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About This Episode

A clear plan, volunteering, and strategy are essential for achieving success in healthcare leadership.

In this episode, Ed Marx, a healthcare professional with a diverse background and currently CEO of Marx Advisory, shares his journey from growing up in New Jersey to serving as a Combat Medic in the Army Reserve. Marx’s journey from a janitor at a medical clinic to becoming a CIO at Cleveland Clinic is a testament to hard work and determination. He emphasizes the importance of having a clear plan and strategy in one’s life, as it helps in achieving goals and outmaneuvering challenges. Marx also highlights the significance of service to others, humility, and letting go of negative energy. He mentions that balancing emotions can lead to clearer decision-making in healthcare, and that success in healthcare requires a focus on both personal and organizational growth. Throughout the interview, he underscores the importance of empathy, diversity in teams, and the challenges faced by healthcare organizations, especially those owned by private equity venture capitalists, are discussed. Finally, Marx stresses the value of curiosity, inclusivity, and volunteering in healthcare organizations to bring about positive change.

Tune in and learn how to foster these qualities in your own lives and careers, ultimately contributing to a more compassionate and successful society!

Read the transcript below and subscribe to The Edge of Healthcare on YouTube.

Martin Cody: Welcome to the Edge of Healthcare, where the pulse of innovation meets the heartbeat of leadership. I’m Martin Cody, your guide through riveting conversations with the trailblazers of healthcare. Tune in to gain exclusive access to strategies, experiences, and groundbreaking solutions from influential payer and health system leaders. This isn’t just a podcast, it’s your VIP ticket to the minds shaping the future of healthcare right now. Buckle up, subscribe, and get ready to ride to the edge of healthcare, where lessons from leaders are ready for you to use today.

Martin Cody: All right, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of The Edge of Healthcare: Lessons from Leaders to Use Right Now. And wow, do we have a guest for you today. Sit back. Buckle up. If you’re driving, you may want to just pull over to take this all in, because it’s going to be that valuable. With us this afternoon, is Ed Marx. Now, aside from Ed and I both attending Colorado State University, that similarities end there other than that. But this is someone that I’ve learned a bunch from in the last month or so preparing. And also, you will learn stuff from today. And I am indebted to the opportunity to have this, with you, this time. So thank you so much for spending some time with us.

Ed Marx: Martin, I’m thrilled myself. So thank you for having me. And yeah, go Rams … CSU.

Martin Cody: Go Rams. Yeah, we didn’t get to say a lot of that in the 80s when Ed and I were there. I think we had the longest Division one losing streak in football that may have rivaled northwestern, but luckily they’re on the right path now. I’m looking forward to, really I want to pull a couple threads on you. You’ve an incredibly diverse background. Children of Holocaust survivors, came to the country at the age of ten. Where did you land? What state did you land in?

Ed Marx: Literally, we landed in new Jersey. There was an Air Force base back in the day in new Jersey. And then we drove, so this was pre-planned, we drove from there to Colorado, where we settled. So my formative years were definitely Colorado, was like 1975, in the middle of the decade. And yeah, that’s where we landed and where we drove to. So we got to see a little bit of the country actually, while we drove every night and stayed at Holiday Inns.

Martin Cody: I remember those Holiday Inns, and having been a Chicago resident nearly all my life and going to school in Fort Collins, I’m familiar with that country on that drive on I-80 through Iowa and Nebraska, and you get to see a lot of corn.

Ed Marx: Absolutely.

Martin Cody: And what about brothers and sisters?

Ed Marx: Yeah, I am the youngest of seven, and we’re all pretty close in age. My parents were like, every year was another kid. And so there’s seven of us within nine years. So we’re all pretty closely bunched together and they’re throughout the United States. Everyone went their separate ways in different types of industries, although I think three into healthcare, but really all good people, all super successful thanks to my parents.

Martin Cody: Wow. That’s impressive accolades for the parents and job well done for sure. Are any of them in healthcare in the same capacity or similar capacity as yourself?

