Title: Assistant Vice President, Technology Operations
Company: Cancer Treatment Centers of America Inc.
Education: Bachelors' degree from Northern Illinois University, master's degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management
- Phoenix Business Journal, Outstanding Woman in Business, 2020
- American Cancer Society, Superwomen Against Cancer Campaign champion, 2020
- Phoenix Business Journal, 40 under 40, 2019
- Outstanding Student Founders Award, Thunderbird School of Global Management, 2018
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
I was drawn to the intersection of creativity and technology that could enhance every aspect of a business. I also loved the idea of working closely with so many different departments and helping them achieve their strategic goals.
What three adjectives would you use to describe your journey in the industry so far?
Fast-paced, growing, and rewarding.
What is your personal mantra?
I feel personal responsibility to live out the quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If I don’t take personal responsibility to make changes, how can I expect others to do so?
Describe the highest point in your career so far and how you got there, including all the hurdles you had to jump (and the ones you tripped over too).
The highest point in my career thus far has been successfully shifting my Salesforce technical team into a DevOps culture. It was not easy; we faced technical debt and tension with internal business customers who didn’t feel their needs were heard, much less met. A cultural adjustment was crucial that would only occur as a result of a mindset shift that was eventually achieved through many tough, honest conversations. I also needed to provide justification for the investment in a tool to automate the software delivery pipeline. Transforming the organization by implementing DevOps practices has been a very rewarding journey, resulting in an average of 46 code releases per month in 2020. DevOps at its foundation is about being a better partner to those you serve and allowing them to adapt quickly to the fast-changing industry. Fittingly, the most rewarding part of the change has been the elated reaction from our business partners. Delivery of system enhancements that typically took months is now measured in days and sometimes mere hours. This level of responsiveness has allowed the business to adapt rapidly to changing market dynamics while ensuring patients continue to receive a high quality and differentiated patient experience. Together, the product and technical teams have never been more engaged or excited about our progress and success.
What is your most admirable quality?
My can-do attitude would be my most admirable quality. I love taking on new challenges and solving them while creating a very positive team atmosphere. Having ideas and actually making them happen is where I believe the magic happens.
What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?
I am excited about the disruption that artificial intelligence and data analytics will continue to bring to the industry. In general, businesses will have information at their fingertips that will allow them to revolutionize how they interact with and delight their customers. In health care, we strive to use these advances to pinpoint better treatment options and improve outcomes for patients.
An area I believe needs improvement in technology is how solutions are delivered. As real-time information regarding customer feedback and behavior becomes available, technology leaders will need to be able to digest it and react more quickly. This will require a nimbler approach to execution. I am hopeful we will see more organizations embrace and implement a DevOps culture for continuous delivery and integration to keep up with the rapid changes.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
The health care industry has traditionally been quite conservative in adopting new technology. Innovation will be key to better serving patients. I imagine that, in the future, technology will be used to create a richer and more personal patient experience that leads to eradicating diseases. Technology advancements will streamline data entry for physicians, allowing them to serve their patients more efficiently without added burden. More importantly, it will allow them to truly connect with and engage patients in more meaningful and focused ways. It will allow providers many different touch points throughout a patient’s health journey, introducing new ways for patients to interact, including sharing lifestyle behaviors. Technology will also continue to shift the way we are able to provide services to patients. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed health care to stand up telehealth solutions overnight, and I imagine these programs will continue to become more robust, allowing rural communities access to health care. Lastly, using powerful data analytics tools, physicians will have a better understanding of how to treat cancer and hopefully get to a point where cancer truly becomes a chronic disease for more and more patients.
What is the most valuable life lesson you have learned so far and how has it helped you in your career?
The coaching of being transparent, open, and honest in my communication has been a critical life lesson that has led to building strong trust with employees and team members.
What three adjectives come to mind when you think about your future path?
Evolving, exciting, and innovative.