The Fearless Family is growing! This week we are excited to welcome Letitia Dzirasa, M.D. and Maurice Benson to the team. In celebration of each of them joining Fearless we are going to kick off our new blog series “Meet Fearless” by introducing them in the first two posts.
This week, we are going to meet Letitia Dzirasa. Letitia began her journey as Fearless team on Monday, March 14.
Nicole: Hi Letitia! Welcome to Fearless!
Letitia: Thanks Nicole! I’m really excited to be a part of team Fearless!
Nicole: Well, I do have to let our readers know that Letitia has actually been an integral part of Fearless since the beginning. She is married to Delali Dzirasa, Fearless’ founder and president, so while officially being on boarded this week, she is a Fearless vet.
So Letitia, before we get into your role at Fearless, I want to sort of dig into your background up until now. You are actually Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, what influenced you to go into medicine?
Letitia: I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old. As I grew older and understood what that meant what ultimately pushed me to pursue medicine was my desire to help people and my love for all things health and wellness.
Nicole: What is your specialty and why did you go that route specifically?
Letitia: I was trained in pediatrics. I love having children as patients! They get better soon and they stay positive and have fun even when they are sick. I’m also able to influence health decisions early on in their development, ideally before some of the bad habits set in.
Nicole: Tell us a little about your work life prior to transitioning to Fearless.
Letitia: Prior to joining Fearless, I worked as a general pediatrician for a few years and then went on to be medical director of School Based Health and Quality for the largest federally qualified health center in Baltimore for about 2.5 years.
Nicole: Awesome. So what drew you to transitioning over to Fearless?
Letitia: I sincerely enjoyed my role as medical director for school based health. I appreciated the autonomy and the ability to improve a population’s health, in this case, the population was students in Baltimore city public schools. As I began to dig deeper into what my passion was, I knew I wanted to play a pivotal role in leading the charge for optimal quality in healthcare for all. I wanted to go beyond my subset of patients and affect patients on an even larger scale, hence my current role as health innovation officer at Fearless which allows me to wear multiple hats. We will be providing medical director expertise for Maryland’s Medicaid Utilization Review Program. I will also be pursuing my love of technology enhanced and/or technology based medical solutions, such as electronic health record optimization and big data analytics for population health, as a means to improve quality and efficiency in healthcare. I am excited to lead our health division within Fearless to leverage our experience in big data, analytics, and mobile applications to help solve the most challenging healthcare problems.
Nicole: Wow, this is really interesting. Tell, us a little more about this what is happening at Fearless in the Health Care Sector and how you will be playing a part. Since this is a new position and Fearless is dedicated to molding positions to fit the unique talents and gifts of each team member, what is your vision for your role.
Letitia: I want Fearless Health to be on the forefront of creating technological solutions to solve the toughest healthcare challenges affecting the overall quality of care provided. This might include improved data analytics to help treat a particular diseased population, assistance with or creation of a platform supporting a state’s health information exchange, improved surveillance of medical claims data to understand trends and patterns in reimbursement, and the list goes on.
Nicole: What do you look forward to most about this new position? Is there anything that you believe may be a challenge?
Letitia: I look forward to the challenge of improving quality for Maryland’s Medicaid patients and I look forward to landing more healthcare IT contracts for Fearless. I think it will not necessarily be a challenge but definitely a shift to not see patients regularly. I still plan to maintain my licensure and board certification but I will only see patients a few hours a month as opposed to multiple hours each week. I will definitely miss those more frequent patient/family experiences.
Nicole: When you started medical school did you imagine possibly going into this direction?
Letitia: Interestingly, I’ve always had an interest in public health and population health though early on I did not know how that would play out in my career. I love how technology can be used to improve the quality of life and I also personally strive for efficiency and quality in all areas of my life. So although I didn’t see myself going in this direction almost 13 years ago when I started med school, given my background and what I love, this has been a natural progression.
Nicole: Last question, name one person who you believe is Fearless, and why.
Letitia: This is a tough one, I’d have to say Delali Dzirasa, Fearless President and Founder. He had a dream to create a company unlike any other, where people pursued their passion. He left a steady job to enter the unknown of owning your own business. I’m blessed to be a part of this dream while pursuing what interests me most with my unique set of talents.
Nicole: Thank you so much Letitia, for not only allowing us to get to know you a little better but also shedding some light on new developments within the company.
Letitia: My pleasure!
For any healthcare IT needs, please reach out to us here. We look forward to working with all of you!