Q&A Part 1: Cambia Featured in Portland Monthly “Faces of Health Innovation”

March 13, 2019

From left to right: Faraz Shafiq, Brian Finn, Dee Cruz, Meg Dryer, Matt Koehler, and Mohan Nair drive consumer-focused health care innovation in their respective areas.

Portland Monthly Magazine’s “Faces of Health Innovation” recently featured some of Cambia’s leaders who are driving health care transformation through artificial intelligence, human-centered design, product innovation, and consumer focus. In a look behind the curtain, we asked our leaders to share what projects they’re currently working on and how their personal health stories have inspired consumer health solutions, in part one of these compelling interviews.

Diana “Dee” Cruz, Cambia Vice President of Consumer Obsession

Tell us about your role or team at Cambia. Can you share an example of one innovation you and your team are working on to make health care better for consumers?
I am in a new role created at Cambia – Vice President of Consumer Obsession. My role is designed to empower the organization to solve for the consumer and unleash employees’ skills and passions to work in service of transforming health care to be more affordable and person-focused. We are starting by creating a Consumer Champion cohort of individuals representing all business areas at Cambia. The intent is to create an acceleration path across to ignite change.

How has your health care story inspired you to transform health care?
When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, she was clear how she wanted to go through treatment – it would be in the home where she could be surrounded by family. The hospice workers were empathetic, culturally sensitive and critical in helping us help ease her into end of life with the grace she desired and deserved. I now know that field to be called palliative care. And feel an intense closeness and passion with the palliative care focus that Cambia has.

Mohan Nair, Cambia Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer

Can you share an example of one innovation you and your team are working on to make health care better for consumers? 
I lead Cambia’s Innovation Force, an innovation team, dedicated to enabling a culture of health care transformation where we accelerate consumer problems into solutions and create new competencies and emerging businesses to make health care better. We have created five companies in seven years, among them—HealthSparq, Medsavvy, Basefit—all dedicated to engaging consumers in their health care journey.

What inspires you to transform health care?
I am driven by consumer stories and our Cause to serve as a catalyst to transform health care, creating a person-focused and economically sustainable system. Our love and dedication to others and the imperative to serve the promise of health care is what powers us.

Matt Koehler, Cambia Vice President of Platform Solutions

Can you share an example of one innovation you and your team are working on to make health care better for consumers? 
I lead Product for Cambia’s consumer solutions team. One area of innovation that I’m excited about are solutions that we’re developing in the Caregiving and Palliative Care space. It’s easy to think about the needs of consumers through a traditional health care lens and develop solutions that support basics, like searching for a provider, scheduling appointments, and dealing with a sick child. While all of this is very important, there’s a huge opportunity– and need–to develop solutions that support the people that are caring for others. As we think about the health care needs of the sandwich generation, those individuals that are caring for the parents and their children, there’s a completely different lens that we take to the work that we do and the innovation that we support.

How has your health care story inspired you to transform health care?
What drives me today is very different than what drove me five months ago. In October 2018, our youngest child was born with an incredibly rare genetic condition. He’s the 182nd diagnosed patient in the world. He spent the first 10 weeks of his life in the NICU and is now at home with medical support.

As our family has processed the life-long implications of his diagnosis, we’ve been fortunate to receive support from a great team of physicians, care managers and other health care professionals. And while navigating the health care system has not been without its pitfalls, I’ve been able to use 15+ years of direct health care experience and solid understanding of how the system works to advocate for my son and my family. What drives me to transform health care is an intense sense of responsibility to ensure that others in similar situations have the support they need for themselves and their families.

To read more about Portland Monthly Magazine’s “Faces of Health Innovation” visit the “Faces of Portland” series.