The world is filled with inspirational stories. Fortunately! We stumbled upon the influential story of Amy Cassata.
Amy Cassata, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Swift Medical Inc. began her entrepreneurial journey at the bedside as a registered nurse practicing in a skilled nursing environment. However, her motivation to pursue nursing began when she was in the first grade. Her mom was diagnosed with leukemia. Remembering the circumstances, Amy shares, “I was helping her out when she went through chemotherapy and it made me want to grow up and make a difference in the lives of patients.”
Soon, Amy followed nursing which nurtured her to develop a formative and deep sense of empathy for wound care patients. This further led to her education and career in pursuit of supporting vulnerable patients with wounds. For over more than 10 years, she has worked as a registered nurse in the U.S. Thanking her fortune, she says, “I have worked with some amazing people at some incredible organizations in my career.”
At the age of 30, Amy became Director of Nursing and within a span of four years, she was promoted to Director of Clinical Operations for a multi-state health care organization. Soon after, utilizing the company’s solution as a clinician, she joined Swift Medical as the VP, Clinical Operations. At Swift, she is leading the scale and adoption of digital wound care across thousands of healthcare organizations.
Recently, the team of Mirror Review had the wonderful opportunity to interview Amy about her entrepreneurial journey and the current situation of the industry.
- We comprehend that Swift Medical Inc. is tackling the challenges of ‘Silent Epidemic’, would you elaborate this?
Wounds are often called as the Silent Epidemic, the reason is that wounds affect over 8.2 million Americans and often have a debilitating impact on people’s lives, from physical impairment and social isolation to infection, amputation and death. Hence, in 2015 Swift Medical was founded with a vision to tackle one of the greatest, and often overlooked, challenges in health care—wounds.
- Can you brief us about the unique services of Swift Medical?
I’m proud to say that Swift Medical is the world leader in digital wound care and due to our ability to take scientifically-calibrated wound images with our technology enables more precise, preventive and personalized care that both improves quality of life for patients and reduces costs for health care organizations. The technology guides clinicians to diagnose, treat and manage wounds more effectively. Perhaps most importantly, Swift Medical allows every type of clinician to practice at the top of his/er license, spending more time caring for patients.
- So, did you alter or introduce any solution, considering the havoc of the pandemic?
As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, we have accelerated the release of our new telewound solution. This patient-facing mobile application enables highly vulnerable wound patients, which is the same population most susceptible to COVID infection, to access wound care services from the safety of their home. The solution allows providers to remotely monitor their patients’ wound healing and provide consultation, while reducing unnecessary travel and reducing adverse events like hospitalizations, infections and amputations.
- Was being a women leader challenging after the pandemic? How did it affect your live as a professional?
Yes, as a working mother amid the outbreak was a new challenge. I had to ensure the balance between works and ensure that my children are receiving the best support possible to learn remotely. To support this balance, I’ve created a dedicated home office and dedicated learning environment for my children to ensure everyone can be successful. Another of the positives is that I’ve spent less time travelling. This has allowed me to be more productive at work and spend more time with family.
- Talking about the challenges of being a women leader, what are your opinions on gender inequality?
If anything, this pandemic has shown us that gender inequality is still a reality. The harsh truth is that females tend to bear more responsibility for managing the various challenges during the pandemic: health of your family, school closures, childcare, etc. – all while still working full time. Although, I think the gender disparity is slowly getting better.
- Would you say that there is gender inequality existing in your profession?
Nursing is still predominantly a female dominated profession, and since beginning my career I’ve noticed an increase in the number of female executives in health technology—but there is still a ways to go. I am hoping I can help pave the way for those younger generations of female nurses to follow suit and move into executive and leadership roles. However, I would recommend that the industry needs to promote diversity in hiring, create open-minded work environments and educate management to maintain a gender-equal space.
- As a leader, how important do you think is being empathetic?
We have always been on a mission to provide the highest standard of care for the wound care patients. The empathetic mindset really drives and unites the company, even when we are not together in the office. Besides, this empathy extends not just to our users and patients, but to our staff—ensuring they have the support, resources and flexibility to take care of their families and their health. In fact, we were recently certified as a Great Place to Work® and named to the 2020 List of Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare!
- So, how did you ensure smooth workflow while remote working?
Communication has been more important than ever. Be it with family at home and team members at work. Also, understanding was vital aspect. I knew that my team-mates are in different work environment and situations. Some have kids, others elderly parents to take care of and like me all were juggling to make a balance between work and home. I knew there’s a real need to be understanding, flexible and ultimately trusting with how and when people get their work done —and I’ve found that extending and building this trust has make everyone more successful with work and family.
- Do you think COVID-19 will cause any alterations in the industry are there any predictions from your side?
As many health organizations have adopted teleconference and telehealth solutions to provide remote health care services during COVID-19, telehealth is gaining popularity among the patients and providers alike. However, most of these general telemedicine solutions are inadequate to facilitate remote wound care, which require high resolution, scientifically calibrated images with sub-millimeter accuracy and intelligent lighting/color calibration to adjust for various environmental factors.
- Lastly, what in your opinion are the most important quality to become a successful women entrepreneur?
I think confidence, resilience and focus are three main pillars for entrepreneurs—regardless of any gender. As an entrepreneur you must be confident about your decisions and believe in yourself. Never give up on yourself and be determined towards your goal. Don’t change who you are just to “fit in”.