Q&A: Tommy Ballard Discusses Clinical Operations at the GW Cancer Center

Tommy Ballard has been with GW since 2013 and manages the operational and administrative functions for the GW Cancer Center's clinical programs.
January 18, 2019
Tommy Ballard Q&A Banner

What brought you to GW?

My first job in health care was with the VCU Health System. After working with a private physician group for years, I knew I wanted to return to the academic setting. In terms of patient care, you tend to find extended help and resources in an academic setting.

How did you decide on a career in health care?

My time at VCU helped to share my interest in the health care industry, particularly in operations and management.

If you weren't in health care, what would you be doing?

Inspiring the world through my photography. Capturing moments and making memories. Photography is my favorite pastime. Or teaching a social science.

What inspires you most about your work?

Being able to create processes that work is extremely gratifying; particularly processes that not only improve the patient experience, but the employee experience.

From your perspective, what makes the GW Cancer Center unique when it comes to clinical care?

The physicians, nurses and support staff are sincerely vested in the outcome of the patients. The relationship we have with our patients is beyond casual formality. As we grow that may prove challenging, but at this present moment that separates us from our other large academic facilities.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in health care?

Be open to "other duties as assigned." I learned so much by being willing to take on responsibility that was not necessarily a part of my "job description". Those opportunities groomed and grew me as a leader.

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