EP135 From Spanish Harlem to Health Tech with Francesca Mendez

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EP135 From Spanish Harlem to Health Tech with Francesca Mendez

Aman: Folks, welcome back to another episode of the I Am GPH Podcast. And today we have Francesca Mendez. Francesca's work is at the forefront of healthcare innovation and chronic disease management. She's currently a product manager at CVS Health in the health equity department, alongside being a dedicated professional who's making waves in the world of healthcare product design and management. Her focus is on building out requirements and product design for patients with diabetes is not only changing lives, but also redefining the possibilities for all of us in the realm of public health. She has a unique perspective on how MPH and a passion for public health can open doors to a diverse career and opportunities even in the tech driven world of health innovation. She's been gone through so much in her journey and I'm so excited to hear about her teaching, her being a student, and her taking on this amazing role at CVS. Francesca, welcome to the I Am GPH Podcast.

Francesca: Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here and ready to answer any questions that are available, but just happy to be here.

Aman: We're happy too. We're excited to hear about your life. You know, so let's, when I was looking you up, there was a lot to do with, I mean, I was overwhelmed honestly, when I was reading in the beginning. I'm like, how can someone do so many things? It felt like it's a never ending list of things you have done. How do you manage your time? How do you do all these things? What is that journey? Tell me how does your, you teach your student, there's multiple degrees and achievements within academia as well, and then you're teaching for academia and then you have a full-time job? I have to know what was that journey like? Where did the public health journey start for you?

Francesca: Yeah, so thank you so much for asking. I'll take it all the way back. So I'm originally from New York, but I grew up in Spanish Harlem, and for some of my GPH classmates, you probably have looked up some of the community health profiles, but Spanish Harlem has very poor health outcomes. So the reason I say that is because that's when I was introduced to public health, my community, and it started small. You know, you go to the hospital, you see it. You see the poor outcomes, and I identified that through my family members as well. So, fast forward, when the time came to decide what career track I wanted, I started off the traditional pre-med track, and then I quickly became more interested in driving impact on a population level. I started working in the field of healthcare at like 17, volunteering at hospitals, and I was really happy to work in healthcare. But that one-to-one patient interactions, for me over time, it stopped being fulfilling and I became much more interested in the operations, addressing the root of why that patient is in front of me, has like 10 chronic conditions. And so fast forward to my undergrad career. I went to Ithaca College and again, started off pre-med and I took an introduction to public health promotion class. I was in my advisor's office the following week, and I declared my major in public health. Like, it was very quick. But the way that I think that my career has evolved is because my root has always been my why, which is I just want to improve population health and improve healthcare for all. And I think that the reason that I'm able to manage so many things is because I kind of have worked to make the puzzle pieces fit, because they all address my why. And so it can be difficult, but it's not impossible. And I also have to give credit to a lot of my mentors who have, you know, really pushed me to take advantage of all of the resources in any space that I'm in. So go to that event, go to that mixer, read that book, because you never know, you can evolve into something else.

Aman: What did you evolve into? So from Ithaca, you said you started in Ithaca, you went into public health. What, how did you get into teaching? How did you end up at NYU after that? What were all those experiences like?

Francesca: Yeah, so my transition to Ithaca College was even a culture shift for me because I grew up in New York, always lived here. And Ithaca College is in a very rural part of upstate New York. Truly loved my experience there, but that was a culture shock, even from my classmates. It was a predominantly white institution. And as a woman of color, that was also a culture shock. But then the opportunity to come back to New York presented itself for grad school to come to NYU. And when I got the acceptance letter, I honestly couldn't believe it. I was very surprised because growing up in New York City, there's no way you don't know what NYU is, it's everywhere. And so it was a big achievement for me to even get into the institution and to be the first generation student to get a graduate degree in my family. So all that being said, I came back to New York, and again, my mentors were all professors. So academia was always like that fly in my ear and I loved what I learned from my mentors, which were my professors and I wanted to do the same. And so that's how I got into academia, honestly. I got the opportunity to teach a virtual class. And-

Aman: This happened while at GPH when you were here? You got an opportunity to teach while you were doing your master's degree?

Francesca: Yes, yes. And it was an introduction to public health course, but that truly was a great opportunity because I was once that student in the intro to public health class. And then I hope I inspired some of those students to really consider public health as a career because healthcare is so broad.

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: And public health is broad as well, but there's many ways to make the puzzle pieces fit in that regard with your interests.

