Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82

A CEO on the state of the nation’s healthcare

Notable: Ranked last year as 10th most powerful woman in business by Fortune and 14th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes; named best female athlete in Dartmouth history by DAM in 2022; Billie Jean King Leadership and NCAA Theodore Roosevelt awards winner; Dartmouth trustee, 2011-19; her family helped endow women’s basketball coach position

Career: President and CEO, Elevance Health (formerly Anthem, Inc.), Indianapolis, Indiana, 2017-present; GKB LLC consulting, 2015-17; CEO, United Healthcare, 2008-14; worked more than 20 years at Aetna

Education: A.B., psychology; M.B.A., Columbia, 1989

Personal: Lives in Indianapolis with husband Terry; mother of Christopher ’15 and Evan ’19

“It’s one thing to work in healthcare, another to be a patient or a caregiver, which really opens your eyes to the opportunities we have to connect things better. The ‘aha’ moments in my career have come when I’ve been in the system—as a parent, a caregiver when my husband had cancer, or as a patient—and seen what the challenges are, how hard things can be. All of us who work in the system need to remember that.” 

“Today the U.S. healthcare system is siloed. We need to connect physical, social, and behavioral issues to improve health outcomes. I’d move our whole system to value-based care, simplify it for consumers, and make it more affordable.” 

“Our healthcare system treats illness as opposed to keeping people healthy. We don’t do well at that. We must be great at curing, but we must be better at preventing.”

“Primary care is really important as a front door. We need to keep it viable, improve access, and keep doctors interested in going into that field by simplifying the paperwork, helping with virtual visits, and coordinating treatment by specialists when needed.” 

“People will use virtual care for basic things, like pediatrics. Parents won’t have to be in doctors’ offices all the time. We should provide an infrastructure and incentivize more people to use it.” 

“When it comes to Medicare for all, polling and referenda have shown that people want choice. They don’t want to be told what they should pick. Right now, more than 50 percent of seniors in this country choose Medicare Advantage, which is run by the private sector. They have a choice every year to come or go. Incentives are aligned to ensure that healthcare providers are focused on the outcomes of those seniors.”

“I don’t think about being ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world. It’s the result of accumulated talent of many people and running a huge enterprise.” 

“Leadership requires authenticity. I love to set strategies and lead on culture. I tell my team to embrace failure. In business, as in basketball, it’s an opportunity to reset, to do things differently.”

“The Dartmouth basketball jersey, given to me when the College honored my number, hangs in my home, along with the letter President Phil Hanlon ’77 wrote to me after my eight years as a trustee. It’s very moving. The Billie Jean King Leadership Award and the NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award are also very special to me.”

“I never thought about staying in basketball after playing. I went right into business, and I love what I do. I coach every day at work, and my skills are best suited where I am.” 

“I’m still actively involved with the women’s team. The team’s locker room was just redesigned, and I come back for alumni weekend.”

“I’m a big fan of Billie Jean King and believe deeply in her quote, ‘Pressure is a privilege.’ Pressure is an opportunity to make a difference.”

“I’d like my professional legacy to be building a great generation of leaders, giving other women a step up, being a mentor to as many of them as I can. It would be an honor to help make healthcare better in this country.”

 

Portfolio

Alumni Books
New titles from Dartmouth writers (November/December 2023)
Fresh Takes
Blogger Ray Padgett ’09 covers the covers.
The Secret Life of the Brain

Michael Gazzaniga ’61 divulges the inner workings of the human mind. 

Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82
A CEO on the state of the nation’s healthcare

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