Team Member Spotlight Q&A with Heidi Garwood
This week we sat down with Heidi Garwood, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, to ask her ten questions about herself and her experience at Continual Care Solutions. You can read about Heidi's journey to joining the Continual Care Solutions team in her first blog post, Making the Journey Toward an Electronic Social Health Record.
1. What is your role at Continual Care
As the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, I am focused on developing an electronic social record through which managed care organizations (MCOs), human service organizations and providers can share member data (assuming appropriate member consents are in place). The goal of such a social record is to improve how services are delivered, ensure gaps in services are effectively addressed, and that service redundancies are avoided. The partnership between MCOs, providers, and human service organization will also provide invaluable data demonstrating how social interventions improve health outcomes and reduce costs.
One of biggest challenges Medicaid plans face is finding their assigned members. Medicaid plans are often unable to locate as many as 50% of their members due to missing or incorrect phone numbers and/or addresses in the information plans receive from the state. Many of these members may be accessing services from social service agencies. The social health record will help managed care plans find and engage with previously unable to reach members, thereby improving service delivery and quality of care.
2. Why did you decide to join the Continual Care Solutions team?
Over the past 8 years, one of my passions has been finding ways to improve how managed care organizations connect with human service organizations to address social determinants of health. Upon meeting Mike and Jan and seeing the incredible capabilities of imPowr to capture patient information, I saw a unique and transformative way of better understanding and addressing member social determinant of health needs. I had recently “retired” from a long career in law and managed care and was looking for ways to continue to pursue one of my passions – improving the health and wellbeing of underserved communities. Becoming a part of the Continual Care Solutions team and bringing their software solution to managed care met all of these needs.
3. What is your favorite thing to work on as part of your job?
I love connecting with people, sharing and exploring ideas. Through more than two decades in managed care, I have gotten to know so many amazing people, but staying in touch across states and with COVID has been challenging. In this role, I am able to engage with many former colleagues and other connections and engage around a subject I am passionate about.
4. What makes Continual Care Solutions special?
Every organization is the sum of its people. The Continual Care Solutions team is an incredibly talented, experienced, and smart group of individuals from diverse background all with the common mission of improving the wellbeing of underserved communities. I am continuously inspired by their energy and passion.
Beyond the Continual Care Solutions leadership team, is the imPowr software itself. From the first time I saw a software demo, I was blown away by the depth and breadth of tools and solutions it offered, its ease of use and logical organization of its multitude of features. Having spent years in managed care dealing with the challenges of difficult to navigate, inadequate software solutions, I am especially excited about how intuitive imPowr is to use and how easy it is to configure for individual or group needs in an organization. Best of all, any time an issue or gap is identified, it is addressed in days or weeks, as opposed to months or years.
5. What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
1. Keep moving – don’t stay stuck in a job or company where you’re not growing, learning and/or appreciated.
2. Don’t be afraid to take risks and venture into new, somewhat uncomfortable areas. That’s the best way to gain experience and grow professionally and personally.
3. Know your value and ask for what you want. You’ll be surprised how often you get the answer you’re looking for.
6. What knowledge, skills, or insights have you gained since starting work at Continual Care Solutions?
I have never thought of myself as a salesperson and have never been in a “sales” role. I have learned a lot about the sales process, that I have some sales skills I hadn’t recognized, and that I have a lot to learn about the sales process. I am also learning a tremendous amount about what it takes to run and grow a start-up company.
7. If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
In high school I aspired to be a reporter. Since I love traveling and learning about cultures and love politics, it would be fun to be a foreign correspondent for a day.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love the outdoors, especially in the mountains here in Colorado. Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, biking, snow shoeing, skiing or just walking I try to spend a few hours outside in nature almost every day. I also love to read books and magazines. I’m grateful to have more time to do both especially with the current travel challenges caused by COVID.
9. Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
This is a tough one as I’ve traveled to many amazing places. I’ll pick New Zealand because it’s the last trip we took just before all of the COVID travel restrictions. While we had to abort the trip only 5 days after arriving due to COVID concerns, what we saw and experienced left a lasting impression. It was also a risky, but fun adventure since due to COVID we were self-isolating in a small beach town (Russell) in the North Island. I had spent time in England and Hawaii and it felt like a combination of both. The people were exceptionally friendly and the scenery (at least the small amount we saw) was spectacular. I can’t wait to return.
10. What is one of your favorite quotes?
This is a quote from Mother Theresa. When asked “How do you deal with the overwhelm of poverty?” She responded, “I deal with what’s in front of me.”
To read Heidi's blog article 'Making the Journey Towards an Electronic Social Health Record', click here.