Aman: Something that interested me earlier that you said was you already found your why at Ithaca College. Like you declared in public health, you wanted to, population health was a major focus for you. Where did that come to play? How did that start?

Francesca: Yeah, that's a good question. I think that it's because I saw so much of the impact on public health, and I actually vividly remember learning the waves that public health perpetuates itself. And then how people don't even know. Like a traffic light is public health, The water you are drinking, that is public health. The climate change that is being discussed when you check the weather in the morning, that's all public health. So seeing how public health was in basically every aspect of my life, that made me even more interested because I realized I could truly drive impact and help a lot of people all at once through whatever field in the industry I would've ended up in, which I didn't know right away. I was just like, all right, let's try this out and see what happens. And that has been, honestly a lot of my career. Let's just try this out and see what happens.

Aman: Wow. I mean, just going for it. All in and then figuring it out. That's, they call, I read this thing the other day, architect versus archeologist approach. Architect is a super planned individual, they know what they're doing and when they take on something creatively or professionally, they're planned what they're doing. So everything is like an architect. It's meticulous. Archeologist is like going into the ruins and discovering things and that's kind of what you have done.

Francesca: I think I've done that. I just kind of try. If an opportunity is around for me to improve or to help someone, I just kind of go for it and see where it goes. It hasn't always gone well, but I've learned something from each of those experiences. And I think that's life.

Aman: All archeologists have become architects.

Francesca: There you go.

Aman: I love it. Take me to, you mentioned chronic illnesses. So you work with the area of chronic illnesses right now. People who come to public health probably have heard of chronic illnesses all the time. For those people that are in public health and don't know, what is a simple expression or simple way of describing chronic illnesses? What are these chronic illnesses? What does that even mean?

Francesca: Yeah, that's a great question. The easiest way that I can define a chronic condition is that it is a condition that does not go away. An acute condition is a cold, right? Your cold will eventually pass. A chronic condition is a lived long-term experience. And a good example of a chronic condition is diabetes. Diabetes is not reversible. Alzheimer's disease, it continues to degenerate. And the way that I like to view chronic conditions that helps me out is that this is now a part of this patient or this member's or this person's story. It's not temporary. So that's the best way that I can, you know, slim down what chronic conditions are.

Aman: That's actually a very good way to describe it. I never thought of it that way.

Francesca: I tried.

Aman: You said you have to do it on a daily basis. You said diabetes was one of them. What are some more chronic, common chronic conditions in the world that we see?

Francesca: Hypertension is one of them. But Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body, all of the related dementias essentially in that bucket. And those are the chronic conditions that I have worked in. So diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and now hypertension as well. But yeah, those are some. Cancer. Those are some chronic illnesses that I can use as an example.

Aman: Wow. People describe chronic illnesses as something that cannot go away, or do they go away sometimes? Like have, or, that's very rare to see, right?

Francesca: It's very rare. It depends. It depends on the illness, it depends on the severity of the illness, and what treatments are available. And being that we're in a public health space, it depends on what treatments that patient is able to utilize.

Aman: Oh wow. Okay.

Francesca: So again, it really depends and what those determinants can be for that patient.

Aman: Oh my God. Okay. Tell me how all of this has culminated into your journey to CVS.

Francesca: Yeah, so prior to being at CVS, I actually worked for a startup at Medmo, which I actually got that job through GPH.

Aman: Oh, wow. Okay.

Francesca: Lucas Takahashi, who is the CEO of Medmo, very, it was very small at the time. The company has grown so much. He was hosting an information session here at NYU. And I just went and I interviewed and I was like, I've never done anything in tech. In public health, you don't really foresee working in technology. But I became really interested in it. And that's when I made a switch from working at a hospital. I had been working at NYU Langone, to a tech startup.

Aman: Oh, okay.

Francesca: And then I went to CVS. But it was a very rapid switch from an industry perspective because I never thought that I could do a career in technology using public health. But again, GPH offered that space to Lucas, who then hired me, and then I joined Medmo, and I was employee number three.

Aman: Okay.

Francesca: So, and I actually, two of my other classmates got hired with me when we went over to Medmo here at GPH. Yeah. And then I ended up at CVS.

Aman: Let's hold back from CVS 'cause the reason you're on this podcast right now is as well because of networking and GPH. Tell us about that story.

Francesca: Yeah. So how I ended up at this spot, this podcast?

Aman: Yeah. Yeah. How did that story happen? I can share with everyone. It's really funny.

