S o l a r A l l O v e r &
E n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p
b y D e s i g n
Meet The Iconic Dr. Caroline Iscovitz
Interwoven Impact: Psychology, Solar
Energy, and Entrepreneurial Resilience
What does Iconic mean to you?
To me, the term "iconic" signifies a lasting and profound impact that extends beyond the ordinary. It embodies a quality of influence, originality, and resonance that leaves an indelible mark on individuals and communities alike. An iconic status is earned through meaningful contributions, innovation, and a timeless ability to inspire and transcend the confines of the moment.
Can you share how you seamlessly transitioned from clinical psychology to the solar industry and entrepreneurship?
My journey unfolds from clinical psychology to the solar industry and entrepreneurship, a path that may seem unexpected at first glance. Yet, in retrospect, each transition seamlessly guided me to my present point. In the domain of clinical psychology, I delved into the intricate dynamics of human behavior, motivation, and the profound significance of sustainable well-being within the context of family systems and relationships.
Moving from psychology, my focus shifted towards global support, particularly in empowering women entrepreneurs and managing an online health business. Coaching revealed the intricate link between personal well-being and the external environment, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices for both individual well-being and the relationships around them.
"Coaching revealed the intricate link between personal well-being and the external environment, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices for both individual well-being and the relationships around them".
A pivotal moment arose as I entered the solar industry, recognizing its positive impact on the planet and homeowners. This realization inspired a purposeful progression from coaching to the solar sector, aligning my commitment to holistic well-being with a dedication to environmental sustainability. In my current entrepreneurial pursuits within the solar industry, I witness the positive effects of sustainable living, benefiting individuals, the planet, and the communities we serve.
This journey was catalyzed by the understanding that I could contribute to a more sustainable future and address broader environmental challenges. Embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, I founded my venture, driven by a passion to make a positive impact on both individual lives and the planet.
Every step, from diving into the human mind to navigating the complexities of the solar industry and entrepreneurship, has been a seamless progression. The skills cultivated in psychology – empathy, communication, and problem-solving – proved invaluable in the business world. Through adaptation, innovation, and purpose-driven leadership, I've shaped a cohesive narrative in my professional evolution.
Reflecting on the past, my journey underscores the importance of embracing change, pursuing passion, and recognizing the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate fields. Each experience, whether in psychology or the solar industry, has been a stepping stone guiding me toward a more purposeful and impactful destination.
How do you see the intersection between environmental stewardship and individual empowerment in your current role in the solar industry?
In my current role within the solar industry, I perceive a meaningful convergence between environmental stewardship and individual empowerment. Through the implementation of sustainable energy solutions, we not only contribute to the health of the planet but also provide individuals with the tools to actively manage their energy usage. Embracing solar technology empowers people to play an integral role in the environmental conservation effort, enabling them to make a tangible impact by reducing their carbon footprint. This dynamic interplay between environmental consciousness and personal empowerment embodies the core philosophy of my work, instilling a sense of responsibility and control over one's ecological impact while contributing to the collective well-being of our environment.
"Through the implementation of sustainable energy solutions, we not only contribute to the health of the planet but also provide individuals with the tools to actively manage their energy usage. Embracing solar technology empowers people to play an integral role in the environmental conservation effort, enabling them to make a tangible impact by reducing their carbon footprint".
How does your YouTube channel allow you to nurture your passion for psychology, and what insights have you gained from these conversations?
Through my YouTube channel, featuring interviews with over 200 entrepreneurs, I've found a unique space to nurture my passion for psychology. It's fascinating to explore the diverse journeys of these individuals, recognizing that everyone's path is inherently different. This platform serves as a canvas where I can not only showcase the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs worldwide but also dive into the psychology behind their successes, challenges, and unique perspectives.
The insights gained from these conversations go beyond the conventional business narratives. I've discovered the profound impact of personal experiences, mindset, and resilience on entrepreneurial journeys. Each interview provides a window into the human side of business, highlighting the emotional and psychological aspects that influence decision-making and innovation.
