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2016 Women to Watch: Shelley Boyce

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Shelley Boyce
Founder and CEO
MedRisk Inc.
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Age: 56

Shelley Boyce nearly failed one of her assignments while getting her MBA at the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

A high achiever, she was a former pediatrics nurse who studied at the University of Virginia.

But her first job at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia took an emotional toll and left her grasping for another career. She said she wanted a profession that combined her love of problem-solving with helping people. A self-professed lifelong learner, she set her sights on business school.

After graduation — and the almost-failing grade — she worked in the managed care field, where she saw problems with the way workers compensation claims were handled.

Sometime later she dusted off that old college assignment and started thinking.

The assignment was in her master’s class on entrepreneurship and called for her to create a business model that caused a paradigm shift; something that would solve a business problem.

She recalled that the reason her grade was one step above failing, according to her professor, was: “You’ll never get it off the ground.” What started as that assignment became MedRisk Inc., a specialty managed care organization founded in 1994 that employs almost 800 and offers multiple services to help control costs and improve the quality of care for workers comp claims.

In October, the company announced it was opening up two more offices — one across the street from the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, headquarters and another in Phoenix — to accommodate 300 new staff members. And MedRisk is still hiring, according to an October statement.

“I found a way to get it off the ground,” she said, adding that she credits her team. “I surrounded myself with smart and capable people.” Rick Victor, founder and former president and chief executive officer of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute who now sits on MedRisk’s international scientific advisory board, is among those who now give Ms. Boyce a top grade.

“Shelley has an innate talent for identifying industry problems and creating innovative solutions that drive high-quality care and reduce unnecessary costs,” he said.

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