Where do you work?
I work at ECG Management Consultants in the firm’s academic healthcare division. I’ve been with ECG since 2010 when I started as a senior consultant following the completion of my administrative fellowship at UNC Health in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
What stage in your career are in you?
I would consider myself a mid-careerist, though sometimes that is hard to believe. Last year, I celebrated by 10-year work anniversary at ECG!
What are your rewards of your job? What has been your most meaningful project?
I enjoy working with my clients to solve their most difficult challenges. My biggest rewards tie to my most meaningful projects. For example, I helped a hospital develop new graduate medical education programs to train physicians and contribute to the provider workforce in their region and beyond. When that project moved from initial feasibility to concept design to now finally having the first classes of residents actually graduate and enter independent practice, that was extremely fulfilling. I also love working with smart, motivated colleagues who push me to be more curious and more creative every day.
What are your challenges?
Management consulting is a very demanding career. The travel aspect requires a lot of coordination and support to be able to balance my family and personal obligations. It can also be challenging to prioritize different work streams with competing deadlines as I support multiple clients at the same time. That requires the ability to delegate and trust my colleagues and staff to work effectively and seek guidance when needed.
How did you decide to have a career in the healthcare industry?
I had always been interested in science and the idea of medicine was intriguing. However, as I started to consider my strengths and goals, I decided that a career that also included my desire to make an impact at a system or population level would be most fulfilling. As I completed my graduate degree, I had the opportunity to explore healthcare policy, operations, and strategy and ultimately found strategy to be my passion.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Always consider the operational implications of every strategy you propose. It often goes without saying that the financial lever will be important, but if the people who will live and breathe the strategy do not buy-in, it will be extremely difficult to implement. As a consultant, my worst fear is that we develop a solution that gets documented in a fancy final report and then sits on a shelf, but that is exactly what will happen without stakeholder engagement.
What’s the best career advice you’ve given?
Try to learn something new every day and always push yourself to make something just a little better than how you found it.
What has contributed to your success?
This is a timely question because I am reading How Women Rise, and there are some interesting points about what leads to success. Some of what has made me successful to this point – hard work and determination, communication skills, being the technical expert – now needs to shift a little to the backburner so I can focus on deepening relationships and continuing to be a trusted adviser/partner to my colleagues and clients. The interpersonal skills, ability to read the room, and really being able to understand the political nuances of a situation are what set leaders apart and elevate them to that next level of success.
How long have you been an NESHS member?
I have been a member of NESHS for 9 years. I became involved at the suggestion of Amy MacNulty, who has been a longtime supporter and active member of the organization. When I joined, I immediately volunteered for the webinars committee, which helped me to meet other members and learn more about what NESHS offers. Since then, I have also served on the program committee, as a board member, and am currently the President.
How has NESHS membership helped you?
NESHS has helped me to meet other smart, passionate people who work in healthcare strategy. I have been able to grow my personal and professional network, learn about new and exciting trends in the industry, and most importantly make friends and have fun along the way.
What’s on your bucket list?
I would like to travel to every continent. I am on my way there – having been to North America, South America, Europe, and Australia – but I still have more places to visit. My top “dream trips” are the Galapagos and a safari in Kenya or South Africa.
What was your childhood dream?
This one is a little strange, but when I was 8 or 9, I really wanted to be an investment banker or a stockbroker. I remember sitting with my grandfather by the pool while on vacation and he was reading the business section of the newspaper checking his stock prices, and I thought that was just the coolest thing that he owned little pieces of these different companies. Too bad he hadn’t bought Apple or Google or Amazon back then!
Guilty pleasure: what can you not live without?
With three young kids, the clear choice here is coffee! But I also really like reading historical fiction novels while commuting on the train/waiting to board planes.
What was the most interesting place you have traveled to OR your favorite trip?
I travel a lot for work, and my most fun business trip location has been Nashville because I love country music. My best family/fun trip was a cruise to northern Europe where we got to visit Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Russia.