UPIC Health Launches Community Lift Jobs Program 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mary Tucker
Phone: 855-587-4246
Email: mary@upichealth.com

 

UPIC Health Launches Community Lift Jobs Program 

Washington, DC (Jan. 15, 2019) – January marks the second month since the launch of UPIC Health, LLC’s UPICares Community Lift Jobs Program, which provides meaningful employment for women who are facing housing insecurity or getting back on their feet after incarceration. UPIC Health is partnering with N Street Village and Friends of Guest House, non-profits assisting women in the DMV area, who will provide support and referrals for their clients who would be a great fit for the job. The new UPIC team now has beautiful office space to work from at WeWork Midtown Center (1100 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005), courtesy of WeWork. 

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of our national Community Lift Jobs Program, representing the intersection of empathy and opportunity. With WeWork offering participants a beautiful and well-appointed office space, community partners helping women to get back on their feet, and UPIC Health providing a supportive work environment, there is a strong sense of community here. We are beyond excited for this partnership,” said Mary Tucker, CEO of UPIC Health, LLC. 

“We are excited to partner with UPIC Health on the UPICares Community Lift Jobs Program, in collaboration with N Street Village and Friends of Guest House. In addition to their office space at WeWork Midtown Center, we look forward to hands on opportunities for our staff and member companies to collaborate and support this important work,” said Lex Miller, WeWork’s General Manager of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

UPIC’s mission is to 1. Be Happy, 2. Be Awesome, and 3. Help Others with One and Two.

Through strategic client relationships, UPIC Health assists over one million patients in navigating the health system each year. Three years ago, UPIC Health launched UPICares – a community involvement initiative designed to support those who are struggling. Through UPIC Health’s ongoing work, the team identified an immediate opportunity to create the UPICares Community Lift Jobs Program for these amazing women whom have recovered through the exceptional support of N Street Village and Friends of Guest House, and are now in the best position to aid patients in similar situations. 

“N Street Village is proud to partner with UPIC Health and WeWork. We know that a just and equitable future starts with recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every woman, followed by the opportunities created through community partnerships like this,” from N Street Village CEO, Schroeder Stribling.

“Friends of Guest House is beyond grateful for the job readiness training and support offered by UPIC Health and the beautiful work space offered by WeWork.  This opportunity of professional growth and employment stability for our community of returning citizens is truly something special, and I look forward to seeing these women thrive in their newly acquired positions,” Dan Mallon, Program Director at Friends of Guest House said in regards to the program. 

In the future, UPIC Health also hopes to also assist female veterans who are struggling to find meaningful employment through the Community Lift jobs program.


About UPIC

UPIC Health is a mid-size, privately-held company with operations in Washington, DC and Norfolk, Va. A business process outsourcer, UPIC offers patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and teleservices to clients across the country, all practicing under the value-based reimbursement concept. UPIC is a 2018 Velocity Growth Award Winner and Growth Story of the Year. To learn more, visit our website at www.upichealth.com or email Mary Tucker, CEO at mary@upichealth.com. Follow us @UPICHealth. 

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Getting to Know The Technology Around You

Women are often told to watch their surroundings, take self-defense classes and much more in order to protect themselves from the threat of violence. But threats are all around. Technology can pose one of the biggest threats as devices you use every day can, unfortunately, be used to spy on or monitor and control you. One of the simplest ways to protect yourself is to identify possible tech threats around you.

Below, reviews.com shares tips on identifying and understanding the devices you use every day from their article Safe Connectivity Tips for Domestic Violence Victims.

Identify and Understand the Technology Around You

If you’re living with your abuser, or still in a relationship with them in some way, the first step is to take an inventory of what smart technology devices are in your home. Abusers can use internet-, home network-, WiFi-, or Bluetooth-connected speakers, cameras, locks, doorbells and more to harass, stalk, harm and otherwise attempt to control your movements and activities.

They can also use smart toys and items designed to increase children’s safety, such as baby monitors, in invasive ways. NNEDV notes that some toys “come equipped with cameras, microphones, and speakers so the toys can interact with the child,” but most of these toys are not built with strong security protections and may give “unauthorized video or audio access … [that] could be used to stalk, control or harass a survivor.”

Make a list of all the devices you can find in your home and identify who installed them and who has access to the device’s account or app. Some tech is easily visible; other tech, such as motion sensors tucked on book shelves or in room corners, may be less obvious. If you are unsure what devices are currently active in your home, or are concerned some might be hidden, NNEDV has put together a detailed list of gadgets to look for, along with potential tactics abusers may attempt.

