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Adam Brown

President of Emergency Medicine at Envision Healthcare, CBOH Leadership Board Co-Chair, MBA 2014

What made you choose to go into healthcare?
Patients. When I was in college I enrolled in a nursing assistant program and volunteered at the local emergency department. My very first night I took care of my first patient—a patient with a gunshot wound. I was immediately struck by my ability to make a difference in this field. Throughout college, I continued to work in the ER. Those moments of personal connection with patients, fast-action decision-making, and breadth of work confirmed what I thought –I was meant for emergency medicine.

A few years later, I finished residency in emergency medicine in Philadelphia and took my first job as an ER Doc. Soon after, I recognized I wanted to work in the administrative space as well as take care of patients, because it was an opportunity to maximize my potential impact on patients. First, I led a few quality and operational projects and saw positive patient outcomes. I began to think, if I can improve the patient outcomes at one hospital and carry those best practices to other hospitals, I would have the ability to impact hundreds of patients’ lives every year. As I began to ‘scale’ the idea in my head, I recognized if done right, I could affect thousands of patients’ lives. So in 2012 I decided to enroll in business school and found a home at UNC.

Since business school, I have continued to practice emergency medicine and increased my administrative responsibilities, starting as an emergency department medical director, to regional medical director, to senior vice president, and now president of emergency medicine for the nation’s largest emergency medicine groups. This year alone our emergency medicine clinicians have seen one out of every 10 patients with COVID19 and will see 15 million emergency patients across the country. That scale gives me the opportunity to impact millions of lives. During this pandemic, I also stepped up to chair our group’s COVID-19 task force, ensuring that our clinicians are supported with equipment, education, and tools needed to care for patients.

As we are all currently experiencing, healthcare and the health of our communities impacts all of us. We are connected through our communities — yes, by germs — but also by the decisions we make collectively. My career has allowed me to impact those decisions and promote science and evidence-based decision-making throughout the country.

In what ways do you think the Leadership Board can be essential to the growth of the CBOH?
The Leadership Board membership for the Center of Business of Health is comprised of subject matter expert alums in various facets of healthcare. Learning from this diverse group of voices will continue to shape the strategy and direction of CBOH to ensure the Center is looking at the entire health delivery system. That engagement and collaboration with other schools at UNC paired with the efforts that come out of the Board have the ability to greatly improve the lives of patients across the country and the world.

What made you choose UNC & Kenan-Flagler Business School?
I chose Kenan-Flagler because of the school’s reputation and the flexibility that an online platform afforded. When I went to business school, I was a full-time emergency physician and medical director, uprooting my family or my career was not an option. That said, I needed and wanted an MBA, but not just any MBA. I wanted one from a top business schooling, with academic rigor and a culture that was inclusive and collaborative. Fortunately, the reality and my experience at UNC matched the reputation.

What’s your favorite hobby?
Last year I started road cycling and have fallen in love with sport. The activity, the speed, the time outside is exhilarating (and during COVID has been a great outlet). 4 road bikes and a Peloton later, nearly every weekend I am on a new long-distance ride, because I am training for a Century ride in November (100 miles in a day).