What led you to your current position in the payer sector?
While an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, I interned one summer at a refugee clinic in Israel, where I saw firsthand the challenges individuals face when they lack access to healthcare. That experience inspired me to pursue ways I could positively affect the healthcare ecosystem in the U.S. I began working at Aetna to learn more about the payer side and met some very influential mentors. They not only believed in me, but also taught me how digital assets were enhancing the members’ experience at Aetna. In my current role, I am privileged to lead initiatives that focus on creating digital assets enhancing members’ understanding of how to best utilize their health insurance. In my work, I am constantly reminded of a lesson my father taught me: Every individual is obligated to help repair the world. Helping to transform the healthcare industry is how I want to do my small part in fulfilling this responsibility.
You’ve been in project management roles now for several years now. How would you say the challenges and priorities have changed?
I have witnessed the challenges in shifting from managing individual projects to having an impact enterprise-wide. I focus on breaking down silos and creating buy-in for the initiatives I oversee. This experience has taught me that prioritizing relationships and gathering diverse perspectives prior to beginning a program is essential. Taking the time to understand the external factors influencing decisions is key in avoiding delays or pushback as an initiative is nearing launch.
How would you describe your leadership style?
My first leadership experience taught me that to be a good leader, I need to research the problem before searching for a viable solution. In my current position, I am constantly seeking to discover the reasons individuals choose not to engage with the tools offered online and then, in consultation with my team, adjusting the material to address those issues. My leadership style includes listening and valuing the insight of others, as well as collaborating on projects to achieve a multifaceted range of possible solutions. I take pride in the fact that my colleagues think of me as a team player who respects each of their contributions.
What advice would you give to other emerging leaders in healthcare?
My advice for young leaders is to take on “stretch projects.” Challenging projects that take you out of your comfort zone contribute the most to one’s growth as a leader. The projects that I initially found the most intimidating have been the ones from which I have learned the most and grown the most. When supervisors place their trust in someone to take the lead on a new initiative, it signifies they believe in you and your ability to successfully execute the project.