New company takes new approach to developing health care leaders

By Tyler Hummel

Main Street Nashville

Jan 4, 2022

A Nashville-based physician has started a private company to produce training content that will help prepare health care professionals with leadership skills. 1821Health is an LLC, and it will open by Jan. 31.

“1821Health is designed for leadership development of everyone in health care,” said Rusty Holman, founder and CEO of 1821Health. “We consider everyone in health care a leader in their own right and that everyone needs foundational leadership skills like effective communication, working in teams, resolving conflict, knowing what it means to be part of an organization that’s changing, to know what strategy is and how to play a role in that, how to be a problem solver and how to contribute to the culture of an organization, since many organizations struggle with a positive culture.”

The company will offer a virtual library of leadership training lessons that focus on practical information and skill building. Each lesson is between seven and 14 minutes and is easily accessible so that workers can use lessons during the workday and apply them to ongoing problems in the workplace.

Each lesson will be accompanied by a downloadable summary with all of the steps involved and a set of guided questions that allow users to make the information relevant to their specific workplace.

“Up until now, a leader has been considered someone with a fancy title … and those are the individuals we see in leadership development,” Holman said. “They’re eligible for training programs: going to conferences, receiving funding for leadership development, getting invited to management retreats and strategy sessions. Meanwhile, the vast majority of health care workers are left out. Even people who are new to leadership positions often do not receive any training.”

The goal of 1821Health is to take a different view of leadership development by providing skills to workers outside of current leadership positions, such as doctors, nurses and potential leadership candidates.

The company will also provide live discussions on leadership, professional mentoring for promising leadership candidates and executive programs.

Holman has built interest for 1821Health within his personal network of colleagues and professional connections he’s built working for organizations such as Health Partners, the University of Minnesota, the Society of Hospital Medicine and LifePoint Health.

“The interest we have drawn so far has been focused on my current network, which is extensive with hospital CEOs and many individuals within the health care community,” he said. “There has been strong interest among CEOs and chief nursing officers because the No. 1 issue with nursing is recruiting and retaining. They are looking for ways to value and attract talent beyond just trying to pay them more.”

The name of the company refers to the year that the word “leadership” first appeared in the dictionary.

“We’re on the 200th anniversary,” Holman said. “When you look back 200 years ago, many of those traits are still the same today: inspiring others, gaining respect, being trustworthy, those still apply today. It’s a nod to the past with an eye to the future.”