The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) 2021 Luminary awards recognize 71 women in leadership, each with more than 20 years of professional experience. These distinguished women serve in a critical role within their organization, exhibit great leadership and actively mentor, sponsor and support the advancement of other women in their careers.

This year, the Health Care business of LexisNexis Risk Solutions recognizes Theresa Wu as a 2021 HBA Luminary for her dedication to mentoring and sponsoring others and being an example of leadership.

With over 25 years of experience in healthcare, Wu has established herself as a thought leader in the identity authentication and social determinants of health (SDOH) space. In her role as Director of Product Management for the Identity Access Management and SDOH product suites, Wu aided in building these solution suites from their inception through collaborative innovative efforts with our customers. We sat down with Wu to get her insights on this prestigious recognition.

LNRS: What are your thoughts on being recognized as an HBA Luminary?

Wu: I am surprised, excited and honored to be recognized as an HBA Luminary.  It is very rewarding to know that our leadership team believes that my efforts through the years have made a real difference to our organization.

LNRS: Would you consider this achievement your greatest achievement?

Wu: Yes, I consider this my greatest achievement in my career to-date, but hopefully, not the final greatest achievement of my career overall!

LNRS: Can you discuss some of your work in identity access management and socio?

Wu: My work in Identity Access Management and our Socioeconomic solutions is exciting and meaningful. As a consumer, a health plan member, and a patient, I understand the challenges that are posed in real-life situations, in terms of identity breaches and inequity in health care, so it is very satisfying to know that our solutions have an immediate and positive impact to our customers and their members and patients.

LNRS: How you’ve worked with customers to build these solutions?

Wu: I have attended customer meetings and calls and met with our client-facing teams to try to understand the customers’ use cases and identify the data content and process requirements we need to build into the products to meet the needs of those use cases and to identify the most effective way to deliver these solutions to them.

LNRS: What’s their impact on the healthcare industry?

Wu: The Identity Access Management and Socioeconomic solutions can have a significant impact on healthcare. Healthcare organizations are realizing that they must ensure they know who they are doing business with and to whom they are allowing access to their medical records systems and are looking for the best way to verify and authenticate identities. The Identity Access Management solutions can meet those needs.

Our Socioeconomic solutions allow healthcare providers and health plans to view their patients and members holistically and to understand the socioeconomic barriers that may prevent them from managing their health and achieving good health outcomes. The Socioeconomic solutions can help bring parity to healthcare.

LNRS: Throughout your career, what have been your guiding principles?

Wu: My first guiding principle is honesty. I believe in communicating honestly with my team, my peers and with leadership. I may not always have good news to communicate, but it should be accurate in order to allow them to make informed decisions. Honest communication is the only way to engender trust in my professional relationships and to effect change in the organization.

My second guiding principle is integrity. I want to ensure that when I execute on a project that I am performing to the best of my ability and have the best interests of my team, our customers and the organization in mind. Finally, I believe in being a team player and enjoy collaborating with others to achieve a common goal.

LNRS: Who has been the greatest influence on your career?

Wu: Perhaps the person with the greatest influence on the industry I entered was my very first manager at Empire BCBS, who took a chance on me years ago and hired me as a new college graduate with no full-time work experience and no health care knowledge. If she had not done that, I probably would not be working in healthcare today. I then progressed in my career by working with some great managers who have recognized my efforts, given me good advice and supported my advancement over the years.

LNRS: What are your thoughts on the current landscape of women in technology?

Wu: I think it is still challenging for women to have advanced careers in technology.  It is inspiring to see an increasing number of women in technology today, including in our own organization, where the CTO is a woman. However, I think that there is room for improvements to be made in this area across organizations and industries.

LNRS: What has been a major obstacle that you have faced in getting to this point in your career?

Wu: I believe a major obstacle in getting to this point in my career is that my work tends to focus primarily on behind-the-scenes execution, so it has made me less visible at times.

LNRS: Going forward, how will you leverage this recognition to advocate for women and your colleagues?

Wu: I would like to continue to serve as a mentor for other women and newer colleagues in our organization. I also plan to explore volunteer opportunities through my HBA membership this year.

LNRS: Any last thoughts?

Wu: I would just like to once again thank everyone who nominated me for this award and to thank the members of the Identity Management and Socio team for their constant support. I look forward to continued success here in LexisNexis Health Care.