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San Francisco Executive’s Life Changing Moment Led To A Career In Health Care

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(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

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The Bay Area job market continued its surge in February, adding 14,000 jobs – the largest monthly gain since August. Among the fastest growing sectors statewide are professional and businesses services, including marketing and advertising positions. But Bay Area executive Julie Wheelan also expects the health care industry to do well in the foreseeable future. She spent some time to share her impressive background and academic career, in addition to job expectations in the health care industry,

(Photo Courtesy of Julie Wheelan)

(Photo Courtesy of Julie Wheelan)

What is your current position and education background?

“I am Vice President of Marketing for Edison Nation Medical, a medical device incubator and health care innovation portal that cares passionately about creating more effective, more efficient and safer health care through open innovation. We make this a reality by providing a clear and easy pathway for anyone — physicians, nurses, healthcare clinicians, entrepreneurs, even patients and caregivers — to submit a medical invention idea for potential commercialization.

I have an M.B.A. from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, with majors in Marketing and Management Strategy and earned a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from Northwestern University.”

During your academic career, what inspired you most to enter your current profession?

“I have always loved marketing and advertising, but Northwestern University did not offer majors in either of these fields during the time I attended. For that reason, I ended up double-majoring in two fields – Economics and Psychology – that seemed most closely related and this has proven time and again to be a very wise strategy, since marketing is most definitely a deep blend of these two disciplines.

During my career, I have had the privilege of working on some of the world’s most respected brands, including Harley-Davidson, Gap, Williams-Sonoma and Visa, but it was a life-changing health crisis of my own that subsequently fueled my desire to get involved in health care. I have witnessed first-hand the power of open innovation to uncover truly disruptive ideas and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to bring this model of innovation into health care and enable anyone who has a great idea for improving health care to have a significant impact the lives of patients around the world.”

Do you expect your industry to expand in the next few years?

“Innovation is critical to the success of any company, but this is especially true in health care. Health care is changing more rapidly now than ever before in history. We have governmental changes, payer changes, new technologies and cures that are leapfrogging the ways we have classically thought about disease. And, perhaps most importantly, we have rapidly changing patient expectations for how, when, where and by whom health care is delivered.

Health care in the United States is already an enormous ecosystem and so I suspect it will evolve more so than expand. Some existing roles (which in some cases have been around for decades) will undoubtedly disappear, but new roles are already emerging to take their place. It’s an exciting time to be in health care, especially for anyone comfortable with ambiguity, energized by the opportunity to shape a new paradigm for how patient care is delivered, and resourceful and strategic in identifying areas where value can be added. For an individual with these characteristics, there will undoubtedly be a plethora of health care jobs available in the next few years.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.

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