Welcome to The Edge of Healthcare, your premier destination for insightful discussions and actionable insights. In each episode, we dive deep into conversations with industry leaders, exploring the dynamic landscape of healthcare. From overcoming hurdles to embracing breakthroughs, join us as we discover firsthand the strategies and experiences of healthcare trailblazers. Whether it’s payer and health system leaders or innovative solutions, we’re here to empower you with knowledge that drives real change in the industry. Don’t just listen—be part of the transformation.

About This Episode

Entrepreneurial resilience is vital for overcoming setbacks and achieving success.

In this episode, Joy Rios, a podcast host, founder, and CEO of Like a Girl Media, shares her journey to healthcare, driven by her passion for women’s empowerment and sustainability. From her experience in the solar industry, Joy emphasizes the stability and potential for impact in healthcare. She delves into the strategic plans for implementing technology, highlighting the shift towards value-based care and the challenges of adoption, such as the No Surprises Act. Joy also touches on the importance of incentives in motivating providers to improve the system and addresses the need for cultural shifts to promote inclusivity and systemic change. She shares her entrepreneurial journey, including creating the Hit Like a Girl podcast, emphasizing the power of resilience and determination in overcoming setbacks. Furthermore, Joy discusses the significance of community and relationships, exemplified by her efforts to support individuals like Pedro, a deported handyman. She challenges conventional narratives of fear, advocating for rewriting stories to create a better future. Finally, Joy encourages listeners to embrace forward-thinking, invest in their own big ideas, and prioritize social ROI.

Tune in and learn how resilience, determination, and community can drive positive change in healthcare and beyond!

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: Hello again everyone and welcome to the Edge of Healthcare: Lessons from Leaders to put into use today. My name is Martin Cody, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Madaket Health, and I will be your host today. And today we have a guest that I’ve been looking forward to for a while, because she doesn’t know yet, because I can’t claim it, because it violates certain stalking laws, but I’ve been following her for a while and what she has done in the industry. It is a great pleasure and honor to welcome Joy Rios to the program from Hit Like a Girl podcast. Joy, welcome.

Joy Rios: Thank you. Thank you so much, Martin. It is a great pleasure for me to be here and sharing this time with you today.

Martin Cody: I’m thrilled because what you’ve accomplished in a relatively short period of time is nothing short of amazing and extraordinary. And I know there’s a lot of people in healthcare that have grown up with podcasts. You and I did not grow up with podcasts, and they seem to be a relatively new form, but I want to go back in your career and talk a little bit about, go back to the Bay Area, go back to where you first started developing business fundamentals, and walk us through, kind of, college and then some of the takeaways from there and how you decided you wanted to be into “media.”

Joy Rios: Oh, so media was something that came to me. So, I won’t go through the long version, but I was an English major and I worked at newspapers and magazines. That was my first foray out of college. I didn’t know that I would end up in healthcare. I knew that it was important for me that what I was working in at the time to start was women empowerment. So, that has been a common thread throughout my career.

Martin Cody: So, you’ve always had that going way back?

Joy Rios: Yeah, I mean, I was raised by a single mom, it was women in the household. I mentioned this to another podcaster, like even our cats were women, like female, like it was just a lot of female energy. And so, when I got to a certain age and like going into the real world, I just sort of didn’t accept the message that we’re incapable or that we can’t do things or that we can’t be leaders, it just did not compute. And so, my work has basically had that as a common theme of just like, wait, you don’t see it, that we’re just as capable and just as smart and oftentimes run circles around you guys? But anyway.

Martin Cody: No, I agree. I think it’s long overdue. So, you’re in kind of the print media side of things. And then when did you make the leap to healthcare?

