WeCare tlc Fireside Chat: The Power of Female Leadership

| January 12, 2023

Learn more about our identity as a woman-owned and data-focused company with first-hand insights from our data partner and President & CEO

At WeCare tlc, we’re passionate about how strategic partnerships can benefit both our clients and patients in proactively managing health care costs and receiving unparalleled primary care services. 

We recently conducted an interview with our President and CEO, Raegan Le Douaron, and Yasemin Şahin, CEO and co-founder of TURBOARD, our exclusive data analytics partner, where we learned about their businesses and female leadership roles. 

Join us to explore next-level insights and advice from Raegan and Yasemin as two powerful female leaders in male-dominated industries. 

Raegan, please tell us about you and your business.

Raegan: I am the second-generation owner of WeCare tlc. We are very proud to be a family- and woman-owned company. We implement and manage primary care health centers for employers to provide no cost healthcare benefits for their health plan members that make them healthier and provide better access to care. We also help streamline and save money on the employer’s overall health plan cost, including what they pay us to run and manage the health center.

We currently have a presence across 10 different states. However, we’re not completely focused on one section of the country. Instead, we’ve grown where we’ve found aligned partners, meaning employers who really view independent primary care as central to their overall health plan strategy. Usually, when we open a health center in an area, we grow even further around that area because other employers like to join the health center over time.

Yasemin, please tell us about you and your business.

Yasemin: I’m the CEO and co-founder of TURBOARD. TURBOARD is an innovative business intelligence and data analytics company that was founded in 2004. We work closely with organizations and help them to improve insights using data analytics. Healthcare data analytics is the intersection point between Raegan and I. Healthcare data analytics helps organizations prove better health outcomes, increased health indicators, and improved diagnostics. These are the common areas of interest between TURBOARD and WeCare tlc, and I am very glad to be a part of this strategic partnership.

Raegan, what is unique about WeCare tlc? What sets you apart?

Raegan: There’s many things that set us apart, but for the purpose of today’s conversation, the main area that sets us apart is the intersection of healthcare and data that Yasemin mentioned.

As an independent primary care solutions provider, we’ve always been focused on the data aspect of healthcare as an effective strategy for employer sponsored health plans, but within that, you need to prove that it is effective. 

We kind of have a push-pull when it comes to data. We need the data to be clear and actionable for our medical teams, so they can get out in front of health issues for our patients. On the flip side, we need to be able to see how that information and those actions that our medical teams have taken is translating into smarter acquisition of health plan services from their health plan members and how that translates into long-term savings.

We can’t be everything in the healthcare space, but from our perspective in primary care, if we have effective data, we can leverage advanced primary care to be as meaningful as possible.

Historically, we had developed our own data analytics system that we called the Clinical Analysis Toolkit (CAT). We took our proprietary electronic medical record (EMR) and we created a data warehouse and took in the claims and PVM data, and manually figured out all the things that we wanted to know from both the clinical and employer perspectives. When companies such as TURBOARD started, they were moving ahead of the pace we were going at in terms of developing, so we decided to look externally for partnerships, so we could be really nimble and lean into the data aspect. When we found TURBOARD, we started discussions with them, and found that they were really aligned with where we wanted to go. 

Yasemin, how does data tie in from your perspective?

Yasemin: The history of data analytics goes back to the mid-80s from papers to computers, and then from traditional reporting services to innovative ones. With TURBOARD, we are trying to make data analytics faster than ever, so that our users can make informed decisions for the largest impacts. I really appreciate WeCare tlc’s unique value proposition, which is providing wellness for employees, sponsored by the employers. We are trying to contribute to their unique value proposition using the power of data. In this case, we are not at the clinics, but instead using the data to understand what’s going on with WeCare tlc’s clients and if WeCare tlc’s efforts are aligned with their clients’ strategy and objectives. This is really critical for the overall management of their clients and for all types of key stakeholders.

Yasemin, how do you keep that information safe? Can you tell us a little bit about safety and security when it comes to personal information?

Yasemin: From the non-technical standpoint, TURBOARD is like an interface between the data and key stakeholders. We are not taking the data from its point of origin, but instead connecting to data and giving the end results and insights to the users. It’s completely secure.

