By Adrienne Rupp, Vice President, Marketing
“There are so many ways to get where you want to go. Stop comparing yourself to other people, and stay curious. It’s okay to change things if they’re not working.”Elana Bertram, Senior Director, Legal & Compliance
In this next piece in our employee spotlight series, I talked with Elana Bertram, senior director of legal and compliance. Elana graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences. She earned her JD with an Intellectual Property Concentration from the Quinnipiac University School of Law and her M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. She lives in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina with her family.
Adrienne Rupp: What made you decide to join Validic?
Elana Bertram: I’ve held healthcare and healthcare-adjacent roles as a theme throughout my career. I’ve enjoyed working with a company doing something new, with cutting-edge technology, but it’s also clinically meaningful and gives providers better information to deliver more customized care. It seemed like the perfect fit where I could be immediately useful.
The leadership team is also incredibly authentic. Our CEO, Drew Schiller, will open company-wide calls about financial health and strategy with stories about his life and about patients’ lives.
That authenticity has made me feel really at home here.
AR: Tell me about your role as senior director of legal & compliance.
EB: As the only attorney at the company, I wear a lot of hats. A big part of my work is the more sophisticated transactional work. For example, when we have a client that’s integrating our application into their electronic health record, there’s often a lot of back-and-forth about patient data, security and privacy. I support the commercial team, either by suggesting language changes or in explaining how what we do is HIPAA-compliant and perhaps slightly different than what our client’s attorneys are familiar with, because our technology is unique.
I get to do something different every day, and it’s always interesting.
AR: What skills, education, and training do you need for your role or similar roles?
EB: I started at a pharmaceutical company right out of college, with a biology undergraduate degree. I received feedback there that I’d never receive a promotion without a graduate degree. So I ended up getting a scholarship to law school to study health law. When I got out of law school, I realized that so many of my clients had strategic questions about finance, risk management, investing, and IP protection. And I didn’t have all of those answers.
So I ended up going back and getting my MBA.
I think both degrees are critical every day. In meetings with our executive, commercial, and client success teams, we talk about strategy, risk management, and efficiency. Those are not things I learned in law school. I use my legal training all the time for the technical aspects of my job, but I also need a sense of what risk management looks like when people are involved, which is where business management training is important.
AR: What do you enjoy most about working at Validic?
EB: I’ve never found such a collection of highly-skilled, competent people who are also good at communicating. You don’t ever feel in a conversation that someone is trying to one-up anyone else — even if they have a different opinion or a different skill set.
People treat each other fairly and respectfully. It’s a breath of fresh air.
AR: What’s one thing on your bucket list?
EB: I want to go to the Galapagos Islands. I’ve always wanted to go, but then a friend of mine was in Ecuador and she went for a full week. Between COVID and the fact that it’s two continents away, we’re still working on it.
AR: When you’re not at work, how do you spend your free time?
EB: I’m a lifelong horseback rider. I try to ride as much as I can. Also, my kids are starting to ride. So it’s super fulfilling for me to teach them. We’ve found a barn with other adult-amateur riders who also bring their kids. It’s like home away from home.
We spend a lot of time doing outdoor activities together.
AR: Finally, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out?
EB: I had a much more “patchwork quilt” career than a lot of attorneys who pick a city and pick a law firm. I think the advice I would share is that you’re not too late. You can try things, and change your mind, and go in a different direction. It’s ok if you don’t fit into that perfect career ladder that they sell you in career services.
There are so many ways to get where you want to go. Stop comparing yourself to other people, and stay curious. It’s okay to change things if they’re not working.
View More >