Equal Coverage — Peter Waziri
The United States has a very complex healthcare system. Although drug costs and salaries of healthcare providers are far higher than any other Western nation, the life expectancy still remains low — 76.1 years. The healthcare system is flawed and often difficult to navigate.
Peter Waziri, a financial strategist and healthcare executive with a seasoned global perspective, was recently a speaker on the “Use Your Good for Powers Podcast”. Here, he spoke about his experiences in his professional career which led him to do the good work of helping people and bringing about a change in people’s lives in the financial and healthcare sector.
“I have always been a numbers person throughout my professional career. It is not solely about building models, spreadsheets, a balance sheet or an income statement. I have always been looking for an avenue to see how these affect the world.
After completing my undergrad in international banking of finance, I worked as a consultant with a think tank organization in the UK. This was very exciting because I got to work on projects that were global in scope and perspective. An example was the United Nations international year of shelter for the homeless project. Here I focused on how to build/design financial systems that compliment economic development, which in turn, facilitates job creation and ultimately economic growth. You can have all the resources (e.g., technology, raw material, skilled labor, etc.) in the world, but if you do not have a financial system that efficiently harnessed savings and channels them into productive investments, it is tough to grow economically and create jobs. Developing countries that achieve effective channeling of savings into investments often experience a virtuous economic multiplier effect. The result is higher domestic economic growth, and hence, wealthier population. This synopsis fueled my passion then and continues to do so to this very day.
In the US, I am blessed to have worked in different areas of the financial services industry such as corporate banking, investment banking, financial advisory and investment management. Throughout my tenure, I can always say I helped this entrepreneur or company raise the first funding to start a business (e.g., build their first restaurant or factory), or create jobs such as going from hiring two people to two hundred. This is the intangible and immeasurable benefit that drives me. To know that I helped a client build a shopping mall where people can shop and kids can play, or a high-rise building in a downtown district where over a thousand employees work for various companies is a joy and satisfaction I cannot describe!
I wanted to make sure that I had the same passion and satisfaction when I got into healthcare as a chief financial officer. Here I can say I am part of a team that guided a family as they seek healthcare coverage such as Medicaid. Healthcare coverage for the entire family including children enables benefits such as regular preventive care; which prevents chronic care down the road. I can also now say I am part of the team that helped a retired couple obtain Medicare which can be very complex and challenging to navigate even for the most sophisticated and educated of us. There is also guidance that can be provided with regards to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which often generates questions as any new piece of healthcare legislation does; how do we effectively help people obtain healthcare through the marketplace? How best do we help small companies provide good and affordable healthcare coverage for their employees?
Overall, it is my opinion that the US has the best healthcare system in the world, but only if you can afford it. If you cannot afford it (e.g., afford treatment and/or healthcare coverage), it is not good. I have a passion to be part of the team working towards ensuring that everybody gets healthcare coverage and the bast of care. That’s what I do to help people.”
A financial and health care leader with a global perspective, Peter Waziri has deep experience across several industries. He currently provides financial leadership for Parkland Community Health Plan’s operational and clinical management functions. Previous positions include CFO at Umpqua Health and also at Cascade Comprehensive Care, along with management positions at GE Capital, Ernst & Young, PNC, KeyCorp, and the Institute of European Finance in Great Britain.
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