Moreover, I've learned the importance of elevating diverse voices. Every entrepreneur brings a unique background, cultural perspective, and set of challenges to the table. By providing a platform for these voices, I contribute to a more inclusive and representative dialogue in the entrepreneurial space. This aligns with my passion for psychology, as it allows me to explore the intricacies of human behavior and the factors that drive entrepreneurial success. In essence, the YouTube channel has become a meeting point where psychology and entrepreneurship intersect. It's a space where I can delve into the complexities of the human psyche, celebrate the innovation of entrepreneurs across the globe, and underscore the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success.
How do you believe storytelling contributes to business innovation and the human experience?
Storytelling is vital for business innovation and shaping human experiences. It simplifies ideas, fostering a connection with the audience and providing insights into customer needs. Additionally, it humanizes businesses by revealing the individuals behind the products, building trust and transparency. As a storyteller, I view narratives as a practical tool for communicating vision, inspiring innovation, and enhancing the collective narrative of the entrepreneurial journey. In essence, storytelling serves as a bridge between business objectives and the human experience, fostering understanding and connection.
"As a storyteller, I view narratives as a practical tool for communicating vision, inspiring innovation, and enhancing the collective narrative of the entrepreneurial journey. In essence, storytelling serves as a bridge between business objectives and the human experience, fostering understanding and connection".
How does adaptability and compassion play a role in your approach to both sustainable energy and psychology?
Adaptability and compassion have played vital roles in my journey, influencing my approach to sustainable energy and my previous experience in psychology. In sustainable energy, adaptability helps me navigate changes, staying current with innovations. Compassion drives my commitment to environmental well-being, fostering an understanding of the impact on individuals and communities.
In the past, in the field of psychology, adaptability was crucial for tailoring approaches to individual needs effectively, enabling a personalized intervention. Compassion formed the basis of a supportive space for individuals to address their mental health. These qualities worked together to shape a holistic approach, considering both environmental and individual well-being. Adaptability ensured effectiveness amid dynamic challenges, while compassion grounded my work in a genuine understanding of the interconnectedness between sustainable energy and my past experiences in psychology. I continue to apply these skills in my YouTube channel, using adaptability and compassion when interviewing entrepreneurs to foster genuine connections and insightful conversations. It is through this practical and compassionate lens that I contribute meaningfully to both fields, aiming for positive change on both personal and planetary levels.
Could you elaborate on your belief in the transformative power of individual and collective journeys? How does this belief guide your work and interactions?
Certainly. I hold a strong belief in the transformative power found in both individual and collective journeys. It guides my approach in work and interactions, emphasizing the significance of recognizing and respecting diverse paths.
In my professional work, acknowledging the uniqueness of each person's journey is essential. This understanding influences how I address specific needs in both sustainable energy initiatives and psychological aspects. It encourages an individualized and empathetic approach, contributing to personal and environmental well-being.
On a broader scale, this belief guides me to foster inclusive and collaborative initiatives that consider the diversity of experiences within a community. By recognizing and respecting various perspectives, I aim to contribute to more impactful and sustainable outcomes. In interactions, this belief translates into a commitment to active listening and open dialogue. Valuing individual narratives within the broader context helps navigate both sustainable energy projects and human experiences. It's through this practical approach that I aim to make a meaningful and lasting impact on both individual lives and the communities I serve.
In your current role, you guide homeowners and commercial property owners toward ownership in the solar industry. What motivates you in facilitating this transition, and what impact do you hope to achieve?
In my current role guiding homeowners and commercial property owners toward solar ownership, my motivation lies in a commitment to environmental sustainability and empowering individuals. I'm driven by the tangible impact that solar energy can have on both the planet and the lives of property owners.
Facilitating this transition allows me to contribute to reducing carbon footprints and promoting cleaner energy sources. This aligns with my dedication to fostering a greener planet. Beyond environmental benefits, I am motivated by the practical advantages of financial savings and independence that solar ownership offers.
