February 28 2019

Employee Spotlight: Hilary Placzek, PhD, MPH

Clarify Health February 2019 employee spotlight: Hilary Placzek, PhD, MPH

1. What is your position at Clarify and what do you do?
I’m a Director on the Data Science team in San Francisco. My main responsibilities are to build and support roadmaps for main analytic activities, generate and interpret analytic insights for emerging and active customers, and support the Data Science team so that each member is positioned for success at Clarify. One specific project I’ll be owning is SBDoH (social and behavioral determinants of health) which will integrate elements of health that are non-clinical (like social support, financial strain, access to healthy food, a safe place to live, and behaviors like diet and exercise) into a standard offering. This will help us a) calculate more precise ways to predict expected costs, utilization, or response to care, and b) stratify populations of people who may be in need of interventions to help with issues like transportation, medication adherence improvement, management of chronic conditions, or post-procedure care management support. This project not only reflects my personal values to improve outcomes for people but will also help differentiate Clarify in ways that are innovative and impactful.

2. What excites you most about Clarify?
As an epidemiologist, I’ve spent the past 15 years in applied public health settings and various research environments – everything from responding to active infectious disease outbreaks in developing countries, to building out analytic teams in machine learning startup environments. Honestly, I’ve never had so much fun at work which is a combination of a couple of different components:

  • I really enjoy the people with whom I work – Clarify is full of smart, fun, and humble people and that’s really awesome!
  • The sky is the limit in regard to what data we can access, and how we can use it to improve clinical outcomes for people and reduce costs for payers & providers. I am so excited to be here at this moment.

3. How did you hear about Clarify / How did you get here?
A former colleague referred me to his brother who told me about Clarify! I was put in touch with Michelle Chiu, and then Doug Yokoyama. Many conversations later I started here in January 2019.

4. What aspect of your role do you enjoy most?
Being part of a team that works to make people healthier and happier gets me up in the morning. Exploring opportunities and applying methodologies to lead the space as an innovator keeps me going all day.

5. What project have you worked on here that you’re most proud of?
Kicking off the SBDoH work is something I’m proud and excited about.

6. If you weren’t working at Clarify or in healthcare / technology in general, what would you be doing?
Marine archaeologist! I’m a certified rescue scuba diver, appreciate history, and love exploring the ocean. It’s amazing how little we know about life and death in the oceans on Earth.

7. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Even as a little kid, I’ve been a Slash and Axl fan. I squeal like a baby child whenever I see them play live.

8. What’s your favorite app?
As of this moment: SquawAlpine, so I can check snow & trail conditions and lift status at home mountains in Tahoe.

9. Where is the coolest place you’ve traveled?
Tie: Palawan, Philippines and Outer Great Barrier Reef in Australia

10. Salty or sweet?

11. Favorite book, movie, and musician/band?
Book: So many! The Wind in the Willows was probably my first favorite (parents – read to your kids.. the best memories)
Movie: The Big Lebowski
Band: Tough call on music, so many: Yo-Yo Ma, Susan Tedeschi, The Cars, Talking Heads, Chris Cornell, Trent Reznor

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