Joy Rios: I made the leap to healthcare, well, I stuck with business. When I went to my graduate school, the business aspect I cared about, the what drew me into working in getting an MBA was a focus on sustainability. For me, I have always had this conversation around like, Okay, it’s not just about the money. I know that capitalism is important, and it runs our society. However, we should be paying attention to the livelihoods and well-being of human beings and also the environment in which we live. And so, when I found a degree that brought those into our coursework, it was like, oh, I found my people, I found how I want to move through the world. And it was a couple of years later that when I found healthcare, it felt like it made a lot of sense, because healthcare has a lot of big problems. And it is not just, at least it should not just be driven by dollars. It is something that we actually care about people and the environment in which we, we live in. So, I was like, okay, this is the sandbox I can play in. There’s so much to it. And as we’ve spoken, it’s so complicated. I was like, I’ll never get bored. This is certainly not an industry that will leave me without a problem to solve because there’s plenty here.

Martin Cody: No, it’s interesting because it reminds me of an episode I recently did with Ron Urwongse, co-founder of Defacto Health, and he said, “If you like large, complex, intractable health problems, healthcare is an industry for you.” And I think if you love that and you want to elevate women, then definitely healthcare is an industry for you. So, when you found healthcare, did you look at a particular vertical or a particular area within healthcare that you wanted to try to improve or elevate?

Joy Rios: I got stuck on the value-based care aspect. So, what I saw was the five-year health IT strategic plan, and it was back from 2010 to 2015. And since then, I’ve been able to interview some women who helped create that. And like Lygeia Ricchiardi, I tell her all the time when I’m like, “You are responsible for my career path,” because it was having a strategic plan that I could see that the government had a future. And I’ll share that where I was coming from was the solar industry. And the solar industry was not so stable at the time and very volatile because of the markets. And so that was something that was influencing my decision-making. And so, with healthcare, I was like, regardless of the economy, regardless of the push and pull and what’s going on with society, there will always be work here. It’s job stability to a degree. But yeah. So, I focus on the strategic plan, in which case at the time was the high-tech act. And so, I was working at the incentives for implementing technology, why would doctors purchase EHRs and set them up. And then the incentives behind that, and then that turned into the conversations around meaningful use and why do we capture quality data. And then going into MIPs, eventually, the merit-based incentive payment system and the transition to value-based care. And I figured that was a big enough problem to try to solve. Like, okay, let’s change our incentives from a fee-for-service model for like a value, fee-for-value model. And I felt like that was a pretty big problem to tackle. And then it wasn’t big enough. So, I decided to focus on the gender equity within. I was like, “Well, that’s even bigger.”

Martin Cody: Well, let’s pause there for a second, because that’s a world where I came from as well was, as a matter of fact, some of the buzzwords you just mentioned high tech, meaningful use, MIPs, MACRA, all of that. I can feel my skin breaking out in the rash. So, I remember those days. But you also talked about the incentive-based items, and I think you can juxtapose today’s movement and inertia in healthcare with the No Surprises Act and what Congress and the regulatory policymakers have decided to do to both help transition to the VBC side of things and away from fee-for-service. But one of the big differences is, and I’d love your take on this, is in the Meaningful Use legislation, there was first, the carrot, there was enhanced payments for providers that adopted a meaningfully used certified medical record. Should they not do that within a specified period of time, then there was the stick and there was the penalties. It seems with the No Surprises Act, there is no carrot, there is just stick. But yet they paused this stick. They paused the penalty payment period CMS has and adoption has trickled to nothing. So, I’d be curious your take on how do we accelerate in the industry, the adoption of the No Surprises Act, specifically, all of the things that benefit us as consumers from provider data, good faith estimates, price transparency? How do we accelerate that?

