What is your role at CarePort, and what does a typical workday look like for you?
My title is Manager, Client Advocates, which is essentially what we call our Account Management team. So, I oversee our Account Management team at CarePort and am also serving in an Account Management role myself with a customer territory. Currently, my team is mostly focused on helping our Care Management customers. With that said, we are in the middle of a work group to think through the structure of our Account Management and Client Experience teams, and how we can better unify and streamline the experience for our customers and internal teams. We are looking at processes and improvements so the Account Management team, or whatever we call it in the future, will represent all of CarePort and its solutions. Things are a bit in flux – but in a good way!
Currently, I have three people reporting to me – two of them are Client Advocates for our Care Management customers, and one of them is a CarePort Guide Customer Success Manager. In my role as Account Manager, I partner with our sales executives across multiple territories – including New England, parts of the Midwest and downstate New York. So, on top of managing others, I’m doing a lot of Account Management work. I meet with clients regularly, help resolve issues that may arise, and answer questions that come my way, and so on.
You’ve been with Allscripts and CarePort for nearly 12 years – congratulations! What do you like best about working here?
The flexibility of the company, and how the company is growing, have always been advantageous for me and my lifestyle. I work remotely full-time, I’ve relocated a few times over the last 12 years, and I’ve always kept my job!
But it really comes down to the relationships that I’ve built at Allscripts and CarePort. The people are really what have that sticking power. I’ve developed amazing relationships with the people that I’ve worked with, and they have become very close friends. I never would have met them if not for my job, because they don’t live where I live. When my husband and I got married, we had a destination wedding. Including the two of us, there were 27 people at our wedding. Seven or eight of those guests were friends that I had met through Allscripts. The fact that I invited these people, and they were willing to travel internationally for my wedding, goes to show how close I’ve become with fellow Allscripts coworkers. What has kept me going are the people I’ve surrounded myself with at this company.
Can you tell us more about the different roles you’ve held at Allscripts and CarePort?
I’ve held many different roles at Allscripts and CarePort. I started as an Implementation Consultant – traveling and training our customers – and though I enjoyed it, I don’t think I could go back to a role like that because I have a two-year-old and can no longer travel 100% of the time. I’ve managed other teams and liked that experience, as well. Before stepping into my current role, I had a really unique role that I absolutely loved. I collaborated closely with our product team on product releases, and would work with other ancillary internal teams like customer service and support to ensure they were trained on these new releases and what the implementation entailed. I thought it was a really cool role because it was different from anything we had ever had before.
What I’ve learned about myself in all of the different roles here is that I’m really people oriented. Whether it’s a customer, a peer or a direct report, I really like the people aspect of my job. If there’s anything I can do to work directly with people, connect with people, coach people – whatever that may be – that’s really what I like to do. To ensure people feel protected, that they’re growing, that their needs are being met. As long as I have people around me in my role, that I can feel that I’m helping – whether a customer or colleague – rthat’s what makes a role worthwhile for me.
You have worked remotely for years. What advice would you share with others who have been working from home during COVID-19?
Working from home during COVID-19 is unlike any other time, even for me – who has worked from home for years. My husband is working from home, and I have a two-year-old who isn’t going to daycare right now. In a normal work from home scenario, my son is in daycare and my husband is typically at work. During COVID-19, if you’re working from home and there are others around, I think it’s just really important to be patient with yourself and patient with everyone around you. Don’t judge yourself for how productive you felt pre-COVID-19 compared to now. Know that what you’re doing is working, and it’s the best you can do.
But no matter the circumstances, I would recommend setting boundaries and taking breaks. Get outside if you can. Make sure you eat. If you have the space, I sometimes find it helpful to move your office location throughout the day – from the desk, to the kitchen, to the balcony. Sometimes a change of scenery will reinvigorate you. It can be really hard to remember to do all those basic things, because the day blends together.
You also don’t get that “water cooler” talk with coworkers when you’re working from home, so I also think it’s important to try harder to connect with people. Ask questions about their lives, and what they did over the weekend. I think it’s key to keep those pieces in place when you’re fully remote. I know that many teams at CarePort, including mine, have done a remote lunch together. We just turned on the video on our computer and talked to each other while we ate lunch. We’ve done a happy hour, as well. Although we never did these things pre-COVID-19, I think it might be nice to continue these things afterward. Especially on my team, because there isn’t one team member that lives in the same city. When everything is back to normal, it might be worth continuing these virtual team activities.
What is your favorite type of cuisine?
I don’t know that I necessarily have a favorite type of cuisine, but I have a favorite restaurant. It’s actually in New York City and is called Candle Café. It’s a vegan restaurant. I don’t live in New York City, but I’ve been there several times for work. Any time I go to New York City, I love to go to that restaurant. When I traveled more for work, the team that I traveled with had a lot of vegetarians or vegans, or people who enjoyed vegan food. It’s one of my favorite places and I wish I lived closer so that I could go more often. If I hadn’t traveled so much for work, I never would have found that little gem of a restaurant.
What would you buy if you won the lottery?
There are the obvious and boring things my husband and I would do, like making smart decisions with the money – investments, a retirement fund, a college education fund for our son. But for the fun stuff, we have always talked about figuring out who, using our lottery winnings, we would want to give a monetary gift to, and who we would want to give an experience to. For the experience, it would be something like an all-expenses-paid vacation with a big group of people.
Thank you to Sheri for sharing her experience with us. To learn more about other members of the team, check out the CarePort blog for more Take Six interviews.