Dr. Adaeze Enekwechi, Operating Partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe: Private Equity and the Healthcare Workforce

“I did not ever think of private equity as a career option for me,” admits Dr. Adaeze Enekwechi, and not only because she saw it as a male-dominated profession. The former head of health at the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama and Ph.D. in health management expected to make a difference through public policy. But as an Operating Partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, she’s having an impact from a different perch. “We look at assets or companies to build that would make a meaningful contribution in whatever specific healthcare ecosystem we’re interested in investing in,” she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. “Our philosophy is not to just put money towards something and collect. We’re looking for opportunities to build something meaningful.” One current example is finding solutions to the nursing shortage and the painful budget crunch hospitals are enduring to pay for traveling staff. Investing in contingency staffing companies would earn a return, she says, but does nothing to solve the problem. A more useful target, she says, is leveraging technology to optimize the existing workforce. Adaeze shares examples of other issues she’s looking at through a private equity lens including racial inequities in care, social determinants of health, and what the training needs are as more care is being provided in the home. Check out this thoughtful episode of WorkforceRx in which you’ll also find out why this nationally respected healthcare leader thinks retail giants like Walmart and CVS should be applauded, and which two healthcare issues you should keep a close eye on in the coming months.

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