1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?
I previously fund-raised for private schools and other mission-driven organizations. When Indiana University Health Foundation was launching, I was immediately inspired by the mission to make Indiana healthier. I was also interested in the value, scope, and impact of centralized philanthropy on behalf of a large healthcare system.
2. Why did you choose to make healthcare philanthropy your career?
Healthcare philanthropy provides an opportunity for me to combine my professional experience as a career fundraiser with my personal experience as a living donor in a kidney chain. I view philanthropy as an accelerant for social change and am motivated to leverage philanthropy to advance healthcare equity.
3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.
When I returned to work after a brief maternity leave, everything changed. As a parent, I was able to more authentically relate to colleagues and donors. My productivity improved because I adapted to the increased responsibilities. I learned to better organize my time around true priorities. This was a powerful experience for me because I had previously held a negative perception of the working mom life; instead, I quickly embraced it and learned to thrive.
4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?
I was a server at a restaurant. I learned how to pay attention to each group of customers—one at a time—
as if they were the most important people in the room. The discipline of customer service translated well to portfolio management.
5. What are your future aspirations?
In recent years, I've become more comfortable blending the professional and personal. I think that's an important component of my continued growth. Plus, I've faced challenges that have deepened my skills sets. I imagine that my career will continue to be shaped by challenges and growth. I am particularly interested in the intersection of healthcare philanthropy with ethics, social justice, the law, and risk.
Find Jessica on LinkedIn.