Women in Health Care IT (HIT)
Featured: Lachandra Baker
Below is an article originally written by Jessica Behrendsen at PowerToFly Partner CoverMyMeds, and published on November 12, 2018. Go to CoverMyMeds' page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
It's no secret how deeply we value our culture at CoverMyMeds. It's always top of mind when searching for new talent to bring into the mix, and the best way to ensure that valued culture remains unchanged is to find the right "keeper." Enter – Lachandra "La" Baker.
La was brought on as our senior manager of internal communications, and from day one has been a critical member of the team. La brings a contagious enthusiasm to CoverMyMeds and a working-knowledge of what is needed to grow a company in meaningful ways – through an "employee-first" mentality. Not to mention she does it all with a lot of heart, and a lot of laughter.
We sat down with La to find out what drew her to CoverMyMeds, and pick up some advice for other women in health care IT (HIT).
CoverMyMeds: Hi, La! I think I speak for everyone that has been able to work with you thus far in your CoverMyMeds career, we're so glad you're here!
La Baker: Thank you! That really means a lot to me! I love being here and collaborating with such amazing people. It truly gives me energy!
CoverMyMeds: Let's start by talking about your background before you found your way to us. What was your path?
La Baker: I have spent nearly 15 years in health care! Most recently at Cardinal Health and a few years at Mount Carmel Health System. Health care is one of those industries that will always be critical to people's lives. When people are in their most vulnerable moments, they want to have care that is comforting, meaningful and effective.
Seeing that care up close is remarkable and life-changing. Prior to my life in health care, I worked in the hospitality industry. I see similarities in both industries and I have loved the things I have been able to accomplish in both.
CoverMyMeds: That is one of the great things about working for an HIT company, to know you're building products that can improve the lives of patients, who also happen to be our friends, family and loved ones. That being said, what ultimately drew you to CoverMyMeds?
La Baker: I am a service-minded person. I love being able to make a difference in people's lives. Hearing CoverMyMeds' mission of helping patients and seeing how passionate people are about their work, it was something I definitely wanted to be a part of. My sister has been in IT for the better part of 20 years and health care IT for the majority of that. I always remember hearing her stories of how she helped monitors work in the NICU that detected and regulated the heartbeat of newborn infants or troubleshooting electronic health record interfaces to ensure those newborn records properly transferred. I realized there are so many pathways that HIT can take and it's all very interesting.
I never understood the prior authorization process until my husband was diagnosed with cancer. There were several rounds of chemotherapy and specialized medicines that he was prescribed. Knowing that a company like CoverMyMeds was helping us in the background to get our medications faster is heartwarming and admirable. I am very proud to work with such an incredible organization with such dedicated and caring people.
CoverMyMeds: In your role here, you work directly with employees across the organization. What are some of the best things about being in that unique position?
La Baker: The best part of my job is talking to all of the employees and finding out why they consider CoverMyMeds the Best Place to Work. We truly hire the best and brightest. I am in awe with how smart and talented our workforce is and how much they care about the patients we serve. I am also struck by how much our leadership team really puts the employees at the center of every one of their decisions. In addition to having a mission that we can really get behind, and make strides toward every day, we also get some of the very best perks and benefits I have ever experienced. It is truly a pleasure to come to work every single day.
CoverMyMeds: What advice do you have for young women who might be thinking about a career in HIT? Any lessons learned to pass on to the next generation of innovative, thoughtful women?
La Baker: Do your research on what's happening in the industry and be confident in the knowledge and experience that you bring to the table. Find a company where you can truly bring 100 percent of yourself to work every day. I worked for a company where the leaders tried to change me to be more like them. When I would not conform, they did not promote me. Since I've been at CoverMyMeds, I have been respected, supported and valued for being myself. It is very important for companies to celebrate diversity and encourage inclusion in leadership. It's exciting and extremely rewarding to work for a company that understands this and actively works toward it.
I would also tell them to keep learning. The health care world is changing daily. If we can have more of our employees bringing innovative ideas to the table, the more we can continue being leaders in the industry. Great ideas can come from anywhere in the company and none of us should be on the sidelines. We all have to be active participants in our success.