In our Alumni Career Spotlight series, you will meet some of our alumni and learn about the important work they are doing to create a healthier nation and world.
Employer: Point Comfort Underwriters
Current position: Provider Relations & Compliance Specialist
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Degree(s): MHA – IUPUI, 2020
Why did you choose your major/program?
It was always important to me to pursue a higher education degree beyond undergrad. I had been employed in public health institutions for years and so did not think an MPH would open up more job opportunities (I work here already, after all) and so I chose a Master of Health Administration in order to focus on the “business of healthcare.”
Do you have any research interests?
Not at this time. My work background is mostly in communicable disease, HIV, STDs, etc. but I currently work for a health insurance agency/TPA. I am involved in the Indianapolis arts and nightlife scene, so most of my off-time is spent in that realm.
Briefly describe your career path.
I have been strategic in the jobs I’ve taken over the years so I could gain some well-rounded experience in all things healthcare:
- Damien Center – outreach and education; HIV/STD, public health
- Planned Parenthood – legislative analysis, reproductive rights
- Volunteerism abroad, Arusha, Tanzania – clinical work, lab work, maternity ward; government hospital, exposure to healthcare in a developing country
- Marion County Health Department – management, communicable disease reporting, government work, motivational interviewing
- FSSA/OMPP – State government, management, insurance (Medicaid)
- Point Comfort – private healthcare/insurance realm
Describe what an average day for you might be like.
My primary job responsibility is to negotiate contracts between PCU (insurance) and healthcare providers across the country. This involves building rapport, explaining all aspects of the available programs, negotiating rates, repricing codes, onboarding, and acting as a liaison between providers, local resettlement agencies, shelters, and the federal government. I also manage our spreadsheets for data collection for the department, and process/pay/renew all our licenses across the country so we can administer benefits in most states in the U.S.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing your current career path or industry?
Decide what criteria is important to you in a job before you start hunting. It will make it easier to find a good fit (and pass on seemingly “lucrative” options). It keeps your career aligned with your values.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
The breadth of courses has equipped me with enough healthcare jargon to contribute to most spaces in business, even if I don’t remember minutiae. Understanding risk stratification, the popularity of population health measures, and healthcare inequity painted a more accurate picture of healthcare in this country (and makes me more sensitive to the needs of actual patients/members).
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
I took a pay cut at my last job, and it was a great decision. I sit on the board of directors for Indy Drag Theatre, a company that creates great space to tell queer stories through satirical productions of well-known on- and off-Broadway musicals. It brings me much joy.
What’s next for you?
I plan to be at this company for the foreseeable future while I pour into my personal life (entertainment career, board responsibilities, etc.).
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
Dr. Ann Holmes’s classes were the most helpful, interesting, and memorable.