Ed Marx: Yeah. So my next oldest brother, the one who’s closest to me, he’s been a long time, sort of manager of programming. So he oversees programming for a health care organization. And then I have another brother, a PhD, my oldest brother, he’s a chemist, a pharmaceutical chemist. So he helps with clinical trials and trying to develop new drugs to cure bad things, bad diseases. I have another brother who, I guess all three of my brothers, now that I think about it, Martin, another brother who has a master’s in social work and he works at a big health system based out of South Dakota. So all of us have, all the boys are definitely into health care. And then we all married a, pretty much married someone who’s also into health care. So I guess there’s more health care in my lineage than I thought about until you asked that question.

Martin Cody: Interesting. You’re at Colorado State and there was no, was there a career in health care at that point in time on the horizon?

Ed Marx: No. So it really started a few years before that in high school, where I was in Colorado Springs and I worked as a janitor at a medical clinic. And it was there, 16 years old, as a janitor, listening, I had a Sony Walkman, if you remember those, and I was listening to ACDC, and probably some other punk rock music, Adam and the Ants, Black Flag, and something just spoke to me, like I’m supposed to be in health care. It was the weirdest thing. I don’t, I can articulate it better now than I could back then, but I just knew health care was the thing for me. So when I applied to Colorado State, I had mediocre grades, so I wasn’t getting any scholarships. So I joined the Army Reserve and they said, You can do anything you want. And I saw Combat Medic, and so I knew health care was in my future, but I didn’t know how it would manifest itself. So I ended up chloroacetate. And because, see, you wouldn’t take me. And so I, when I was glad for it. So I ended up at Colorado State and I knew, we loved Fort Collins, right? You know what a great city that is. And we wanted to stay. So there’s a local hospital there called Powder Valley, which is now part of the UC Health System, University of Colorado Health System. And I applied for any job there, and I just couldn’t get a job because I was either overeducated or underqualified. And finally, someone gave me a chance. I leveraged my combat medic experience to become an anesthesia tech. So I graduated from CSU. Didn’t want to leave. It was the only job I could get. It was a temporary job. So I worked there in Fort Collins as anesthesia tech for three months. They extended me for another month while someone was coming back from a medical leave, and then they’re like, Oh, you seem to know a little bit about computers, and we’re doing some computer stuff in the OR where I work, and can you help us? And I was like, Sure. I had no idea what I was doing. So I did a little bit of computer work there and helped them implement a little system for the OR. And then ultimately, I got this job working in physician relations. So because I worked in the OR, I knew doctors, I got along with physicians. The head of strategy was like, Hey, why don’t you work with us in strategy and help in physician relations? And so I was like, Okay, I love this. I know I’m supposed to be in health care and I love this. It was my first salaried job, Martin. I remember crying when Mary Hein, who was my first manager, she called me because it was my first salaried job. And at this point we already had one child and struggling financially. And so this was like a salaried job with benefits. And I was just crying after she called. And I did that for a while and helped the IT department a little bit. This is a long answer, but I swear I’m about to end with the conclusion that leads to what you were asking about. So what happened is I’m helping IT. They’re not, they’ve got this great product, but no one’s using it. It’s really the ability to look into the electronic health record remotely. Back then, that was a brand new thing because you’d need a 200, what, 2400 baud modem in order to do that. Anyways, they got it implemented. The physicians loved it. Our second child was born, Floppy. It was bad news. She’s going to die. They’re going to LifeFlight her. I’m skipping a lot of the story, but I realized, Oh my gosh, wait, we’ve got this technology where the doctors, the Neonatologists at Denver Children’s Hospital, an hour-and-a-half drive away. If we gave them that software, they could dial into our system, see the clinical information, pick up the phone, talk to our doctors in the nursery, in the NICU, and maybe she would be okay. And sure enough, that’s what we did. And she was healed of all these terrible things. And she graduated college at age 18, and she’s been working at Texas Health Resources now since she was 18. She’s 30 now. So it’s like, for 12 years she’s in healthcare. And it all, but at that moment I knew, Oh my gosh, I am called not only to healthcare, but at the intersection of tech, clinical, and business because that’s where you can save people’s lives. And right after that, I looked for my first job as a sort of a IT director, which I did get. So that’s a story how I got there.

