Considering Different Routes to Your Career Goals
I did not formally start out working in a health care setting. I began my work in community social work/public health. I did community based leadership development at a social justice nonprofit. My role was to teach low income (uninsured) residents how to navigate and advocate for better healthcare services in local communities. This experience taught me how fragmented healthcare delivery was for underrepresented populations and it gave me the opportunity to engage healthcare leaders on how to improve the delivery system for those in greatest need. This led to a policy role influencing law makers and regulators about how to improve access for patients and families. That health policy role led to a short stint in politics. My career path—community social work, public health, health policy work and politics—is likely the most non-traditional route to the C-Suite in a large Academic Health System.