An Interview with Circulation's newest C-level leaders, Cindy Nguyen and Caitlin Donovan

I am very pleased to announce that Circulation has added two new leaders to our growing organization  — Caitlin Donovan as Chief Operating Officer and Cindy Nguyen as Chief Financial Officer. We are thrilled to have them join our team and we’re excited to see them lead the charge on spreading Circulation’s mission.

I had the opportunity to sit down with them for a conversation about their latest career move. Here’s a bit about their background, what motivated them to join Circulation, and how they envision the future of the company.

Cindy Nguyen’s background:

Cindy has a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University and is a graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

For the first 7 years of her career, Cindy worked in international finance for various companies including TJX and Dunkin Brands. She then transitioned into corporate finance and made her entry into healthcare when she joined Senior Whole Health, an MCO that provided healthcare benefits to dual-eligible members in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. The role at Senior Whole Health had a major impact on her career and her willingness to tackle problems made her a key player at the organization.

“Senior Whole Health was a really great experience because every day there was something to fix and you had the freedom to solve problems that could have major financial impact on the business.”

Ultimately, her four-year tenure at Senior Whole Health opened up new avenues within the payer/MCO world. In 2012, she joined Centene Corporation as their Senior Director of Finance and after that, Cindy joined Commonwealth Care Alliance as their Chief Financial Officer.

Although her initial move to join Senior Whole Health was not based on a motivation to work in healthcare, Cindy says her decision to stay in healthcare as a result of her experiences at Senior Whole Health was entirely purposeful.

“The MCO’s I worked at focused on providing care to underserved populations, those individuals have complex health issues, made more complicated by socioeconomic factors that make it difficult to deliver care to them” Cindy says. “When I picked these companies, I specifically picked them because they were trying to change the way these fragile populations were managed. And I felt like I was helping to make a difference.”

Through this lens, Cindy learned about Circulation and became interested in the mission of the company.

“What drew me to Circulation is that the company is trying to change the way people are cared for and in doing so, the company is helping improve care for patients in so many ways” she says.

Caitlin Donovan’s background:

Caitlin has a BA in Economics from Harvard University

She started her career in finance working for a hedge fund — Bain Capital Credit. In evaluating companies, finding investment ideas, and analyzing industries, Caitlin soon realized her strength and passion for creating business plans and optimizing operations.

With some advice from a mentor, Caitlin began her shift away from investment and into operations with a move to another private equity firm in an operations consulting role. Within this role, Caitlin was exposed to businesses in multiple verticals (including healthcare) and she learned what works, what doesn’t work, and the strategies companies can use to better manage their operations. This was also the point at which Caitlin realized her passion for healthcare.

“I learned I really like healthcare because I enjoy finding problems to solve even within the limitations of regulations” Caitlin says. “It forces organizations to find creative ways to differentiate themselves. And when solving these problems directly results in better care for patients, it’s especially inspiring.”

In 2015, after spending 7 years in the finance and venture capital worlds, Caitlin landed an operations role at Carecentrix, a company that connects patients with the care they need at home. In just 9 months, she was promoted to Vice President of Operations where she worked until joining Circulation.

While the growth trajectory of Circulation attracted Caitlin to the company, what was even more appealing was the company's overall mission and ability to positively change the lives of patients.

“Circulation is driving major improvement in healthcare, both from a dollars perspective and an outcomes perspective” she says. “That makes me excited about the potential of the company.”

And she’s excited to dig in to her new role as COO. For starters, Caitlin talks about making a commitment to being a “service excellence organization” and some of the projects that will help rally the organization around that goal.

“We’re going to dive in and review the type of support our clients need to ensure that our operations are setup to continue to exceed service expectations” Caitlin says.

On leadership style:

I asked both Cindy and Caitlin about their leadership styles and how they both plan to demonstrate leadership in the context of their c-level positions.

Cindy brought up the importance of leaders accommodating a variety of skill-sets and personality traits.

“Everyone is different in your organization and everyone brings a unique skill-set with them” says Cindy. “I like to learn what that skill-set is and then build on that and not try to force every employee to conform to a certain style.”

Caitlin added that all her favorite leaders had the value of always trying to do the right thing, no matter what, which is a core principle she’s adopted in her career.

Caitlin added, “I like to empower people to make decisions and serve as a business partner to them, rather than a blocker”

On their vision of the future at Circulation:

I asked both Caitlin and Cindy to share their vision for Circulation — the 5 year plan question, so to speak.

Caitlin shared that she believes Circulation can fundamentally change the healthcare landscape.

“I think in one year we are going to be available to more patients — through health plans, clinics and hospitals” she says. “In five years, I believe we’ll continue to expand upon the type of value we drive and into more use cases.”

Similarly, Cindy detailed a vision of Circulation where the company truly becomes a national network for all healthcare transportation logistics.

“I want us to be solving for greater healthcare needs beyond ride-share” she says. "We’ll be improving outcomes for patients in a multitude of ways — whether it’s DME, home health, prescription delivery or taking on risk through managed care plans.”

Both Cindy and Caitlin brought up their view that Circulation can transform healthcare in the U.S. in a very significant way. They believe that this is the team that can make it happen and that this is the platform that can disrupt the industry and advance the greater good.

To end, I really appreciated getting to know Cindy and Caitlin and hearing their stories. I also wanted to bring up something we are very proud of here at the company — 75% of Circulation’s c-level executive positions are currently held by women. Unfortunately, this needs to be mentioned because of the sobering statistic that only 20% of c-level positions are held by women in the U.S. We’re incredibly proud to be led by three great c-level leaders who happen to be women.

Thanks to Cindy and Caitlin for the great interview!

Jon is Circulation's Director of Marketing