Raegan, how do you navigate the challenges of running a woman-owned business in such a male dominated field?

Raegan: I was recently listening to a PBS feature on Angela Merkel about her historic position of power in Germany, and how she was able to make great moves and partnerships happen on the world stage. She said sometimes being a woman is an asset and sometimes it’s not, and you have to know which one it is and act accordingly. I think that was very well said. Sometimes it can be an asset, and sometimes it’s a hindrance. You have to know how to navigate each of those situations, so you can continue to accomplish your objectives. I happen to be pretty tenacious, so I don’t typically let things deter me from my ultimate goals. Whatever obstacles—perceived or real—that I face, I don’t really focus on them. I focus on what studies have shown are a woman’s assets in leading an organization.

To be honest, I was thinking about the true consultative approach that Yasemin and her team have naturally provided after the implementation stage of our partnership where we’re building new ways to look at data and creating automations, and I don’t think you would get that approach from a male-owned and led company. TURBOARD tends to understand our objectives and wants to help because they know that will make them successful too. Generally, women tend to look at things that way. That’s a direct result of a woman-led company. 

Yasemin: Yeah, I’ve found this to be true as well. The data analytics industry is dominated by men, so my whole career has been from the perspective of a man’s world, but I’m stronger than ever and getting more involved every day. I’m a computer engineering graduate, and most engineering schools are dominated by men. Women are expected to prove our genius through our work, projects, and speeches. We need more female idols, like Raegan’s example of Angela Merkel, to improve the perception of female leaders and decrease questions like these because they should eventually not be asked in a new and modern world.

Reagan, you have a lot of other women in leadership positions in your organization. Was that by design or a natural evolution of your business? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Raegan: Yeah, I think that that’s why it’s important to have underrepresented people in key positions of power in general. If we have recruiters that are women, African American, Asian, and other minorities that we have in this country, I think it helps reduce unconscious biases. When I’m looking to fill an executive position, women are familiar to me. I know that they can perform, but I also know men can too, because that’s who I’m used to working with. Working with recruiters that have unconscious biases may prevent people from having opportunities that they should be given. I think it’s important to strategically set up your company in a way that funnels people that may not normally have the opportunity, but are highly qualified and should be considered for key positions in the company. 

We have equal representation of men and women on our executive team, and I’m hoping that we can keep leaning into that and ensure that our company is always representative of the people we serve, which is everyone. We need all perspectives, and I think that makes us better. 

Yasemin, what advice would you have for women entering the tech field?

Yasemin: In your mind, try turning being a woman in a male-dominated field into an advantage instead of a disadvantage. Show how hardworking and smart you are through the work that you do. The world needs to be more respectful about female-led projects and what women say. Make use of your strengths because I agree with Raegan, being a woman can be an asset.

Raegan: I would like to comment on something that Yasemin said. One of the things that is under-valuing to not just women, but people of any minority is if they accomplish something great, the tendency is to not recognize those as highly and devalue them. I think that goes back to an earlier point of having women and minorities in executive positions where they’re able to fully recognize the value of different projects and initiatives of women and other underrepresented communities. 

Raegan, any advice to women about applying to leadership positions in general?

Raegan: I think it’s all about how you want to live your life. If you do want to be a woman in a key position, then you should certainly go for it. If you don’t, that’s certainly not something that diminishes who you are. Everyone should have the life that they choose to live. If being in a leadership role is something you want to do, don’t hesitate. Women—and I have been guilty of this myself—don’t apply for the same types of jobs as men. Studies have shown that men will overestimate their abilities and reach for jobs that they may not be qualified for, while women tend to hold off on applying because they don’t think they are ready or their resume does not one hundred percent match the job description. Muster up the confidence, reach for what you want, and make the case for yourself. The same goes for negotiating salaries and benefits packages. Men will definitely come out with a big ask, while women try to be more reasonable. That’s because there is a negative perspective of a woman who is really sticking up for herself and really asking for things that she believes she should have. It’s a tough position to be in, but I think if we can have a little bit more faith and belief in our own skill set, we can keep moving forward.