Martin Cody: And I want to pull on a few threads in that story in, because I think there’s a consistent theme there and my research on yourself, and that is, first of all, combat medic. I don’t know anybody that is leaving high school and is looking at want ads or job ads or anything like that goes. Combat medic sounds intriguing. I wonder what that’s like. How does one become a combat medic without clinical skills?

Ed Marx: They teach you. Army is a great place. I just loved my service in the Army. I learned so much about life and working with others and things like that. But yeah, they just teach you. They take, they make sure you have a basic aptitude. You have to take this aptitude test and you have to do decent on it. But then they take you and immerse you in a 12-week course, actually, in San Antonio, Texas, which I think is still where it is taught today. And I went there in 1982. I was like 17 years old. And they just teach you, ground up. And you’re taught by these, at the time, because remember, this is early 80s. The instructors were these NCOs or sergeants, like high-ranking sergeants that were combat medics in Vietnam. And they were telling us all these stories. I remember watching all these movies like Scared to Death about all the combat medicine, but they put me through this 12-week process. And then obviously on the job, you get a lot more training, but that 12 weeks was enough to initiate you to at least do some basic things and have a pretty good understanding. But the thought is in the military, then you go to your first duty and you’re mentored by people and you learn on the job.

Martin Cody: And did you were a combat medic for 15 years. Were you ever inserted into theaters of war and having to do things on the line?

Ed Marx: You know, the good and bad news is, and it depends how you look at it. And I tell you, sometimes I think it’s bad news, but you can look at it as good news. I’ve never served in a war zone, but the reason it’s bad, I always felt like I was my band of brothers and sisters, I was like, not able to be with them when it mattered. So I went into the reserves, and so my unit got called up a couple times just on the edge, like in the first Gulf War. Had it gone a 100 hours and it was just short of 100 hours, we were going to be activated to go. So I wasn’t. And then as I worked my way through Colorado State University, after flunking out and going back in, I joined ROTC and I eventually became a combat engineer officer. And it was the same thing. Every time there was opportunity for deployment in an active war situation, our unit was never called. It was like always on the precipice of being called but never called. And so I never actually had to utilize my skills in a war zone.

Martin Cody: Interesting. I’m hearing a consistent theme of seeking opportunity, perpetual seeking opportunity where you go after things, and if this doesn’t come through, I’m going to go after this. And that requires a significant amount of intestinal fortitude, of drive, of desire, of passion. Where do you, where did that come from?

Ed Marx: Yeah, I don’t want to get super religious or spiritual on your program, but I think there was this innate drive put inside of me, and I think of it very much so in spiritual terms, that God had a mission for me and had a purpose. And I discovered that purpose fairly young. I was in my 20s when all this happened. My second kid was born, my daughter, and triangulation, clinical, business, and strategies like, Wow, you can save people’s lives. It was at that moment that I absolutely knew with certainty I was thinking I was 27, exactly what my calling was. But I’ve always been like, mission-focused. Wow. Does what I do here lead me to that? And so I always had a plan. So I was I started because I learned this in graduate school, right? How to have a plan, a strategy. So I always had a one-page strategy for my life and a mission statement, vision statement value; everything we do in the business world. But I did it for my personal life, and so that’s what I eventually I was like, Okay, now I need to become a CIO, and I want to be a CIO of an academic medical center or a for-profit or not-for-profit, all those different things. And having that sort of map, having a strategy and the energy and the passion just came from, again, from a spiritual basis. Like, I knew what my purpose is and what I’m supposed to do. So I’m like driven. I hope that makes sense.

