Arif Nazir, Chief Medical Officer, Signature Healthcare; President, SHC Medical Partners
Before joining Signature Healthcare and SHC Medical Partners, Arif was a faculty member at Indiana University and excelled in research, education, and leadership in the post-acute and long-term care setting. As a recipient of a Geriatric Academic Career Award through Health Resources and Services Administration and as a John A. Hartford scholar, he led several research projects to evaluate impact of innovative care delivery models for post-acute patients. Most notably, Arif provided leadership as the medical director of a unique Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovations project, OPTIMISTIC, that significantly reduced the avoidable hospitalizations of long-stay nursing home patients in 19 Indiana facilities.
Arif is the president of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and is also the past chair of its Innovations Platform Advisory Council. He has received many professional awards, most notably the Louisville Business First’s 20 People to Know: Healthcare award in 2018, and the Indiana Hulman Health Achievement Award for Public Health in 2015. He has published his research in several peer-reviewed journals and frequently presents at regional and national platforms on geriatric care issues.
- What comes to mind when you hear the word innovation?
I feel excited whenever I hear the word innovation. I for one, need new ideas and solutions to keep me energized as a practitioner, caregiver and as a leader. Innovation also means evolution and without evolution we could quickly become extinct. Hence, innovation instills in me a hope and promise for a better future.
- Do you have an innovation role model and why?
I love how the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have made innovation so meaningful to billions in this world, but my real excitement lies with day to day innovators in the frontline healthcare field. Just a few weeks ago as I visited one of my facilities, one of the CNAs remarked that she wished she had a recording device on her wrist so that she did not need to run to a kiosk to record the care she provided to her residents. What an idea! We have to find a way of gaining innovative solutions form the frontline who are dealing with the burden of care on a daily basis.
- How do you try and instill a culture of innovation around you?
Even though innovation will happen regardless, I believe that innovative culture prospers with a formal structure. I personally devote time to read about new ideas and share them with my family, colleagues and friends. I always plan for innovative brainstorming in meetings and retreats. Most importantly, as a leader I try to move away from labeling new ideas that did not work as “failures”. Any idea that did not work actually takes us closer to a major success.
- Is there a particular innovation that has made your professional life easier? Any special non-health care innovation you use at home?
There are many innovations that I can thank for making my life easier and more fun. As the father of two boys, I think the Circle app is one of my favorite innovations, as it provides me a clear visibility and control over the internet-use by my children. There are many cyber threats for young kids on the internet and the ability to monitor and control such threats is a life-saver. Professionally, I love the Microsoft Teams platform as you can be in constant communication with many team members and share files to work on mutual projects.
- What excites you most about the AMDA Innovations Platform Advisory Council?
I think the AMDA innovation Platform Advisory Council is the coolest group in AMDA (no-bias!). It’s a group of colleagues who have a phenomenal understanding of how innovation works, and how it can be harnessed to revolutionize the Post-Acute care setting. I really look forward to the Council meeting every other month as we are undertaking many exciting initiatives that will help AMDA emerge as a champion in Post-Acute innovations.