Champions in Health Care — Tammy Conistis

To mark International Women’s Day 2021 on March 8, and throughout the month of March, we are honouring the women who help lead Medavie in our mission to improve the wellbeing of Canadians.

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Tammy Conistis, Director, CPMO & IT Business Services, Medavie Blue Cross

How do you feel your role is helping you contribute to improving health care?

My work contributes to the success of Medavie and the Medavie Health Foundation, which supports solutions addressing its core causes of post-traumatic stress, adolescent mental health and healthy living. Recently I was asked, “What do you do?” in a social setting. I described Medavie’s role as a health solutions partner, our not-for-profit status, and the mission of our Foundation. Previously, these individuals only understood Medavie to be an insurance company. I left that evening feeling proud that I helped to educate and change mindsets.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

The struggle for work-life balance is real. Every day presents a new set of challenges and ‘best lives’ moments on social media don’t help! As women, I believe we have to let go of the pressure we place on ourselves to achieve balance, to embrace what works for us, and to be okay with that.

What barriers do women still face in advancing their careers?

Sustainable and affordable childcare remains one of the biggest barriers to women in advancing their careers. Every day women make tough choices between family and career. I have personally been faced with these decisions.

I also believe that women who are tough and hold people accountable are viewed as not being considerate and caring people. This stigma can hold women back from developing their careers further. Men, on the other hand, can be admired for this trait and seen as formidable and strong leaders.

"My work contributes to the success of Medavie and the Medavie Health Foundation, which supports solutions addressing its core causes of post-traumatic stress, adolescent mental health and healthy living."

Where is health care headed?

The digitization of health care is growing exponentially. We must be ready with technology and processes that help our clients and patients to navigate platforms easily and in ways that create value and build trust in every single interaction.

What do you do to stay on top of your game?

Embrace a growth mindset. Appreciate and learn from those around. Assume accountability. Lean in, be bold, take risks, and don’t be afraid to leverage the relationships you have built throughout your career to guide you.

What qualities does it take to succeed?

Abide by a set of personal values and add to this perseverance, resiliency, and gratitude.

What do you do to challenge gender inequality?

I choose to challenge by using my voice more strongly; by owning and sharing my personal perspectives and views as a woman and not allowing myself to defer to other colleagues simply because I am outnumbered at the table.

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Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.