Carol Raphael is a senior advisor at Manatt Health Solutions and the former president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. She served as board chair of AARP and has held executive positions at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and the City of New York, where she ran Medicaid and Public Assistance programs.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Leading the Visiting Nurse Service of New York to become the largest non-profit home health care organization in the United States while launching innovative programs and health plans to provide care to diverse, high-need, and high-risk populations.
- If you could change one thing about health care, what would it be?
We have made exceptional strides in saving and prolonging lives in our health care system. Now, we need to make comparable strides in optimizing health and well-being. Health care needs to shift from an episodic, sick care system to offer more preventive, integrated, and truly person-centered services and supports that enable individuals to thrive, not just survive.
- What life experience has taught or changed you the most?
On 9/11 in New York City, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York had about 5,000 patients in the neighborhood around the World Trade Center. Some of these patients had severe disabilities, and some were at the end of their lives. Our front-line nurses, therapists,and direct care workers all remained with their patients despite their enormous fear and concern for their own families. Their heroism was a testament to the importance of organizational culture and its enduring values of caring and compassion.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I am an ardent fan of the New York Yankees. This loyalty created considerable problems for me with my colleagues and friends when I lived in Boston.