A Video Conversation with John Palumbo, CEO of HealthRight - Part IV


John Palumbo

Click here for Part IPart IIPart III

Improving access to premium health care solutions for everyone

John Palumbo is the CEO of HealthRight. With offices in Philadelphia, Tampa, and San Francisco, HealthRight offers a membership program intended to improve patients’ access to health care, as well as provide significant savings on services such as imaging, on-demand doctor visits, lab tests, prescriptions, wellness programs, and more. John has held leadership positions in the health care field since 1986. Before joining HealthRight, he was a founding member of Healthworks Alliance, executive vice president and COO of AllScripts, president of I-trax, and senior vice president at AmerisourceBergen Corporation. He is also a senior fellow at the Jefferson School of Population Health and, in 2010, became a senior advisor of Bryant Park Capital, an investment banking firm based in New York and Philadelphia.

John Palumbo spoke with Reid Blynn, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, for this interview.

It seems like you have been in health care your entire career—why health care? Did health care choose you or did you choose it?

JOHN PALUMBO: Health care is just a spectacular industry segment to be in, and here’s the simplest way I can define it: every three to four years somebody decides to squeeze a part of the health care balloon in terms of cost savings, and out pops something else on the other side of the balloon. If you squeeze a balloon somewhere, something is going to pop out. So, every three or four years, something is changing. Whether it’s federally mandated, whether it’s a reimbursement change, whether it’s technology, whether it’s brokers and benefits consultants deciding to change benefit designs, it can go on and on. The real fascinating part about health care, and I think that one of the things that has really fascinated me is I’m one of the few people that’s almost touched every segment. I’ve been on the IT side. I’ve been on the provider side. I’ve been on the supply chain side. I am now on the consumer side, and that’s sort of a rare combination. You don’t usually go wide and deep in health care. If you’re an IT person you usually stay there. For me, it’s this fascinating. If you have a passion and willing to embrace change, there’s no greater segment than health care. Needless to say, it’s one of the largest market segments in our country, and it’s also the combination of being able to help people. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to do something that affects people because none of us really have anything if we don’t have our health and well being.

Q. As you’re trying to scale such a big competitive marketplace by recruiting employees, how do you attract them? What’s the attractive part in working with HealthRight?

A. If you want to make a difference, health care is just a fabulous place to be a part of. It does require certain guiding principles. You do have to embrace our vision and our mission, which is providing access to quality, affordable, convenient care and well being to the populations we serve. You have to have a passion for execution and you also have to have a willingness to embrace change. If you really don’t like to embrace change, health care—and HealthRight—probably isn’t the right place for you to be. The other thing that’s really required is that we have a culture that says “let’s think hard, work smart, and play a lot.” In trying to create this culture of that balance, to me it’s very appealing to the younger generations. The younger generations are not really fine-tuned to pick a place and stay 30 years. They come in today, and they want to make a difference, they want to be challenged, they want to be stretched if you can continue to challenge them. The “think hard, work smart, play a lot” culture is a big part of what we try to do in our three locations. Then, the most important thing is you have to bring value to our customers and make a difference. To be able to do that is critical.

Connect with John on LinkedIn


Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.

Reid Blynn, Executive Managing Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), has been a leader in Philadelphia’s commercial real estate brokerage community for nearly 30 years. Reid has completed over 1000 transactions representing over eight million square feet.

Today Reid devotes his full attention to his corporate real estate and tenant representation services practice. He has represented many Philadelphia-based corporations for corporate headquarters requirements. By concentrating his practice in representing tenant and corporate clients, Reid is able to avoid potential conflicts with the region’s property owners, thus ensuring his clients receive the full benefit of his advocacy.

Reid has close ties to the venture capital community and has represented many growing venture backed companies in the health care, IT and life sciences sectors. Long term relationships have enabled him to work outside of Philadelphia as his clients grow outside of the region. Presently, multi-market corporate work is the fastest growing sector of Reid’s practice.

Edwin Warfield, CEO of citybizlist, conducts the CEO Interviews.

If you're interested in reaching CEOs, please contact edwin.warfield@citybuzz.co

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