Career Pathways

Health and Biomedical

Health & Biomedical Consists of: Medical Devices, Medical Research, and Healthcare IT.

Industry Resources

Spotlight on Success

Northeast Florida continues to grow as a destination for health and wellness.  Significant advancements in technology and bioscience continue to drive this ever-growing industry in the region.

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Perserverance Results In a Successful Patient Care Career

Almira - Wolfson’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU)


Six years ago, Almira and her two children moved to Jacksonville from Philadelphia to start fresh. Her son and daughter both struggle with health issues, so Almira knew she wanted to begin a career in the medical field. While up north, she earned a patient tech credential. However, she found herself wanting to move beyond just an entry-level position.

Almira utilized one of Jacksonville’s community-based organizations by joining BEAM’s Single Parent Program (SPP). With their help, Almira found a patient scheduler job at a local hospital. Almira also utilized another resource via the ASTEP program through Goodwill Industries of North Florida.

According to Goodwilljax.org, the “A-STEP program aims to provide working adults in North Florida access to higher education in order to elevate earning potentials and job security.” Almira applied to ASTEP and began taking classes at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) in mid-2015.

A year later, Almira’s position was outsourced. She persevered, landing a job working for a local healthcare system at the registration desk. For 2 years, Almira plugged away at completing pre-requisite classes. In 2017, she was accepted into the FSCJ respiratory therapy program.

Almira graduated in May of 2019 with an Associate in Science in Respiratory Care, despite issues that could have caused her to quit. She overcame health issues and severe test anxiety. She successfully passed 2 state exams in late summer 2019. Almira was immediately offered a position with Wolfson’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as a Respiratory Therapist. She loves working with children and giving individual care.

Almira says this about her profession in the patient side of healthcare: “I am so blessed to have been selected as a RTA on the NICU floor at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. I am grateful to be a part of an amazing medical team dedicated to helping the sickest (and youngest) patients with chronic respiratory problems increase their survival rate and improve quality of life through Respiratory Therapy. It is my passion. It is my heart. It is my lifelong dream and I couldn’t be happier.”

As a result of her persistence and work ethic, Almira closed on her very first home in the Arlington area in January 2020. Almira is one of many single mothers in the ASTEP program. She sets an example for how hard work and educational achievement in a growing career pathway leads to long-term success.

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Member Care Specialist Role

A Deep Dive Into One Of GuideWell's Opportunities


You may ask yourself if this role is too good to be true: working 9 months on and three months off all while receiving full benefits, paid time off, and incentive bonuses? A job where you can self-select to go full time, or remain on the schedule above? A job where you can pursue educational opportunities on the “off” time while still having access to a variety of amenities such as golf and basketball to stay healthy as well as continued networking with other colleagues?

This role exists and is in demand at GuideWell.

Member Care Specialist is a key role in meeting the mission of “helping people and communities achieve better health.” Each day, the Member Care Specialist handles between 20 to 40 consecutive calls of potential, new and existing customers which include individual members, group members, business decision makers and agents. Collectively, they receive 10 thousand calls on a slow day and 30 thousand calls on a busy day. Each call taken helps meet the hospital’s mission.

Member Care Specialists have one of the most critical roles in that they interface with the public on the company’s behalf. They’re helping to navigate a complicated system and ensure that members understand how to use their benefits. They also resolve inquiries and process transactions.

When the job was initially created, previous call center experience was required. However, the HR team soon realized they needed individuals with a collaborative, customer service background which could include retail or volunteering. George Cross, Sr. Director, Member Service Center indicated, “These roles turn into professional translators. You are learning another language of medical and insurance terminology. For example, co-pays versus deductibles. What is the difference between oncology and hematology? What is primary care? What constitutes a specialty drug? Your job is to listen to the situation and translate it into the customer’s situation. How good are you at this translation process?” Good customer service involves listening skills and being able to articulate ideas that may seem intimidating to members.

Being able to respond to member calls involves not only a thorough understanding of their plan’s features and benefits, but ultimately involves truly caring about each unique situation. Cross recognizes the importance of “a heart for service. I can teach you the technical knowledge, but I can’t teach you to care. If you like helping people and solving problems, this can be a long-term career path.”

A genuine interest in helping people will allow Member Care Specialists to succeed, particularly when they learn to apply empathy and listening skills to various situations. For example, learning to ask questions is essential. Cross said, “You can’t assume anything. You need to know the entire context of the situation. Someone could be calling in to get a new ID card. You don’t know if they just lost it or are taking their child to the hospital and are afraid they’ll be denied care. It’s important to ask good questions to lead people to answers.”

This position can serve as a launching pad for additional opportunities within the organization as well. Many examples exist throughout the organization of individuals who began on the phones and were promoted to other positions after several years. Ultimately, the Member Care Specialist role affords individuals to develop critical skills that impact members as well as their professional colleagues while truly helping others.

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Testimonials

"We're in startup mode.  You wear a lot of hats and have to strike a balance to be successful.  It's really just about hard work and being dedicated to your mission." 

Brandi Zofkie
Ex Vivio Lung Perfusion Specialist, General Manager Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

“I was working as a CNA, caring for a patient who suddenly began having difficulty breathing, exhibiting signs of respiratory distress. I immediately alerted the nurse, who called the Respiratory Therapist for help. I watched the RT care for, treat, and stabilize this patient. Seeing this RT work her magic like that is what sparked my interest in the field.“

Haley Smith
Respiratory Therapy Student, SJR State

"We're always thinking about how do we push the practice of medicine forward."

Brian Hultgren
Operations Administrator, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine

 “If you like helping people and solving problems, this can be a long-lasting career path.”

George Cross
Senior Director, Member Service Center, Guidewell

“It is my passion. It is my heart. It is my lifelong dream and I couldn’t be happier.”

Almira
Respiratory Therapist, Wolfson’s Hospital

"Never waste time. Get all of the credentials you need quickly.  It may look painful going to class and taking exams, but when you achieve your goal, you'll appreciate it."

Dr. Abba Zubair, MD, PhD
Clinical Pathologist, Mayo Clinic

“We seek to promote an entrepreneurial community and spirit of invention.”

Tushar Patel, M.B., Ch.B
Dean of Research, Mayo Clinic

Health and Biomedical COMPANIES IN THE REGION