have an ROI that’s attached to it and I think that’s one of the things that’s always set our teams apart in our approach to digital marketing.
Dr. Raines: Right. Well I have a data wall, for an example, in my financial information center. And that’s sort of my toy because it has currencies, it has commodities, it has the different exchanges, and I like to go by there and play with it and look at it. But sort of at the end of the day it’s how well are our finance students doing? And can they manage a portfolio? And we have a CFA competition, we have this TVA competition, a lot of our student organizations they like Inactus, I should mention that won the world championship.
Lee Pepper: Congratulations.
Dr. Raines: With a student project where they recycled mattresses. And a triple bottom line project, it’s keeping mattresses out of landfills, employed formerly incarcerated men and then recycled all 100% of the mattress. And it was just a phenomenal project that, as I said, ultimately won a world cup for the project. But it involved a lot of financials at the end of the day. The judges were all business people who were asking then, tell me about your front end cost? Tell me how you save with the labor that you’re using? Tell me what you’re recycling percentages are and what you make? We had a financial model ’cause they understand how important it was.
Lee Pepper: You know, what’s the impact then of some of these television shows that this generation grew up? You know, watching like Shark Tank when their getting those kind of questions. I mean, it seems to be that’s kind of the era, the environment that we’re in is that I guess that’s a good thing in that case.
Dr. Raines: Well we do our own. And nearly every school that has an entrepreneurship program does some sort of business plan competition. Of course there’s one that the entrepreneurship center and the entrepreneurship organization they put on. So one of the questions is, why is Nashville so entrepreneurial? And here again, it’s because of the ecosystem and the support that you get from the various organizations, but that’s the most popular event of the year. And we give away a little bit of money, but we’ll usually have three or four students or teams of students who’ve started businesses that their gonna make it.
Dr. Raines: Recently the creator of the Escape games, have you seen those?
Lee Pepper: I’ve been through them.
Dr. Raines: You have, well then you know all about them.
Lee Pepper: I’ve escaped and I’ve not escaped.
Dr. Raines: That’s a Belmont graduate who created them.
Lee Pepper: I did not know that.
Dr. Raines: And he had a very significant round of funding recently, so he’s expanding across the United States.
Lee Pepper: Wow.
Dr. Raines: Yeah, it’s terrific.
Lee Pepper: Excellent, yeah I mean there’s multiple locations here in Nashville.
Dr. Raines: Right.
Lee Pepper: That’s so great. What a great model. Well, listen, Dr. Thank you so much for joining us here today. And I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to come and share. We’re just so supportive of everything that you and your team are doing out there at Belmont.
Dr. Raines: Well you guys are doing great work. Thanks for showing it to me and keep it up.
Lee Pepper: Great. Thank you so much.
Dr. Raines: Thank you.
Todd Schlosser: Thanks for listening to Scrubbing In. Please take a second to give us a rating on your podcast app and subscribe so you won’t miss out on what we have coming up. See you next time.