Ep 9 – Empathy and Grace under pressure with Dr. Charisse Sparks, Independent Board Director, Inspire Medical Systems

Mindful Leadership Podcast with Shahana Banerjee : Episode 9

“I went from general contractor in construction to orthopedic trauma surgeon”‼️

Meet Dr Charisse Sparks:

🔺Child prodigy 

🔺Math and science lover

🔺Basketball player

🔺General contractor in construction 

🔺Business owner

🔺Harley rider

🔺Fellowship trained, Board Certified Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon 

🔺Chief Medical Officer 

🔺Patent applicant

🔺Board Director 

Phew❗️ I am waiting for the movie based on her life story‼️

In this episode, we dive into a mega dose of inspiration with Dr Sparks, only the 3rd African American woman ever, to be a fellowship trained, board certified, orthopedic trauma surgeon, she serves on the Board of Directors at Inspire Medical Systems. Powered by her purpose to lead a life of service, she has impacted millions of lives through her work.

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Dr. Charisse Sparks has built her career on the solid reputation of positively disrupting hospital services and medical device development. As one of the first three African American female Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeons in the country, she has driven meaningful innovation for patients in both clinical practice and industry. As an example, in her 6 years at Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Synthes Companies, Dr. Sparks influenced the future of medical devices for trauma, extremities, craniomaxillofacial, and animal health (TECA) across the entire development process – pre-clinical, clinical, and medical.

This “disruptor” reputation stems from Dr. Sparks’ uncanny ability to create cultures that target deficiencies in the status quo, quickly pivot to address changing business priorities in dynamic healthcare markets, and align outcomes with corporate strategic vision. As DePuy Synthes’ first Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Sparks aligned the business with technologies that are rapidly reshaping the medical device landscape. She presented her initiative to use IBM Watson in addressing regulatory compliance needs during a podium presentation at the 2019 J&J Data Science Showcase.

During her tenure with DePuy Synthes, Dr. Sparks facilitated numerous successful FDA new product filings and acquired 7 product approvals for the J&J portfolio. She positioned the entire TECA organization for EU-MDR readiness and built several cross-functional teams of industry experts to drive product innovation, evidence-based product support, QA risk management, and data-driven value validation for audiences of patients, hospitals, physicians, and payers.

Prior to joining DePuy Synthes and fueled by her incredible ability to elevate and strengthen hospital services, Dr. Sparks launched her own company – TraumaOne – in 2012 to provide locums tenens opportunities for orthopaedic surgeons nationwide. She built and led a team of orthopaedic surgeons to provide trauma services at 7 hospitals across the country. While in practice, her impact reached far beyond surgeries: she led three ACS Level III trauma center hospitals to achieve the more profitable Level II status; established a coordinated multi-disciplinary hip fracture care program in 4 hospitals; implemented an orthopaedic trauma program a hospital whose ER was in the top five busiest ERs in Texas.; and provided meaningful input to the primary hospital administrative committees, including executive recruitment.

As an ABOS Board Certified Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon with MD licenses in 6 states, Dr. Sparks completed her trauma fellowship at Harvard Medical School and residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She holds an MD from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and a BS in Biological Sciences and Mathematics from Wichita State University. Throughout her educational career Dr. Sparks received numerous awards and recognition for leadership and community involvement.

When not working, Dr. Sparks enjoys some classic distractions consistent with her Texas heritage: swimming with dolphins, riding Harleys, riding and training her Palamino (Doc), enjoying her Australian Cobberdog (Bailey), and, of course, Dallas Cowboys Football. She also advises Black Kids| White Coats, Inc., a not-for profit promoting African
Ancestry students to become doctors.


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