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John Sory

Chief Executive, Regional Alliance, University of Miami Health System

I learned to really get to the root cause of a problem—to ‘peel the onion.’ That’s one of those things you learn at Tuck that just becomes part of who you are.

In pioneering new health-care models emphasizing preventive care, John Sory T’93 overcame skepticism in the most direct way possible: He guaranteed better results.

“If you’re healthier you demand fewer services and your overall health care bill goes down,” explains Sory, chief executive of the University of Miami’s Regional Alliance program. “But the only way to prove that was to take risks and guarantee the outcomes.”

Sory wasn’t planning a career in health care when he first came to Hanover. He chose Tuck for its strong general management curriculum, and was immediately impressed by the warmth of the community and the quality of the faculty. He particularly remembers the late John K. Shank, who taught strategic cost accounting. “He took a very difficult topic and made it compelling and exciting,” Sory says. “We all admired this man so much that we invited him to dinner. I had the honor of inviting him, and my reward was that he cold-called me in class that day.”

The case was about waste management in a big city, and Sory remembers being struck with the layers of detail involved in hauling garbage. “I learned to really get to the root cause of a problem—to ‘peel the onion’ as John Shank would have said. That’s one of those things you learn at Tuck that just becomes part of who you are.”

Sory landed a position with Pfizer after meeting the pharma giant’s vice-chairman at a campus presentation. Soon he took an opportunity to help build Pfizer Health Solutions, a technology and health services subsidiary.

“I came from an entrepreneurial family so the idea of starting a small business inside a bigger business was pretty exciting,” says Sory, who led the group’s expansion into Europe and eventually became general manager. At Pfizer Health Solutions he championed a prevention-based health care model and learned to let his results do the talking. “We guaranteed the state of Florida at one point that we would save them $40 million, and we actually gave them 50 percent more savings than that,” Sory says. “That paved the way.”

As chief executive of U Health’s Regional Alliance since 2012, Sory continues to pioneer more efficient ways to provide medical care. “We’re creating a different medical model for a subset of our faculty to show by example how we can do it on a larger scale.” After all, the best argument for change is a positive outcome.

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