Creating a Trained Student Workforce to Solve Healthcare Shortages and Inequities

On episode 409 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing and healthcare career podcast, Keith interviews Eric Alvarez, the CEO and Founder of Grapefruit Health, a company that is creating a brand new student-led workforce to help meet the significant shortage of healthcare workers today.

In the course of their conversation, Keith and Eric discuss clinician shortages, lack of access to care, and other challenges within the healthcare space that led to the founding of Grapefruit Health and its unique and innovative solutions to those challenges.

Prior to this adventure with Grapefruit Health, Eric has held multiple positions within the healthcare industry. Most recently Eric was the COO of a healthcare technology startup called Fibroblast, which was acquired by the EMR giant Cerner Corporation in 2020. In this role, he oversaw product, development, human resources, finance, general company operations, and was active in all major sales cycles.

Before joining Fibroblast, Eric was a hospital administrator at the University of Chicago Medicine and Northwestern Medicine. In these roles, he led large clinical and nonclinical teams mostly in specialty services that included the services lines of Cardiovascular surgery, Urology, and Ophthalmology. These opportunities provided Eric with a deep understanding of how health systems function as a business and what their systemic challenges are.

Eric earned his Masters in Healthcare Administration from Rush University, a top five program, and his Bachelors in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University, a top ten program. Prior to college, he served in the United States Airforce during Iraqi Freedom. Most recently, Eric was named a top 100 Rising LatinX founder and Distinguished Alumni of the Year from his Master’s program.

Connect with Eric Alvarez and Grapefruit Health:


Did you know that you can now earn CEUs from listening to podcasts? That’s right — over at, they’re building a library of nursing podcasts offering continuing education credits, including episodes of The Nurse Keith Show! So just head over to, log into the portal, select Nurse Keith (or any other Content Creator) from the Content Creator dropdown, and get CEs for any content on the platform!

Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, professional podcaster, published author, award-winning blogger, inspiring keynote speaker, and successful nurse entrepreneur. Connect with Nurse Keith at, and on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Nurse Keith lives in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely fiancée, Shada McKenzie, a highly gifted traditional astrologer and reader of the tarot. You can find Shada at The Circle and the Dot.

The Nurse Keith Show is a proud member of The Health Podcast Network, one of the largest and fastest-growing collections of authoritative, high-quality podcasts taking on the tough topics in health and care with empathy, expertise, and a commitment to excellence. The podcast is adroitly produced by Rob Johnston of 520R Podcasting, and Mark Capispisan is our stalwart social media manager and newsletter wrangler.

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