A few common household devices the NNEDV includes on its list:

  • Thermostat
  • Smoke detectors
  • Video doorbells
  • Entertainment systems
  • Smart lightbulbs
  • Appliances

NNEDV also suggests understanding the Wi-Fi you use and checking that Wi-Fi network history to see what devices are or have been connected. However, it also suggests you don’t simply delete the whole history because that may give your abuser a heads up that you’re looking into these issues.

Don’t simply delete your whole browsing history because that may give your abuser a heads up that you’re looking into these issues.

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)

Once you’ve identified what’s being used in your home, educate yourself about how the devices work, how they’re being used and what information they might be tracking. And if you use technology like Google HomeAlexa, and Siri, there are ways you can opt out of the tracking features that come with them. Also figure out how to spot changes in the tech — whether it’s a device that begins working differently or a new device that appears in your home.

And recognize that what’s going on around you in your home may be happening specifically because your abuser is controlling this kind of tech. Graciela Rodriguez, who runs an emergency shelter at the Center for Domestic Peace in San Rafael, California, spoke with The New York Times about what she’s been hearing more recently from those accessing the shelter’s services. She told the New York Times that “some people had recently come in with tales of ‘the crazy-making things’ like thermostats suddenly kicking up to 100 degrees or smart speakers turning on blasting music. They feel like they’re losing control of their home. After they spend a few days here, they realize they were being abused.”

 

See the rest of the article here.

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UPIC Celebrates Third Quarterly Speaker Series

By Jessica Lay
April 19, 2019


Alice Paul, suffragist and contributor to the ERA. Image from alicepaul.org

The evening of Wednesday, April 16th, UPIC hosted its Third Quarterly Speaker Series. During this session, a speaker from Virginia Ratify came to discuss the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) with the team. What many people don’t know, is that the ERA has still not been ratified in 13 states, including: Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. So, what exactly is the Equal Rights Amendment?

The Equal Rights Amendment dates back to 1923, when Alice Paul and other suffragists added a handful of new words to the end of the 19th amendment. This culminated in a new amendment:

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

As you see above, ERA aims to eliminate the denial of civil rights based off of one’s sex. This would include closing the gender wage gap for women in the workforce, and ensuring parental rights of fathers going through a divorce. Despite being written in 1923, the amendment wasn’t passed until 1972. It has yet to be ratified by the required 3/4 of all 50 states.

UPIC employees had the option to attend in person or watch the presentation virtually.

The Virginia chapter of Ratify ERA was our third in a series of guest speakers that UPIC features quarterly. Previously, our topics have discussed domestic violence and reproductive rights. The speaker series is one of the several enrichment opportunities that UPIC offers its employees, along with paid volunteer days and a mentorship program for new hires.

“I loved learning about VA Ratify’s work in the community to raise awareness. It motivated me to want to help spread the word and get involved with this movement. The speaker series helps me feel myself and UPIC are connected and current within our community.” -UPIC team member, Jessica Bisch

It’s always the goal of UPIC Health to align our actions with our values. Employee life enrichment is a major priority at UPIC, along with supporting causes we care about. This is why we thought VA Ratify would provide a wonderful guest speaker experience.


Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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What is Revenue Cycle Management and Why Does it Matter?

Written by Erica Sobers

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is the process of utilizing medical billing software, that healthcare facilities use to track patient care episodes from registration and appointment scheduling to the final payment of a balance. (What is “Revenue Cycle Management“)

Financial management isn’t fun but it’s necessary for all healthcare organizations. Here at UPIC Health, we understand that cash flow is king. The “bottom line” is fundamental to every business. We are skilled and dedicated to eliminating as many barriers to care as possible for patients and providers alike. Most people only see one part of the process; patient scheduling, registration and payment collection. But that is just the beginning, as shown below, there are claims submissions, benefit verifications, and claims management. This helps to ease the process of maintaining financials and lets organizations focus on seeing patients.

Barriers to achieving an efficient RCM flow usually start at the front desk or when the appointment is made. Inaccuracies when collecting insurance information can cause huge issues including front desk staff thinking the patient does not have insurance, a lengthy verification process and patients being billed incorrectly and charged too much up front. Capturing patient data correctly is an essential component of the RCM process.

Having an efficient claims submission process can help detect costly errors in coding. Unidentified errors in the coding can result in patients being charged for services they did not receive or not being charged for services they did receive, leaving money on the table for the business.

Proper staff training, paying attention to detail and making sure no shortcuts are taken throughout the claims submissions process can all make a world of difference in the efficiency of the RCM process. At UPIC Health we are dedicated to making this process seamless for you.