Joy Rios: Okay, without being an expert on the No Surprises Act, but I will also relate that to interoperability and our goals of that and I think that they’re probably parallel where we’re not seeing as much traction as we would like to be seeing. I think it’s directly related to the incentives. So, I used to do a lot of consulting, specifically in independent practices. And so, going working shoulder-to-shoulder with the administrative teams and understanding, okay, what is driving them? They have these reports that they need to submit, these quality measures that they’re tracking, they need to train their staff, they need to update their technology and customize it in certain ways, they have to spend all this money and time and resources. So, without those incentives for them to do it, the likelihood and the level of, the amount of work that is on their plate on any given day. So, to like add more to that and say, “Do this so that you don’t get a pay cut next year,” because basically we’re saying, “You’re going to get more work to do and you’re going to get paid less to do it,” and that’s essentially the trajectory that we’re on. Why should they: not the best motivator for people. And it’s sad to say that like, oh, do we need some sort of market correction or something that forces the government to say, “Here’s a large sum of money that we can use as the carrot?” Because if we’re only punishing people, I mean, I don’t understand why folks would go into this line of work if there’s not much redeemable about it. And you’re just like, “You’re going to be overworked, you’re going to be tired, there’s a ton of administrative work, and it’s also sad.”

Martin Cody: Well, and the modern statistics over the last 12, 18 months bear that out because there is fewer people coming into healthcare from a clinical perspective. There is skyrocketing physician burnout. And I see it all the time with the work we do at WEDI as it relates to provider information and the providers are exhausted. And if there is no motivation, it could be financial, which is seemingly has worked well for a century or more, that would be wonderful, but then also to stop the penalties. I think CMS needs to take a harder look at that to, as you say, find a bucket of money or somewhere to incent people to improve the system for everybody, and that would be desirable motivation. And motivation actually leads me to my next question for you. What motivates you?

Joy Rios: Oh, I’m motivated by seeing a culture shift. It’s big. I’m just like, I would like to see different results. I want to see a change in our culture which shows more underrepresented, and it’s basically systemic change. Like we have built our world and industry and society on systems of oppression and systems where people have absolutely been left out of the conversation. And it’s typically when it comes to healthcare, and we’re talking about outcomes and things that we say that we care about these communities and their healthcare in general. Like we can’t have both that say, “Oh, we really, really care about you, but you don’t have a position to have an opinion about the decisions that are made about you. And we’re going to be very controlling over, you know, the budget and the research and all of the things that impact you.” And so, I just feel like sometimes like we’re taking crazy pills for people that don’t fit into the demographic of who’s in charge. And I would like to see that change. And I recognize that that is a big goal, and it’s not the kind of thing that changes overnight. And so, when my feet hit the ground in the morning, I think to myself, like, what’s the biggest impact I can make today? And sometimes it’s not that big of a deal. Sometimes it’s just a conversation that gets to bigger, like a larger set of years than what I probably imagined.

Martin Cody: Well, it’s interesting because I think if people are listening that are considering a career in healthcare or considering whether or not they should leave healthcare, it would be helpful to learn from someone who’s been doing it where you have. And I’d also like to ask, you know, Simon Sinek famously asks, find your why. So, what is Joy’s why as related to addressing this both inequality and healthcare and certainly providing a platform to elevate women?

Joy Rios: Well, I think my why has to do with forward thinking and thinking about the future. And it’s not even just future generations like seven generations from now, like the campground rules. I would like to leave this place better than I found it. And if I could have an impact to make a difference for young girls 100 years from now that they get to say, like they’re not experiencing the same thing, that’s part of it. I’m like, I don’t want our kids to be fighting the same fight. And my mom has been sharing with me and I didn’t have that close, my grandmother passed away when I was three months old, so I didn’t have a relationship, but from what I hear is it was a struggle. And it has been so much of a fight of like just finding your place in the world. And if there’s anything that I can do in my power to prevent people, women in particular to be having that same problem, like I’m sure they’re going to be up for a fight, but they shouldn’t have the same fight. Like, I wish that we could make some progress so that at least they’re like kicking the can further down the road and we’re not just on repeat of the same cycle.

Martin Cody: It is interesting when you pull up newspapers from 30, 40, 50 years ago and you read the headlines and you would swear its today’s newspaper. And you see, you think to yourself, “How on earth can we still be fighting these same problems? How on earth can the Cubs continue to miss the playoffs year after year after year?“ It’s infuriating. I do make light of the situation, but you’re bringing in shining a very important point on it. Let’s go back to when, did I read this correctly, that you actually used to work for a sailboat repair company in the Bay Area?

