What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?

It’s hard to imagine doing anything other than health content, it’s what I am truly passionate about. However, if I wasn’t in this business I could see myself starting an incubator for women-run businesses. A way to support women and give them the resources and connections they need to become entrepreneurs. I’ve also always dreamed of opening a small cafe and bookshop where I can hang out and read and talk to people all day.

Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?

A former colleague and mentor from UBM, Sally Shankland, changed the trajectory of my career about four years ago. She recruited me to run content integrity initiatives at Healthline Media, opening the door for me in consumer health content and putting me on the path to where I am today. Her vision of bringing the same rigor and excellence expected in medical trade content to consumer content has become a cornerstone of my strategy. Sally, who died of cancer last year, believed in me and gave me a chance at an important time in my career.

How has the pandemic reset the rules on your work-life balance?

The pandemic blew any work-life balance out of the water for a while. We were all juggling homeschool, Zooms, family, the stress of the pandemic. It felt overwhelming. Meanwhile, I was starting my role at Verywell and later as Group GM for Health. As things came more into focus, I realized how important it was to find some balance and set boundaries. I needed to show my team how necessary that is. My goal is to build teams that recognize the value of the hustle — and the breaks. Now, when I feel the lines blurring, I log off, walk the dog, go for a run, whatever will help clear my head, and I encourage my teams to do the same.

Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?

I mostly live out of my comfort zone. It’s how I know I’m being challenged. It’s not a bad place to be. I am fortunate to work for a company that consistently challenges us to do more and think bigger. I am given the space to explore what’s next and take on things that are entirely new for me. I stay humble and ask a billion questions, and make sure the right folks are in the room with me. Then, that thing that felt impossible feels right.

What are you doing to send the career ladder back down?

I wouldn’t be where I am without the strong female mentors who have challenged and supported me. It’s on me to do the same. Most of that comes in informal relationships with colleagues, just being open to the coffee date or the Zoom chat. I will take any mentor opportunity possible. I’m always looking to grow my network and connect other women with each other. If there’s a role open on my team, I’m looking around me to challenge a female colleague to go for the role they might think they’re not ready for. 

What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?

My real claim to fame is winning a National Punctuation Day contest several years ago for a haiku I wrote about semicolons.

What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Ignore that voice that is telling you you’re not enough, you don’t have enough experience, or that what you have to say isn’t valuable. It’s garbage. It’s the cruel voice of imposter syndrome and self-doubt. It’s not easy to ignore, but what has worked for me is to replace it with a mantra that gives you the confidence to be present, to ask questions, and to contribute. My mantra is always  “I belong here.” If you work hard, know your stuff, and have contributions to make, then yes, you also belong here.

Favorite TV show/movie/song/book?

It feels impossible to pick a favorite book. I am an avid reader, and each month I give reviews on my Instagram for any book nerd friends looking for recommendations. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one I always come back to, which is a book of my mom’s poetry. She died when I was young, and we self-published a collection of her work posthumously. They are truly powerful poems, I even had part of one tattooed on my arm.