By guiding property owners through this transition, my aim is to empower them economically, providing a sustainable solution that benefits both the environment and their financial well-being. The impact I hope to achieve is twofold: contributing to a reduction in ecological footprints and empowering individuals and businesses with the economic advantages of solar ownership. Ultimately, I aspire to be a positive force for change, encouraging a shift towards sustainable energy practices while simultaneously enhancing the economic resilience of those I assist.
How do you ensure the diverse voices of entrepreneurship are amplified in your work? Why is this inclusivity important to you?
Ensuring the amplification of diverse voices in entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of my approach, rooted in a commitment to inclusivity and recognizing the strength found in diversity. In my work, I prioritize creating platforms and opportunities that actively showcase and uplift entrepreneurs from various backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.
To achieve this, I actively seek out and engage with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, ensuring that their stories and insights are prominently featured. This inclusivity is important to me because it enriches the entrepreneurial narrative, offering a more comprehensive and representative view of the challenges and successes within the business world.
Inclusivity isn't merely a goal; it is a fundamental value that enhances innovation and fosters a more equitable and dynamic entrepreneurial landscape. By amplifying diverse voices, I contribute to breaking down barriers, inspiring individuals from all walks of life, and fostering an environment where everyone feels represented and empowered. This approach aligns with my belief that a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem is one that embraces and celebrates the multitude of perspectives and experiences that individuals bring to the table.
Ultimately, inclusivity is not just a checkbox but a commitment to acknowledging and valuing the richness that diversity brings to the entrepreneurial realm. It ensures a more robust and resilient business landscape, fostering innovation, understanding, and collaboration.
"Inclusivity isn't merely a goal; it is a fundamental value that enhances innovation and fosters a more equitable and dynamic entrepreneurial landscape".
From the extensive interviews with entrepreneurs, what key learnings or common themes have emerged that you find particularly valuable or inspiring?
Through extensive interviews with entrepreneurs, several key learnings and common themes have emerged, offering valuable insights and inspiration. One notable theme is the resilience demonstrated by entrepreneurs in overcoming challenges. Whether in various industries or backgrounds, the ability to adapt, persevere, and learn from setbacks is a common thread. Another valuable learning is the emphasis on innovation and a proactive approach to embracing change. Successful entrepreneurs often prioritize staying informed about industry trends, utilizing technology, and evolving their strategies. This adaptability underscores the importance of continuous learning and an openness to innovation.
Additionally, the significance of building strong networks and fostering meaningful connections is consistently highlighted. Entrepreneurs frequently stress the value of mentorship, collaboration, and creating a supportive community. These relationships not only contribute to personal and professional growth but also serve as a source of motivation and resilience during challenging times.
A consistent thread in these interviews is the commitment to a larger purpose or mission. Many entrepreneurs express a dedication to making a positive impact, whether through innovative products, sustainable practices, or community initiatives. Overall, the key learnings from these interviews emphasize the importance of resilience, adaptability, meaningful connections, and a sense of purpose in the entrepreneurial journey. These themes serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs, highlighting the qualities that contribute to sustained success in the dynamic and challenging landscape of business.
Balancing psychology, sustainable energy, and entrepreneurship is no small feat. How do you manage to keep your heart rooted in both fields, and what advice do you have for others navigating diverse passions?
Balancing the YouTube channel with my background in psychology, sustainable energy, and entrepreneurship can be challenging, but it's a fulfilling endeavor. The key is maintaining a genuine connection to both fields through a shared core value – the pursuit of positive impact. In psychology, my focus is on understanding the human experience, which serves as a common thread throughout my content creation. Whether discussing entrepreneurial journeys or sustainable energy initiatives, the human aspect remains at the forefront, helping keep my heart rooted in both fields.
For those navigating diverse passions, my advice is to identify common values or principles that underpin each interest. Recognize the threads that tie your diverse passions together and allow them to inform and enrich one another. Establishing a clear purpose can provide a unifying guide, helping balance diverse pursuits and creating a more holistic journey.
Lastly, be open to evolving and adapting. As passions change, so can your approach to integrating them. Embrace change, stay curious, and be open to discovering new intersections between your diverse interests. In the balance lies an opportunity for personal growth and a more impactful contribution to the world.
