We’re thrilled to welcome John Morgan MD to Waymark as our new Medical Lead. Previously, John served as the Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), which includes the state’s Medicaid program. John will work directly with Waymark’s community-based teams and provider partners to continue providing high-quality clinical and social care for our patients.
In this short Q&A, John discusses his background and what brought him to Waymark.
Can you share a bit about your background?
I embarked on a career in healthcare in hopes of stemming the suffering and vulnerability disease caused individuals. And while it began with a preoccupation with the pathologically and therapeutically complex, it soon gave way to feelings of distress at the readily apparent opportunities to preserve health that healthcare missed out on—especially among those with the fewest resources. I took the lessons my patients, care teams and mentors taught me about the nature of these dynamics to Virginia Medicaid, where they informed my involvement in developing and operationalizing clinical policies. That experience further refined my appreciation for the challenges associated with executing new, upstream-oriented models of care for Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as the principles critical to their success.
How did your experience as Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Virginia DMAS inform your approach to population health management?
My work at Virginia Medicaid exposed me to the breadth of healthcare stakeholders with the potential to promote, and benefit from, greater patient health. It also underscored the difficulty many organizations have of navigating the operational, personnel, corporate culture and scaling needs required to transition away from a focus on fee-for-service reimbursable activities. Key takeaways: invest in meaningful bi-directional relationships with trusted community organizations, choose to react to patients’ seemingly counterproductive health behaviors with empathy and curiosity, prioritize solutions that reduce provider effort, and stand on the shoulders of others who’ve developed and demonstrated what works (something Waymark does well).
What are you most excited about at Waymark?
In short: the opportunity to leverage community and health system resources to reduce the burden of disease among socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. We're building a scalable, evidence-based model to provide individualized, community-based, and population health-oriented primary care in Medicaid. That challenge energizes me and I'm excited to be on this journey with Waymark. Lastly, it wasn’t just about what Waymark has set out to achieve, but how it’s going about getting there that has me thrilled at the value we can reveal for patients and partners.