Francesca: So I was in the office here down in SOHO, one of the CVS offices, and I was stepping out to grab some lunch, actually, I think I was going to grab one of the sandwiches at Trader Joe's. And I run into a very nice man, and we start talking, elevator conversation, right? We start connecting and we realize we're both really interested in public health, right? So I had been talking about what my team works on. At the time I was on the kidney care team at CVS and DeRonn and I have conversations and we decide to share LinkedIns. So I'm scanning his QR code to like quickly open up his profile. We already have each other as connections and we're both confused because I honestly, we did not recall who we, I had no idea who he was and he had no idea who I was. So then we put two and two together because we both graduated from GPH. And so that brought me here and he became my mentor, to be honest, and continues to, you know, be someone I talk to a lot at CVS, but also externally.

Aman: I mean, it's so wonderful. It's mentor mentorship, not only within GPH, but beyond GPH with someone that you have connected with.

Francesca: Yeah. And he opened up the connections for me to meet other folks that graduated from GPH, who also work at CVS, because there's a few of us at the enterprise.

Aman: Okay and it's such a big organization, it's usually rare to find people that are from that same environment.

Francesca: Exactly. Yes.

Aman: Oh my God. See, I love that. I love hearing those networking stories that you built at GPH and then you take it outside and it's benefiting you in different ways.

Francesca: Yeah. And all it takes is that one conversation. You know, I try to say this, you know, it's good to look up from your phone sometimes. You know, like be present, because you really never know who you can run into and just get inspired. That, I think that morning it had been, I had been in back to back meetings, but then I had that conversation with DeRonn and we talked about public health and why we're in it and, you know, the midday crash.

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: I immediately just spiked back up because I was so excited. So I just encourage folks to, you know, be present.

Aman: I love that. I love to hear that. I can't wait to hear more networking stories than the podcast now going forward. You have inspired me to-

Francesca: Yeah?

Aman: To ask them. Yeah. These network, the fact that you met this person in the elevator and now you're here.

Francesca: It was literally on the elevator.

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: Like it was amazing. But it's just possible. Yeah.

Aman: I love it. Let's go back to CVS then since that's where you spend most of your time. You're the first product designer and you're one of the first people within public health and product design I'm speaking with. What is product design?

Francesca: Yeah. So very good question. I will define it in the context that it is at CVS. Because if you google product management, you're gonna get like a thousand definitions. In the context of CVS, it's program management. We call it products, but I essentially oversee the design of programs that are implemented and executed and then provide it to patients. And I've done that for kidney care, transform diabetes care, and now I'm on retail health equity at CVS. But yeah, my job is essentially to zoom out, look at the services that we're offering, and think of ways to embed health equity into the programs that we launch. And it's been really great.

Aman: Embed health. What are the programs then? So tell us more. The ones you can talk about.

Francesca: Yeah, so some of these examples in, let me think there actually, 'cause I don't think I can talk about like two of them anymore.

Aman: Take us to a past example.

Francesca: Yeah. So a good example of a program that launched, it was a part of kidney care and it was home-based care. And the program is essentially what it is. Home-based care is a program that was designed to help patients be able to have dialysis at home. So folks that have kidney disease, which is a chronic illness, are able to do dialysis in the comfort of their home instead of driving like 40, 50 minutes in rural areas to a dialysis clinic. Individuals with chronic kidney disease can have dialysis up to two to three times a week for hours a day. So from a social determinants of health perspective, you can already see how that can impact quality of life.

Aman: Explain social determinants of health.

Francesca: Yeah. So social determinants of health are the attributes in which a person's health can be determined. And some of these are economic, environmental, financial, cultural, and there's probably a few more, but I'm blanking on what they are. But I usually implement that lens into when I'm designing a program.

Aman: Wow. Okay.

Francesca: Like, you know, so you don't design a program, launch it, and then the people who need it the most can't even access it.

Aman: Right.

Francesca: So for home-based care, a big part of my role was trying to enable a program that was accessible to folks. So a good example of something I had to do for that program is if you have care at home, you need virtual capabilities. And so a part of my job was actually designing how the virtual experience was going to be for patients. So, you know, you have a tablet, that's where you go to your appointments at home. Does that patient have wifi at home? Does that patient have electricity for you to even, for them to meet with their doctor? So thinking about those lenses and making sure that the tablet we choose is wifi enabled and that they don't have to worry about that aspect. Like and I think I did user testing for those tablets. I had like 12 tablets in my apartment at some point, just stacked up, just testing them and seeing that, "okay, this is readable" because folks with chronic kidney disease tend to have vision issues. So why would you put the font on size four and make what's already a complex experience even more complex? So that's usually the lens that I try to apply when it comes to a program that, or product that we're designing.

