Our team member spotlight this month shines on Ross Stoddard, Senior Vice President of Client Development. We’re excited to share some highlights from a recent conversation with him:
Q: What inspired you to get involved with health IT consulting?
A: Right out of college, I got involved with a growing, dynamic, young, life-style balanced software company named Cerner. The messaging of using technology to improve health outcomes was powerful to me. I was also exploring opportunities in finance after school but the narrative of what Cerner represented was meaningful to me. I was hired along with several friends of mine which made it very exciting.
Q: What do you enjoy most about health IT consulting?
A: I appreciate being able to talk with different people and having all the client interactions that I’m able to have. The relationships that develop and the personalization of the results we drive for them provide a lot of satisfaction to me. Each organization we work with has their own set of values and focuses in different areas, so it’s important for us to personalize our interaction while applying our market expertise to our client’s specific challenges.
Q: How have the past several months looked different for you in your job? Personally?
A: Well, I’m not traveling as much! Zoom meetings are now the norm – I think everyone has adjusted to that by now. Health organizations have to manage a lot of uncertainty right now. Focusing on long-term strategic planning is difficult when they don’t know what will transpire next month. Making new connections and building relationships has taken on new meaning. I’m grateful when current or previous clients are able to make introductions; that has tremendous impact. But the bottom line is the opportunity to get to know new people and create new connections is tough right now – this is probably the biggest change I’ve had to manage professionally.
Personally, I’m constantly evaluating how I can best support my family in this online world now. My 10 year old is a social creature and definitely has to interact, so we have to balance that with general COVID precautions.
Q: What are challenges or changes you’ve heard from clients after experiencing this pandemic?
A: It really goes back to uncertainty and being good stewards of their organizational assets – namely team members and finances. Anecdotally we are seeing many of our clients back to pre-COVID volumes with projections to be almost “even” for the year. Despite that rebound in volume, many are being very conservative on their return to investing on anything that does not have immediate cost savings.
Q: Looking back, is there advice that you wish you had been given upon entering the industry?
A: As I reflect on the leaders I was exposed to who were influential on my growth, there are a few pieces of sound advice that I continue to use today. First, ensure you’re always engaging with people and building your network in an authentic way and with your own genuine approach. Listen to your gut instincts and focus on creating sincere, trust-based relationships and then put the effort in to maintain them.
Q: Please share a few random fun facts about yourself.
A: I’m fluent in Spanish, an Audible junkie and I love learning about non-conventional skills. Log cutting has been the most recent thing I’ve been doing in my spare time. It’s a good workout!