"For those navigating diverse passions, my advice is to identify common values or principles that underpin each interest. Recognize the threads that tie your diverse passions together and allow them to inform and enrich one another. Establishing a clear purpose can provide a unifying guide, helping balance diverse pursuits and creating a more holistic journey".
Photographer: Adrian Fergson
W o m e n s ’ R i g h t s
A d v o c a t e s
Meet The Iconic Dr. Ewa J. Kleczyk
Data-Driven Impact: A Journey to Healthcare Transformation
What does Iconic mean to you?
Being deemed "Iconic" signifies that others perceive me as a key figure propelling change in healthcare, technology, and the advancement of women in this field. It suggests that I've made meaningful contributions to an arena in need of support and impetus for transformation. Ultimately, receiving this recognition is truly humbling, as it indicates that others acknowledge me as a significant force in these important areas.
Could you share with us what inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare analytics and operations?
Healthcare, though pivotal in society, contends with challenges like equitable access, timely diagnosis, and optimized treatment planning & delivery. Personal experiences, such as losing both grandfathers to lung cancer and witnessing my maternal grandmother battle rheumatoid arthritis, motivated me to pursue a career addressing these important healthcare gaps. In the 1980s and 1990s, these conditions were often deemed fatal, motivating me to influence chronic disease diagnosis and progression understanding, along with treatment and drug development through data analytics for broader societal impact.
My venture into healthcare analytics stems from a passion for using data to enhance healthcare outcomes. Growing up in Wroclaw, Poland, instilled in me a strong work ethic, a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives, and fundamental insights into the healthcare industry. Poland's nationalized healthcare system ensured equal access to basic healthcare needs, but often limited specialized care and drug development opportunities, leaving many patients with lack of support. These experiences and my comprehensive understanding of healthcare systems, in both the USA as well as Poland, fostered resilience and adaptability along with will to drive change — crucial traits in navigating the dynamic healthcare landscape. Embracing challenges in a new environment deepened my commitment to contribute meaningfully, aligning my career with innovative solutions and heightened operational efficiency in healthcare analytics.
You've been at the forefront of developing real-world data solutions for healthcare. Can you explain how these solutions are transforming drug development and commercialization?
Real-world data solutions are reshaping the landscape of drug development and commercialization in healthcare, offering insights gleaned from the diverse experiences of patients in everyday life. In contrast to data from controlled clinical trials, real-world data (RWD) draws from sources like electronic health records, claims databases, and patient registries. This diverse information enriches various facets of drug development.
Primarily, real-world data provides a nuanced understanding of treatment performance in actual treatment scenarios, empowering pharmaceutical companies and researchers to make informed decisions. This, in turn, fosters the development of safer and more effective drugs. Moreover, the inclusion of patient experiences and outcomes in drug development ensures a patient-centric approach. This approach facilitates the creation of treatments that are not only scientifically effective but also aligned with the practical needs and experiences of patients. Real-world data facilitates continuous monitoring of drug safety and efficacy post-market launch, identifying and addressing potential issues for enhanced patient safety and regulatory compliance.
Additionally, it aids in pinpointing patient subpopulations that could derive maximum benefit from a specific drug. This targeted approach streamlines commercialization efforts, making drug marketing more effective and reducing unnecessary costs. Furthermore, real-world data provides crucial insights for health economic assessments, demonstrating a drug's real-world value and facilitating market access by offering evidence of its effectiveness in improving patient outcomes. This application will become more and more important overtime in making informed healthcare decisions.
In essence, real-world data solutions are revolutionizing drug development and commercialization by introducing a more comprehensive and dynamic understanding of treatment performance in real-world settings. This paradigm shift enhances decision-making, promotes patient-centered approaches, and ultimately contributes to the development of more effective and accessible healthcare solutions.
"Primarily, real-world data provides a nuanced understanding of treatment performance in actual treatment scenarios, empowering pharmaceutical companies and researchers to make informed decisions".
What is your leadership philosophy, and how do you motivate your teams to achieve excellence?