Joy Rios: I did.

Martin Cody: Did you do the repairs or were you doing the book work and the financials and?

Joy Rios: No, I ran I did the financial rescheduling and making sure, but I worked at both a sailing company and a rig shop, both at the same time. And so, there was a time that I spent in the Marina where I would get to, you know, all the folks who owned boats would need those boats to be cleaned. And so that was a scheduling job. And then there was also a sailing school tied to that. And so, part of the perks of the time were like, oh, well, you could learn how to sail, go on some sunset sails around the Bay area and underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. And at the time, at that age, I had been new to San Francisco, and I remember thinking I was like, “Oh, I’m looking for any new jobs.” What’s gonna, it was just before I went to grad school and I had the choice between like, “Oh, there’s a coffee shop job or this sailing school job,” and I was like, “The sailing school one, that’s the one,” and, yeah, it was a great experience and learning a lot. And I had come from having a pretty fun adventure in Australia, where I had spent some time sailing, so that had influenced my decision.

Martin Cody: Well, that was quite a few years ago. And between then and now, with the wisdom you’ve attained, if you could pull aside that young Joy at the sailing club doing the books, and impart in her some wisdom based upon all that you’ve learned, what would you tell her?

Joy Rios: I would tell her she’s doing a great job. I think that, yeah, honestly, I think that young Joy made some pretty cool choices. Young Joy, I would give her more high fives and tell her, like, “If you’re feeling discouraged, don’t worry. It’s going to be all right.”

Martin Cody: Do you think, I mean, it’s an interesting answer because then leads to a whole bunch of other questions like, do you think young girls today don’t get those accolades that they should? And that actually can be extremely predictive or counterintuitive from a helpfulness standpoint? Talk a little bit about that.

Joy Rios: [Well, so I’ll tell you. I learned some tough lessons on pretty early on. And so, some of those were, Bet on yourself. If I have a choice to invest in myself or invest in somebody else’s big idea, then I’m going to choose to invest in my own big idea. And even in the conversation between like a coffee shop and a sailing job, I’m just like, I think that the lesson is I’m going to interview whoever I’m working for, like they are a candidate to me just as much as I am a candidate to them. And what can I learn from them with this experience? And what is the skill set that I want to take with me? And ultimately, like doing the balance of what’s better? Is it better for me to have a skill of learning how to sail or to make great coffee? And I figured I could learn to make great coffee on my own.

Martin Cody: It’s an interesting, again, I like the philosophy and the wisdom. Did someone impart that to you to say, you know, you’re not only interviewing them, they’re interviewing you. So, is that something you learned from someone?

Joy Rios: I don’t remember who, but I do remember learning that at a young age. Yes, that it was like, if you’re going to be in an interview, make sure that we are actually like as the candidate; I’m interviewing them. And I think that helps boost your confidence, too. If you’re going into an interview thinking, I’m on the spot, if I was like, “Oh, they’re going to be checking my knowledge and my experience and whether I’m a good fit, it’s just as important for me to be asking those similar questions. Are you a good fit? What is it that you bring to the table, and asking people like, “What are the reasons of why people left?” “Why is this position open, right?” “Is this a good cultural fit?” I feel like it is a conversation, and most people going in, especially at a young age, to interviews, might feel intimidated. But to give them that something that like, no, it’s okay, you’re interviewing them as just as much; it’s a two-way street.

Martin Cody: Agreed. And it’s, you can potentially learn more from the interview than they can. So, I like that aspect. The entrepreneurs of which you obviously are one. Talk to me about when you started this Hit Like a Girl podcast because it was, you know, six years ago. So that’s impressive. And how did you come up with the name? Granted, it’s something my brothers heard all the while growing up as regards to Hit Like a Girl. But walk us through how you came up with the name and when it clicked and you decided, you know what, I’m going to launch a podcast.

