Danielle Turnipseed: A Healthcare Leader whose Got Your Back


Danielle Turnipseed, JD MPP MSHA

You may not be familiar with the name Danielle Turnipseed, but chances are you are familiar with her work. She made significant contributions to the award-winning social media company, EmpoweHer and was the driving force behind the legislative policy surrounding issues of health and aging for former senator Elizabeth Dole. Most recently, however she completed a stint with the Institute of Medicine as Study Director. In this role, she brought her keen understanding of health policy and technology innovation by leading operations, strategic planning, programmatic design and production of the Health Data Initiative Forum (2012, 2013). You probably know this conference as Health Datapalooza, the nickname popularized by the enigmatic Todd Park. For the last two years, she has helped this conference develop into a strong public-private partnership and possibly the best collaboration between government, academia and industry devoted to the advance of health innovations that raise awareness of health and health system performance and spark community action to improve health. The Health Data Initiative has become such a successful endeavor it has grown into the permanent Health Data Consortium providing Ms. Turnipseed with the opportunity to pursue her first passion—-the law—full time through her private practice Turnipseed Law.

Danielle and I have had the pleasure of collaborating on several community health projects and most recently worked together when I served as a member of the selection committee for Datapalooza IV earlier this year. I caught up with her to explore the topic of women in healthcare leadership spearheaded by XX in Health. With her finger on the pulse of technology and innovation and her professional expertise in the law, she is indeed one of the industry’s rising stars.

When asked about her preferred leadership style, Danielle explains, “[ I tend to ] start from a place of helping to grow individuals and then having trust in them to get things done.” So, it’s no surprise when she identifies team-based leadership as a comfortable fit.

We then explored what is good about health and innovation today.

I’m most excited about the “ability of emerging technologies to empower individuals with knowledge and information in ways it never has before. So many people now have access and control to so much more information. However, with greater access comes greater ownership and responsibility,” says Turnipseed.

She elaborates on this while answering my follow-up question. There will always be challenges.

“There will always be a need to protect vulnerable populations ensuring that their privacy and security are maintained” as innovation accelerates, this will still be the case.

With Turnipseed moving forward in the privacy and security arena of health law, I have no doubt she will be one of its most ardent and effective advocates.

Is there an XX in Health (woman in health) leader you find inspiring? I’d love to learn about who you all consider leaders and give you hope for great things in the future of health but especially health innovation.

I will close out this two-part profile tomorrow with another inspiring leader.

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