My leadership philosophy is centered on fostering a collaborative and empowering environment where each team member feels valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute their best. To achieve this, I prioritize establishing a clear vision and well-defined goals for the team, fostering a shared commitment and sense of direction. Open and transparent communication is also crucial, encouraging a culture where team members feel comfortable expressing ideas, concerns, and feedback, building trust and facilitating a dynamic exchange of perspectives.
Empowerment is key, and I provide the necessary tools, resources, and guidance while entrusting the team with a level of autonomy, fostering creativity and a sense of responsibility along with accountability. I would like to stress that accountability is a very important part of empowerment, as it ensures that individuals truly thrive and progress their work initiatives. Recognition of team members' efforts, both large and small, is fundamental, ensuring that contributions are genuinely valued. A culture of continuous learning is actively promoted, offering opportunities for skill development, controlled risk taking, nurturing a growth mindset, and supporting professional advancement. Embracing an inclusive and diverse team is a priority, enriching creativity and enhancing problem-solving capabilities. These factors play an important role in advancing the team’s participation and engagement on a daily basis. Leading by example is foundational for every leader, setting a standard that inspires others through a strong work ethic, commitment to quality, and maintaining a positive attitude. Importantly, I have personally committed to never asking my team to do anything I wouldn't do myself, including working long hours.
While team success is paramount, I also recognize and support individual goals, striking a balance to ensure each team member's aspirations contribute to collective success. Through these principles, my goal is to establish an environment where every team member finds a sense of purpose, is motivated to excel, and receives the support necessary for both personal and collective success.
What changes have you seen in the healthcare industry regarding gender diversity, and what challenges remain?
In advocating for women in healthcare leadership, I've observed positive shifts in the industry's stance on gender diversity, yet challenges still exist as a forefront. There's a growing acknowledgment of the value that gender diversity brings to healthcare leadership, fostering varied perspectives and bolstering decision making and innovation. Numerous healthcare organizations are actively initiating programs like mentorship initiatives, leadership training for women, and platforms for discussing gender-related issues. Consequently, more women are attaining prominent roles, serving as inspirations for the next generation and bringing their successors along with them.
Despite this progress, substantial hurdles persist. Women remain underrepresented in critical healthcare leadership roles, especially in executive positions and boardrooms. Even when occupying such prominent roles, many women discover that these executive functions may not align with their preferences, leading them to exit these ranks. This phenomenon is regrettably detrimental to the prospects of future women leaders, impeding progress due to the slow pace of change. Additionally, the persisting gender pay gap, where women often earn less than their male counterparts in comparable roles, underscores the urgency for decisive actions to achieve authentic gender equality.
The demanding nature of the healthcare sector poses challenges for achieving work-life balance, particularly for women in leadership roles, juggling career aspirations and family responsibilities. Many leadership development programs not only do not address these issues, but also lack diversity, limiting opportunities for women, necessitating a crucial focus on inclusivity to foster diverse leadership pipelines.
Moreover, the intersectionality of challenges faced by women in healthcare leadership, entwined with factors such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background, underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing multiple facets of diversity and inclusion. As a result, there is still a lot of work that needs to happen to address these disparities in the workplace and create an equitable arena for everyone to succeed.
While strides have been made in healthcare leadership gender diversity, a sustained commitment is imperative to surmount persistent challenges. Organizations must proactively implement policies promoting equity, rectify biases, and establish environments where all individuals, irrespective of gender, race, background, lifestyle, etc., can thrive and contribute to the industry's success.
"Organizations must proactively implement policies promoting equity, rectify biases, and establish environments where all individuals, irrespective of gender, race, background, lifestyle, etc., can thrive and contribute to the industry's success".
Can you discuss your role in community service, especially with the Northern Light Community Cancer Council, and how you integrate this with your professional work?
My affiliation with the Northern Light Community Cancer Council in Bangor, Maine holds deep personal significance for me, embodying a dedication to community service that resonates with my professional values and commitment to equitable healthcare. Alongside my husband, JR Strout, I actively contribute to initiatives designed to support individuals and families impacted by cancer in the community. Since both my and my husband’s family members have been impacted by cancer, it is even more important that I leverage my professional experience to support those in need.
