This Health Care Risk Manager Is Using Her Life Experiences to Leverage Change in the Profession

Ardent Health Services' Alumine Bellone is no stranger to overcoming challenges. That's why she's taking experiences from her past to leverage change for risk management's future.
By: | December 3, 2019

Alumine Bellone was born into risk management … literally.

Growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, her brain was wired to comb every situation for safety risks.

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“After the economic crisis, theft and robberies rose in Buenos Aires. Even violent crimes, such as armed robbery and kidnapping, became a part of people’s daily lives,” recalled Bellone.

“I learned early on in life how to stay safe and make safety a priority. I learned how to identify and manage risks. Argentina was my school.”

At 18 years old, she moved to the United States, crediting her parents for their ambition and courage to provide her with a better life.

Little did she know, what she learned in Argentina would be a small stop on her path to a future in risk management. Her destination? A flourishing and lasting career in the field.

Her Road to Risk Management

Long before she could become the vice president of risk management at Ardent Health Services, Bellone was driven by a desire to achieve.

“The fact that I had to work a full-time job while pursuing both my bachelors and master’s degree has taught me to prioritize my time, build great habits and stay focused on my goals.”

While in college, Bellone took a job as an administrative assistant in the risk management department of a health care company. It was there where she learned just how much a career in risk management could not only offer her but also fulfill her.

“It did not take long for me to become involved in all aspects of the risk profession.”

Taking her inherent ability to identify danger and hazards, Bellone discovered her risk management passion the moment she began handling workers’ compensation claims. She was able to utilize her potential and see the true difference she was making for her organization and in the lives of others.

“I was managing the workers’ compensation program for a company with hospitals in 32 states. I realized I was making a difference in people’s lives and the company’s bottom line. At that moment, it became a passion.”

Turning Passion into Lasting Gratification

On a daily basis, Bellone finds gratification when she eradicates a risk, but the feeling only lasts until the next risk emerges. “The feeling of accomplishment that comes from exceeding challenging goals is what keeps me engaged in this career. It also excites me to be able to draw a connection between my efforts and the organization’s bottom line.”

In an industry that relies on constant change and improvement in order to stay relevant, young professionals have little knowledge of the expansive opportunities of the industry. There is a misconception that the field is boring and one-tracked. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

“It is important to understand that there is a multitude of career paths and the industry is extremely varied. Students and recent graduates need to get familiar with the different career tracks so that they can choose the right career pathways,” said Bellone.

Something else that Bellone has learned along the way is that growing success in the risk management sector depends on its professionals’ ability to evolve with the world.

“In order to remain relevant for decades to come, we need to be able to adapt to change,” she said. “By that, I mean changes in new technology, regulations, but most importantly, we need to be able to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing society.”

These are ideals that she is already utilizing in her role at Ardent. There, she oversees loss prevention, occupational safety, claims management and the insurance program and is proud of the established philosophy that patient safety comes before anything. Her efforts even earned her a 2018 Risk All Star designation.

It’s Not All Risks and Rainbows

Like a lot things in life, an emphasis on communication is paramount but often overlooked in risk management. Establishing relationships and keeping them is something Bellone thinks the industry has always done right; it is an industry that relies on lasting bonds with partners and customers.

“I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the insurance industry is that insurance companies are determined to find loopholes to avoid paying on claims,” she explained.

“Insurers and insureds have to work together to make sure the insureds become familiar with the policy language and understand what is covered and what is not.”

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Like any other career, risk management comes with typical frustrations and challenges. Unlike other careers, those challenges may vary day-by-day. The professionals who manage these challenges must have the desire and skill to keep up with emerging obstacles. Bellone has both; she is committed to navigating the future of the risk management landscape for the next generation of risk managers.

Incoming challenges include a hardening market due to nuclear verdicts and rumors of talent gaps when the baby boomers retire. The risk management roadmap is unclear, but Bellone has spent years positioning herself for continued success through hard work, passion, attention to detail and the ability to evolve.

“Society is changing, the perception of social justice is changing, and so is the amount paid in losses,” explained Bellone.

But as she first learned in Argentina, an environment with no uncertainty is an environment with no growth. &

Emily Spennato is a staff writer with Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]