Data is a powerful tool in a company’s arsenal when it comes to defining one’s market, learning its affiliations and targeting key contacts. Definitive Healthcare provides data and analytics companies such as medical-device makers, hospitals and physicians’ offices can use to grow.
While Definitive Healthcare provides the information promoting growth for its clients, Kate Shamsuddin has been helping grow Definitive Healthcare.
The company has seen a 131%, three-year growth rate since 2016. Shamsuddin, 33, is a key architect in building a product strategy for Definitive Healthcare, with the creation and execution of some 20 product launches, Public Relations Manager Tory Waldron said.
Shamsuddin began at Definitive Healthcare as director of product strategy. Five years and four positions later, she is now senior vice president of strategy, using her ability to remain nimble and her innate sense of how her knowledge can do the most good.
“Two things that come to mind when I think about Kate is how smart she is and how much she cares about her work,” said Samantha Wallace, Shamsuddin’s colleague on Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s program and product development team. “They sound like simple traits, but when they’re put together, they’re a very powerful combination … Kate knows how to leverage her power very well.”
Though she’s always liked math and numbers, working in healthcare analytics was not Shamsuddin’s lifelong dream. She was born and raised on the North Shore; her parents have owned a jewelry store in Hamilton for 40 years.
Shamsuddin earned an anthropology degree from Atlanta’s Emory University, with a minor in global health.
“I thought I would go to med school and did all the pre-med requirements,” said Shamsuddin. “But the world of healthcare goes broader and wider.”
After graduating in 2008, she worked as a health policy analyst at Waltham’s RTI International for nearly two years. Part of Shamsuddin’s role was to visit and train providers on data collection. Her research area was post-acute care and Medicare payment reform demonstrations, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“I got to see how federal agencies think on healthcare,” said Shamsuddin.
That new perspective helped shape her next venture: a master’s degree in health policy and management from Harvard University in Cambridge.
“It covers how health care is a business and how it is administered,” she said. “That [degree] ultimately created the opportunity to do some work in the payer space. When I came out of graduate school, I worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield … in some of the toughest times in U.S. healthcare reform.”
Working in the company’s strategic development group, Shamsuddin had to understand all 37 U.S. plans, products, services and telemedicine.
Shamsuddin’s move two years later to Definitive Healthcare meant she could relocate to the Boston area. It broadened her career in the form of information systems. She jumped right in.
It was the right choice. Shamsuddin finds fulfillment in helping clients make sense of big datasets so they can make the best decisions for their businesses.
Whether it is a pharmaceutical company bringing medications to market to help patients or staffing agencies looking to reshuffle therapists across locations, she enjoys connecting the dots.
Shamsuddin has set up the DefinitiveCares program, which offers employees paid time off to volunteer for community-boosting initiatives. She is the company’s ambassador for Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. All this in addition to her active career mentorship of others.
“Kate has always been committed to making those around her better,” said Wallace.
Article written by Susan Shalhoub, WBJ.