What is your current job and why did you choose this profession?
I currently work as a Network Contractor with a large healthcare organization. I have worked within Network Management for over 8 years assisting with building and maintaining provider networks and provider data management. Immediately after college, I started working at a managed care company and have worked on federal and non-federal lines of business. Majority of my career, I have worked on government contracts and it is the most satisfying experience helping our military and improving healthcare for these members.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
There is still so much more to do! When the pandemic hit us early 2020, I realized that our healthcare system needs more innovative thinkers and the way forward is a patient centered concept to manage the patient holistically and nourish the social psych well being of the patient. We must be able to think creatively to capture those disadvantaged by the present health inequities and transform the healthcare to be more diverse in methods and application. I would like to be more of a operational strategist and be part of the conversation of change.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move or life change.
I must admit that I struggled with finding a career choice after college. Initially, I started college with a goal to head to medical school, but that was not in the cards for me. For years, I tried to find purpose in my political science degree, however, it finally hit me that I can bridge my academic career with my professional career. At this time, I am in the last stages of completing my Masters in Health Administration, Informatics and exciting to see what new opportunities will open up for me.
What sort of service activities do you enjoy/philanthropic causes do you support, and why?
For many years, I volunteered as a ESL adult tutor at community college, church and NGOs. I love meeting new people and learning about new cultures. Being able to share in our traditions and experiences help under language and bring different people together. There was one student, a Taiwanese teacher, who I become very friendly with and I invited her to my wedding. Another student from Togo is a good friend of mine now and our kids spend time together and we have shared in various activities together. It makes a better person to embrace diversity and promote inclusion at every level of my life.
How has Haverford (or Haverford values) figured into your life?
Haverford was hard on me, but I appreciate the lessons learned and the friendships that are still with me. Even through my struggles, there were people there who continued to encourage me to stay the course. One person in particular was Dean Donna Mancini who was my saving grace during my Sophomore year. I worked as a student office assistant at the front desk, and even though she was not my assigned Dean, she was invested in my future. She was honest and full of knowledge. She helped me see not one road, but many roads I could take in life. She removed the roadblocks that were limiting my view. She broadened my horizons when things were not going my way. Because of her, I was able to attend a study abroad program my Junior year. We made a deal - I would get my grades up first semester and she would find a program for me, and she did. Because of her, the last two years of Haverford were the best and studying abroad was a life changing experience.
How did your time at Haverford influence who and/or where you are now?
When I was at Haverford, I was part of the Minority Scholars Program. I was able to attend summer programs at research universities and study microbiology. I thought this was normal, but when I talked to my old high school friends, this was something unheard of. By the end of college, I was part of a science publication through CHOP. I also was able to participate in Minorities As Student Teachers program and worked with minorities kids in the city. These experiences have stayed with me until now and are part of the core of me as an adult, which is probably why I feel there is still so much work that needs to be done around me.
What advice would you give to those interested in doing what you do, either professionally or with respect to your service/philanthropy?
Never settle. I think there is more than one purpose to fulfill in life. There is not one road to take. You make it your own. Had I known that medical school was just one of many ways to contribute to healthcare, I would have started earlier in public health. But that is not my story and I own it and share it to encourage those who feel stuck to think outside the box.
Got any leadership advice? Words of wisdom born of experience?
To have a managerial role does not make you a leader. Its not the position, but the person. Being a leader is a daily learning process. Being a leader is being able to build up your team and those around you. Being a leader takes service and sacrifice.