Our mission at Protenus is to advance the science of healthcare by bringing together creative and skilled individuals who are passionate about the security, usability, and applicability of health data. As this information becomes more voluminous, comprehensive, and, as a consequence, more vulnerable, we are building scalable, insightful solutions that address critical issues preventing the efficient, safe, and effective delivery of patient care.
Our team comprises a diverse group of people who come together to achieve this shared mission. To give a glimpse into our culture and highlight the diversity of our team, we’ve asked Jenn Humphrey, a Director of Sales, to share more about her experience working at Protenus.
What's your role at Protenus, and what do you do?
I’m a Director of Sales on the Revenue Development team. I focus on building new business relationships with hospitals--primarily in the Northeast, with a bit on the West Coast. I recently joined Protenus this past October.
What did you do before coming to Protenus?
I want to tell the story about how I came to be in healthcare. I always knew I was supposed to work in healthcare in some capacity; I just took an unusual path to get here. When I was 11 my youngest brother, Colin, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of one, and spent a year, first at Children’s Hospital in DC and then Johns Hopkins, for chemotherapy and eventually a bone marrow transplant. My other brother, Nicholas, and I were both tested to be his bone marrow donor, but we ended up being a perfect match for each other but not for Colin. This was the first time in my life I experienced a situation beyond my control, and when he passed away shortly before his third birthday, I became laser focused on becoming a doctor, to prevent anyone else from ever having to bury a child or sibling from cancer.
It didn’t hurt that I was a nerdy science kid, so I did all of the “right things”-- I worked in a cancer genetics lab throughout college, interned one summer at NIH--even had my research peer-reviewed and published at the age of 21. I went straight to medical school following college and was there for two years before realizing I was living a life and a path that I had set at 13-- a path that was never really about me--which made it extremely unfulfilling. It wasn’t working, and I had to stop.
I spent some time reflecting on what I enjoy, what motivates me, what gets me up in the morning. From there it was pretty clear that healthcare sales would be a natural fit for me-- I’m very competitive, love presenting, and I like the consultative approach of working with people to recommend a best-fit solution.
I started my career in sales a few months later for a healthcare IT company that provides risk-adjusted quality analytics, moving up over the years until I was running my own territory. From there I moved to an HIT startup in New York that works to address the social determinants of health by building coordinated care networks between hospitals, government organizations, and community-based organizations.
What initially attracted you to Protenus?
I’ve always worked in HIT, where security has always been a number one focus. I’ve coordinated so many security and risk audits, and when I heard about what Protenus was doing, I recognized a huge market opportunity. It made good business sense. Hearing the company’s vision to be the single source for healthcare compliance analytics, with the chance to define an industry in healthcare, sounded like a great opportunity.
I enjoyed living in South Carolina, but had been flirting with the idea of coming back to Maryland to be close to my family again. I made the move in November, and despite lockdowns, social distancing, and personally having had COVID-19, I love being home and able to see the water everyday!
Every company touts how great it is, but Protenus is by far the best company I’ve ever worked for. I’m encouraged to collaborate with others, and people are happy to help me. I appreciate the openness that Nick, our CEO, has with the Ask Me Anything sessions, and explaining what is being discussed with the board. Protenus is the next tier, we are doing the right thing. In working here, I’m improving conditions for healthcare workers and patients.
What's your favorite part of your job?
Closing deals--I’m really proud to have recently closed a deal, despite everything that is happening in our world right now. Of course any salesperson loves closing deals, but my reasoning is twofold. First, I don’t sell anything I don’t believe in. I know deep down when I show the Protenus platform to a prospective client, that it is going to make their life easier, that they will get more done with less, and that it will enhance the great things they are already doing. Our platform will save them time and--ultimately--save them money while preventing significant risk.
Second, I have grown to care so much about this community with Protenus, so to bring one in for the team, to watch the customer journey from sales to implementation and through to customer success, is so satisfying. I want to give back to everyone who’s helped me so far!
What's the most important thing you've learned since starting at Protenus?
How much I still have left to learn and how important it is to collaborate with other groups-- teams like implementation and product, for example. There is so much to learn, but we are all so intertwined in delivering a great product - it really speaks to our culture.
How has working at Protenus affected your career?
In the few months I’ve been here, by trying on different hats, I’ve redefined my vision of where I’d like to go. I don’t feel like I’m employee “number whatever”. Earlier in my career, I spent so much of my time as a young woman with something to prove. Now I feel that my voice is respected, and because of this, would love to take on more leadership roles. For example, just giving a presentation to our Protenus women’s group about networking skills was so rewarding. Building my presentation made me take a step back to think about my process, my hurdles, my goals--to break that down and present it in a way that would resonate with my colleagues, no matter their role. Hearing feedback from everyone helped me realize that I have an opportunity to be in a mentorship position, especially within the women’s group. I enjoyed seeing that I am in a position to help younger women while also learning from the women who have come before me.
I always thought of myself as an individual contributor, but now I feel like I’ve redefined myself and seen what a collaborative culture can foster, I would love to continue growing until I’m a team leader.
What has surprised you the most about working at Protenus?
How well run a startup can be. I’ve always worked for small companies and helped them scale and grow. Protenus is light years ahead in growing a sustainable company. When you’re interviewing, of course every company tries to put its best foot forward, but Protenus actually backs it up-- our client list is impressive and continually growing, our technology is miles ahead of any competitors and revolutionizing this landscape, our Customer Success team is deserving of the KLAS distinctions two years in a row-- we are actually making a difference the way I’ve sought out to do my entire career. I was expecting tons of growing pains, but everything here is well done.
In 10 words or less, how would you describe the culture at Protenus?
Collaborative, intelligent, and building the future of healthcare compliance
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