Meet the Collective is our series highlighting the great people who make up Collective Health. Today, we’re sitting down with HungChing Chan, Chief Data and Analytics Officer.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Taiwan. When I came to the United States for graduate school, I ended up meeting my husband. We got married and now I’ve been here much longer than I had been in Taiwan. Even though I’ve been in the US for a long time, my Taiwanese heritage and the culture I was raised in are still very important to me, and I love living in the Bay Area and working at a company where I see so many people who look like me and are a part of this community.
What happened in your career that led you to Collective Health?
Both my undergraduate and master’s degrees are in Public Health. I came to the United States to work towards a doctoral degree in Health Service Research Policy and Administration. While working on research projects in grad school, I discovered that I loved data. From there, I worked in the health insurance industry in a variety of roles, all related to data, analytics, and clinical analysis. After a brief retirement during the pandemic, I returned to the industry as a Chief Analytics Officer at Medica.
When I eventually began talking to the team at Collective Health, it felt like a very natural progression in my career. Plus, moving to the Bay Area was a bonus that allowed me to be closer to my family, who are all based out here.
What excites you most about Collective Health?
I’m very aligned with the mission of making healthcare simpler for everyone. My father passed away at home through hospice care in 2015, so my family experienced firsthand how difficult it can be to make decisions that involve the quality of life of a loved one and huge costs to the family.
Every year, I put together a huge spreadsheet to figure out which health plan our family should enroll in. A previous company I worked for was a health insurance company. Every year during the open enrollment period, several people on my team asked me to help them decide which health plan they should choose. And we work in the industry! If it’s this difficult for us, imagine how hard it must be for the average family to decide about healthcare in this current system.
It really shouldn’t be that hard, and that’s why I believe in what Collective Health is doing.
How would you say technology could work better in healthcare?
When I think about technology, I mostly think about “big data” and how it can make information more accessible for consumers to help them find quality and affordable care. And not just accessible, but the question is: how do we make data consumable, or understandable? And how do we take the data that we have and distill it into insights that support members to make better decisions about their health?
Our data and technology should be able to help members find high quality care and providers. Technology has already changed the way consumers find goods and services. Amazon pretty much changed that. We have an opportunity to use data and do some of the things that Amazon has done, for example, compare pricing and provide care suggestions.
What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?
The value of honest feedback. The most valuable lessons that I’ve learned in my career are mostly attributed to the hardest feedback I’ve received. It’s not always easy to give or receive feedback—people often get defensive or try to avoid conflict—but putting yourself in other people’s shoes to see where they’re coming from and to really understand what they’re telling you. Giving and receiving feedback is an art, and doing them well leads to stronger relationships as well.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had no idea! I remember vividly when people would ask me that question, I never knew what to say. But it was so exciting to find, as I moved through my education, that I really loved working with and analyzing data. I love the storytelling aspect of it. When I comb through a large amount of data and synthesize them into nuggets of knowledge, it is like putting the puzzle pieces together. So much fun!
What’s your favorite quote?
An executive coach I worked with before told me, “Most of us know what our strengths are, some of us know what our weaknesses are, but few of us know how others perceive us.”
This goes back to what I’ve said about feedback, we all have our blind spots, but feedback provides us with valuable insights into our blind spots.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working? Do you have any hidden talents?
Orchids! I have one that’s been blooming for 4 months and I’m very happy about it. I also enjoy traveling and cooking a lot. I’ve been known to use food analogies in my work—I always say delivering an analytic project is exactly like preparing for a dinner party.