As a council member, I am actively involved in advocating for cancer patients, ensuring their voices are heard in discussions aimed at enhancing patient care, support services, and overall well-being. Additionally, I participate in community outreach programs focused on raising awareness about cancer prevention, early detection, and available resources, fostering a supportive and informed community. My background in healthcare analytics plays a crucial role in supporting these initiatives.
Acknowledging the financial struggles often linked with cancer, I actively participate in fundraising endeavors, like Lights of Hope—a Christmas tradition where community members buy ornaments displayed on a local tree to honor and recognize those affected by cancer. These proceeds play a vital role in sustaining local medical facilities, providing ongoing financial aid to community clinics and their cancer care.
Leveraging my expertise in healthcare analytics, I collaborate with healthcare providers to pinpoint areas where data-driven insights can enhance cancer care and support services. This synergy of experience contributes to driving innovation and practical solutions that benefit the local community. The integration of community service with my professional work enables a comprehensive approach to healthcare, aligning with my belief that active community engagement is both a moral imperative and an essential aspect of building a healthier and more resilient society.
Looking ahead, my commitment is to further bridge the gap between community service and professional expertise. I aim to ensure that data-driven insights and strategic thinking continue to make meaningful improvements in the lives of those affected by cancer and other chronic diseases within the community. This dual commitment underscores my belief in the interdependence of professional success and community well-being.
How do you see the intersection of education and healthcare innovation?
In my role as a faculty member at the University of Maine and Chairwoman of the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Forestry College’s Advisory Board, I recognize a profound intersection between education and healthcare innovation. The academic environment serves as a fertile ground for interdisciplinary collaboration, fostering partnerships between healthcare and agriculture/natural resources disciplines. This collaboration explores innovative solutions addressing both health and environmental challenges. Integrating healthcare concepts into the curriculum of natural resources and agriculture programs, and vice versa, shapes a generation of professionals with holistic perspectives, leading to innovative approaches considering the interconnectedness of human health and the environment.
At the core of academic institutions is the objective to function as research centers. Encouraging interdisciplinary research projects that bridge healthcare and natural resources offers the potential for pioneering innovations, such as investigating the medicinal properties of plants or comprehending the influence of environmental factors on health. A noteworthy initiative anticipated to reach fruition in 2024 involves preserving the legacy of Dr. Edith Patch. As the first female President of the Etymology Association and first female professor in sciences at the University of Maine during a period when few women pursued higher education, she exemplified this mission. Our ongoing efforts focus on transforming her residence into the Innovation Station, a dedicated space for aspiring scientists and educators.
Moreover, universities can play a pivotal role in community health initiatives by leveraging educational resources to disseminate information about healthcare innovations in natural resources and agriculture. Developing collaborative programs that intertwine healthcare and environmental education comprehensively addresses community health issues. This encompasses projects focused on nutrition, sustainable agriculture, or creating green spaces for improved mental health.
Educational institutions contribute to the development of future leaders and advocates. Educating students about the intersection of healthcare and natural resources equips them to advocate for policies prioritizing both environmental sustainability and public health. Universities, like the University of Maine, therefore, play a role in policy research exploring the impact of environmental policies on health outcomes, contributing to evidence-based policymaking addressing the complex interplay between human health and the environment. In essence, the intersection of education and healthcare innovation holds immense potential. Fostering collaboration, research, community engagement, policy advocacy, and technological advancements creates a symbiotic relationship contributing to the well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment. This integrated approach aligns with the broader goal of building a sustainable and health-conscious society.
With your global recognition, including the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award presented by YouAreTheIcon.org, how do you perceive your impact on the global healthcare landscape?
Being honored with global recognition, notably the esteemed Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, stands as a humbling acknowledgment of my role in shaping the healthcare analytics landscape. My influence on the global healthcare arena spans various dimensions, including leadership, mentorship, advocacy, community service, and the championing of best practices. This recognition is not merely validation for past efforts; it also serves as a platform to magnify my impact, contributing to the ongoing enhancement of global healthcare practices. The acknowledgment underscores a commitment to continuous improvement and positive transformation in the broader healthcare context.
