I remember the first time I became aware of my interest in science. I was in a 10th grade biology class at an all-girls Catholic school in Rhode Island. My teacher, Ms. Doback, had a wonderful knack for making the subject come alive and it wasn’t long before I was hooked on the idea of entering the medical field. And so at the end of high school I enrolled at the University of Rhode Island and then at Rhode Island College, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
From there I landed on a surgical unit at Rhode Island Hospital, caring for patients both before and after surgery. I enjoyed it very much, both the medical aspect of nursing, as well as my role in guiding and supporting patients, many of whom were scared and confused as they attempted to find their way.
Over the next several years (decades, actually!), I moved through a number of different roles and organizations, mostly in a management capacity. I worked in outpatient settings, at a for-profit rehabilitation program, a consulting firm, an insurance company and an employee benefits firm. Along the way, I earned an MBA from Simmons College. Throughout it all, I continued to learn more about how the healthcare pieces fit together and, as before, how confusing – and often frustrating – healthcare was for so many people.
An important turning point for me came in 1999. While working in Jacksonville, Florida, two of my team members were managing significant health issues, one had cardiac problems and the other had thyroid cancer. Both of them came to me for advice. It was a difficult time, but I’m happy to say that I was able to help them, both emotionally and in their own efforts to navigate the healthcare maze.
Looking back, I realize now that it was at this point that the light went on and the idea for Healthassist was born. I wanted to combine my leadership experience, my in-depth clinical knowledge, my understanding of the mechanics of the healthcare bureaucracy, and my profound interest in helping others manage complex healthcare situations.
Over the next few years I moved back to Boston and in November of 2004 launched Healthassist. I haven’t looked back since. Today, Healthassist is dedicated to providing the personal attention and clear information that our clients look for in navigating the healthcare system.