By Heather Seftel-Kirk, FedHealthIT Contributing Author
Earlier this year, FedHealthIT announced its Top 100. Nominated and chosen by peers, these individuals have been recognized for driving change and advancement, for their willingness to challenge conventional wisdom, and for giving back to the larger Federal Health IT and Consulting community.
This week we spoke with Kavita Kalatur, President at NetImpact Strategies Inc., about her own volunteer involvement and a company culture that is focused on giving back and doing the right thing.
Kavita was industry chair of the 2015 Management of Change (MOC) Conference and is actively involved with the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
Volunteers make things happen
Kavita says she initially got involved with a variety of organizations as way to build her professional network and make friends, understanding that people want to work with people they know and trust. Along the way though she came to recognize that many organizations depend on volunteers to make things happen. That was all it took for her to try her hand at organizing events, sitting on committees, and writing white papers for a variety of projects.
This involvement also afforded her a unique perspective on the people she was dealing with and bidding against.
A chance to focus on the positive
Among Kavita’s efforts are a DHA Happy Hour. This quarterly event brings Federal Health IT people together in a social environment to connect and to build relationships away from the usual competitive venues. It opens the door to new conversations and perspectives about the Fed Health IT marketplace.
She is also involved in the AFCEA Bethesda InnovateIT Awards, that shed light on advances and positive things being done in government. “It is important, through these awards, and through volunteer interactions, to have the opportunity to recognize strengths, to see leadership in different forms, and to focus on the good. There is too much negative in the world so the chance to focus on the good is very worthwhile.”
Giving back goes beyond one event
Kalatur says giving back, especially when it is driven by passion, goes beyond one event, one activity, or one committee. Her own company is evidence of this.
At NetImpact Strategies, community involvement is a team effort. “Being part of the community is part of who we are and part of a core value of doing the right thing. Annually we have someone who takes on the role of championing our events and initiatives for the year and they drive what we are involved with.”
These initiatives include donating a percentage of revenues to worthwhile causes but also actively engaging through activities such as packing lunches, or mentoring people so they can succeed at finding work.
Kalatur says this corporate culture has helped attract people of a similar mindset, people who want to get involved, who themselves are multi-faceted in their interests and passions and want their careers to reflect that. “Knowing that is who we are and understanding the healthcare industry we serve is all about people, we also look for people who care about the community and so will care about our clients and their clients.”
She says it is valuable getting to know people by serving a common mission. She has developed many good relationships, she says, from within and outside her company, from exactly this kind of effort.