What advice would you give to young women aspiring to leadership roles in healthcare and STEM fields?
I would advise aspiring women in healthcare and STEM fields to start by embracing confidence in their abilities and the distinct perspectives they bring to the field. It's crucial to remain resilient, understanding that challenges may arise, but with determination, one can persevere, especially if this is their true calling. The journey may pose difficulties, but the ultimate reward makes it worthwhile; believe that you not only deserve but are instrumental in having a seat at the table. Recognize that each journey is unique, and there's no universal approach. Stay authentic to yourself, maintain resilience in the face of challenges, and take a moment to celebrate your achievements along the way. Remember, you possess the potential to make a substantial and lasting impact in the realms of healthcare and STEM.
"I would advise aspiring women in healthcare and STEM fields to start by embracing confidence in their abilities and the distinct perspectives they bring to the field. It's crucial to remain resilient, understanding that challenges may arise, but with determination, one can persevere, especially if this is their true calling".
Looking towards the future, what emerging trends in healthcare analytics and operations do you find most promising or concerning?
Healthcare analytics and operations are dynamic fields with promising developments on the horizon. Advanced predictive analytics, AI and machine learning integration, real-time data analytics, interoperability, population health management, and blockchain are promising trends, offering enhanced forecasting, personalized care, and improved community health.
Concerns in this arena include data privacy and security, bias in AI algorithms, overreliance on technology, ethical use of data, health inequities in data availability as well as healthcare access, and data integration challenges. Navigating these trends requires a balanced approach that prioritizes patient well being, data integrity, and equitable access, emphasizing the importance of innovation with ethical considerations in healthcare analytics.
What personal philosophy drives you? What are your aspirations for the future in both your professional and community work?
My personal philosophy centers on the belief that impactful leadership involves a commitment to continuous learning, resilience, and fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment. I aspire to be a catalyst for positive change in healthcare, leveraging data-driven insights to enhance patient outcomes and operational efficiency.
In my professional journey, I aim to stay at the forefront of healthcare analytics, contributing innovative solutions that shape the industry positively. I strive to mentor and empower women leaders, advocating for diversity and equality in healthcare leadership. My goal is to influence not only the present landscape but also contribute to a future where healthcare is more accessible, equitable, and technologically advanced.
In the community, my commitment to service reflects a dedication to improving the lives of patients and caregivers. I aspire to bridge the gap between community service and professional expertise, ensuring that my skills contribute meaningfully to community well-being. Overall, my aspirations encompass creating a lasting impact in healthcare, fostering positive change, and inspiring others to contribute to the betterment of society. I envision a future where healthcare is not only technologically advanced but also deeply rooted in compassion, inclusivity, and a commitment to serving the diverse needs of communities.
Desirea Jade Edgerly
PRA Health Sciences
W i n n i n g T h e C a n c e r
J o u r n e y
Meet The Iconic Tiffany Troso-Sandoval, MD
Patient-Centric Impact: Dr. A Transformative Role in Cancer Care
What does Iconic mean to you?
Iconic is an original thinker, a trail blazer who makes a difference in the world. Legendary and influential.
Can you tell us about your journey from Cornell University Medical College to becoming a renowned medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center?
I embarked on my medical journey at Cornell University Medical College. Following a successful residency in Internal Medicine at The New York Presbyterian Hospital, I pursued a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Since 2001, I have continued to make a significant impact as an attending physician in medical oncology at MSKCC.
What inspired you to specialize in breast and gynecological cancers, and how has your approach evolved over the past 20 years?
My dedication to treating female patients with breast and gynecological cancers has been a cornerstone of my career. I provide state-of-the-art treatment, testing and therapies combined with compassion and patient education thus ensuring the best possible care for my patients. I always had a special approach to taking care of women, likely stemming from experiences and lessons in my own personal life. I treat women with cancer how I would want to be treated. I am not afraid to answer the hard questions. I will provide support to the patients and their families.
How do you balance the technical and emotional aspects of cancer treatment in your practice?
