I was very fortunate in my upbringing to be surrounded by a family of trailblazers. My parents always encouraged me to create my own path and while doing so, be a leader for others to follow. Ultimately, that path has led me to Carium, a leading technology for virtual care.
Pursuing Multiple Degrees, Just Like my Parents
My mother and father had multiple degrees and instilled in all of their children the importance of education. My father obtained his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Benedict College and his Master's in Housing and Urban Development from Yale University. He was a National Urban Fellow, which was a designation supported by the Rann Corporation.
My mother was also a pioneer. She obtained two Bachelor's degrees in Biology and Medical Technology and a Master's in Education from the University of South Carolina. In her career, she started as the only African American Clinical Laboratory Specialist working for Pennsylvania Hospital. Being the only African American at this hospital during the 1950s, she was the only laboratory specialist that had a dedicated laboratory that focused on difficult cases.
I wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps by pursuing a Biology degree, but mathematics was more natural for me. So I got my Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, followed by two Masters of Science degrees in Management Information System and Health Informatics. While pursuing my third Master's degree in Biostatistics in the College of Epidemiology, I got an entry-level position at a Medicaid Health Plan at Tampa General Hospital. This was the first step in my path into the world of healthcare.
Since then, my career has spanned hospitals, vendors, and payers. I’ve created project plans, managed implementations, performed data analytics, identified improvements analyzing client workflows, partnered with the engineers to innovate, and led business development teams at large organizations.
Looking back at my parents' careers, they both were the only African American individuals at the table in their respective jobs. The majority of the time, I’m the only African American woman at the table in healthcare IT. Because of this, I hope to inspire other young African American women through my story to get into STEM careers. A few ways I found that I could impact changing this narrative are by participating in college career presentations, in employee recruitment of new college graduates, and influencing my employers to consider recruitment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). By doing this, I was able to provide an opportunity for minorities to compete for open positions at Fortune 500 companies.
Giving Back and Paying it Forward
Septima Poinsette-Clark was an African American educator, a critical part of the 1960s civil rights movement, and she is my cousin and “she-ro” (female hero). During segregation, she was courageous enough to teach black children how to read and write, and she marched with Martin Luther King, Junior. Inspired by Septima, I continued on my path combining my healthcare experience and desire to give back to my community.
Twenty-five years ago, I joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. — as of today, I have served as chair of numerous committees on the local and regional level. Through the sorority’s work, we raise awareness of critical health issues impacting African-American women, such as breast cancer awareness and prevention, heart health, nutrition and wellness, and more, through public exercising events, sewing-bees to donate caps to those going through cancer treatments, and more.
I’m also the President of the Educational & Charitable Foundation, where we focus on empowering our community through education, service, and philanthropy, and I’m on the leadership team of the American Cancer Society - Relay for Life event for Northern Virginia.
Giving back to my community and knowing I’m making a difference in someone’s life inspires me every day. This is what my family has always done and I’m proud to continue that legacy on my path.
I was attracted to Carium by the work they were doing to transform how healthcare is delivered to be patient-centered and having a culture committed to giving back, paying it forward, and taking a stand against social injustice.
Guiding Teams through the Implementation of Virtual Care
My path has led me to Carium, where our mission is to lead the digital transformation of healthcare toward new models that revolve around patients and their lives. In my new role as Director of Customer Engagement, I provide our customers and their patients the guidance and tools to enable a successful onboarding experience and develop processes that will assist their digital transformation and growth.
A trailblazer leaves physical markers along a path to guide others and that is exactly my job at Carium. Through a structured project management-based implementation methodology, I lead our customers to help them make good decisions for their unique needs, effectively train their care team users and ensure our tool is enabling them to achieve their project’s goals.
Since joining Carium, I have created a detailed project plan as a key tool for our customers to use. This allows for full transparency around tasks, timelines, and dependencies. I worked with our current team and customers that were recently implemented to incorporate their collective learnings to benefit others. With virtual care still being relatively new, this knowledge sharing is critical to success. This project plan provides the markers for new customers to navigate the path with ease.
Another tool I bring to our customers is visualizing the virtual care journey across multiple workstreams. Our technology connects patients and care team members. It is critical for our customers to understand how these workstreams are connected to ensure value for all stakeholders. Helping customers understand the complexity and overlapping of decisions is another way I support customers on their path.
It’s a pleasure for me to guide our customers through their implementation, by leveraging the experience of others on their path. Interested in virtual care? Please reach out to our team to talk about how Carium can support your digital transformation.