Aman: You answered my next question without me even asking it. So when you say product design, you mean program design? So the products are your programs essentially.

Francesca: Exactly.

Aman: And then you are helping, what is this user testing experience like? So I'm from a degree where there's a lot of UX designers and I know what user testing is, but in public health, user testing does is not a word. It's usually known as research or experiments, right? So how would you explain to the public health students what user testing is in the business world for public health?

Francesca: Yeah, that's a really good question. I think that user testing is in every space, we just call it different things.

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: But user testing from a public health perspective is typically you're trying out what you want to give to thousands and thousands of people. And I do think it's important to look at it with that like pressure testing lens, because you're designing a program, but it's going to roll out to millions, thousands and millions of people. That doesn't mean it's one size fits all. So you want to make sure that you do user testing and really pilot everything so that you capture those pain points.

Aman: Pilot everything means test everything or? Okay.

Francesca:Test everything.

Aman: There are a lot of new words in here.

Francesca: Yeah, I know. It's okay. And that's great. It's really important to test out what you're rolling out because it's not going to be a one size fits all experience. So typically at CVS, I've supported a lot of pilots and from those pilots, then you zoom out, you look at what you launched, you identify the pain points, and you know, get some patient testimonials and so forth. Some qualitative information. And then you decide, okay, now we're ready to do full scale and launch this thing for thousands of people.

Aman: What does that process look like?

Francesca: Oof. That's the stressful part. So the process of taking something from a pilot to full scale, it's really fun in the sense that you learn so much while you're piloting. I will say it can be challenging because things in healthcare are constantly changing. So when you, by the time you go to full scale, maybe the entire policies have changed for this population. Or-

Aman: Wow.

Francesca: You know, maybe the patient needs have changed. So you become very adaptable. But it can be very rewarding when you see something go from, you know, a small cohort of folks using research terminology now, to then a program that's live in several states.

Aman: Yeah. I was gonna ask you like, what does product delivery look like? You know, like how do you, when you take it to that, take me to that moment with the program you were talking about-

Francesca: Home-based care?

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: Home-based care. Yeah, so-

Aman: What was that like? 'Cause I know you started with 12 iPads, you understood, like you did user testing and then font stuff, and then what did that process look like when you have to take it to the country?

Francesca: Yeah, that's a really great question. Going from testing in my apartment to then getting the notification, I think I got an email actually, that let me know, hey, the patient received their tablet, they just had their first appointment. It was like a two sentence email, but it was a huge win because we went from figuring out all of those small logistics.

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: But it's our job to figure it out so that then the patient doesn't have to. And it was so rewarding. And then, you know, patient one became patient two, then three, then four, then five. And then eventually the program was live in the state of Texas. And I think that we had really great outcomes. So it was very rewarding.

Aman: What is a great out outcome? Is it, how does CVS or how do companies in general measure a great outcome? Is it sales? Is it execution? Is it utility? I'm sure it's a collection of all the things when I even ask that question, but what are how does one define a great outcome? Or does it differ from product to product?

Francesca: It differs from product to product for sure. But it depends. At CVS at least, it depends what the business case is, right? So for home-based care specifically, we really wanted to increase adherence to medications and increase attendance to appointments. And so those were our main measurements of success until those numbers were up. But it really depends on the product and what the business case is. So how is it adding value to the enterprise is really the way to examine it, and then how is it benefiting the patients over time? So clinical outcomes are super important. I don't have a clinical background, so this is where I tap into my clinical SMEs. We have a lot of nurse practitioners, a lot of MDs on the team, who basically come and tell me, yeah, you're crazy. We can't do that. Very cool, innovative idea, but that's not clinically compliant. Or that's not going to drive clinical benefits. So that's where you can see some of the cross-functional aspects of product. I work with multiple team leads.

Aman: It sounds like the role beyond the research goes into humanity. You have so many people to interact with patients, people that are gonna require this product, the people that can pilot it and then ship it out to everyone.

Francesca: Yeah. It's awesome. You learn so much. And I tell myself that all of the time. You know, I talk to people from finance. I talk to people from legal. I did not go to law school. I am not a finance person. But I have a friend on this team who can answer some questions for me. And I come out learning so much from my colleagues. So, you know, every day is different, which is nice.

