Kathleen Hustad, Founder & CEO, Bloom44
What is your current role?
I am the CEO and Principal Consultant of Bloom44. Bloom44 is a socially conscious marketing company dedicated to helping health and well-being companies grow. My company focuses on companies bringing change, innovation, and personalized solutions to patients, clinicians, and caregivers. It’s hard for anyone to tell their own story. It is rewarding to partner with founders and executives to effectively tell their story and explain the value they deliver in a memorable way, so they grow their customer base. I love being their Rosetta stone to get their message across.
Why did you join the TRUST?
I joined the TRUST at the suggestion of Rajni Shah in November 2021. What attracted me to the TRUST is the sincere and active engagement, commitment to mutual support, focus on well-being and IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. It’s a diverse organization with representation across all aspects of the healthcare system.
What has been your favorite part of being a TRUST member?
I value building relationships with the women of the TRUST. It is such a supportive organization. Every member is unique. What bonds us is we are genuinely dedicated to helping each other advance our careers and support our well-being. As individuals and as a collective, it is exciting to see how we all work to make the health system better in our own ways.
If I had to narrow this to one experience, it would be the Pinnacle Dinner in November 2022. There were 10 women at all stages in our careers. We all went around the table and shared our backgrounds and aspirations. We truly connected. One of the founding TRUST Members, Dee Thibodeau, shared the oral history of the TRUST. She and past president Christine Bent showed genuine interest in getting to know each of us. It was incredibly inspiring! I am still glowing from the genuine connections we formed that evening.
What one word would you use to summarize what the TRUST means to you?
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
The best career advice I have had is to put on your oxygen first. As women, we tend to be giving and put others first. If we are to be successful, we must always choose self-care. Because this does not come naturally, I continue to work on this.
How do you support other women in their leadership journey?
I focus on formal and informal support. If you look around, there is always a way to support women in their leadership journey.
My favorite way to support women is by holding up a mirror and helping them see how awesome they are and their true potential. It’s always there, and sometimes it just takes another woman to be a cheerleader to go for it.
When a woman from the TRUST contacts me, we typically have virtual coffee. Each conversation is unique, and I provide support based on each individual. It’s rewarding to me because each connection is genuine.
In addition, I work in the community to support women-owned businesses and provide encouragement. For many companies, any purchase or social media like means more than you can imagine! When you support women-owned businesses, you help families and the broader community.
As a CEO, many women comment how they admire me for starting my own business. I like helping them understand they too can be a CEO if starting their own business is their heart’s desire. All it takes is one step at a time.
What do you love the most about the health care industry?
I love making a difference. To me, health care is the most important aspect of life, and everyone deserves optimal health and well-being.
Healthcare is so broad and unique to each individual. I delight in connecting with professionals who share the same passion for transforming the healthcare system into a more personal and sustainable system for patients, clinicians, and caregivers.
It takes a village to achieve this vision, and I am part of this global community making things better, one patient and one innovation at a time. It truly takes a collective, and I am encouraged by all our progress.
How do you maintain or improve your health and well-being?
I meditate daily. Health starts with the mind and mindset. It has proven health benefits and I have seen them firsthand! Studies show even 5 minutes a day of meditation has measurable health benefits.
What is something that not many people know about you?
My purpose is to make a difference and help others. One way I do this is through sharing and amplifying stories. My former career as a journalist was rewarding, yet there was more out there for me. I love what I am doing today, which is to use storytelling to help innovative human-centered health care solutions to reach more people. I aspire to grow my business and pivot to being a philanthropist. I love connecting with others that share this vision for optimal health for everyone.