Meet Randi Redmond Oster, a healthcare change agent, Co-Founder, and CEO at Help Me Health, an organization that better aligns healthcare delivery service to patient needs and satisfaction.
From knowing too little about healthcare to being recognized as one of the top leaders in the same, Randi Oster has come forward as a changemaker in the healthcare system. She is the author of the book, ‘Questioning Protocol’, which has won 7 book awards, including USA Best Book in Health.
Reminiscing her childhood days, Randi remembers sleeping in a cartoon t-shirt with wild animals that read “It is a jungle out there”. This didn’t hit her until the time she started working and struggled to earn a name for herself. Her parents taught her to stand up for herself, mostly because they were too busy trying to make a living. She was expected to solve her own problems through which she learned an important life skill. She was bullied, molested, and even mugged at gunpoint. But every time she stood up and walked back out the door stronger.
As the first female aerospace sales engineer at General Electric, Randi led the team to design the electronic combat system for the stealth fighter. She was never afraid to ask questions and built safe products under time and budget.
Until her son was hospitalized for Crohn’s disease, she felt all businesses communicated well and maintained the highest quality standard. Within 5 minutes of being in the hospital, Oster noticed a gap in the healthcare system. That’s when she committed to her son that she will fix the system. She started to Help Me Health, an organization that offers tools and insights to healthcare providers to achieve better patient satisfaction and employee engagement. HMH also helps them by employing patient-centric tactics to serve the customers better. Randy may have several rewards to her name, but according to her, the best reward is when she connects with someone and together they change an outcome. For instance, in one meeting, they discovered that pregnant women in the waiting room were cold. They took up this issue and now healthcare facilities provide blankets to them.
Randi faced a lot of challenges in the initial stage of her career as the only female working in the group. Even her name would invite comments, as it is English slang for ‘horny’. She learned how to deal with sexual harassment without going to the HR. Presently, she notes that COVID has changed her business. Like many other entrepreneurs, she has to pivot to meet the new needs. “Today, I just want to inspire others to move forward and take what we’ve experienced collectively from COVID and use the positive aspects to help women balance their lives”, she says.
Once Randi committed to fixing healthcare, she got a purpose that directed her every day. Before that, her goals were to get the next big job, but it never felt right. “At work, I wanted to be with my children. At home, I felt like I needed to work more“, she says. But now, as she has found her calling as an entrepreneur, she got to experience how passion gives one purpose and clarity for what is truly critical.
Inspiring women to take charge of their lives, she says, “The world needs you. We need you to help solve the problems. You don’t have to be a major change agent to make an impact. Just a smile to the local check-out person makes a difference. Start small. Let yourself feel the positive energy of connecting. It will give you the strength to tackle even bigger issues if you choose. Thank you for making a difference”.