Aman: Where do these ideas come from? So how do you, in public health, I've interviewed so many people now, and I know that there's endless options of areas we can focus on in public health. How does your team decide, okay, this is the project we work on now with the resources y'all have?

Francesca: Yeah, that's a really good question. So typically we decide what new initiative or what new solution is needed depending on what's happening in the field. So, you know, right now we're seeing a lot of healthcare disparities. And so CVS is focusing on health equity much more and trying to close those gaps between, you know, either predominantly white folks across black and Latinos and other historically marginalized groups. And so I think we look at metrics and the data that's available for us to make a decision on what healthcare solution are we going to try to work on and then deliver.

Aman: I was curious about compliance a little bit. You know, like what happens in the compliance portion of things when you're taking it out there and so many people are involved? What's the process like in terms of that? I feel like that would be the most challenging thing when you have a... this is art to me when I listen to it to some degree, right? You're doing this art piece and you have this thing you've been working on, and now there's gonna be rules and restrictions put on a creative piece. What is that journey like?

Francesca: Yeah, that's a good question. So before it even goes to market, it gets, it needs to go through like rigorous scrutiny and overview because, you know, from a legal perspective, you don't want any issues. But then also you don't want to roll out a product or service that is it either inequitable or is it clinically correct? So it goes through a lot before it even enters market. However, I think the area where I interact with compliance the most is I'm thinking outside of the box. That's my job, right? Like, I think GPH, do we still use reinvent the public health paradigm?

Aman: I have to look into it. Probably.

Francesca: Yeah. If we still do, this is applicable. But a part of my job is trying to reinvent like the public health paradigm. And that's great, and I love doing it, but compliance has to tell me that's illegal or that is not allowed in this state because policies vary by state. So I may want to implement a program to operate like this in Texas, but it won't be compliant in the state of New York. So you have to get those validations from compliance folks, and they really help put everything back together. It can be challenging in the sense that you can get super excited about a solution you're putting on the table, right? Wow, no one's ever done this before. Let's try it out. Well, no one's ever done it before because it's illegal. Or no one's ever done it before because it's not compliant in that state. So you really, I love the opportunity to be able to even pitch them.

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: And to think, but then we always find a way around it too. So working with compliance, they help me, all right, let's make it more feasible. This isn't feasible, but let's work together to come up with a different solution that's actually compliant.

Aman: There's so much beautiful teamwork in everything you're mentioning.

Francesca: There is. There is. And I love working in teams. It's really fun. And you know, I think I learn so much from my colleagues every day too.

Aman: You have a story or a moment that comes to your mind in one of these experiences you've had, which was, you're so impressed with the outcome of the organization or even with yourself where I did not expect that and this was a transformational moment for me? Or it makes me wanna be in the industry I'm in?

Francesca: Does it have to be specific to CVS?

Aman: No.

Francesca: Okay. I have an example, and it's actually from when I used to work at Medmo.

Aman: Okay.

Francesca: So I worked at Medmo for, I wanna say, almost two years. I started during my time at GPH, and then I actually took some time off in between working at Medmo to CVS. I traveled for a bit, went back to Dominican Republic. And at Medmo, I think I alluded to earlier, I was employee number three. And with that being said, by the time I left Medmo, there were 10 employees and we had so many more resources that we didn't have when we first started. But Medmo is essentially like a open table for medical imaging. And I think it was just really rewarding to see how we went from doing scrappy solutions a.k.a like faxing or going to medical imaging centers in person, to having a platform that literally does it all. And having like an SVP of product engineering. That's where I got, I learned so much about product actually, and why I even explored product as my next move. And I think that was super rewarding, working on that team. We were so small that we had to work together and figure it out for the business to grow. And they're doing quite well. So it's good to see that.

Aman: Wow. I mean, I like how that's the one that, it's so interesting to me that the platform and the way information flows and processes change is something that excites you. I want to hear that from you. Right? So imagine someone's listening to this podcast and they're looking for what they wanna do, and you speak with what you do with a lot of enthusiasm. I love hearing it.

Francesca: That's good.

Aman: It gets me excited about it.

Francesca: Oh, that's good.

Aman: And what's interesting is I wanna see what, what you would tell them, someone that's finding their path. This industry you're in, it's not, it is research heavy, but it's more hands-on and it has like a balance of business world and healthcare. It's the balance of the two.