 

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It’s Stress Awareness Month: Five Tips To Help You De-Stress On The Job

By Erica Sobers
April 05, 2019


April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress can negatively affect us by manifesting itself physically, emotionally and even mentally. Stressors can come from all around, but- occupational stress, as the name suggests, is directly related to your job. Occupational stress is usually caused by overbearing workloads, job dissatisfaction, and work environment. With long hours, life and death situations, and pressure to always be at the top of their game, it’s no surprise that health care workers and first responders have some of the highest reported cases of stress.

Burnout-emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress is especially prevalent within medical occupations. This not only affects their ability to effectively treat patients but can also spill into their personal lives.  Some organizations are even putting tactics in place to help their employees avoid burnout.

Here are five ways to help de-stress:

Take Time Off

This may seem like a no-brainer but guilt keeps a lot of people from taking the vacation time or PTO they’ve earned. Take a vacation not only because you’ve earned it, but because separating yourself from your day to day life and getting a change of scenery can be the reset you need to go back to work clear headed and ready to work efficiently.

Meditate

Mindfulness Meditation is a practice that incorporates tactics such as breathing exercises and guided imagery that is meant to help you focus and clear your mind from distractions for a few minutes a day.  Try this free Mindfulness Training Challenge.

Get Moving

Exercise releases endorphins that help reduce stress.  During your lunch break or when you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a brief break to walk outside and get some sun. This can help clear your mind and when done often helps trim your waistline.

                                          Get Some Zzz’s

Sleep is essential and can help reduce the side effects of burnout and stress. Because health care workers often have to make life or death decisions, being alert is especially important to have sound judgment. If you feel tapped out and don’t have time for hours of rest, short naps are a great way to recharge.

 Connect

Relationships are vital to humans. Having social support allows you to talk about what’s on your mind in a familiar space. Support from friends and family can also help you feel like you are not the only one dealing with stress.

 

 


Author Erica Sobers has been with UPIC since its inception in 2014 and has had her hand in just about everything at UPIC.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently helped launch the move from one CRM to another. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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Paying It Forward

By Erica Sobers


Empathy and empowerment are the backbones of everything we do at UPIC so it’s no surprise these hardworking individuals who work advocate for women every day also apply that outside the office.  After all, our motto is Be Happy. Be Awesome. Help others with 1 & 2. Continuing with the theme of Mentoring Month I spoke with Natalie a UPIC employee who, in addition to being a patient care coordinator, is a Narcotics Anonymous Sponsor. While a mentor mostly takes on an advisory role a sponsor advocates for the sponsee. Natalie gave insight on what she does and why this not only is beneficial for her sponsee but for her as well. 

What is a sponsor? What do you do?
A sponsor is someone who is in recovery themselves that helps other people with the 12 step program. They are someone that you can confide in and talk to about recovery, addiction, and the 12 steps.
I am a sponsor for narcotics anonymous. I have been clean for 15 years and my drug of choice was crack. I help people in recovery who need someone to talk to that they normally can not tell someone who is not in recovery. I am someone that people can confide in about addiction, recovery and living a clean and sober life.

 

Why did you choose to become a sponsor? I believe in paying it forward. I want to help others, just as others helped me.

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” – Maya Angelou

What about this work is rewarding for you? It is so beautiful to watch someone go from their darkest moment to a bright shining light.  Sometimes people have trouble getting out of addiction because their self-esteem is so low and using drugs is all they know. They do not think they can change. Some people just do not know where to go or how to get clean. Sometimes people just need to know that they are not the only one who has struggled with addiction and they just need someone to reach their hand out and to say I can help you.

Often times the sponsor/sponsee relationship is mutually beneficial. Would you say this role has helped you? This role has helped me in my own recovery because I get to speak with people every day who are in recovery and I remember what it was like for myself when I first got clean.  It is not easy and knowing that there are people out there going through the same thing helps me in my own recovery. 

Any advice to anyone thinking about being a mentor/volunteer/tutor etc but doesn’t know where to look? Look in the place where you would like to help people. Most places like hospitals are looking for volunteers. If you want to help children or older adults then call around and say you would like to volunteer. Some places even if they do not use volunteers, they can refer you to places that do. If you need help finding somewhere, let me know. I can help you!


Author Erica Sobers has been with UPIC since its inception in 2014 and has had her hand in just about everything at UPIC.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently helped launch the move from one CRM to another. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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UPICares Volunteer Turns Mentor

By Erica Sobers
Jan. 17, 2018


Jessica Lay has been with UPIC since December 2015. In July 2016 she started volunteering with N Street Village, an organization in Washington D.C. that empowers women to be their highest quality selves by providing varied programs and services to help them. Since then, our relationship with them has transcended into an amazing partnership.

