Yolande is a senior project manager in Philadelphia. She is changing the game by empowering and activating individuals and institutions to transform population health. Her favorite part of her work is problem-solving with her team and stakeholders to develop innovative solutions that address healthcare delivery challenges.
I am responsible for the overall planning, management, and execution of programmatic and strategic initiatives for the HSX Population Health Program. This includes implementing quality reporting and analytics services, working with local and state health departments on public health initiatives, and partnering with other community-based organizations and stakeholders to provide the most effective care to our community.
My workday begins at 7:00 am during my commute and typically ends around 7:00 pm. I work downtown in center-city Philadelphia but live in South Jersey, so I take local transit into the city and then walk about 10 minutes to the office. The walk serves multiple purposes: it helps me set my intentions and to-do list for the day, and it grounds me in my purpose for working in healthcare and health IT.
No day is the same in my job, as the world of health information and technology is ever evolving. The atmosphere in the office is very fast-paced. As a result, I helped establish a 10-minute meditation session on Mondays and Wednesdays to help set the pace for the week to give my colleagues and me time to breathe. This has also provided alternative ways for us to navigate everyday challenges.
I work in a team of 21 full-time employees charged with addressing challenges fit for a team five times the size. As a result, our team is augmented by a number of talented interns and consultants. I started at HSX as an intern and was given the opportunity to grow with the company. I get to work with all of the health systems, ambulatory providers and health plans in the region – large and small – to deploy innovative HIE and population health solutions to help improve healthcare delivery. I get to work with people involved in all aspects of healthcare delivery – from IT to business, clinical and legal departments.
I also get to work with local- and state-level health departments on population and public health initiatives, such as mandated electronic quality measure reporting and combatting the opioid epidemic in our region. My interaction is primarily remote, with conference calls and video chats. I also get the opportunity to visit and interact with stakeholders on-site at their organizations.
At the end of a busy day, I look forward to a session at the gym or yoga studio or even a long run to help me decompress.
My main focus is population health. As public health practitioner, I leverage big data and strategic partnerships to solve some of our most challenging issues around community health, cost of care, disease management and population health in general. My biggest challenge is remembering to practice mindfulness and self-awareness during challenging times.
Transforming healthcare is a marathon and not a sprint – so it’s important to recognize that every opportunity to interact with stakeholders and resolve small challenges will have a greater impact on the future.
My favorite story of my life in health information and technology is that I helped improve an organization’s workflow by working with them to implement direct secure messaging. This implementation not only improved transitions of care for the organization by eliminating faxes but also helped them meet their meaningful use requirements. Along the way, I gained an invaluable relationship with the institution.
My superpower is the ability to empower and activate others for change.
My portfolio is always stacked. I am a doer by personality and am very detail-oriented, so my to-do/project list is always very extensive. As a result, I tend to have a lot on my plate at any given time.
I believe that healthcare is a right and not a privilege – which is not a very popular notion. In order to build health equity, we need to improve access to quality, affordable care for everyone. I believe that through the effective implementation of health information and technology, we can meet those goals and improve health outcomes along the way.
As a young, black woman in America, these opportunities are not readily available. I have the unique opportunity to transform healthcare and lay the foundation for others. Four years ago, I came into health IT with no knowledge of this space and since then have been able to contribute in unprecedented ways. My hope is that this serves as an inspiration to others.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.
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