Francesca: Yeah.

Aman: So what does a day in the life look like? And you could probably present that to students that are figuring out their journey. Hey, this might be for you if this is what you want to do.

Francesca: Yeah, that makes sense. I think that product, going into the world of product is not something that was on paper for me. So when you go on Google, and I'll use this as an example because I was once a student trying to see what can I do with a degree in a master of public health?

Aman: Yeah.

Francesca: Product does not come up. It's usually you can work for the federal government, you can work for legislature, you can work in policy community health. I did work in community health for a little bit while I was at GPH too. But product was not there. And I think it was through networking and just getting to know folks that I even learned about the field. And I want to say, encourage folks to look at the job. Even if it's not the title that you think, look at it. Because there's areas that might actually intersect that you may be missing. Because I do not have a degree in business. I did not go to business school. But folks in business need a public health perspective.

Aman: Yes.

Francesca: A clinical perspective for a lot of the initiatives that they're doing. But I think I would definitely just be more open, encourage students to be open into the opportunities that actually may fit with their interests. Don't put yourself into a box. Don't ever put yourself into a box. Yeah.

Aman: Be open to exploring other boxes and then you'll find your interest in that area.

Francesca: Exactly. Yeah. And it's fine to do that. And there's so much value that you can bring to a room when you're the only public helps me.

Aman: I love, you know what my favorite thing is? That you work in an organization that has resources and reach, and you're doing projects that a public health student dreams of doing within that setting.

Francesca: Yeah. But I would've never thought of CVS, honestly. Like CVS, if I was to go back 10 years ago, I mean, I was like 16, but I would've never thought of CVS as a place that I would've spent so much time in my career, especially a pivotal time, right? Like the earlier, I wanna say the almost the peak of my career, you know? I would've never thought CVS was there because my understanding of CVS Health from 10 years ago was retail pharmacy. I just go pick up my Tylenol there. But by being open, I learned that there's so much more that the enterprise is doing, and I became super excited in being a part of that work. And the footprint that CVS has as well, just allows me to impact more people. Which is my why. So by being open, I think I really opened up more opportunities and listening. Listening to, you know, my mentors.

Aman: For the correct guidance.

Francesca: Yeah.

Aman: So if you were to listen to yourself right now, what's next? What? You have done so much. You know, I told you, your LinkedIn overwhelmed me in the beginning.

Francesca: Nice.

Aman: And I wanna know what's next for you? You have, it's a very concise and de well designed path. You have now become the architect in my eyes. And what is next when you think of yourself in this journey?

Francesca: That's a really great question. Well, I am back in school. I'm currently like pursuing my MBA.

Aman: Okay.

Francesca: To really put together that public health background, but really fuel that business acumen. I think I'm doing it day by day working at CVS. But the educational background helps. But I think that what's next for me is, honestly, I am really interested in starting my own company.

Aman: I love it.

Francesca: My own public health solutions company. And that's deeply rooted in when I was at a startup. So when I was at that startup, I got the experience of what it looks like to start something, you know, from the ground up essentially, from the CEO who really inspired me. But now I'm at CVS, who is humongous, has a lot of resources, and I'm, I think I'm becoming more well-rounded with understanding of business needs. And so I think over time, I would like to start my own women's health, public health solutions company. I'm not there yet though, but I think that would be what's next.

Aman: Well, I mean, we can't wait to speak to you in a few years from now, again, and on this podcast to see how your journey has transformed. Very inspiring and very exciting to hear this journey. I didn't know this was an entire area in the world of public health as well.

Francesca: Yeah. There's so much. And going back to, I think I mentioned it earlier, public health is everywhere. And it's interesting because I think that people started to understand more what public health is during 2020, during the spike of SARS COVID. I think that's when people began to pay more attention to what it was. When, as before then, I had to explain what is public health to people. Oh, what's Francesca studying, again? Something in healthcare. But there's so much attention that was drawn to the field during a very difficult time. And I think that now there's a lot more interest in the field. And I think that's great because we need more folks in public health. And it touches so many more avenues of life than I think it receives.

Aman: That's a very good place to end the podcast, Francesca.

Francesca: Eyy.

Aman: Thanks for being on this episode. Folks, put down in the comments what you got outta this podcast. What's your public health journey? We'd love to hear all about it. Francesca, thanks for being on this episode.

Francesca: Thank you for having me.

Aman: Thanks for tuning in, folks. We'll see you in the next one.