This month’s spotlight shines on Alicia Williams (@AliciaRx), founder and CEO of FullSight Health Analytics and host of this month’s #healthITchicks tweet chat on Wednesday, December 13 at 1pm ET. She hails from Brooklyn, where she was born and raised as part of a very close-knit family. Because her parents were born in the South, she likes to refer to herself as a “city girl with Southern manners.” She met her significant other two years ago, and stresses that he has always been supportive of her professional goals. Alicia hints that 2018 will be a big year for them both!
She wholeheartedly embraces the #healthITchicks mantra of doing good and giving back. On a professional level, she is a big supporter of charities that promote STEM education and work opportunities, and those that promote and support wome and underrepresented communities. “On a personal note,” she adds, “I support the American Diabetes Association and their work to help diabetics receive proper care and adopt healthy lifestyles. My mother passed away at an early age from complications related to diabetes, so I am particularly interested in and supportive of initiatives related to combating the disease.”
When it comes to social media, she is on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter regularly. “I am working on building my online network within the health IT community,” she says. I am also revamping our blog on my company’s website. We plan to discuss the latest news affecting the pharmaceutical industry, including drug costs and combating the opioid epidemic.”
As for her favorite app, Alicia enthusiastically gives her Apple Watch’s Activity app a thumbs up. “I wish I had started using it sooner, as it has been such a great addition to my workout routine,” she says. “I love that you can share your workouts with other people who are using the app. It taps into my competitive nature and keeps me moving!
A close second is the Words with Friends app. After a long day, I find Words to be a great way to relax and to focus on something else besides work. When you are running a business, time for social outings is limited. Words helps me to stay connected with family and friends.
Like many previous #healthITchicks chat hosts, Alicia loves music of many genres, and is a huge fan of live performances. “The best concert I ever attended featured my favorite artist of all time – Prince.,” she says. “I am so glad that I had the opportunity to see him twice in concert. I admired not only his talent and creativity, but also his determination to have ownership over his music and record his material his way. He was a creative force but also a businessman, and he took risks for what he believed in.
What’s the biggest leap of faith you’ve taken during your career? How has that impacted where you are now?
The biggest leap of faith was leaving NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the top medical centers in the US, and launching my startup company. I was proud to be a member of the NYP family and I had a great position in pharmacy IT. Still, after a number of years of doing the same type of work, I needed a bigger challenge. It definitely takes courage to leave a position mid-career when all is going well. Still, I made the leap. It was scary, but I would have regretted not making the move, and I would have wondered about what could have been. Part of being an entrepreneur involves taking risks and following your gut. Making that move has led me to other opportunities and a network of people that I would have likely never met.
When it comes to professional development, what has had the biggest impact on yours?
The biggest impact on my professional development has been organizations and mentors. When I first entered the health IT industry, I attended every conference I could with a health IT focus, including HIMSS and Health Datapalooza. I met professionals and business owners who shared their experiences and introduced me to an entire community that has helped to shape my focus and ultimately inspired me to launch a business within the field. My mentors have been a huge help to me by challenging me to take my ideas to the next level. Mentors are invaluable in that they will be brutally honest with you and tell you what you need – not necessarily want – to hear.
What advice can you offer younger women looking to break into healthcare technology, or those looking to join the C-suite?
I strongly suggest attending health IT conferences and getting involved in special interest groups with a focus on health IT. I believe that it will be your network as well as your talent that will help to propel you to the next level professionally. I have met a number of people in this industry that have offered me advice and also opened doors to opportunities. The more people that know about your career goals, the better chance you will have of finding that opportunity that will help you break into this industry.
What gender workplace topics have resonated with you over the last year?
Work/life balance and the role of men in supporting women resonate most strongly with me. Admittedly, I have had some challenges in balancing work and time with friends and loved ones, especially as an entrepreneur working to grow a business. I think it is crucial to carve out time to spend time with family and friends as well as some down time for yourself. I also think that having men in this industry support our work is important as it will encourage other men to be more accepting of us as their peers and to value our voices and contributions.
What are you looking forward to chatting about during the #healthITchicks tweet chat on December 13 at 1pm ET?
- How did you first enter into the health IT industry? When did you know that this was definitely the area in which you wanted to build a career or a business?
- We have all learned valuable lessons while pursuing our careers in this field. What personal and/or professional advice would you give your younger self as a woman working in the health IT industry?
The new year is just a few weeks away. What workplace-related/professional development resolutions are you considering taking on?
As 2017 comes to a close, what gender-related workplace issues have resonated with you the most this year? Where do you think we’ll be 12 months from now?
- As 2017 comes to a close, what technology changes are you looking forward to in 2018?
- Bonus: I think it is super important to acknowledge our accomplishments in this field – no matter how big or small. This is a brag moment! Is there an accomplishment in the past year that you are super proud of? Let’s hear about it!