Charting our Course: Creating a Strategic Plan for the Future

Thursday, October 3, 2019 | Jerry Blackwell

Like many of you, I have dedicated my career to advancing cardiovascular care, both as a clinical cardiologist as well as a health system leader. I understand firsthand the challenges that accompany today’s constantly evolving healthcare landscape and how fractured our industry can become if we don’t unite and work together to ensure we’re delivering high quality, patient-centered care.

As a longtime MedAxiom member before joining as president in May, I am intimately familiar with how powerful knowledge sharing is for optimizing cardiovascular organizations and improving patient care. What makes MedAxiom unique is our tight knit community and our shared dedication to achieving the Quadruple Aim of better outcomes, lower costs, and improved patient and clinician experiences.

In order to be successful, we can’t do it alone. We must band together with the entire cardiovascular community to make an impact.

Transforming Cardiovascular Care, Together 

It’s hard to believe that just over seven months ago, MedAxiom and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) officially came together to provide one professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. In some ways, it feels like yesterday and in other ways it’s hard to imagine MedAxiom and the ACC operating separately given the companies’ shared missions and personalities. After many years of collaboration, the formal transition has been organic and opened doors to countless opportunities for both cardiovascular professionals and organizations. 

We have been focused on understanding where MedAxiom and ACC assets intersect, enhancing synergies and optimizing strengths. The process of taking a deeper look into what both organizations offer has been a crucial part of our planning for the future to ensure our strategic priorities are clear and actionable. The MedAxiom Board of Members, installed this spring, has also become a valuable part of our team keeping us informed of the cardiovascular marketplace needs across the next three to five years.

One thing both organizations have to offer is a robust cardiovascular database: MedAxcess and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry. A high priority as we move forward will be to marry MedAxiom’s operational and financial data with the ACC’s clinical and quality data. This will be the first time we will see cost and NCDR data together, helping us gain even more wisdom about the information both databases provide. That will open doors for individuals and health systems alike to get valuable insights that can be used to improve operations and care.  

MedAxiom is committed to providing innovative offerings and timely information in our world of ever-changing healthcare. We will continue to explore the drivers of disruption in the delivery of cardiovascular care and develop a strategic plan to meet the needs in the cardiovascular marketplace.

State of Cardiology 

There is a wealth of information that will be shared at our upcoming Fall ’19 CV Transforum with sessions addressing topics such as access, leadership, integration and much more. Don’t miss the kickoff of the general session on Thursday, Oct. 24at 1:15 p.m., where I will be joined by Tim Attebery, MedAxiom and ACC CEO, to share the “State of Cardiology.” Together, we will share how changes in healthcare have impacted cardiovascular services in regards to the strategic movement from inpatient to outpatient, program consolidation, and balancing the management of cost and quality while providing value to our patients. The discussion will include transformative opportunities and offer ideas for navigating the current landscape as we continue to advance cardiovascular care. 

It is my honor to serve as the president of MedAxiom and I look forward to working with each and every one of you to transform cardiovascular care, together.

As always, we welcome comments on what we can do to serve you better. To stay aware of all of our upcoming webinars and other events, be sure to visit the events page of


Illustration: Lee Sauer

About the Author
Jerry Blackwell

Jerry Blackwell, MD, MBA, FACC, is president of MedAxiom. He graduated from Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 1983 and completed residency/fellowship at the Ohio State University and the University of Alabama - Birmingham. He earned his executive MBA from the University of Tennessee. He has more than 30 years of experience in cardiovascular medicine including academic cardiology, private practice and large integrated cardiovascular group leadership. Most recently, he served as executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Ballad Health System. He has a passion for physician leadership and engagement, care transformation and teaching. He maintains a clinical practice with special interests in advanced imaging, including cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, cardiovascular CT angiography, and cardiac positron emission.

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