Martin Cody: So it’s interesting. No, it makes total sense because I also think it’s interesting. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition with regards to where I see a lot of youth today and they blame it on technology, blame it on social media, blame it on whatever you want. But there seems to be an insatiable need for immediate gratification. Whereas a generation or two prior the outcome was uncertain. You didn’t, there was stimulus and response, but you didn’t know what the end result was going to be, oftentimes for weeks, months, or even a year. But yet you still had the internal fortitude to drive on to pursue something. So I think that is remarkable and noteworthy. The other thing I think that is fascinating is you just described a one-pager for your life, and I don’t know many youth today that have mapped out where do I want to be in a week; where do I want to be in three weeks, in 12 months, in 24 months. If you don’t have a clear direction to where you’re going, you’re just going to go anywhere and then end up going nowhere. So where did the one-pager element come from? Was that the medics, the plan?

Ed Marx: Yeah. So in graduate school, I was in business school and taking some courses. And I learned about strategy, just the basic thing; vision, values, strategies, objectives, things that you can measure. And then I looked how companies that had a strategy, had a vision, had a purpose, were 20 times on this data is a little bit old, but I imagine it hasn’t changed much 20 times more successful than those companies without a plan. So I thought about it on an individual basis. And I knew I was way behind. I knew I was an average person, and I knew there was a much smarter people than I was. I knew there were people who had, they knew people who knew people. So they would have ins that I didn’t have. So I knew I would have to outsmart them. I wouldn’t be able to outsmart them on my brainpower or because of my connections, but I’d have to out-tactic them. And so having a strategy, I was.

Martin Cody: Yeah, you have to out-hustle them.

Ed Marx: Out-hustle. That’s the word. And so it’s like, all right, so let me have a strategy, and maybe that’ll get me to where I want to go. And then I started doing it and I saw things in my life start happening. Like I started achieving these different things in my life. And I look back and I was like, Yeah, surely there’s grace and mercy and all those things at play. But also, I think a lot of it was having a plan. And so you can outmaneuver those that don’t have a plan. It’s similar in sport. We were talking off-camera about triathlon a little bit. I am not the most fit, like I have higher body fat percentage than those that I compete with, but I will beat them. And it’s not because again, I’m in better shape or anything like that. But I’ll have a very thoughtful plan in my training in the execution on race day. And that’s what gives me a leg up, is just that hustle.

Martin Cody: Yeah, I’m a big fan of hustle because I do was, I was the Bell Curve runner because I was on the other side of the Bell curve in school. But there’s always going to be smarter people in the room than me, because I like to find those rooms because I can learn from them. But very few people are ever going to out-hustle me, and I think that will serve anybody well, because you may never be the smartest person in the room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control your effort, which is something we have at our disposal.

Ed Marx: Yes, and Zig Ziglar would say, Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. And so I thought about that too. Is that hustle is that attitude of hustle. Yeah. But I’m ready to move on. Yeah. I just want to throw in that little Zig Ziglar.

Martin Cody: No, I’m a big fan of Zig as well. And the interesting thing is that you said you wanted to be a CIO and you’ve been a CIO at some fairly household names at some world-class institutions. Tell me a little bit about your decision to partake in employment at some of these institutions … name them.

Ed Marx: Yeah, it was very thoughtful. So again, if you look back, one of my plans probably, let’s see, in 2003, 2004, somewhere in the early 2000, you’re going to see that in my strategy was to be a CIO of an academic medical center, a for-profit, a not-for-profit, and a faith-based and public five. And the reason is ultimately I was like, okay, at some point in my career, I’m going to want to just focus on one of those, but I want the experience of all five. So I was very thoughtful so that my first place happened to be academic. And then when I got recruited. So that was University Hospitals out of Cleveland. So that was my academic and I loved it. And I’ve never worked for a faith-based. So I got recruited by Texas Health, which was faith-based, and I came here and stayed for eight years. I was at UH for eight years, in Texas Health for eight years. And again, I got that faith-based thing. Oh yeah, before, and before you age, I got the for-profit. I wasn’t the, I wasn’t the CIO, but I got the for-profit experience.

Martin Cody: Where was that?

Ed Marx: So that was at Columbia HTA.

Martin Cody: Okay. Sure. Yeah.

