Mitzi Krockover’s heart-centered mission is to engage, educate, and inspire a community of women to achieve optimal health and well-being and to effect meaningful change on the systems that impact women’s health. From this mission, the Beyond the Paper Gown community and podcast were created to help women understand the various factors that impact their health so they can take steps to improve their lives and well-being.
One of the areas she likes to highlight is innovation in women’s health that has arisen in response to the real need for solutions; Mitzi is inspired by the drive and ingenuity of the entrepreneurs who bring these solutions to market. She met and mentored many of these founders through her angel investment activities.
In the non-profit sector, she stays closely connected to intersecting initiatives such as women’s health, mental health research, women’s leadership, and the arts. She chairs the Board of the Institute of Mental Health Research, serves on the board of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, and also serves on university Councils at ASU and Washington University in St. Louis.
Mitzi’s former role as founding Medical Director of the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center built the foundation for a career that has combined 20+ years of professional focus on women’s health and wellness. In addition to her clinical activities, as Director of the Women’s Health Program, she mentored and trained medical residents and medical students and co-taught an undergraduate course on women’s health.
As Vice President of Women’s Health and Preventive Services at Humana Inc, she was responsible for programs and services that were aimed at improving women’s health at a population level, such as an employer-based lactation program, a high-risk OB care program, breast cancer screening program and more.
But the role that provides Mitzi with the most profound experience and satisfaction is that of “mom”. She is grateful for her two incredible daughters, who inspire her every day to leave the world a little better than how she found it.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Mitzi Krockover: Woman-Centered was created to build on my long-held vision of addressing women’s health challenges and providing solutions and education in order for women to access their optimal health. We’ve created a podcast and online community that empowers women. We are also exploring other ways that we can significantly address the healthcare issues of mature women.
There are numerous ways in which we are unique, which include our focus on women over forty, a mission to raise awareness of innovations that women may not be aware of, and our view on women’s health. This transcends the standard way of viewing health as simply medical conditions and instead goes deeper by considering all the factors that impact women’s health. Finally, we believe that primary care should be defined as both acute and chronic care in order to bring optimal health and wellbeing to women.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Mitzi Krockover: One of the lessons I’ve continually learned is there’s not only one acceptable way to find a solution or be successful. The relentless pace of life asks that we use our ingenuity, our intuition, and our resources to cultivate a life that is real. Our brand and our mission are vital to us because it’s the way we connect to our customers and build a relationship of trust. So we had to make some major infrastructure changes around our brand and how we were going to market it.
This took focused time, perspective, and pivoting in order to ensure that we were making the right decisions. But perhaps one of the most important decisions we made is that we are not going to sit on the sidelines, but are going to voice our opinion on matters related to women’s healthcare that are commensurate with our values.
In this day and age, having an opinion can be a double-edged sword and can potentially alienate some customers. But when you consider your why – your values and principles that you simply can’t abandon in good conscience- we realized there’s no room to not have an opinion. And we aren’t afraid to be vocal and respectful about it.
Not playing both sides, and remembering the reason we’re here and the people we serve, allows us to be authentic in a way we believe shines through in our brand. For that, we are proud to have made such a decision and hope that our community feels the impact of our advocacy in ways that will bring positive changes to their lives.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Mitzi Krockover: If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that developing a contingency plan for the unexpected is important so that you don’t become reactive instead of proactive. And for those things you didn’t – or couldn’t–foresee, be flexible enough to meet your current needs. For example, the pandemic impacted women in big ways such as exposing the dynamic – and often challenging – role of caretaking, as women had to balance working in the home while caring for their families.
This created great stress that impacted mental and physical health, and many women struggled in or left the workplace altogether. Racial disparities and bias were also brought to light during the pandemic and issues such as these have now been elevated in our combined psyche.
So the real work going forward is to consider how to address these challenges so that women are able to successfully participate in the workforce while supporting their families and ensuring all employees have the support they need to be successful in their work. Policies such as family leave, for example, can be instrumental in supporting women and families.
