Interview with Eliza Tarazona, CEO of The Ribera Healthcare Group

This week we've had the pleasure to talk to one of our members, Elisa Tarazona, CEO of the Ribera Healthcare Group.

In Ribera Healthcare Group they work towards enhancing the health and well-being of the population with a management model which adds value to society and contributes to the sustainability of the healthcare systems.


Tell us briefly about the history of RIBERA SALUD and its mission.

Ribera is a business group that was founded in 1997, providing public and private healthcare services. Our mission is to transform the way of working and innovate healthcare management to improve the health and well-being of the population. Our healthcare model is studied as a success story in well-known international universities such as Harvard Business School and Berkeley. We have more than 6,500 professionals in the different projects in which we participate. We are present in four autonomous regions of Spain with eight hospitals, three of which are university hospitals, and more than 60 health centers in the Valencian Community and the Communities of Madrid, Galicia and Extremadura. In Europe we have a radiology and nuclear medicine company, a leader in Slovakia, and a clinic specialized in highly complex surgery in the Czech Republic. We were involved in launching the first two hospitals in Latin America with the PPP model, which are in Peru, and we also have a purchasing center, Ribera B2b, a laboratory division, Ribera Lab, and a technological affiliate, futuRS. Ribera's shareholders are the American insurance company Centene Corporation (90%) and Banco Sabadell (10%).

Tell us about your professional career and your role in RIBERA SALUD.

I have a degree in Medicine and Surgery and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Valencia and I'm a specialist in Family and Community Medicine. In addition, I trained in healthcare management at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, ESADE and IESE. I started as an attending physician at the Hospital-at-Home Unit at La Fe University Hospital and later became the Head of Primary Care in the healthcare area of La Fe. In 2003 I joined the Ribera healthcare group as Deputy Manager of La Ribera's Health Department (Alzira) and, in 2008, I took on Care Management and Organizational Management of the group and, later, Operations management and Project Integration. Since October 2020 I have been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ribera group, during an especially intense period filled with challenges, with the progressive growth of the company and the expansion and diversification of healthcare services, such as the new laboratory and radiodiagnostic units, and private medical services, with a basic objective: to continue to provide citizens with integrated care, in order to take better care of their health and well-being.

Which aspect is it that makes RIBERA SALUD stand out or of which do you feel most proud?

At Ribera Group we are, and we feel, responsible for the health of the citizens. Therefore, the population to which we attend is always our priority. We have demonstrated this once again with the management of this pandemic in our hospitals and Primary Care centers, being committed to clinical management, anticipating decision making and ensuring coordination between our centres and with local authorities. With the citizens at the heart of every decision that we make, we are committed to innovation and technology, in order to give them access to results from diagnostic tests and tele-consultations. However, we also work on launching applications that now allow us to telemonitor patients, for example those with cardiac insufficiency, or anticipate clinical decisions regarding Covid patients, thanks to a model that predicts which of these patients will end up in the ICU.

Why did you choose to become a partner of AmChamSpain?

The majority shareholder of the Ribera healthcare group is Centene Corporation (90%), one of the leading companies in the American healthcare insurance sector, included in the Fortune 50 list. Centene has more than 30 years experience collaborating with state governments in the United States and is one of the main providers for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The United States Chamber of Commerce in Spain is another bridge which connects Ribera to our main shareholder's country and to all those companies and institutions that, like the Ribera group and Centene, want to transform and innovate with their projects and generate opportunities and employment on both sides of the ocean.

Any advice, good practice or special input from RIBERA SALUD in the face of the current global situation.

In Ribera we like to say that we work today for the healthcare of tomorrow, and that we contribute to the long-term sustainability of healthcare services with our model. We are committed to medicine based on the 5ps: personalized, population-based, participatory, predictive and preventative. Healthcare expenditure is continuing to grow at an unstoppable rate, and the pandemic has increased waiting lists, which has a great impact on health services; in addition to the consequences of the pandemic which have yet to come. In this situation, we believe it is necessary to have all of the resources, include companies and be committed to public-private collaboration, in order to manage health in a responsible way, something for which the Ribera group advocates.