Meet the Collective: Hi, Dave.

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Meet the Collective is our series highlighting the great people who make up Collective Health. Today, we’re sitting down with Dave Sotelo, an actuarial manager on our analytics team.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Sacramento.

What were you up to before Collective Health?

I worked for Aetna. At Aetna, I did healthcare actuarial work for their California health plan.

Why did you make the move?

Collective Health is reimagining the way health benefits are administered. We’re able to do that because we aren’t reliant on maintaining the status quo of traditional U.S. healthcare — that’s a pretty exciting thing to be a part of. It also comes with plenty of opportunity for personal development and work on new projects, which is what drew me to the position.

What’s your favorite thing to do?

My favorite times in life are characterized by a lack of things to do. I love when my family gets to just go sit on the beach and relax — my kids are happy, and I’m happy.

How would you explain what you do to a 5-year-old?

I have an 8-year old son, so I’ve tried explaining what I do by pointing out random people and asking him to guess whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream. He will — correctly — point out that, about half the time, he’ll be wrong.

Now, if you took 10,000 people and asked them their preferred flavor, you can use those results to accurately predict ice cream preferences for almost any other similarly large population (thanks to the law of large numbers).

In my job, I use that phenomena to understand people’s behavior and the choices they make when it comes to utilizing the U.S. healthcare system.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people that I work with everyday. We have a singular vision and goal that everyone is working towards. With the analytics team in particular, we’re very disciplined about celebrating successes. It keeps me excited to come into work.

Coolest company in healthcare right now (other than us, of course):

I’m fascinated by any company working with CRISPR and the development of genetic therapies. The use of CRISPR has ushered in the beginning of a very interesting time for healthcare — we’re seeing genetic engineering used to create the next generation of therapies for widespread diseases such as cancer. I love seeing these breakthroughs happen, and it’s particularly exciting to see the life-changing impact they can have.

One meal you’d eat for the rest of your life:

The idea of eating one meal for the rest of my life is a real bummer! If I had to choose, my criteria would be nutritionally valuable and some ability to customize. What fits these criteria? Smoothies! And a Vitamix is key.

What would you challenge the rest of the team to?

I feel that taking the time to really understand and know the individuals I work with has helped me grow as a professional. I would challenge the team to learn what makes others tick, what they are most worried about, and how they do what they do — it helps us empathize with one another and work together more seamlessly.

Favorite Collective Health Event was:

Our Halloween party. I love bringing our families in and recognizing that we are all so much more than what we see each other as during the work day.

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