Joy Rios: Okay, well, I’ll try to tell two stories simultaneously because there is a lot happening. I had been consulting at this company, doing a lot of MIPs consulting. Right? And so, we were leading a team and somebody who was also on the leadership, she and I heard a year before we had this life change so we’re going to go seven years back in time. She and I were like, “You know what? We’re doing all this consulting, but there’s something that’s missing. I think that we could do better.” And she and I had set aside. We came up with a name for our company. We got a tax ID number, and we just set it aside. We didn’t do anything with it. We were just like, someday this might come in handy. And a year later, and within that year is where I had gotten inspiration. I had this, you know, little chip on my shoulder telling me that podcasting is something that I wanted to do in the future, but it just didn’t really make sense. Is it: How could I have this job where I’m representing an organization and also go in and have and be like a thought leader, but on my own? It didn’t really have the right timing, and it’s also quite a risk. And so, a year later, the company that we had both been working for laid off our entire team, and it gave us all in a phone call, like 25 of us were just like, Yep, this is your last hour, your severance check is arriving right now, and before we get off this call, some FedEx will be there to collect your computer. And so, everything happened very, very quickly. And so, Robin and I, Robin Roberts, my co-founder of Chirpy, we’re like, All right, it’s time. Let’s, here we go. So, Friday we all got fired. By Tuesday we had our first contract and had scooped up several of the team members. And since the company had, no longer wanted to do the consulting business we were in, we were able to scoop up the clients too. And so, we had just like a business in a box with experts and relationships and clients within a week, which it was the biggest blessing in disguise. And I was able to use, well, selfishly, I was like, turns out, I don’t really want to actually talk about MIPs all day, every day.

Martin Cody: No one does by the way. Just sharing that.

Joy Rios: Perhaps we can use this podcast as the marketing arm of our business. And so, it kind of went in tandem. And at the time, I had gone to a conference that I was claiming to be like the future of everything. And when I had gone, I was like, “Hey, the future is missing women. I think this is a problem,” and so the Hit Like a Girl, I was an English major, so really thoughtful about like themes and names and storytelling and whatnot and health IT is the acronym that we had been working on. And then, like a girl just kind of came in. But I will say the caveat. We had to get a trademark, which is, like most podcasts, don’t include the word podcast or pod in their name. We have to do it because there’s a drumming contest that is called Hit Like a Girl for girls who play the drums. And so, we have to not compete with them. So, we include pod in the title and whenever we hashtag or anything like that. But yeah, that’s where it came from. Like there was some pushback. So, some people like, yes, it’s clever. Yes, it’s funny. Great name. But on the same side, oh, it has this meaning. And some people would say like, “Oh, are you claiming weakness?” You know, you’re pointing out all the weaknesses of women and you’re going to highlight them on your podcast. I said, “Absolutely not.” It’s the opposite. And it’s been really interesting to just sort of say like a girl, and even though without having much of an explanation, seeing what kind of conversations come from that. Because you can hear and feel it in the culture that like, Oh, well, of course, I’m familiar with that phrase. But, you know, we liken it to a weakness or being bad at something. It’s derogatory. And this is my effort of reclaiming it and saying, No, absolutely. This is empowering. And like a girl should have a different intonation in somebody’s brain when they think about it.

Martin Cody: I think it’s fascinating. And that story has produced two questions. It deals with kind of entrepreneurialism, personal drive, fortitude, persistence. So, you were all let go at the same time with seemingly probably the most organized, orchestrated the company had carried out in its history, because to have FedEx trucks show up at a certain point in time, and yet you didn’t have a woe-is-me moment, or, you know, I’m the victim and sulk and be depressed for any length of time. You used it as a catalyst. Where did that desire, ability, motivation come from?

Joy Rios: I had a conversation recently and I will credit my mother where she had this phrase that she would tell my sister and I that there are no victims, there are only volunteers. And that was something that it was expressed in, like, you know, bad things will happen, bad things will happen to any and all of us. But how we react and how we respond and how we choose to move forward after the fact, is what really matters. And so, it’s a practice, right, of just like when things, you know, it’s funny, it’s been a blessing and a curse because there have been times when like, I feel like the world has sort of imploded for me. And then people will just assume like, well, “You’re always land on your feet, you know, like that’s just the way that you do it.” I’m able to, like, turn a piece of coal into a diamond, which is a great skill to have. However, it can be pretty lonely and isolating at times having to, with the pressure of turning that piece of coal into a diamond.