Ed Marx: So I was the head of IT, the equivalent of a CIO for their physician organization, which was like, gosh, I don’t want to exaggerate, but I think at the time might have been a $2 billion organization that had all their physicians. So it was a great learning that we were called directors of IS, but I was the main one for that whole division. And so it was a great experience. But then they ran into some issues with the government at the time. So that led me to UH, I got recruited to hit the academic mark, hit the faith-based mark, and then I got a call from some people that everyone would recognize and about going to New York City Health and hospitals, which is public health. And so I was like, yeah, that checks the box. I want to do public health. And it was time for me to go and Texas Health after eight years. So I went there. And I loved serving a public health. It’s completely different. There’s a whole story there as well with my dad, but no time to go into that. But I did that for a while, and then I got called a couple times by Cleveland Clinic. And so now I had done the for-profit, not-for-profit, community hospital, academic, public health. And I loved the most academic. And so when the clinic called, I was like, I’ve been at New York City only less than three years. I don’t want to leave yet. And then Cleveland Clinic called again, and my wife was like, You know what? They’re not going to call a third time, and this may be your last. So I talked to them and I love the Cleveland Clinic. And it was just amazing experience. And so that’s how it happened. So I was very thoughtful all along the way in terms of how to become a CIO, where to be a CIO, and how to build teams.

Martin Cody: So one of the things that, the theme that you mentioned earlier that I didn’t pull on when I said I was going to pull on, is given a chance, and that seems to be a recurring theme that, like you mentioned, Colorado State gave me a chance. These folks gave me a chance. How do you balance whether or not it’s a chance or it is all, it’s taking you away from what you’re currently doing, and then you can spread yourself in too many areas and be, render yourself less effective in each of them? How do you know when it’s a chance for progression versus a diversion?

Ed Marx: That’s why having a plan is beautiful, because it takes out a lot of the emotions. And so I’m very data-driven. And we would do, we would have family meetings around all these decision points, and we’d have a two-by-two matrix or some sort of matrix that we’d rank, order different things and we’d add certain values to certain things. But having a plan helped make it clear, because if I was at an academic medical center, I’d get recruited by an academic medical center, I wouldn’t show any interest because I’m in that. But the fact that I had public health, that was like, Oh, I think maybe I’m supposed to do this. And so that’s how having a plan really helped take out some of the emotional things, because maybe you were mad that day. Something happened at work. And so you take the recruiter call. But I try not to operate like that. If you have a plan, and then just stretch yourself and just dream big. Who would have thought this immigrant kid on food stamps would be the CIO of Cleveland Clinic and writing books for Mayo Clinic? That to me just talks about grace and mercy and then having the hustle you talked about, but really having the team and the support system and people who do give you a chance.

Martin Cody: Absolutely. And it’s funny because the chance component believe some of us, some people say, Oh, I never get a break or opportunity doesn’t shine a light on me. I’m a big believer, and it sounds like you are too, that the harder you work, the luckier you get. So there’s a bunch of old-school wisdom. Be the first person at work, be the last person to leave. Work harder than anybody could ever expect out of you. And generally, these chances will avail themselves to you. If that is a shared philosophy that you’ve built up over the years, was that a philosophy that you were exposed to from your parents and witnessed in just observation, or was that something that came kind of happenstance through grad school and recognizing, If I don’t have a plan, nothing’s going to happen?

Ed Marx: Yeah, I think it’s probably a combination. I think I definitely learned to work my ass off with my parents. So my dad, Saturday mornings while people were watching cartoons, we were out like, we had this old car with chrome bumpers, and we were waxing the bumpers, and we were washing the car and we were cleaning the house, and we were working our butts off all the time. So I learned the value of hard work. We were in sports and there was this expectation that we would excel in sports. And so that meant hard work. So I was the guy, when I was playing tennis on the tennis team, I was the guy that showed up an hour before everyone else, and I served a thousand serves before anyone else showed up, because I knew that I wasn’t going to make the team unless I had a great serve. And so I was just put in the work. So I had that sort of hard work ethic always in mind. And then I learned volunteering from my parents as well, like they volunteered. So I was like, All right, I’m going to volunteer. And volunteering creates opportunities, Martin. So whenever you’re in an organization, if they say, I need someone to do it right away, no one raise your hand, you raise your hand. I need someone to do this. I always, I volunteered for everything. I was, I’ll give you one other concrete example on volunteering. I worked at Domino’s Pizza as a pizza driver, and I held all sorts of records. And the reason I held these records is like that most pizzas delivered the biggest dollar intake, things like that. And the reason I held the record is because the people who controlled, who got the next order to deliver where, they knew me, and they knew that whenever they asked for a volunteer when things were slow, I’d raise my hand and I knew what I was volunteering for was to clean the toilets.

