How has work shifted in the last nine months?
I am grateful to have a job that I am able to do remotely. That luxury is not lost on me or my family and we are very grateful to those who are on the frontline in the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic I had been working remotely for a number of years, but with two children under five and an equally demanding job for my husband it is challenging.
I credit my company GetWellNetwork for creating an environment where the constant juggle is openly shared, flexibility is encouraged, and children's Zoom appearances are celebrated. As a company we focused on our mission to engage patients and families actively in their care. Never has our work been more critical. Like all of our hospital clients, we have spent the past nine months in rapid response mode. I have a wonderful husband and quarantine crew that make this dance possible. I also give credit to my SSSAS girlfriends for our regularly scheduled online happy hours!
What is the most rewarding part of working as a part of the GetWellNetwork team?
Our mission is to help patients take an active role in their healthcare. I have loved working in this field for the last 12 years because of that mission orientation. Although the U.S. healthcare system is complex and there is much to improve, I get a lot of energy from the challenge and the ability to make a difference. For the last 20 years, GetWellNetwork has partnered with hospitals to educate and empower millions of patients and families when healthcare becomes the central focus in their lives. For everyone, COVID-19 has put healthcare front and center like never before, and I am proud of our response.
We realized when the pandemic started that we were in a unique position to use our digital capabilities to reach patients, families and hospitals quickly. In the first two weeks of March we developed and deployed remote Covid-19 care plans that allowed clinicians to monitor patients by digitally checking in (via an app, email, or text). Patients were asked a series of questions about their condition and provided reassurance, evidence-based guidance, education and triage support if necessary.
We have provided this app to frontline healthcare workers, to patients as they re-enter the healthcare system for essential treatment, to companies, schools and states to help manage return to work and school, and to those participating in mass gatherings and demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter.
Were there any SSSAS faculty members who were instrumental in your life?
I joined SSSAS in the seventh grade and it was clear that I was going to be challenged academically. Two teachers who were instrumental during those early years were English teachers Mrs. Wolf and Mrs. Keith. Mrs. Wolf had a dreaded but effective buzzer that sounded every time we used a filler word. She successfully buzzed the word “like” out of all of us! I still think about that buzzer when I am presenting. Middle School math and science classes were separated by gender but we got lucky and had a special girls-only class with Mrs. Keith in eighth grade. I met some of my closest friends during that class. Both were gifted teachers who taught me how to write and present more clearly. They gave me the confidence to contribute in the classroom and subsequently in my career.
Favorite SSSAS memory?
There are so many wonderful memories but the one that tops them all has to be the time when our lacrosse team beat Moorestown my senior year. Moorestown entered the game ranked No. 1 nationally and had an 82-game winning streak. They refused to come down to Alexandria to play us so we traveled to New Jersey and beat them on their home field. That powerhouse team was led by the one and only Coach Kathy Jenkins. I can still remember the disbelief, thrill, and tears at the end of the game when we won 6-5.
What’s next for you?
Back-to-school is the main focus at our house. My son Whit started Kindergarten this year at a school that reminds me of SSSAS - Saint Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. We have been extremely impressed with the planning, preparedness, and precautions that the school has put into place. Although the first day of Kindergarten was different than I imagined it would be, I am grateful to the teachers and staff who spent countless hours over the summer to make an on-campus learning experience possible.