Yasemin: I want to add one more thing. I’m the mother of two sons and sometimes I ask them questions to understand how they think like “Would you prefer for me to stay at home or have a different job with shorter hours instead of long hours because I’m working hard?” They never say yes because they know that being the child of a successful working mother is more than enough for them. I believe we should be stronger mothers for our sons to change their minds, and help change the future.

Raegan: That’s a good point.

Going back to data analytics, Raegan, how do you believe your clients and patients can benefit from data analytics when it comes to healthcare? 

Raegan: I think the ways that both of them will benefit are endless. I think they’ll continue to grow as we continue to really drill in and innovate the way that we’re able to clearly show data and get the pinpoint precision of tying it all together. 

From the client’s perspective, our ability to clearly show them what’s happening in their health plan, so they understand the numbers and feel secure that they’re fairly represented and it’s accounted for everything is extremely valuable. 

From the patient’s perspective, the benefit of data analytics is in understanding what they’ve got going on with their blood work results and claims history. It also allows us to help educate them about where they are right now in their health journey by seeing what their goals are and keeping pace with them because those needs and goals and health conditions change over time. If you have the data current and available, then you can continually evolve with the patient, evolving with them. 

Yasemin, anything to add from that perspective?

Yasemin: I look at the big picture as a patient. I don’t want to get sick, but if I do get sick, I would like to receive quality care, and all of it should be completed in an effective financial framework. These could be considered the three main objectives of health care services from the patient perspective. They can all be improved by using the power of data.

For example, the first one we should prevent is everybody getting sick. We need to make sure everybody is in good health from babies to older people. We need to make sure all the newborn babies are healthy, people with chronic conditions are managed, and older people are self-sufficient with their basic needs. We need to keep track of everything to make sure it is aligned with our strategic goals, so we can understand if they’re doing well or not, and apply urgent actions if there’s a need to do that. 

To provide quality care, we need to increase health quality and decrease mortality rates. For the mortality rates, we need to understand the diseases better. Under big data, we have lots of cases covered so far. If we better understand how to care for people, then we can increase the quality of life for everybody. When it comes to financial framework, we can understand the unnecessary usages of lab orders or diagnosis conditions earlier, so that the cost of the treatment will be less. 

All of that has an aspect and room for improvement using data analytics. Raegan also mentioned the predictive part. Most of them require some future recognition using data, and we need to make use of our past data to better understand the future.

Reagan, is there anything that we didn’t cover that you’d like to talk about? Also, what are you most excited about 2023? 

Raegan: I’m excited to continue our company-wide growth in 2023. We’re in a growth mode right now and continuing to really differentiate ourselves by having systems and set up for our medical teams to easily ensure that all the things they’re doing are properly documented. Then we can feed those into the predictive side and the cost saving side and avoidance side with TURBOARD. We’re moving all of our reports to live interactive data for our clients. That’s exciting because it takes us to the next level and allows us to see what’s happening in real time and the effect of different programs put into place. Rolling that out to our clients is very exciting.

How about you, Yasemin? What are you excited about for this partnership in 2023?

Yasemin: We are also very excited for the new year, and we are going to work closer with WeCare tlc because we are going to make use of scorecards in the WeCare tlc production environment more. Scorecards are the shortest way to understand what’s going on with all the KPIs. It’s the easiest way to understand if there is any KPI outperforming or vice versa. I’m excited for the predictive part as well because with TURBOARD, we can create predictive models for the time series or the regression models for the new targets. Since WeCare tlc has critical data, we can use their data for the clinical diseases for other labs and we’ll try to understand the future more. 

This was our first WeCare tlc Fireside Chat. We hope you enjoyed the insights shared here. Stay tuned for another one coming up soon!

Are you interested in partnering with WeCare tlc? 

Delivered through our health centers, we provide proactive primary care solutions that prevent and manage costly health conditions, while allowing our clients to provide an exceptional benefit to attract and retain top talent.

We are proud to be an independent, second-generation, woman-owned company with a rich history of achieving results for our happy clients. 

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