A recent interview between Rebecca Schankerman, Ambra Health Field Marketing Coordinator, and Erin McGee, Ambra Health Senior Manager of Services, about her career switch in healthcare and her experience implementing Ambra solutions in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Rebecca: Can you talk about your past experiences and what led you to Ambra?
Erin: Prior to working at Ambra I was working at a hospital in NYC doing clinical research. I spent a good amount of time there – about 6 years. Leading up to that I had always thought I would go to medical school, and post-college I was looking for a more hands on clinical experience which is how I landed the job in the clinical research side of things. I got to the point in that job where I learned a lot about clinical work, but I didn’t know if it was the right path. At that point I was considering all jobs – nursing, physicians assistant, etc. In the end, I knew I wanted to stay in healthcare. I had never considered that I was in the wrong field in healthcare, so I did more research into opportunities not in the clinical space. I was looking for a job where I could see a direct impact, and software was one of the areas that peaked my interest. I received an interview with Ambra through a family friend and ended up talking to a few people at the company. Ambra was extremely small back then, and I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I committed to the job. Even after these last 4.5 years, I never have that thought of “I want to go back to doing what I was doing previously”, which to me is a good thing.
Rebecca: What does a typical day look like for you and the Services team?
Erin: I spend a lot of time talking to customers, consulting on their workflows, and getting them enabled and up and running with Ambra. The majority of my day I am typically on client calls or building out workflows for clients that I will then demo in hopes that they implement the workflow. The remainder of my day is spent working with my colleagues and talking with my managees who have questions about certain support aspects. I am typically helping my managees build their support and technical skills and teach them how to have conversations with customers – this entails helping them build out their own workflows and present technical details to customers.
Rebecca: You were one of the first people to start the Denver office at Ambra and have been here for almost 5 years. How has it been seeing the Services team grow throughout that time?
Erin: It’s been great! It’s incredible to be a part of a successful team that has grown so quickly. I enjoy seeing the direct changes related to suggestions I have had or decisions that I have helped make. Also, just seeing how people have grown within the company – where they started at Ambra to where they are now and how they have successfully contributed over the years. Without COVID, the Denver office would have looked different this year, but it is what it is. It’s still nice to see that despite the challenges with the pandemic, the team is still growing significantly, there’s still interest in roles we are hiring for, and we are still building out best practices and techniques of how our team operates.
Rebecca: Where do you expect Services to go in the next 2-5 years at Ambra?
Erin: I definitely see us expanding in terms of individuals on the team. I also see us strengthening our knowledge and processes in terms of how we implement certain aspects of the product. One of the things that has taken off in the past few years is our involvement with research processes and our integration with EPIC. Our partnership with other companies will only grow and we will become more involved in supporting research workflows with different clinical groups.
Rebecca: You were given the opportunity to travel to Luang Prabang, Laos and work with RAD-AID to set up cloud PACS at Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Can you talk about that experience and what it was like?
Erin: The experience was awesome and I was very grateful that I was given the opportunity by Ambra. I was able to go over to Laos and set up a hospital with our software and provide them with a solution that works for their imaging needs. One of the greatest things that I took away from the experience is that everyone was grateful for the help and support we gave. It was interesting to see that common concerns we deal with in the U.S. or in non-developing countries are less of concerns or not concerns at all to this particular hospital. For example, PHI and PII are things they are less concerned about – having to think about potential workflows where certain people shouldn’t have access to certain data are things they didn’t even think about. Different cultures and different countries have differing thoughts around each aspect of the workflow. This particular hospital was looking for a solution that could solve a lot of their problems with one platform. Other first world countries are willing to have solutions that solve one or two problems because they have the resources to expand beyond a single platform. In Laos, we were providing an all encompassing solution for them and it was great to see how every aspect of the Ambra platform can be utilized all together. I am extremely grateful for their level of gratitude in Laos and it was a very rewarding trip and project to work on.
Rebecca: The Ambra Health team is currently working remotely. Where are you working from at the moment?
Erin: I’m currently working in Denver and trying to take advantage of working from home. I have spent time with family back in the northeast. I am trying to do longer term rentals in places that I am interested in traveling to in the United States. I spent a significant amount of time in Montana this summer near Glacier National Park and was able to work from there and explore the great outdoors which was awesome.
Rebecca: Any final words you would like to add about working for Ambra?
Erin: I am very grateful for the opportunity to work for Ambra. It has kept me on my toes and I have learned so much. I continually learn every day which is awesome to say after working here for almost 5 years. I am looking forward to what the future holds.
As a Senior Manager of Professional Services, Erin’s main objective is to onboard customers to Ambra and demonstrate how our product can improve processes in their everyday workflows. Erin helped with expanding the Ambra team west, moving to Denver, CO three years ago where she enjoys spending time outdoors and hitting the slopes. Prior to joining the Ambra team, Erin worked in the Thoracic Surgery Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Erin received a BS in Biobehavioral Psychology from the University of Vermont.