stephen bekanich

stephen bekanich

CEO of Ascension Health's Texas ACO with 2,500 physician CMO of Ascension and Cigna's JV in TX Division Chief of Palliative Care (PC) at the Univ of Miami School of Medicine Founded, or consulted for, several PC programs across the country

Austin, Texas, United States
Member since February 15, 2017
I'm a physician who made a career change into palliative medicine after watching family members suffer through serious illnesses. Best decision ever. Quote_down
  • About
Investor interests
Locations of interest
Credentials None
1998 State University of New York at Buffalo , MD , medicine

I am a(n):


Companies I've founded or co-founded:
Seton Insurance Company (joint venture between Ascension Health and Cigna), Seton Health Alliance (accountable care organization with 2500 physicians)
Companies I work or worked for:
Ascension Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Intermountain Health, University of Utah School of Medicine
Achievements (products built, personal awards won):

I've won national and regional awards in healthcare for leadership, teaching, innovation, communication, and patient/family satisfaction.

If you're an entrepreneur or corporate innovator, why?

We need this now. No one else is doing it.

My favorite startups:

Aledade, Patient IO, Aspire

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

So much of what we do in big business winds up being unwanted, unnecessary, or non-beneficial. We get to skirt all of that. It's glorious!

Everyone that gets in early touches the sales process. It's easy to feel like a stalker when it comes down to getting in touch with early customers and generating interest.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Going at it alone. During our training, physicians are inculcated with the idea that we can do anything. False! Even if we have a MBA, know how to code, or can generate some interest in sales, it takes a team with deep knowledge and experience in their area of expertise to make an orchestra.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Positioning what you offer to solve or address the customers' top priorities is crucial

Failure is the true mother of quality improvement

Being genuine and authentic will carry you farther than bloating up your business

Full bio

Stephen J. Bekanich, M.D. is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Iris Plans, a disease-specific advance care planning service. Prior to this he served as the CEO of Ascension Health’s Texas ACO with 2,500 physicians and year-over-year shared savings across government and commercial contracts. He was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the University of Utah’s Medical Center where he started and directed their palliative medicine programs. Dr. Bekanich is the recipient of awards for medical leadership, innovation in health care, teaching, and patient and family satisfaction. His research is in the field of communication and pain. He serves on national boards and committees including the National Clinical Advisory Council for Cigna. His greatest joy in life is spending time with his wife and their three children.