VP of Operations, Fibroblast; formerly, VP of Strategy & Operations, NeoCare Solutions, a Healthagen Business (part of Aetna)
Chicago; formerly, NYC
Tell us what you're up to these days.
Right after graduation I moved back to NYC and kicked off my post-HBS career with NeoCare Solutions – a mobile engagement platform that helps parents of NICU babies navigate the NICU and transition home. Interestingly, the business was incubated and is run as a start-up within Healthagen, the innovative technology and services arm of Aetna – corporate intra-preneurship, you could say. As VP of Strategy & Operations, I was responsible for defining our strategic roadmap and designing and implementing our business operations. While I learned a great deal in my role and was fortunate to have a great team and to quickly take on increasing responsibilities, I found that something was missing.
I saw firsthand that the pace and breadth of activity that are inherent to start-ups are in fact very difficult for large corporations to support, despite a business being arm’s length from “the mothership.” As such, I recently moved to Chicago and have been blown away by the richness of entrepreneurial activity in the city’s healthcare community. Whereas 2-3 years ago there were only a handful of start ups in the city at the intersection of healthcare and technology, now there are roughly a hundred. It’s been exciting and exhilarating to explore their business models and aspirations to transform the industry.
One company in particular grabbed my attention: Fibroblast, a referral management platform. The business is focused at the heart of the one for the most challenging issues for patient safety and care delivery, has a nuanced and compelling product, and is led by a team that has garnered a great deal of respect and admiration from the local entrepreneurial and investment communities. These factors, coupled with the chance to maximize the value of my HBS and prior professional experiences to date to help build and grow the company culminated in an incredible opportunity that I knew I needed to take.
How has having an MBA impacted your career?
With NeoCare, the HBS MBA gave me the credibility to be given a large amount of responsibility right off the bat. In addition, the skillset developed from my HBS experience allowed me to quickly take on increased responsibilities. With my recent move to Chicago, I witnessed the true “power of the alumni network.” Chicago alums immediately welcomed me into the fold, opened their own networks to me, and connected me with CEOs of dozens of companies. After having spent 8 years in NYC, my trepidation over building a new network from scratch was quickly allayed by the strength and breadth of our alumni community, which provided me with incredible access directly to top industry leaders. At Fibroblast, my responsibilities are broad and include building the operating system, building the team, and helping build the business and brand. To be successful in this role, I anticipate that I will need to draw on the full suite of the MBA coursework.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Where will the next chapter take you?
Over the last few years, the healthcare industry has undergone unprecedented change, across every sector. Decades later than its peers, the healthcare industry is finally embracing the digital age. The landscape today looks vastly different today than it did when I arrived on campus, and it will look vastly different 5 years from now. All I know for certain is that I will continue to follow my Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise professor’s advice: “skate to where the puck will be!” I will do everything I can to use my HBS education and experience to the fullest and to be in the driver’s seat of the innovation and change our healthcare system so desperately needs.