I believe in balancing technical expertise with emotional support. My approach involves demystifying medical jargon, offering guidance on treatment options, and providing emotional support to patients and caregivers during every step of their cancer journey. I feel that it is important to try and look at the situation from the patient’s perspective when answering questions or providing information. The patient does not have the background technical and medical knowledge to understand all that is going on with their cancer and treatments. Therefore, I feel it is an important part of my role as a doctor to not only choose the right treatments, but to educate the patients as to how and why I am making recommendations. Through education and building confidence and trust, I am able to balance the technical aspects with the emotional ones in my cancer management.
Why do you believe educating patients and caregivers is crucial in cancer care, and how has it impacted your patients' experiences?
I believe that an educated patient is an empowered patient. My commitment to patient and caregiver education, through webinars, accessible literature, internet courses, and one-on-one discussions, has positively impacted my patients' experiences by ensuring that they have the knowledge to make informed decisions about their treatments. Through understanding and trust, the patient can develop more confidence in their cancer treatment choices, which helps to alleviate anxiety and fear.
"I believe that an educated patient is an empowered patient".
Could you elaborate on the different methods you use, like webinars and internet courses, to educate patients and caregivers?
I employ various educational methods, including webinars, an internet app, internet courses, as well as in person workshops to meet the diverse needs of patients and caregivers. These resources are designed to demystify complex medical terminology, provide treatment guidance, and offer emotional support, catering to the specific needs of each individual. Interested patients or caregivers should reach out directly to me to evaluate the best process for them.
Can you share a success story where patient education significantly impacted treatment outcomes?
My patient education efforts have empowered countless individuals to actively participate in their treatment decisions, leading to more personalized and effective care. One example includes a young female with early stage ovarian cancer who had young children and was an elementary school teacher. She was recommended to receive a cancer treatment regimen with chemotherapy that would cause approximately 90% of her hair to fall out. The patient was initially refusing the preventive chemotherapy due to the risk of hair loss.
After extensive discussion, it was decided that the patient would prefer to receive her chemotherapy at a lower dose given weekly, rather than every 3 weeks. Although it is more time consuming, receiving this chemotherapy agent weekly does not change how effective it is, but does decrease hair loss substantially. She was offered to apply for scalp cooling and we assisted the patient in obtaining insurance coverage. Scalp cooling is a procedure where the patient wears an icy bathing cap on the head during and after chemotherapy in order to protect the hair follicles from chemotherapy damage.
What are some common challenges patients face in understanding oncology, and how do you help them navigate these complexities?
I offer emotional support by being empathetic, compassionate, and attentive to patients' emotional needs. I seek to educate patients about the basics of oncology and medicine so they can understand the rationale behind their treatment recommendations, and feel confident that they are making the right decisions. Knowledge is power, but it is also the key to controlling anxiety when patients feel helpless. I endorse education on helping patients to organize their medical records, and materials to decrease anxiety. I teach a simple method to organize an oncology binder that is helpful both to the patient, their caregivers, and their physicians. I created an application that can be used to track symptoms from cancer and treatment side effects. This is a powerful tool for patients to use in communicating with the patient care team.
What advancements do you hope to see in the field of oncology in the future?
There are many advances occurring in cancer treatment. Exciting results are being seen in treatments with immunotherapy, as well as targeted therapy. Immunotherapy harnesses the power of our own immune system to fight cancer. It uses specialized treatments to boost or activate immune cells, enabling them to recognize and attack cancer cells more effectively. Another exciting field of research and treatment is ADCs. An ADC, or Antibody-Drug Conjugate, is like a smart missile for cancer treatment. It combines a specific antibody that targets cancer cells with a powerful chemotherapy drug. When the antibody attaches to a cancer cell, it delivers the drug directly to the cancer, sparing healthy cells and minimizing side effects, making it a precise and effective way to treat cancer.
What keeps you motivated about your work after so many years in this challenging field?
I love to help people and solve problems. I am dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients. Although I cannot guarantee cure to all patients, my source of motivation comes from the gratitude I feel when I help improve the cancer journey for patients and their caregivers.
Photographer: Stephanie Glavan, NP.