What did your career trajectory look like after college?
After graduating from college, I took an unconventional route by moving six thousand miles away from home to teach English in two high schools in Fukuoka, Japan, through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. This life-changing experience taught me a lot. First, I learned that I love sushi and could survive living in a city as the only “gaijin” (foreigner). Second, I found that I appreciate the kind people of Japan and genuinely love hearing people’s stories. Perhaps most importantly, I realized that I am strong and independent.
When I returned to Minnesota, I found myself kicking off my career at Cigna Behavioral Health in account management and then had a short stint at Optum. Through a move to Minneapolis start-up RedBrick Health, I had an incredible eleven years of “helping people be healthy” (BrickHeads are the best work-family ever!). Three years ago, I landed at Ginger, where I am currently thriving.
What does your current role entail?
I currently work at Headspace Health (formerly known as Ginger), which offers mental health help ranging from prevention to clinical care. I have the pleasure of leading a truly talented team of Strategic Enterprise Client Executives who partner closely with our employer clients to ensure that their employees and families are receiving the mental health support they need when they need it.
What changes do you expect to see for Ginger due to the Headspace merger?
By coming together at a critical moment of global need, Ginger and Headspace merged in late 2021. Our combined expertise in the consumer brand, evidence-based interventions, and technology improves resilience, reduces stress, and provides treatment to the millions of people worldwide experiencing mental health symptoms from anxiety to depression to complex diagnoses. These efforts will help us get even closer to Headspace Health’s vision of a world where everyone is kind to their mind!
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
Throughout my career, I’m proud that I’ve had the opportunity to dive into meaningful work by choosing purpose-driven organizations that focus on helping people. At my current company, Headspace Health, the mission is to transform mental healthcare to improve the health and happiness of the world. Now that is why I get out of bed every morning!
Even with all the mental health solutions available, people still struggle to access quality mental health care when they need it.
PERSPECTIVE ON HEALTHCARE
What challenges do you believe the healthcare industry needs to solve?
We need to continue focusing on mental health. The pandemic increased the visibility of mental health issues and began further breaking down the stigma of mental health, but there is still so much work to do. Even with all the mental health solutions available, people still struggle to access quality mental health care when they need it.
What areas do you see the most innovation in healthcare right now?
Since the pandemic, we’ve seen incredible innovation in healthcare’s virtual and digital space. I think this will continue to grow, increasing the convenience and efficiency of healthcare. Likewise, AI is beginning to play a more significant role in healthcare – I’m curious to see how far AI will take us in the future.
JUST FOR FUN!
Where is you favorite place to get dinner?
What was the last movie or show you watched?
A Million Little Things. It pulls at my heartstrings every time.
What was the last book you read?
I don’t give myself much time to read books (other than the books my kids are reading! Does Dog Man: Grime and Punishment count?). I still get the magazine Real Simple in the mail and love paging through it!
Where is your favorite travel destination?
Last year I traveled to Italy and spent some time on the island of Capri and in Positano. Amazing! However, Japan will always hold a special place in my heart!
Relevant Health Roundtable Committee Member Since: 2017
Hometown: Plymouth, MN. In fact, my husband and I bought my childhood home from my parents in 2013. We are one of three second-generation homeowners in our cul-de-sac of seven houses!
First Job: Mr. Movies. Remember the excitement of going to the movie store on a Friday night to rent a new release? Oh, how times have changed!
College: St. Olaf College. Um Yah Yah! I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Management Studies.
Family: I have a wonderful husband of sixteen years, Jeff. We have three kiddos who keep us on our toes – Ethan (eighth grade), Synneva (fourth grade), and Ashton (second grade). Our home wouldn’t be complete without our two rescue dogs, Jack and Pearl.
Dream RHR Panelists: I would love to have Patrick Kennedy on a Relevant Health Roundtable panel to speak about destigmatizing mental health. His passion and rigor around mental health advocacy are unparalleled!