Martin Cody: It’s interesting, too, because you started out very few minutes ago saying you worked as a janitor at a medical clinic. So we business philosophy today always talks about when you see CEOs and everybody interviewed that started at the bottom, and you do appreciate the journey on the way up. But the other thing that I think resonates with what you just said is, and I’m passionate about this is a quote by Edison where he said, Success comes before work and only one area: the dictionary. Otherwise, you have to work your ass off. And it’s amazing how many opportunities and chances you can create just by hard work. And that, again, is something at our complete disposal. So that, I definitely believe in that. And I like to have a plan component as well. When you look at the private sector from an IT perspective, the teaching academic perspective, the for-profit, the public health, was there anything when I combine all four of those entities that you left with going the top three takeaways from those experiences combined, where they helped shape me into what?

Ed Marx: Yeah, for sure. They all helped shape me and I’m still hopefully being shaped even through this, our podcast here. One is to serve others. So I grew up that way and had great experiences doing that, and that just reinforced it is if you want to achieve everything that’s on your plan, just serve others. A second thing is humility, man. There is times, even today, I’m dealing with some stuff that I want to get at someone. They wronged me, they hurt me, and I’m like, Oh, and I’m just like, you know what? I’m going to let it go. I’m just going to, I could, I’m right. But it’s not worth, it’s not going to accomplish anything. It’s not going to change that person. It’s not going to change.

Martin Cody: Yeah. But that usually, and I think everyone’s been in that scenario, and did you draw upon a past experience where you were wronged and you went after it and you just spent so much negative energy on that? And then at the end of the day, you came out and you’re like, That wasn’t really worth it at all. What made you decide in this instance today to say, Yep, I’m done with this. It’s not worth the energy.

Ed Marx: Yeah, I think it’s past experiences. You know what? It’s not going to do anything. Or this realization that this person is so hurt, so wounded by something, and I don’t know, maybe their spouse just got diagnosed with cancer. You don’t know. And so I’m just like, it’s not worth it. It’s just better just to let it go and move on. Serving, operating out of humility. And then maybe the third thing is just being there for anyone. So I get a lot of calls. A lot of people want to talk, and I chat with everyone because there’s people that did that for me. So when I wanted to learn something, when I reached out, when I needed help, people said yes and I learned from them and it helped get me to where I am today. So I’m like, I have to be the same way. So I have to respond to everyone, and I do, and I will help anyone who asks. So those are three things.

Martin Cody: Those are I’m going to commit those to memory and share them often and preach them. Because those three things, I think those three things are in short supply right now in, not only in healthcare, but in the society as a whole; the service to others, helping, compassionate, having a plan, all those things I think we need more of. And I also think that comes down to leadership. And leadership is many things to many individuals, and I don’t associate economic wealth to an effective leader by any stretch of the imagination. But I’d be curious in your consultant and advisory roles, when you’re working with large-scale organizations, what do you see as some of the top skills or attributes of an effective leader?

