Community is an important concept to me and can arise in many places both personal and professional. Purpose very often comes along with community. The purpose is also usually geared toward helping a broader public goal or otherwise promoting betterment within a bigger community. To me, a good foundational community inherently facilitates the focus on a better purpose.
Connecting community and purposes has been a common theme across many of the environments from high school, to college, to the firm, to taking on my new role as General Counsel at Carium.
Achieve the Honorable
The motto of my high school, "Achieve the Honorable," is meant to encourage students to think beyond their years at a time when many are focused on the immediate. Many reminders were present throughout high school about how each person can make a difference in the world. The opportunities were not just given lip service either — all students were required to engage in community service every year on top of the usual academic and extracurricular challenges.
It was a very small school (my graduating class was just over 60 total), the small size provided comfort, but also a platform to grow. Finding the combination of a small, supportive community connected to a purpose to help at such an early stage set up a path that I’ve since followed.
The Honor Code
My next community was in college at Haverford College, which was (and is) greatly influenced by the Honor Code that was both student maintained and overseen. The Honor Code is an integral part of the community at Haverford College and something that is put front and center during the application process. At that point, before fully appreciating what it is, an applicant is asked how they expect the Honor Code to impact their life after graduation and into the future. The focus on the Honor Code fully weaves into the fabric of the college experience and encourages everyone to consider how to contribute to the world in a positive way.
The community that is created at Haverford is not something that ends upon graduation either. I still have the support of friends that I made, and beyond a friend network, the far-flung community created means there are like-minded people that I can reach out to and expect a response from. The community is a core part of the school and, from my perspective, one of the best aspects and why it feels so impactful.
The next community I joined was at my first job at Mirick O'Connell. The firm places a strong emphasis on culture and serving the community. It was expected that everyone would find opportunities to contribute to the community and be involved with local efforts. The support to go out into the community (which was not defined, but could be any community special to each individual) let me experiment and find the one(s) that I really connected to. For me, that ended up being the healthcare community, which blended both my professional role and outside activities.
In 2016, I started a podcast called Healthcare de Jure. Through the podcast, I’ve had the opportunity to have fascinating conversations with experts across the industry, like Jenn Horonjeff, CEO and Co-Founder of Savvy Cooperative (of which I am a member), Niko Skievaski, Co-founder & President of Redox, and Tom Leary, Senior Vice President, Government Relations of HIMSS, and so many more. Social media, and Twitter, in particular, has also been a great space to connect with like-minded people in the healthcare community. Without the expectation from the firm of getting involved in the community, I wouldn’t have created these connections.
All of my previous experiences are now coming together in my latest community, Carium. A chance meeting because of Twitter created the opportunity for the serendipitous meeting. The sense that Carium would be a good community was established right from the start.
As one of my clients at the firm, I got the opportunity to see the connection among the team members even before making the official jump. I saw the same commitment to a supportive work environment along with an eye to the broader community that I’ve gravitated to throughout my life.
It was through outside observation over the first couple of years of Carium's development that I could see the central focus on the patient and helping healthcare not just remain a constant, but also influence decisions. Despite being a new company, the purpose would not be sacrificed just to advance. At the same time, the purpose has been able to evolve and find new means of helping.
An emphasis on outcomes, escalating costs, evolving policy, new reimbursement models, and consumerization have caused a perfect storm and pushed the healthcare industry into a digital transformation. At Carium, our telehealth technology empowers our customers to care for and support their patients virtually. Every day our partners are enhancing their care with novel data, reimagining the patient and provider experience, and delivering better outcomes.
One of my favorite quotes was from a patient in North Carolina who said Carium “makes me feel like I'm not alone anymore.” I’m excited to join a team that blends all of these perspectives and goals. To me, it means I get to become a part of another community that has me looking forward to what’s to come.
Are you a health system or healthcare provider? Chat with us to learn how Carium can support your digital transformation.