By Nicole VanLiew
“People are needed in this space. Number one – it is interesting and constantly changing. Number two – clinical teams need people who understand their problems, and MMCi aids in providing this understanding. Most importantly, it helps an individual gain a new way of thinking – you learn how to help clinicians in leveraging and adopting IT, and in turn, we learn more about what our clinicians need from us to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
Cathy VanLiew, MMCi Class of 2015
Cathy’s previous roles in the telecom industry had reached an apex and she wanted more of an impact. “I was seeking a change to make my work more meaningful and to touch lives” A change was needed to do something more meaningful, rather than go to work to fix ‘this or that’ corporate IT problem.
The first day of Boot Camp in 2014, Cathy became completely confident that MMCi was the right choice for her. It was here where Dr. Robert Califf, Duke Vice Chancellor for Health and Data Science, Director of Duke Forge and former FDA commissioner, shared stories about his life-long pursuit of effectively applying clinical informatics with diverse teams to improve healthcare and population.
“I’ve always loved team building and communicating with teams, and this was a different kind of team with doctors, nurses, health care administrators, IT personnel, business leaders and more,” Cathy shared.
She describes the team experiences and classroom conversations as a “melting pot” where individuals with diverse personal and work backgrounds converge to discuss and attack problems with dozens of new perspectives. The program content and professors helped her delve into what healthcare meant to her, further allowing her to discover how she could impact individuals’ lives every day, whether it was the patient, nurses, doctors or technicians.
After graduating, Cathy changed careers and is an IT Strategic Advisor, Service Line Owner – Heart Center at Duke Health Technology Solutions (DHTS). She credits most of her career-switch decision to the MMCi program, the people who supported the program and her personal network, which she expanded throughout her MMCi experience. Cathy also explained how the clinical mindset she adopted throughout the MMCi program was immediately applied and helpful in her new role.
“Every day I strive to make a positive difference in that space between clinical teams and IT.”
She continues to accelerate Duke Heart’s mission with the conscious understanding that MMCi aided in her new position – a position where she can relevantly change lives every day.