 In June 2018, Jessica began work as the Community Involvement Lead for UPICares, UPIC’s philanthropic initiative. Her relationship with N Street Village eventually transformed into being the Workforce Development Leader where she creates tailored training plans (including taking a pre and post survey) to help clients of women’s organizations, including N Street Village and Friends of Guest House, learn and practice skills needed to find and maintain employment.

I spoke with her about what the program means to her, the importance of community involvement, and how this role has work has helped her grow.


You started volunteering with N Street Village in 2016 and you have helped it grow into a wonderful “partnership” within UPIC. What about N Street Village appealed to you?

N Street Village was actually introduced to me by Mary [CEO of UPIC Health] when I came to her with the idea to organize a donation drive for feminine hygiene products, which turned into also serving a meal at the village’s night shelter. I remember being so impressed and energized after touring the organization. Everyone on staff is very clearly passionate about their work. They do so much to support the women that come to their door, anything from providing mental healthcare to dental work. It felt like the perfect place to start a volunteer partnership. After my first time volunteering, I knew it would continue to hold a special place in my heart.

What about this work is rewarding for you?

I fully believe that the workforce development program will be beneficial to clients of these organizations. Not only does the program aid in skill development, [but] it can also be used as a resume builder. This is especially important for people who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time- for example, those who have experienced homelessness or incarceration. It’s rewarding to me to be able to pass along the skills I’ve learned over time and use them to help others.

What has been your favorite lesson to date? Why?

I have two that I can think of. I close out the program with a session on self-care. Everybody has their own idea of what self-care is, and some people aren’t very big on it. It’s a huge thing for me and I could probably talk about it all day, given the chance. I remember having such a great, out-of-box discussion with the women at N Street [Village] on what self-care means to different people. That’s what I really love most about these lessons; being able to hear individual stories, experiences, and perceptions. It makes the sessions way more interesting and I think it’s very beneficial for the clients.

The other one was during the first session at Friends of Guest House, which is an organization that helps women who have just gotten out of the prison system to re-enter the community. I had them practice their handshakes as part of that day’s activity, and I thought that while it was kind of a fun and silly icebreaker, it’s really important as the first step in any professional relationship to have a solid handshake. I liked the way it helped to break barriers and start the sessions on the right foot.

Often times this type of work is mutually beneficial. How would you say this role has helped you?   

It’s not every day that someone has days during their nine to five that they feel like they’re coming alive. I find myself buzzing with energy after every class I teach, and thinking of things to include in the next session all week. I’ve definitely bettered my public speaking skills and am more confident when walking into a room of people I’m not familiar with. I consider myself lucky to work for a company that values employees interests and do-good spirit.

Any advice to anyone thinking about volunteering but doesn’t know where to look or how to start?

When it comes to volunteering, I find that it’s very easy to marry your interests with what is currently needed in your community. Look on public boards like your county’s website or even Facebook. Ask friends and coworkers about places they may have volunteered before. Even if you just sign up for a clean-up day in a local park, it’s an opportunity to see what’s out there and how you can help in your neighborhood. I bet you won’t regret the time you spend giving back!


Author Erica Sobers has been with UPIC since its inception in 2014 and has had her hand in just about everything at UPIC.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently helped launch the move from one CRM to another. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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UPIC Volunteers Show Holiday Giving Spirit

By Jessica Lay
Dec. 31, 2018


Thursday, December 13th was the perfect night for three UPIC volunteers to serve a warm meal to the residents of the Patricia Handy Place for Women, a short-term emergency housing facility run by N St Village. Lovingly known as Pat Handy Place, the shelter opens it’s doors to over 200 women per night. Volunteers were welcomed immediately upon walking into the shelter by staff and the women seeking shelter there alike. We served up a warm meal which was provided by local organizations, including DC Central Kitchen, to thankful shelter clients.

For UPICares, the ability to volunteer during work hours is an incredible experience.

Volunteering at the Patricia Handy Place for Women was a new experience for me, and a great one at that! Being able to take time out of my day to help serve food at the women’s shelter was amazing. I have always loved to help people, no matter what it is, and doing things like this actually makes a difference in peoples lives and I am glad to be apart of it. – Glori, UPICares Volunteer

Because of N St’s warmth and whole person approach to caring for the women that find themselves in a tight spot. they see many success stories; like Catherine, a woman who came to N St in 2016 and has been thriving ever since.

Also during the month of December, the Chantilly and Norfolk offices worked together to raise donations for a coat drive benefiting HER Shelter, which serves women and children survivors of domestic violence. The shelter received two coats, eight sweaters, and 93 items of warm clothing thanks to the combined efforts of the two UPIC offices.

