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June 29, 2022 . Sandy Bielawa

We are Ursa Health: meet Emily McCluskey

Ursa Health Blog

Visit Ursa Health's blog to gain healthcare data analytics insights or to get to know us a little better. Read more ...

What’s your role at Ursa Health, and what do you do?

I’m a training manager, so I work closely with Ryan [O’Connell, Director of Knowledge] orienting clients to Ursa Studio and helping them learn how to use it in their day-to-day lives. I also work with him on updating our knowledge material, such as client handouts and general reference material. I feel like this is going to be a changing role over time, so generally I’m just prepared to go where I’m needed and be a utility player.

Can you share a little about your background?

I was born and raised in Kansas City, where I still live. I do love it out here. It’s a family-oriented area, and there’s a lot of appeal because the cost of living is lower. People seem really interested in coming up this way, so hopefully that doesn't change it too much. But it is nice to see it getting some attention.

I studied life sciences/biology at Kansas State University. A lot of people studying for a life sciences degree will typically leave after two years and go into a nursing program, which was my original plan. My goal has always been to work in healthcare and be patient centric. But then I changed my mind and wanted to be more on the business side. That is what led me to Cerner because I got to do both.

I worked for Cerner for the last six years as a Laboratory Consultant for an organization called CommunityWorks, which was focused on rural communities. That included collecting data, talking through workflows, and trying to make process improvements wherever possible. Later, I managed that team as well and became more involved in operations, working on resourcing, sifting through contracts to make sure we were providing everything in scope or questioning anything that had been sold incorrectly. I loved getting to build one-on-one connections with each person on my team and supporting them wherever they needed it. There was a good mix of duties in that job.

Why did you decide to work for Ursa Health?

I had heard about the company from Callie [Poehler, Technical Customer Success Manager], who was very happy here both with the people and with the strategic direction that the company had taken so far, with each decision and move being very thoughtful. I was intrigued. I’m now getting to know more about the data analytics side of healthcare, which I appreciate after seeing hospital systems in action. I’ve seen everything that’s done day in and day out, and now I want to see what can be done with the data that’s created in the background all the time, because I feel like there are a lot of healthcare organizations that just kind of let that stuff sit — they don’t do anything useful with it. So this is a great place to be.

What do you find to be the best part about working with Ursa Health?

I do love the collaboration so far, getting into meetings with different people and seeing them bounce ideas off each other. And I also like that everybody seems to have the attitude of “all hands on deck,” just pitch in and help each other out whenever they need it. Everybody’s been willing to answer questions and meet with me if I don’t understand something.

What is the one thing people are surprised to learn about you?

I’m very into learning about food sustainability. My husband and I watch a lot of food documentaries and read not necessarily about the foodservice industry but about agriculture and sustainable farming. After college, he worked for a community-supported agriculture farm, and we met a lot of people in that community who were all about creating your own food and not outsourcing anything — trying to make everything local to support your community. And our interest has just kind of blossomed from there. We’re currently researching more about no-waste cooking.

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