Since I was a girl I have been a scientist by nature, a lover of learning. My mother instilled the importance of education in me early in life. I remember her visiting the admissions office of my kindergarten repeatedly, determined to have me accepted. I vividly remember that. It was an early realization that a good education was something to prize and pursue.
In addition to school, my parents believed athletics, specifically team sports, were a vital part of shaping the leadership skills needed to succeed in life. I was enrolled in gymnastics classes at a young age, which fostered what would become my competitive nature. I played both individual and team sports throughout my childhood, but I most enjoyed team athletics. To this day, I am not a command-and-control leader. My leadership style involves achieving results through teamwork.
During college I worked part-time in the Alzheimer’s unit of a nearby nursing home. Each day I worked with people who were struggling to remember their names or recognize their relatives. While heartbreaking, that experience also incited my passion for healthcare. I knew then that I wanted to help people. That part-time job was a turning point in my life, solidifying my dedication to helping others lead healthier lives.
When I graduated from pharmacy school, I thought I would work in a retail pharmacy. Initially I enjoyed working as a pharmacist and although I appreciate the impact retail pharmacists have on the lives of their patients, I quickly realized that I wanted to help more people by working to improve the healthcare system. That influenced my decision to transfer to the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) side of healthcare. I’ve been able to help many patients in pharmacy care, behind the scenes, rather than behind the pharmacy counter. It has been a deeply rewarding experience knowing I am affecting the way pharmacy care is delivered and helping ensure our customers understand and adhere to their medications. It allows and requires me to be an innovator. I am able to help people successfully access healthcare by shaping how that occurs. For me, that is the most important takeaway.
What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field?
I think, in any field, to be successful you need to demonstrate passion, commitment, and collaboration. Those three characteristics are key to achieving positive outcomes. For me, success comes from an ability to understand and appreciate the trouble many people are having currently navigating the complexities of the healthcare system. So, working in the healthcare field, particularly the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry, requires a high degree of empathy and the ability to know what a customer needs in terms of better healthcare. My team and I work to understand the unique needs of our clients and patients, so we can subsequently develop healthcare solutions that help people stay healthy.