Grab your favorite cup of joe and enjoy our new blog series: “Cedarians in Cafes Getting Coffee.” (Sorry Seinfeld, but you don’t get to be the only one showcasing stellar talent on the streets of New York.) In this series we celebrate Cedar’s diverse and amazing employees and get an inside look into what drives their passion for affecting positive change in healthcare. This month, our editorial team had a chance to sit down with Tiffany Jackson, Director of Patient & User Success, at her favorite NYC cafe. As Cedar’s first female employee and an advocate for diversity in the workplace, Tiffany has become an important role model for her fellow Cedarians.
Hey, Tiffany! So, here we are at the Grey Dog Cafe on Mulberry Street. Why’d you pick this place?
The Grey Dog is eclectic, welcoming and happens to be filled with paraphernalia from my home state, Michigan. I just feel happy when I walk in here and it’s a great place to meet people outside your everyday circle. From students to entrepreneurs to artists and dancers, I love the diversity and sense of community. The delicious coffee and food options are just an added bonus.
You are clearly a people person and have a love of community. Is it safe to assume these attributes have helped shape your career path?
Definitely. In college, I had dreams of becoming a physician assistant but quickly realized I was more interested in figuratively touching patient’s lives; not literally. I wanted to make a more scalable difference in healthcare. I completed a grad program in healthcare administration at Western Michigan University, then dove right into a patient financial counselor role at R1 RCM. I gained a ton of experience just by listening to patients, understanding their pain points when it comes to the billing process, and trying to give them solutions. I realized how broken the system is from a patient experience perspective, and I wanted to be a bigger part of the solution. That’s what drew me to Cedar. Hearing first-hand how passionate [Cedar CEO] Florian is about the patient experience, and bringing equally passionate people together to help fix the system ‒ I knew this was where I needed to be.
I heard you are also very passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Care to share?
Working in corporate America and even in the provider space, I didn’t see many people who “looked like me,” i.e., black women. When I interviewed with Cedar two years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that the leadership team initiated the conversation and wanted me to help raise awareness of D & I [diversity and inclusion]. We started doing workshops, exploring what diversity means in our space and for our product. One of our main initiatives has always been women in tech, but our program has also grown beyond gender and race to looking at cultural differences, different ways of approaching problems, and so much more.
Why do you love working here at Cedar?
Culture is important to leadership and a big reason why I love working here so much. From the women’s events we host to the fun company-wide offsites, there are many opportunities to get to know our team members on an intimate level, which I haven’t always had in previous roles.
What is your proudest moment at the company?
My two year anniversary stands out as my proudest moment. We have a tradition at the company where on a team member’s anniversary, they recap a favorite memory of the past year. It was heart-warming to stand beside my colleagues and speak to them about my experiences at Cedar and how much the team has impacted my life. I made the best decision to come to Cedar and I am reminded of how great this company is every time I walk through the door.
Cedar seems like a pretty special place. What advice would you give to prospective candidates?
Encourage yourself to think out of the box. If our intention is to disrupt the healthcare industry, we need new and fresh ideas to do so. That is also why I feel diversity is so important to a company like Cedar; we want to ensure that all walks of life are able to use and benefit from our product. Our team makeup should reflect those who are using our product.
What are your hopes for our industry?
I would hope that we can get to a place where the patient is removed from the tug of war match between healthcare providers (hospitals) and payers (insurance companies). We need to create tools and integrations that will bridge the gap between the two groups so we can provide patients with a seamless healthcare experience. The patients I speak with tend to love the care they received, but are not at all thrilled with the post-visit experience. I am proud to be a part of a company facing this issue head on, in a very creative way.
What is your favorite quote?
“Figure it out” by the beloved Linda Jackson (my mom). I grew up in a single parent home in Detroit, and there were a ton of things my mom needed to “figure out” all on her own. She has instilled in me the courage, endurance and confidence to work through the challenging obstacles that life throws at me ‒ and emerge defiant.
Now that the heavy questions are out of the way…what is something people may be surprised to know about you?
In my spare time, I love to lift heavy things. My current personal record in CrossFit is a 240-pound deadlift!
Tiffany heads up the Patient & User Success Team at Cedar. She brings years of experience in hospital revenue cycle optimization and patient financial advisement, with prior roles at R1 RCM and Deloitte & Touche.
Interested in becoming a Cedarian? Check out our current openings.