Meet the Collective: Hi, Karlene.

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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 Karlene McCallaCreary, Corporate Accounting Lead.

Where are you from?

I grew up in San Jose and went to Santa Clara for college where I studied accounting. Throughout my life, I have also lived in Florida and briefly in New York. Now, I live in SF!

My family is originally from Jamaica. I have dual citizenship and visit often.

What were you up to before Collective Health?

After college, I was going to start working full time at Ernst & Young. But I was nominated to interview for a rotation in New York for accounting guidance. After a little over a year of living and working in Times Square, I was moved back to the Bay Area, where I transitioned out of consulting and into auditing. I worked in SF to audit large tech companies in the Bay Area. Collective Health was my first move in the healthcare industry after being in client service.

Why did you make the move?

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a pediatrician—so healthcare was always an interest of mine! A friend of a friend reached out about an opportunity with Collective Health, but at the time, I was happy with where I was and told them I wasn’t looking for a new job.

However, after taking a look at the website and doing some research, I had a gut feeling that I should explore the opportunity. What really drew me in was the reading the Medium article about why Ali and Rajaie started Collective Health, the mission, and the people I met while interviewing.

What’s your favorite thing to do?

I’m an active person and love being outdoors. I enjoy exploring neighborhoods in city by running or biking, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, and attending boutique fitness and dance classes.

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

Imagine you get money every year from your allowance, the tooth fairy, and your birthday. You want know how much all of that adds up to, so you count what you got, store it in your piggy bank, and then track the money that you’re spending from your piggy bank.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people that I work with every day are what brought me in and have kept me here. Not only do I get to work with great, smart people, but I am also able to work across departments. I like to make sure that I’m always learning and being challenged, and I continue to get that working for Collective Health.

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

There are two apps that I think are very cool.

  1. Heal — They provide in-home doctors. It’s efficient, and you get care immediately. You don’t have to struggle to find a good primary care doctor if you move.
  2. First Derm — Dermatologists on demand. You can send photos and video chat with the dermatologist. They even send prescriptions to the pharmacy for you.

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

Fruit! In particular — edible arrangements. I love grapes, honeydew, mango, pineapple, kiwi, etc.

What would you challenge the rest of the team to?

Lots of things — hula-hooping, a flash mob dance, and bottling wine.

Favorite Collective Health Event to date:

It would have to be when we held the Greggorian Games (our Collective Health field day) and played capture the flag. I love anything competitive and it was a fun way of team-building with friendly competition. It was also great to meet everyone’s families and have a picnic.

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