Jay Bhatt, DO, may be under 40, but that doesn’t stop him from driving healthcare innovation at the Illinois Hospital Association, where he’s the Chief Health Officer. As the role of chief innovation and health officer becomes more popular at large institutions, Bhatt is part of an inaugural class – his most recent role as the Chief Innovation Officer at the Chicago Department of Public Health was the first of its kind. His focus on proactivity helped the community during critical food inspection violations and helped predict lead exposure in children as well.
Now, Chicago is evolving into an innovative ecosystem and Bhatt credits his success to his continual engagement with the population. “I was able to practice primary care internal medicine while in my policy and innovation role,” he says. “This allowed me to bring public health issues as experienced by our residents to policy, systems, and environmental changes to improve the health of a city.”
In terms of the big picture, Bhatt believes we’ve reached the tipping point for a greater integration of medical care and public health systems. “Believe in your idea and people will react to the palpable excitement you exude,” he advises. “Also, have the courage to fail and disrupt – and start writing more.”
Shreya specializes in health communications and is a copywriter for an advertising agency. She was previously at Bayer Healthcare, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
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