As chronic health conditions increase with an aging population, the number of treatment centers focused on these specialties will also increase. For those looking for a career in the healthcare industry, focusing on a condition like diabetes or kidney disease will be in demand as well as help many patients. Chakilla Robinson White talks about her career in healthcare.

(Photo Courtesy of Chakilla Robinson White)

(Photo Courtesy of Chakilla Robinson White)

What does your current job entail?

“I am a group vice president at DaVita HealthCare Partners responsible for the operations and strategic direction of kidney care centers (the majority of which are four and five star), and hospital programs in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and the Four Corners area of the United States. I am responsible for the care of over 15,000 chronically ill patients, over 7,000 employees, and approximately $1 billion in revenue. In this setting, I am also leading integrated care initiatives focused on reducing healthcare system costs and improving overall patient care for kidney care patients.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“At DaVita we say ‘We give life.’ The best part of my job is investing in all of our teammates so that they have the tools and resources to provide life-saving care and improve the quality of life for our patients. I love to receive letters from patients that highlight how our teammates are like family and have made a difference in their care.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“Yes, I benefited in a couple of ways as my business school was a case-based school. Every class, we would discuss real scenarios that happened in companies and analyze issues and brainstorm solutions. In my current role, I spend the majority of my time working with our teams to quickly assess operational or strategic situations and drive to solutions. My classes taught me to be more effective in communicating by framing and presenting a succinct argument.”

Have you participated in any form of continuing education?

“Yes, I am very fortunate that DaVita has courses offered through DaVita University, the company’s comprehensive education, leadership and management school. I try to take a class yearly focused on leadership. As a result of carving out this reflective time, my team and my husband have noted that I have grown as a leader but also mother and wife.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“Several key things for me: 1) Healthcare is a broad industry and there are so many different paths. It is important that you take the time to explore and find your area of passion. 2) Healthcare delivery also revolves around people so make sure you have a heart for the people (both patients and caregivers). 3) Last, but not least, find mentors and sponsors to help you navigate your career.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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