Faces of Geneia

Faces of Geneia: Meet Our Clinical Leaders

February 21, 2018
Unique among analytics vendors, Geneia has a clinical arm comprised of nurses, social workers and more.

Geneia is unique among analytics vendors because we have a clinical arm comprised of nurses, population health experts, social workers and health educators who work directly with physician offices, employers and health plan members to achieve the Triple Aim. Many of our clinicians use Geneia’s Theon® advanced analytics and insights platform each and every day to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

Doreen and Natalie have a surprising amount in common.

Today we’re introducing you to two of Geneia’s clinical leaders: Doreen Salek, BS, RN, CCM, CCS/CPC is the senior director of clinical outreach and engagement and Natalie Benner, RN, BSN, MBA is the director of population health and consumer engagement. Doreen and Natalie have a surprising amount in common. In addition to sharing the same boss, Geneia’s vice president of consulting services and clinical innovations Shelley Riser, RN, BSN, MSHA, they’re both smart, candid professionals with a track record of improving the healthcare system for physicians, their staffs and patients. They’re also quite committed to and optimistic about our ability to continuously improve the quality of patient care through the applied practice of advanced technologies.

Their families were deeply impacted by the healthcare system.

Both Doreen and Natalie chose to become nurses after their families were deeply impacted by the healthcare system. While extended time in hospitals figured prominently in Natalie’s childhood, Doreen felt the calling to become a nurse as a young adult. 

Image of Doreen Salek with Title

Doreen graduated from college with a B.S. in human resources studies and started her healthcare career working in accounting for a small hospital in Roswell, NM. When the emergency department was short-staffed, she helped with registrations, and enjoyed interacting with a multitude of patients and their loved ones.

A self-described life-long caretaker, it was her father’s unexpected death when she was 29 that spurred Doreen to enter nursing school. She was deeply touched by all the people in the healthcare system who helped her mother and her family through her father’s illness, and at the same time, she came to know firsthand that life is short.

Image of Natalie Benner with Title

In many ways, Natalie grew up in hospitals. Her mother was sick for much of her childhood and died of cervical cancer when Natalie was 13. Her father had Crohn’s disease and had a major surgery every few years.

For some kids with Natalie’s experience, the hospital is a terrifying place, one to avoid at all costs. Not so for Natalie. She says “The hospital became my safe place. The nurses were caring and nice to me, and I was captivated by all the gadgets.” From an early age, Natalie knew she would work in healthcare. Initially reluctant to pursue a role with direct patient care, her observation that nurses never get bored and poignant words from her dad convinced her to attend nursing school.

Nursing school: An eye-opening experience

Doreen and Natalie both say nursing school was a very eye-opening experience. Both are grateful for exposure to the full range of healthcare settings, and each found one they wanted to pursue. Doreen became an ICU nurse, enjoying the urgency and complexity of patient care in an acute setting, and Natalie chose home healthcare because of its emphasis on teaching people to care for themselves.

Fast forward a decade or so.

Although they didn’t know each other at the time, their careers led them each to the Geisinger Health Plan where they had the opportunity, resources and support to experiment to improve healthcare. Both combine clinical training and business and administrative acumen to manage teams committed to excellence and improvement. Both work on the leading edge of innovation in healthcare: Doreen in remote patient monitoring and other quality innovations in care management and Natalie in population health consulting with providers seeking to improve their quality metrics and succeed in value-based care contracts.

Drawn to mission-driven organizations that leverage technology and innovation to deliver patient-centered care, they each found the right fit at Geneia and are quickly making their mark. Stay tuned as we’ll be writing more about how Doreen and Natalie in the coming months.