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Employee Spotlight: Lucas Behnke, Director of Customer Solutions

ways to increase medication compliance

Learn more about Lucas Behnke, Cureatr's Director of Customer Solutions who oversees and manages the client services department.

leadership_image_01Where are you from originally?

I'm originally from Port Jervis, NY. It’s exactly where New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania meet.

Tell me a little bit about yourself?

I went to college at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, NY. A funny thing about the campus is that you only visit when it's nice out and they don't really let you know that its cold, grey and snowy most of the year. But regardless of the weather, it was a great experience. While there, I really got into health psychology. I helped run a board-certified and approved study where we investigated why people make certain health decisions such as their diet and exercise habits. After that experience, I realized I didn’t want to be a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but that I wanted to be involved in population health.

After Syracuse, I earned my master's in Public Health at SUNY Downstate University, in Brooklyn. There I started thinking I might want to work in hospital administration and public health. A project that really piqued my interest was a study that explored the public health implications of hydrofracking. Trying to answer questions, like “Is hydrofracking safe?”, “What are the long-term consequences?”, etc.

But before graduating, I was offered a position at a Health IT Start-up as an Implementation Consultant, where I helped healthcare providers build out specific aspects of their electronic health record and help them transition from paper-based to electronic documentation and found that bridging the gap between technology and healthcare providers was a real passion of mine. I worked there for a few years before starting at Cureatr almost 7 years ago.

When did you start at Cureatr?

I started at Cureatr in September 2014.

What do you do at Cureatr?

I am Cureatr’s Director of Customer Solutions and my main responsibility is overseeing and managing our client services department. That includes anything from implementation of our products and services, supporting our clients and internal teams during those implementations, and general support, maintenance, account management, and account growth. Essentially it is my responsibility to make sure that our customers are happy and that the solutions we provide make their jobs easier so they can focus on patient care. Ultimately, I make sure that our clients are successful and want to keep working with us and expand their use of our products and services.

What day-to-day activities do you do to make sure your job gets done?

On a daily basis, there is a lot of follow-up with both clients and my fellow coworkers. When I’m working on a client implementation, I have to corral a lot of different resources to ensure that all the pieces (technology, workflow, and personnel) are aligned and on target. That involves a lot of back-and-forth communication with clinical, technological, and administrative resources on both the Cureatr and client side of the implementation. My day-to-day activities also include a good amount of data analysis and reporting. This helps us keep track of client performance and allows me to investigate if there are any issues over time. Since Cureatr has launched our telepharmacy service, a good deal of my time is now spent on the implementation of those services. This is a new and exciting task and I’ve enjoyed figuring out the ins and outs of what these new services entail and the differences between the needs of our services clients. Because all of this is so new, I’ve really had to anticipate problems and get answers to those problems by coordinating both internal and client teams.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is problem solving. Each client is unique, and they bring a unique set of challenges they are trying to solve. I really enjoy understanding their specific circumstances and challenges and working with them to see how Cureatr can help. I love asking myself – “why is the client coming to us?”; “What about us do they think is going to help?”; and “How can we make our solutions and services work to achieve their goals?”.

Why do you enjoy working at Cureatr?

Cureatr has done a great job of building a culture where people feel safe being open, honest, and transparent. I’ve been with Cureatr longer than most people have and I’ve been able to witness the transition to this culture and it is one of the main reasons I’ve stuck around as long as I have. I’ve also seen the mission and vision of Cureatr evolve in my 7 years here and I am 100% on board with what we are building and solving. When you have a strong culture and a clear mission, good people want to work for the company and Cureatr has attracted a lot of really great people. Working with them is another part I really enjoy.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

I would say that the most challenging part, is probably the most fun part too, the problem solving. The reason why that's the most challenging is because I can't solve or fix everything on my own. I need to rely on a lot of different people to complete parts of the project within the timelines I’ve set. I also understand that sometimes, what I’m asking can be a lot, especially when they have their own competing priorities and day to day routines. So, not being able to have control of all of the pieces of what I’m responsible for is the most challenging part. To manage this challenge, I try to over communicate expectations, compromise on certain priorities, and also be empathetic to the situations of those I’m depending on.

If you had to describe Cureatr in three words, what three words would you choose?

Fun. Passionate. Honest.

What is your proudest moment at Cureatr so far?

My proudest moment was watching the transformation of the market come to the realization that what we are providing is beneficial. When we started this medication management journey, we believed, but didn’t know, that we were going to get traction. After a year and a half of anxiety, that traction really started to take hold towards the end of 2019, everything was falling into place and you could feel the energy. Since that time, our commercial success and the demand for our products and services has exploded. It is a really good feeling to see a gamble pay off and that all of our hard work was worth it.

What is one unique thing about you that you think people might be surprised to learn?

I think it is because of my general demeanor and laid-back personality, people are always surprised to learn that I’m a very hard worker. For example, people never really believe me when I tell them that I was valedictorian of my senior class. I feel weird talking about it because I usually like to keep to myself and work very hard on whatever I’m doing.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?

I'd say the majority of my time is spent hanging out with my dogs. I have three dogs and one of them is a puppy. The house gets a little crazy with all that energy, but it's so much fun. I enjoy taking them for hikes, going for a walk, or just hanging out on the couch. Other than that, I really enjoy reading, going to concerts, and I enjoy going out to like a really nice restaurant. It is a nice change of pace to have someone prepare my food rather than having to cook it myself.

What is the first app you check in the morning and why like first thing when you wake up?

The first app I check in the morning is usually Instagram. The reason for that is my wife. Her father runs a dog kennel and breeds Brittany Spaniels, and she runs the kennel’s Instagram account. It's interesting to see who's following the account and liking and commenting on the pictures, because the Brittany spaniel community is a little crazy. If I don’t check Instagram first, it's Twitter for news updates.

What's the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?

I'm watching this HBO series called The Nevers. It’s a Joss Whedon show set in the 1800s about a group of women who were gifted superpowers by aliens. Underneath that it is more of a social critique of the patriarchy. I think it is pretty fascinating and I am a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy.

I also recently watched the new Christopher Nolan movie, Tenant. It is an amazing movie, but it is probably one of the most confusing movies I've ever watched, and I've watched it twice now.

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