Employers must also be aware of all of their workforce and the challenges they may have; one example is providing health benefits that may be too expensive for their lower-wage employees so they may be on public programs. Equal pay could help mitigate these disparities.
The importance of mental health support has also been spotlighted during these past years and sensitivity to these issues is key. In terms of ethically running a business, I’d say the onus is on CEOs to understand their workforce and the challenges their employees face in order to provide the support that helps their employees optimally function.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Mitzi Krockover: To be honest, we were lucky that our business actually started during the pandemic and scaled quickly. While many businesses had to shut down or pause, COVID gave us the opportunity to take our time to plan, develop as a team, try things out, and ideate.
Solutions like hosting virtual meetings allowed me to take meetings all over the world, expand my network, and work diligently with my team. In times like this, you have to look around and take note of the resources and options you do have and capitalize on those, even if it doesn’t always look how you’d imagined it would.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Mitzi Krockover: I think helpful advice would have been to better understand that while some key processes have changed, others will revert back to the way they were. Keeping that in mind as we look to the future is important.
For example, during the pandemic rules around licensing for telehealth changed to accommodate the growing needs for patients to be seen in a virtual setting. However, that decision wasn’t lasting and a good example of the need to plan for contingencies.
On the other hand, choices like remote working seem to have more permanently altered some people’s habits and those individuals are still trying to figure out how to assimilate back into onsite working. In terms of what I intend on improving, I want to continue to consider how these scenarios have changed the landscape of the workforce so that my work and content can reach my intended audience in a way that works best for them.
For example, when we schedule a webinar, we have to take into account how our audience prefers to get their information, what time may work best to deliver such content if they are working remotely, and so on. It’s all about knowing your demographics and your market and staying apprised of their evolving needs.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Mitzi Krockover: I think online business is going to continue in some ways because of the convenience and the opportunity to connect with people all over the world. However, I also think online business may be impacted by the fact that people are hungry to connect in person and to have that sense of human engagement. Experiences in some instances may become more important than convenience.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Mitzi Krockover: In short? Too many.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Mitzi Krockover: We have a small team and we are connected, in many ways, by our experience as women or with women, especially in the area of health and health care. We share our experiences in order to find ways to connect with our audience, who may also have similar experiences. Sometimes we even use our stories in the podcast as examples. We also try to connect to our audience’s experience through stories told by our guests, as well as on our forums.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Mitzi Krockover: One of the most challenging aspects of our work is understanding what the customer wants and balancing it with our view, based on experience and training, on what the customer needs to achieve optimal health. Once the product, program, or service is created based on those considerations, we then need to find a way to engage the customer in a meaningful way so they can be their most healthy self.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Mitzi Krockover: I’m interested in how the metaverse is going to accommodate health care and vice versa and how I can reach my demographic in the most effective way. I’m motivated by thinking of unique ways to utilize technology and offering more access to health and the healthcare system. My goal is to leverage techniques to enhance my reach through engaging and relevant storytelling, messaging, and content.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Mitzi Krockover: I think the real focus and conversations should be about how to ensure your people feel valued in a genuine way. One of the keys to achieving this is to cultivate meaningful engagement in the work they are doing and to ensure they feel as if they are truly contributing to the success of the company.
In order to accomplish this, you have to hire people that subscribe to the same overall values you have and believe in what your company does. Then, depending on resources, accommodate employees when you can, support them, and ask for their accommodation when you can’t. In addition to fair compensation, I think the companies that figure out a sustainable way to maintain engagement will produce the most loyal and productive employees.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Mitzi Krockover: My superpower would be to clone myself in five different ways. I’d have five different companies or initiatives and finally be able to give them the attention they need to grow, scale, and thrive. And then I’d work to integrate them back into a larger vision and entity.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Mitzi Krockover: My vision is to grow the Woman Centered community and then begin work on an innovative ecosystem of health information, engagement and personalized health care for women, while making time to be with my family and my dog.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Mitzi Krockover for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Mitzi Krockover or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.