Staying Focused on Goals by Grounding Yourself in Purpose

#WomanCrushEntrepreneur

Dr. Jennifer Pierre

Dr. Jennifer Pierre

Founder & CEO

JenteelNature Health

February 2021

Background

JenteelNature Health

Co-Author Pathways to HerRise

Women Within You Award Recognition of Outstanding Service

Bragg Health Foundation Scholarship Award

OHBM Unfinished Business Grant

HerRise MicroGrant

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences – Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND)

SUNY Albany School of Public Health – Master of Public Health (MPH)

Cornell University – Development Sociology / Biological Sciences (BS)

Dr. Jennifer Pierre is a physician, public health professional, entrepreneur, leader, and business owner.  Dr. Pierre’s medical practice is focused on preventive and integrative care for her patients. She is adamant about equipping her patients with education to make better choices regarding their health. As a public health professional, Dr. Pierre has over 15 years of experience in clinical research, public health infrastructure development, prenatal health education, and mental health. A child of Haitian immigrants, Dr. Pierre approaches healthcare through a global lens.  She has participated in medical missions in Haiti, Mexico, and Kenya. Her treatment foci are chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases, endocrinology, reproductive disorders and fertility.  Dr. Pierre chats with our Program Manager, Sharon Mwale, about her career path and the importance of understanding your purpose to stay grounded in this world.

Today, and with each passing day, we strive to do more—with less. How has technology impacted healthcare both positively or negatively?

I embrace technology and consider myself to be a tech-savvy individual! When I was still in medical training, some of my supervising physicians would recount how they had to handwrite their patient notes. I am grateful for the evolution of electronic medical records.  Using an EMR system allows me to customize templates for my practice and record notes quickly. I really appreciate the convenience of having integrations; it allows me to conduct telemedicine appointments, utilize patient portals, and manage the supplement dispensary. My team can automate simple tasks to increase efficiency. There are downsides of course. For example, patient portals are meant to quickly, order labs, make specialist referrals or relay a message.  Yet, some patients use the portal for detailed questions, best suited for a medical visit or issues that office administration normally handle.

Dr. Jennifer Pierre

Talk about a challenging time through which you had to lead – was there a defining moment? What lesson did you take away that impacted your outlook on future goals?

The current coronavirus pandemic qualifies as a good example. I am a strong proponent of prevention not only in health care, but also for life in general. To me, it does not make sense to fix something that could have been previously avoided. Before launching my business, I was the Chief Medical Officer for another medical practice.  As coronavirus was unfolding, I sat with leadership and asked, “What is our response plan?” To my surprise, not only was there no plan, but they were convinced one was not needed because the threat was minor. Despite reticence from leadership, I created a plan to move the practice to 100% telemedicine delivery. A few weeks later, the entire country was on lockdown.

Generally speaking, I am disappointed by the lack of preparedness many of the health systems, organizations, and governmental departments demonstrated in this crisis. Researchers have known and predicted a major viral disease for some time now, this pandemic was not a surprise. Even still, past global crises should have been enough to prompt a more robust preparedness plan.  The COVID-19 vaccine was developed expeditiously, so lack of capital is not the issue, as often stated.  Incentives are severely misaligned, and I am driven, more than ever, to further the business case on why more funding needs to be budgeted toward public health issues and initiatives.

Dr. Jennifer Pierre

What makes a good leader? Is a leader born, or can he/she be shaped?

Leadership may come naturally for some, but one can definitely be shaped. Being a good leader starts with having the desire to be a good leader. It sounds simple, but your intentions must be aligned to achieve good leadership to learn and grow as a leader. Secondly, learning how to ask and accept help has been a learning curve for me, but in the process, I have been rewarded with more efficiency.  Giving others more responsibility not only relieves pressure, but also grooms leadership. Lastly, having compassion for myself and my decisions has been liberating. It’s easy for me to empathize with my team, but I tend to be hardest on myself. Mistakes are inevitable and I have had to recognize that decisions are based on the best information had at the moment. Sometimes the decision may not always yield the best outcome, which is ok, because it provides more information for the next decision.

Dr. Jennifer Pierre

What is your advice to women that want to take a page from your playbook? What actionable steps can they take as leaders or aspiring entrepreneurs?

  1. Gain some general business skills. Business skills are important whether you want to start your own venture or climb up the ladder in an organization. These skills will help you understand how you can contribute positively to whichever environment you decide is right for you.

  2. Be clear about your passions and pursuits. Take some time to explore and try different things. Initially, I didn’t have much guidance to assist me on my entrepreneurship path. However, in recent years, technology has provided more access to education and mentorship programs for entrepreneurs.

  3. Become grounded in your purpose. I believe people are flailing because they don’t know their purpose. I stay grounded through meditation and my spiritual connection to God. This keeps me focused on my purpose and I am less distracted by shiny new opportunities.

Dr. Jennifer Pierre

Lecky’s Comments:

Purpose is focused-driven and speaks to our service to others and the community at large.  Passion is governed by the emotion of what motivates us to do what we do because it makes us feel good.  Where the two intersect allows us to discover and live our best lives.

If you would like to recommend a female entrepreneur in healthcare technology to be featured, we encourage you to contact us.

Contact information:

Sharon Mwale       Program Manager        [email protected]

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