Senior Director of Sustainability for Population Health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

What’s your current role?

I’ve been with Blue Cross for about eight years on and off. I left Blue Cross for a few years to pursue a health care start-up role and came back in 2019. The fact I came back speaks to what a great organization Blue Cross is to work for – and that you always maintain good working relationships because you never know where your career path might lead you (i.e., never burn a bridge)! I lead two teams in my current role – one responsible for managing our Health and Well-being products and partnerships and another responsible for leading our Population Health design initiatives. The latter is a new team we formed about a year ago. Our focus is on driving care further upstream in the health of our members, which isn’t easy to do as a carrier. Thus, we depend on strong community and provider partnerships to help execute the initiatives we design. This is meaningful work as we are very focused on our most vulnerable members experiencing many social determinants of health.

When and why did you join the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST?

I joined the TRUST in 2018 after my mentor, Monica Engel, invited me to attend the 2017 TRUST Forum, and I immediately jumped in to help with the Sponsorship Committee. Since the beginning of my membership, I have been involved and have found it very rewarding. You get out of the TRUST what you put into it. I currently serve as the Chair for the TRUST’s Associate Board and have held a co-chair role on the Sponsorship committee, which allowed me to participate on the Forum committee as well as Well-being Retreat committee.

Do you have a favorite TRUST memory so far?

A favorite memory is the 2019 Well-being Retreat. This overnight retreat was the first of its kind. It was wonderful to connect with so many women from the TRUST in an atmosphere centered on well-being. I was involved with the planning process, and it was rewarding to see and hear so many women who appreciated the retreat experience. And now many are looking forward to our next event for fall 2022!

How has a mentor helped you most?

I have a couple of mentors, and not only have they helped champion my career and development, but they have also served as a trusted sounding board. They offered encouragement and guidance when I was at my most vulnerable and filled with self-doubt. 

What is the best career advice you’ve received?

Sometimes our best moments are likely to occur when we feel deeply uncomfortable or unfulfilled because, in those moments, we are most likely to step out of the rut and start searching for different ways of doing things.

How do you support other women in their leadership journeys?

I always make time for people if they ask to connect. So many incredible women have made time for me throughout my career, and I love the opportunity to give that back to other rising leaders and women.

How do you incorporate wellness into your day?

Being physically active is a must for me and is my stress reliever and time for myself. I exercise first thing in the morning because if I don’t, I cannot fit it in with workday demands and family commitments.

How do you cope with demanding aspects of your career?

I take things day by day and reflect on why something feels stressful and what is in my control. That helps ground me to take accountability for the things I can have the most impact on (versus spinning my wheels and ruminating on things I can’t change).

Do you have words of wisdom that drive you?

My favorite quote is from Maya Angelou. I use it often to guide my personal and professional life: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”