Periodically on the Health for America blog, we'll be featuring the voices of our alumni and the work they're doing in health, design, entrepreneurship, and leadership. This month, we've asked 2014-15 fellow Ellen Kourakos to look back on her experience and reflect on how the fellowship has helped shape her professional path.
Health for America at MedStar Health (HFA) is anchored in healthcare, entrepreneurship, and design. My time as a 2014-15 fellow melded these three concepts into one. I can no longer see healthcare challenges without immediately brainstorming solutions and trying to figure out which healthcare policies, reimbursement incentives, patient-experience considerations, or entrepreneurs are factoring into it.
Today, I am a product manager for health tech company UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions which is a cloud-based medical image management solution that improves clinical workflow and facilitates
the diagnosis process. As a product manager, it is my role to create the product vision and strategy by working between our business, engineering, and design teams. Whether it's reading about new healthcare interoperability standards, observing how people interact with software in hospitals, brainstorming new features, or sketching new interface designs, I am always gathering and synthesizing information to build a comprehensive and user-centered product.
HFA promotes a culture of seeing the forest and the trees. The combination of spending time with patients, interviewing industry experts, reading books and blogs, observing hospital settings, attending innovation conferences, learning about the needs of underserved populations, and brainstorming solutions constantly allows you to zoom-inand zoom-out of every dimension of healthcare. It takes this type of deep learning to understand and improve care delivery.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." In ways big and small, Health for America gave me a full toolbox and exposed me to endless opportunities to make an impact. This passion is baked into me and I am excited to continue tackling the puzzle that is healthcare.
Ellen Kourakos is a currently a product manager at Ultralinq Healthcare Solutions and a 2014-2015 HFA fellowship alumna.