Ed Marx: Yeah, that’s a question. I have a lot of things going through my mind. Not all of them would be appropriate. So I think one is inquisitiveness. So the leader doesn’t think they know it all. A lot of times you run into leaders and there’s no inquisitiveness. They know everything. They don’t really want to hear what you have to say. You’re like wondering why did they even hire you or have you in this meeting. But the ones that are really good are inquisitive. The second, I think, is people who are empathetic; leaders who have empathy, who try to relate to others, try to understand others, aren’t cold and calculated. I think those are two traits that I see, that I really admire in some of the customers who I have. There are some that are the antithesis and I. And again, life’s too short. I prefer, I’ve let customers go because of that, because they didn’t have that. And oh, and then you don’t want to judge. You got to be careful not to be too judgmental. But I always look at the heart like, why are they in this? Are they in this to help save lives because they really believe in their product and service? And yeah, of course, they need to make money. All I’m all about that. Yeah, for sure. You need to make a profit and everyone is deserving fair wage. But if that’s the only motivation, that’s hard for me. So I’ve let a customer go just because that was their only motivation.

Martin Cody: No, that’s, I think, perfect. It’s funny because you talk about that inquisitiveness. And I recently sat down with Tina Joros, vice president of policy and innovation at Veradigm, and when we were talking about attributes of leadership, or effective leadership, that is, she echoed that same wisdom, and she referred to it as curiosity. You need to have a curiosity not only about where the business is going, but a curiosity and inclusiveness of the team you’re surrounding yourself, and making certain that it’s just not homogenous with regards to everyone’s in lockstep with the same mission, but you get some different diverse backgrounds, some different diverse voices; can be gender, can be nationality, whatever it is, but just make certain it’s a diverse. And that actually helps leaders that do that effectively, the organization elevates faster.

Ed Marx: Absolutely.

Martin Cody: All right I’m going to wrap up here with a word association game. And so this is a speed game. And if you ever saw the PBS program, Inside the Actors Studio, they had a great segment at the end where he would ask the same five questions, regardless of who the talent was being interviewed. We switch it around a little bit. But the idea is to just quickly like we had this game we used to play as kids, the first thing that pops into your head when I say this word or phrase, you ready? Cybersecurity.

Ed Marx: Hassle.

Martin Cody: Probably a necessary hassle based upon some of the things that have happened in health care in the last 45 days. Mark Cuban.

Ed Marx: Entrepreneur.

Martin Cody: Okay, that seemed like a hedge there, There might have been something else that popped in. What’s the bet? I know.

Ed Marx: Maverick.

Martin Cody: Okay, I like that. Now, there’s another topic that’s been coming up recently. What is the first thing that pops into your head with private equity venture capital-owning provider groups?

Ed Marx: It’s worth a shot because not much else has worked.

Martin Cody: Good. Last one. What are your thoughts, immediate impressions on a cancer moonshot.

Ed Marx: I love it, and I’m very hopeful that it’ll be successful.

Martin Cody: Awesome. And then if you could leave, in addition to have a plan, an audience member who is either in health care today, maybe struggling to find their way, or someone considering a career in health care, what is one success tip or guidance principle that has served you well that you would like to impart in them?

Ed Marx: Yeah, volunteer at a healthcare organization. So if you’re thinking about health care, you’re not sure, volunteer. And if you work in health care, volunteer. I always volunteered every week wherever I’ve been, including my kids. It’ll change your heart. So it’s like taking a shower every day. You need to take a shower every day, and if you volunteer, it’ll change your heart and your perspective.

Martin Cody: Outstanding wisdom. And I am a living testament to that, because we certainly didn’t earn the opportunity of your time or privilege of your time. This isn’t the most viewed broadcast yet. However, you raised your hand and you volunteered to be a guest and we didn’t deserve it. But we’re going to take it, and we’re eternally grateful.

Ed Marx: Martin, thank you for having me. And yeah, don’t, you’ll have Mark Cuban on soon. Let me put it that way.

Martin Cody: Keep our fingers crossed. Wishing you a very healthy rest of your day and a productive weekend. Ed, thank you so much from all of us.

Martin Cody: Thanks for diving into the Edge of Healthcare with us today. I hope these insights will fuel your journey in healthcare leadership. For more details, show notes, and ways to stay plugged into the conversation, head over to MadaketHealth.com. Until next time, stay ahead of the curve. With the Edge of Healthcare, where lessons from leaders are always within reach. Take care of yourselves, and keep pushing the boundaries of healthcare innovation.

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