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Take Six with Colin Whooten, Senior Product Manager

What is your role, and what does a typical workday look like for you?

I am the product manager responsible for the CarePort Connect product. On a daily basis I work with engineering, design, and other internal teams like sales, customer success and implementation to figure out what problems our customers are facing and how we can update the product to solve them.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

I would say I like working with a bunch of people with different perspectives on difficult problems and that I love working in healthcare. Being able to take my passion of working in technology and apply it in a meaningful industry is amazing. At the end of the day, I’m leaving the world a better place. You can’t say that about all industries.

What made you want to work at CarePort?

Unfortunately my sister was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017 and passed away this past September. While I have been in healthcare since 2012, I became interested in CarePort after seeing first hand through her experience the challenges of care coordination across a bunch of different facilities and towards the end, different levels of care as she moved into hospice while still receiving care at the hospital.

I could see exactly where all of the care gaps were, and after learning about the CarePort products, I could see where those can help. From the Connect perspective, it is crucial that the entire care team – across multiple facilities – all have insight into what is going on. I could see these challenges as care givers are essentially the middle man between different facilities and have to pick up the phone to know what’s going on. And from the Guide perspective, looking for hospice facilities was like looking into a black box when working with the hospital staff. They would just say “we’ll get back to you” when we would ask about different options.

It’s important to remember to never lose the patient perspective when trying to update a product or solve issues. Patients are the heart of the product use case, and the main reason I am motivated to work harder at my job.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in product management?

I would say that a marker for a great product manager is a sense of curiosity. Recognizing that you need to be continuously learning about the product manager craft, the scope of your product and how your users are using your product. If you’ve lost that sense of curiosity or sense of learning, something isn’t quite right.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I love to ski and am also a big runner, having run 3 marathons. I also have a really great herb and veggie garden (impressive living in the city!), and a 15-month-old daughter named Sophie who keeps me very busy. Sophie loves pointing out all of the flowers when we go on walks, and recently has started helping me in the garden by picking the greens and handing them to me to help make the salad for dinner.

I’ve loved tech since I was a kid. I built an iPhone app a few years ago that I still enjoy working on and playing around with as a hobby. The app combines photos that you’ve taken on your phone from different locations that you’ve traveled with the weather in those locations. That way you get a trip down memory lane all while being able to track where you are and what the weather is doing at that time.

Are you a binge reader or binge watcher?

Half and half. I finally gave into the Kindle fad, and while I resisted for many years, I will say that now that I have a Kindle, I’ve started reading a lot more than I have previously. I also enjoy TV shows that give me a view into a different perspective or are roughly based on history, like the new HBO mini-series Chernobyl.

Want to work with Colin? We’re looking to add a Senior Product Manager to our team. Apply today!

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