Nick Zaffiris brings lessons from the US Naval Academy to the helm as CEO of UnitedHealthcare of South Florida
During his time at the US Naval Academy and his years in the Navy, Nick Zaffiris never envisioned himself working in health care, but the leadership lessons he learned there are serving him well as the new CEO of UnitedHealthcare South Florida.
"It helped me learn to set an example, always do the right thing, be a problem solver and overcome any challenge that you might face," Mr. Zaffiris said.
The health care industry is facing plenty of challenges these days thanks to the economic downturn and federal legislation that is leading to sweeping changes in the field.
Mr. Zaffiris plans to overcome those challenges by looking for opportunities to serve more Americans. The path to achieving that depends on following the company's five core values: integrity, compassion, relationships, performance and innovation.
Innovation, he said, is the key way the company can set itself apart from competitors.
"At UnitedHealthcare we believe that innovation is one of our core differentiators," Mr. Zaffiris said. "As we think about the technology and information age, giving people access to their information in an electronic format is something we felt would differentiate us."
UnitedHealthcare has embraced technology to offer more products and services to its customers, including online health and wellness tools and electronic patient records.
"We're not just a health insurance company," he said. "We're a health and wellness company.
Our goal is to serve our members at any point in life.… Our goal is to help people live healthier lives, and we do that by offering a diverse array of products."
Mr. Zaffiris talked about his vision for health care and his strategy to grow the company's operations in South Florida with Miami Today's Anne-Margaret Swary at his Miramar offices.
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