Martin Cody: There’s a great phrase: No pressure, no diamonds. They don’t just happen automatically. There’s a lot of pressure required.

Joy Rios: Yeah. And I think that part of that practice is building up a trust. And it’s not necessarily a trust in anybody else. It’s a trust in oneself. And the trust is that I can handle this. The trust is whatever comes my way, I’ll be able to figure it out and I’ll be able to navigate this. So, I am actually a pretty good person when it comes to like, emergency situations. I’m one of those, like, level-headed folks that can get through it, and I think that those are moments where leadership shines, right? So, 25 people, we were able to mobilize about eight of them to come work for us and like, “Okay, this is the direction. Everybody grab your paddle. We’re going to try to row all at the same time, but let’s get going.” And so, I don’t even want to share with you like how bad it was at that time, Martin. Because like, my business partner’s son was very, very sick with a rare disease. And I’m not kidding you, he passed away a month after all of this happened. And so, starting this business, starting the podcast, navigating like insanely difficult life situations and also trying to, like, make value-based care at the top of our priority list and making sure, like saving all of these people’s bottom lines is a lot of pressure. It was a lot of pressure.

Martin Cody: And your mom hit upon a very accurate, it’s not a theory, but it’s an accurate practice. But it does take practice. And Viktor Frankl, the famed psychiatrist who survived the concentration camps, also had a phrase for it. I mean, there is a space and a gap between stimulus and response. We have the freedom of choice to respond. And so, we can’t always predict what life is going to throw at us, but we can always predict our response to it. And so, your mom instilled in you at a very young age that type of philosophy, so that, Yeah, we’re going to get knocked down. But we also have the ability to get back up and brush ourselves off and continue to fight on. So, what you’ve done with her philosophy is fantastic, and I think it’s a lesson for anybody listening that there’s some hard things. It’s called the School of Hard Knocks for a reason. It’s not called the School of Easy Street.

Joy Rios: And I think there’s a benefit. Like there’s been times, like I did not come from a wealthy family, I do not have generational wealth, I thankfully was smart enough to do well in school. I was able to get some scholarships. You know, like most of the things that I have accomplished and attained in my life are through hard work and of course, some luck. I won’t take that away. Like that’s definitely part of it.

Martin Cody: Yeah, but luck is the residue of hard work. The harder you work it seems, the luckier we all get. So, I think there’s no lack of that.

Joy Rios: Yeah. And it’s just a practice. You just like keep going and don’t stop. And it doesn’t mean don’t rest. Doesn’t mean like don’t take time to rest. Resting is not the same as quitting.

Martin Cody: Correct. You got to recharge your batteries and rest and come back at it again. All right I’m going to transition to everybody’s favorite segment: word association. So, you probably played this game as a child or certainly inside the Actor’s Studio. Remember the five questions at the end of each episode? It’s a little bit like that. So, I’m going to say some phrases or words and you have to say the first thing that pops into your head, good or bad. And it could be a word that you respond with or a sentence, You ready?

Joy Rios: Yeah.

Martin Cody: DEI.

Joy Rios: Belonging.

Martin Cody: Baloney. Okay, I like it.

Joy Rios: No, no, no, no. Not baloney. Belonging.

Martin Cody: Oh, belonging. Slight difference there. Okay.

Joy Rios: Very different.

Martin Cody: Belonging. Good. All right. Social ROI.

Joy Rios: Oh, I guess I think of social determinants of health. I don’t have a specific word that comes with that one.

Martin Cody: Interesting, because I love asking people that are so prolifically successful in the social world from marketing, from podcasts and stuff like that, what social ROI means to them, because there’s still a great many people in leadership, unfortunately, that believe there is no ROI to social. There is no ROI to.

