Changes: Why I’m Joining HealthTeacher and Leaving HealthStream

This week, I accepted a position as Product Manager with HealthTeacher. I’m going to wrap up my work at HealthStream in November and start my new role effective December 1. My commute will be all of two floors shorter — third instead of fifth. I guarantee I’ll absently walk all the way up to the fifth floor at least once.

I’m thrilled. This change represents the last step in a full turn in my career that I’ve worked very hard to achieve over a relatively short timeline. It’s been three years since I first reevaluated my career and began to realize my passion for education. While teaching ultimately became an outcome I couldn’t justify (sadly, mostly a financial decision, which says a bit about the state of our education system), the research lead me to instructional design as a field that combined my interest in cognition, learning, and technology. I imagined I’d spend a few years building experience in corporate learning and adult education, and then parlay that into a move to a tech company in the K-12 space. I figured it was something that would take years, and I began to think it wasn’t something I could do in Nashville.

HealthTeacher is the move into K-12 education that I’ve wanted all along.As I have a child that approaches school-age faster than I can comprehend, I find my passion for education growing exponentially. There’s no field I’d rather work in; in my mind, there’s no opportunity to change the world greater than improving an education system that is in serious need of new ideas, new technologies, and new approaches.

Furthermore, HealthTeacher’s mission is big, important, and meaningful in a whole other way — the company is focused on building a youth health movement by teaching good health habits to children. It’s been said that 75% of healthcare costs go to treat conditions that are largely preventable and even reversible by preventative lifestyle choices. Studies have shown that lifestyle choices could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease. Spiraling healthcare costs continue to burden our economy.

We form habits early in life. Good health should be a habit, a competency, a language that we learn at a young age. I’m excited to go to HealthTeacher and build exciting education products that do just that.

In making this decision, I leave behind a job I’ve truly enjoyed. My two years at HealthStream have been fantastic. I believe 100% in what HealthStream does. It has great leadership, fills a very important need in the world, is run with strong vision, and treats it’s employees with respect. I felt like family there, and I’m sad to say goodbye — but this opportunity is too close to my heart to pass up.

Here’s hoping for a relatively-change-free 2012! I could use one year of maintenance.