Pedram Salimpour is an Iranian American physician, entrepreneur, and author. He graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine and also received a master’s in public health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
He worked first at the Salimpour Pediatric Medical Group, a pediatric center operated by his father, Ralph Salimpour, in Greater Los Angeles. He has founded or co-founded three companies: Plymouth Health, CareNex Health Services, and Champion Health Enterprises, which later became Pierce Health Solutions. He is currently CEO of Pierce Health, which specializes in creating novel health-delivery systems for large employers and Native American tribes throughout the United States. He also now works as an adjunct professor at the Center for Excellence in Aging & Longevity (CEAL) at San Diego State University and as an associate professor of pediatrics at the UC Riverside School of Medicine.
Salimpour has written more than 40 medical journal articles and co-authored the book Photographic Atlas of Pediatric Disorders and Diagnosis with his father and brother. He has won an Emmy Award for a documentary, The Face of America.
Salimpour has served on many boards and commissions, including as a Los Angeles Fire & Police Pensions commissioner, a member of the boards of directors at Boston University School of Medicine and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and as president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association. He also has won several awards, including the American College of Physicians’ Research Award twice, the Alpha Omega Alpha Research Award, and an Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society Membership. He also co-founded the NexCare Collaborative, a 501(c)(3) organization that helps find affordable health insurance for low-income families and foster children in the Los Angeles area. He also is the founding chairman of the board of directors of Discovery Cube Los Angeles.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Throughout my career, I have founded several companies. The most recent one is Pierce Health Solutions. As I watched health care expenditures rise for large companies, I saw a need for a company that could provide health care access without overspending. Pierce Health Solutions manages these novel health ecosystems, allowing large businesses and Native American tribes to reduce their health care expenditures while still providing excellent health care benefits to C-level executives and their employees.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Good habits are a key to productivity for an entrepreneur. Being your own boss means that your motivation to accomplish more must come from within. One habit I’ve found particularly helpful is to spend a few minutes at the beginning of each day to consider what I must accomplish that day. I review my overall goals and examine my schedule. I then consider what actions or tasks I can complete that day toward my goals. I list those tasks, and as the day progresses, I check off those that I meet. I focus only on those tasks that will move me toward those goals and don’t spend time on others.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could advise my younger self, I would say to believe in yourself, no matter what happens. When I was 10, I was an excellent pianist. Yet, I had to give up the piano because clerics in my native Iran had banned Western music. This discouraged me. My family soon moved to the United States, which, at first, was very foreign to me. I learned English by watching cartoons that I had previously watched in Persian, and as a fluent English speaker, I was able to excel in English schools. This experience and the encouragement of my father, Ralph, and brother, Pejman, have taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to do.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have grown my business by investing whatever is necessary to achieve the mission. For example, when Pejman and I bought Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, the hospital’s reputation was in tatters. Its previous owners had been accused of paying kickbacks to physicians for referrals. We set about to redeem its reputation and re-create an excellent hospital. We invested a considerable amount of money in upgrading its equipment and hiring top talent. Our mission was successful, and the business grew out of that success.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I ever spent went toward the founding of NexCare Collaborative, which helps low-income families find affordable health insurance. In the United States, a gap exists between those who have the resources to pay for good health care and those who don’t. Good health care is critical to good health, but many families struggle to obtain even primary health care without health insurance. My $100 went toward closing this gap. It also moves America closer to the goal of equality.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.