Joy Rios: Oh, do you mean like community and relationships, or do you mean like social media ROI?

Martin Cody: Community and relationships. We’ll start there.

Joy Rios: Oh, I absolutely, I mean, I am a huge investor in community and feel that like whatever it is that I give to my community, I get back in ten times. And especially with where I am right now, and specifically my scenario of living in Baja California and leaving to another country and not being super fluent in the language, but like experiencing community and experiencing people leaning on each other in ways that I haven’t experienced before, like, we’re not family technically, but it certainly feels that way at times, it’s beautiful. Like I actually, I believe more in the social ROI than a lot of financial investment ROI.

Martin Cody: No. And it’s another axiom or sometimes overused, but you’re living it where you have to give value to get value, but you do so not in a transactional purpose, right? You’re not doing it to say, “Well, I did this for you, so now you’re just doing it,” because that’s your DNA.

Joy Rios: Well, yeah. And I have the evidence that it works. I have evidence that is showing me that it is a worthwhile investment to invest in other people. And honestly, to watch the ripple effect. It’s so beautiful to be able to see something small. And I’ll share. I have a handyman. His name is Pedro and I speak very, very highly of him. He was deported. He was one of those DACA kids that was like brought up to the US and brought back down. So, he’s not allowed to cross the border. And to be honest, he shares with me his life experience. He’s been in prison. He’s really living in poverty. He has three kids, whatever. I travel a lot for work. And he now will take his whole family and stay in my home and dog sit for me. And if anything happens, like I was gone last summer and there was a hurricane randomly that hit here. He and his family were staying here, and people are like, “Are you worried?” I was like, “No, the person I would have called is there.” And like, I come home from my work trips and like I was like, oh, he fixed my garage door, like all the things that I would have. It’s just this love. And he feels like he’s winning. He’s better able to take care of his family. I feel secure that my dog is taken care of, and my home is taken care of when I’m away, and it’s just this beautiful relationship where he’s just like, “Oh, are we family?” And I’m like, “Yes, we are.”

Martin Cody: Yes. And those are the great relationships that usually happen by happenstance, where each of the entities in the relationship believes they’re getting the better end of the bargain.

Joy Rios: Yeah, yeah. And it’s great. I feel so taken care of. And for a woman in her mid-40s living alone with her dog, like that’s kind of an important thing.

Martin Cody: Like, in a different country?

Joy Rios: Yeah, yeah. And so, and one thing that I find super interesting is when people are like, “Oh my gosh, do you feel safe down there in Mexico? Like, are you scared?” And I’m like, I feel more taken care of than I have ever been in my whole life, in my adult life. And that’s a similar like thing to be able to show people and share that, like, okay, what we have been told and what we have been taught about what we should be afraid of. And you know, what is? Like a lot of it is just a story. And we can rewrite those stories.

Martin Cody: That’s exactly right. We’re the author of our own story. Joy, you have been outstanding. It is amazing to finally catch up with you and I, and the listeners and viewers are better people for it. So, thank you for sharing your kindness, your wisdom, and by lack of a bad comparison, your joy.

Joy Rios: I appreciate that. Thank you for taking the time and listening and asking. It’s my pleasure to share.

Martin Cody: And if anybody wants to get a hold of you or a woman in healthcare, executive leadership would like to be elevated, how do they get ahold of you?

Joy Rios: Well, you can always email me. I’m Joy@HitLikeAGirlPod.com. So, that’s the easiest and most direct access to me. But two websites: HitLikeAGirlPod as well as LikeAGirlMedia.com. So, if somebody is a thought leader and is trying to get down the podcasting journey, I am all about trying to support them on that journey.

Martin Cody: Awesome. Thank you again. And one big takeaway, folks, is definitely bet on yourself. Joy, I appreciate it so much and I hope to cross paths with you soon.

Joy Rios: I hope so too. Thanks, Martin.

Martin Cody: All right. Take care.

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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