UPIC is looking forward to continuing to make a positive impact on our clients, patients, and community in the coming year.


Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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Jess’ Story: Discovering Strength

By Jessica Lay
Dec. 12, 2018


This is the third in a series of blogs about domestic violence experienced by UPIC employees and their families. #WeAreWhoWeServe


The day UPIC decided to wear purple for Domestic Violence Awareness, I experienced a lot of conflicting emotions; inspiration, pride, despair, terror, and love all came up for me while reading other’s stories. Talking about my own story was so unexpected- I thought it would remain a personal narrative, only to be mentioned in passing to the close friends who were there for me at the time. But, my colleagues made me feel safe enough to share it.

The thing most people don’t tell you about the experience of survivors is that when an instance of abuse happens, you don’t automatically fall out of love with your partner. I remember grappling with the logic that I could not continue seeing the person that hurt me, yet for some reason that I couldn’t immediately identify, I still felt completely heartbroken over ending the relationship.

We were so young when we met- me a few years younger than him. I was 18 and working on getting my Associates Degree from the local community college before moving on to a four-year college. I wanted to be a nurse.

He wasn’t the best partner. I spent a lot of time driving him around, as he didn’t have a car nor a license. He lived with my family because he didn’t have the funds to afford his own place, despite working two part-time jobs. But, I loved him. He was quirky and creative but in an organized and meticulous way. He was tall and wore glasses. Even my dad got along with him. But, he was also controlling. Many times, I had to drop everything to meet his needs. This impacted my work life, my studies, and my relationships with friends and family.

As it happens, my story isn’t all that unique. In fact, many college students find themselves in abusive relationships, and are largely ill-equipped to deal with them. According to Love is Respect, 43 percent of dating women in college report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. Moreover, 57 percent of college students say that dating violence is difficult to identify, and 58 percent don’t know how to help a peer who may be experiencing it.

The first incident happened during an argument at a party I was hosting. I wanted to get some space from him, so I got us both in my car to drive him to his parent’s house. While in the car, the arguing continued until in a fit he threw his phone and flailed his legs, kicking the inside of my windshield. I forced him out of the car and once things were settled and I was on my way back home, I noticed the huge cracks he left in my windshield. I had to get up early the next day to take my car into the shop, not wanting my parents to notice what happened.

It took a couple weeks of him being very apologetic and paying for my windshield replacement, but I eventually took him back. We weren’t together again for very long before he ended up hitting me in the face, hard enough to draw blood, during another very intense argument. That was when I knew I could never see him again.

It’s still so easy to blame myself for what happened. For years I dealt with triggers from the experience and witnessed first-hand how they had a detrimental effect on any new relationship. Looking back, I’m just very thankful that I got away. I was so young, and thinking about it makes me want to give my teenage self a hug and thank her for her strength.

Unfortunately, relationship violence in young adulthood is very common. A 2017 study by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) found that intimate partner violence (perpetrating or being the victim of behaviors ranging from unwanted sexual advances to stalking) is at an all-time high for those around age 20 and tapers off around age 28.

Because dating violence peaks in young adulthood, I believe adolescents and teens should be equipped with preventative measures. Fostering healthy romantic relationships requires we stop old cycles of abuse and learn skills needed for high-quality relationships.  The study continues:

“In general, as youths developed higher quality relationships during the transition to adulthood, they moved away from abusive behaviors. In other words, as trust, intimacy, and commitment increased, the occurrences of relationship abuse decreased.” -NIJ

This fact is particularly hopeful for me, being that I’m now 27. I was in two other abusive relationships during my young adulthood. My experiences have taught me strength and unwillingness to compromise my boundaries for another.

No one deserves to be mistreated. If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence or domestic abuse, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.   You can also visit:  www.thehotline.org.


Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UPICHealth.

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UPIC CEO Featured in PLATTiTUDES Episode

By Juli Briskman
Nov. 26, 2018


UPIC Health CEO, Mary Tucker, was recently featured in a YouTube episode of “PLATTiTUDES” a series of interviews by consultant and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Susan Platt.  A highly experienced campaigner and government affairs expert, Platt formed the Platt Consulting firm with her husband after running in the 2017 Democratic primary for Lt. Governor of Virginia.

She has been interviewing influential people for her Youtube channel for several months.

This episode was filmed in the days before the 2018 midterm elections and explores Tucker’s business philosophy and wide range of advocacy for women’s issues.


Juli Briskman is Chief Marketing Officer for UPIC Health, LLC.  UPIC outsources patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services.  To learn more, visit the Who We Are page on our website. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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