Company Spotlight: Stephanie Johnson from Stratasan
I had the opportunity to interview Stephanie Johnson, Senior VP of Strategic Resources Group at Stratasan. We began the call with brief introductions, and Stephanie was friendly and welcoming. Her positive energy and passion for Stratasan was clear, and I became even more excited to learn about the healthcare industry from someone as enthusiastic and knowledgeable as Stephanie!
Stephanie was kind enough to share some of her story with us.
“After graduating from college, I was employed at a staffing company for 16 years. While there, I held several positions including VP of Development, which afforded me the opportunity to create their Recruitment Department. During my last eight years I was the COO.. While this company primarily supported the IT side of our client’s business I was developing a deeper interest in the healthcare space. I knew it was time for a career change. I joined Stratasan in 2016 and was surprised at their interest in my work as a former COO, considering I didn’t have direct experience in healthcare. But their interest made sense when I learned they had a team of 13 analysts in need of leadership and operationalization It was a bit of a learning curve for me, as I was totally new to the health data analytics field, but I was ready for the challenge and excited to jump in.”
Stephanie described her “untraditional” path getting to where she is today, and some of the challenges she had to overcome.
“I became a mother at a young age and my undergraduate and MBA college years were spent in a non-traditional way, as I was a student who was also raising my beautiful kids. I understand the value of hard work and taking advantage of and recognizing career changing opportunities. My life has been interesting and peppered with experiences I couldn't have ever imagined. I have learned valuable lessons from my prior bosses and colleagues, as well as my team here at Stratasan. I know those lessons will continue.”
To see where she’s come from and where she is now really inspired me about what I can become. As we continued the conversation, we dove a little bit deeper into what Stratasan does. This is how she explained it.
“We work primarily with hospitals and health systems, as well as other healthcare companies. Within these organizations, we work with their marketing and strategy teams, whose work directly impacts their customers. We evaluate their market, and assess how they can perform better. Essentially, we are helping our clients make decisions about how they are going to improve in areas that may be lacking. We provide ‘data, knowledge, and information.’”
One of the things I was curious to know was what she enjoyed and what she found challenging about working in a startup.
“I personally thrive off of challenges and I appreciate the ability to start something new. Most of all, I enjoy the people. Working with so many people, and so many different people at that, can be both a challenge and a great opportunity, especially when a company is in high-growth mode. Every single day, I learn from my colleagues here. Everyone at Stratasan is good at what they do, and they are good at sharing what they know.
At Stratasan, we’re definitely a family. We’re laid back, and are genuinely interested in sharing knowledge. We’ve created a culture that not only accepts failure, but also chooses to learn from it. This honesty and vulnerability is unparalleled. I believe we exhibit our company core values in everything that we do.”
As we ended the conversation, I asked her if she had any advice she would share with a college student or recent graduate as they entered the professional world.
“We check in with our interns at 3:30pm everyday, so I’ve thought about this before. I think about this regarding their professional development. We have one Ohana intern now that is fearless and bold - she’s not afraid to ask questions, and I recommend this to everyone. Take time to figure out what you want to do and never shut up about it. If you do that you’ll end up in a spot that you feel passionate about.
Step outside of your comfort zone and figure things out. I once worked in customer service at a Pizza Hut, and I have carried those customer service skills with me in every position I’ve held since. With every job you will hold, you’ll learn something. Sometimes you’ll learn what you don't want to do or emulate and likewise you’ll take with you valuable lessons or knowledge. Bring all of that experience with you into your next career opportunity and repeat!
I thanked Stephanie for her kindness and openness in sharing her story. After speaking, I felt inspired and energized. I also felt like I had gained a friend in the healthcare innovation space. While we were preparing to part, Jason Moore, Stratasan’s CEO and co-founder, entered to check in on how she was doing after an injury during some renovations. This interaction emphasized the family-like culture at Stratasan, as well as the adoration for Stephanie held by everyone she crosses paths with. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation about healthcare strategy with Stephanie!