We asked Christine to tell us about her background and what drew her to Commure.
You’ve been working at the intersection of healthcare and technology for a while now. What’s exciting to you about that nexus?
The way we experience and provide healthcare is so ripe for the kinds of changes that technology has enabled in just about every other space: moving toward a constituency of one through hyper localized and customized experiences and services. Even though our own individual health is inherently unique and customized, we still often experience one-size-fits-most care. We struggle to experience health, wellness, and healthcare that meets us where we are.
Unlocking truly customized, personalized experiences is going to require an evolution across the ecosystem, especially at the intersection of high-tech, health-tech, clinical care, and wellness. There’s an incredible opportunity for improving collective wellbeing globally. I can’t think of a more exciting problem to work on.
You started your career in clinical care. What was that experience like?
I was working in clinical mental health, primarily supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Many of the individuals my team supported faced multiple challenges across the mental, developmental, physical and social spaces. I saw first hand how complex life can be when trying to coordinate support and care across multiple systems, and how disheartening that can be for the individual at the center. I also saw some of the consequences of people “falling through the cracks” and landing in institutional settings, both through behavior challenges and the criminal justice system. Once someone has landed in an institutional setting, everything becomes so much more complex and difficult for them (or their family) to navigate.
I often found myself working with someone and thinking: “I can see a path for you, but I can’t see how to get you on it.” I saw so many times where we had solid behavior plans and staff to support people, but we weren’t changing the environment. Or we’d change the environment but that resulted in the individual losing all their familial and social support systems. It honestly felt sometimes like you just couldn’t win. While my professional experience was on the behavior and mental health side, you can see similar patterns across physical well-being too. Across the country we’ve seen similar patterns with the availability of high quality fresh food and the community patterns of obesity and diabetes.
Ultimately, I stepped away from the clinical work for the sake of my own well-being, but the experience changed me. I kept thinking, “What if the system was better? What if it could change?” I was lucky enough to find my way to Google where I met people who were asking those same questions.
What drew you to Commure?
Working in health and technology for a long time, I’ve seen so many groups and companies take a run at this. The innovation across the ecosystem, from the big players to the start-ups, is staggering. However, we are all struggling with finding the most effective way to enable an evolution of the lived experience of each player – from the individual experiencing care, to the provider, to the system administrator, to the innovator.
Changes need to come, and I believe they will come through radical collaboration that enables an intentional evolution. For me, this is where I saw Commure come in — bringing new solutions and breakthroughs to the industry in partnership with the existing systems, and also pushing the boundaries to nudge the system toward a future. One where our lived experience, no matter where we sit in this ecosystem, is understandable and tailored at the individual level. A future where the amazing breakthroughs and innovations have means to slipstream into our health journeys, and ultimately our collective health and well-being. Having something like Commure to tie it all together changes the calculus for everyone involved. How could you not want to be a part of that?