Alissa Meade, CEO of Curavi Health, on the power of asking for opportunity

There was only so much time to answer audience questions during a panel discussion on leadership and mentoring last month at UPMC Enterprises. So, we’ve tapped the panelists to share their thoughts on questions that were submitted but unanswered in a series of four posts. In this first post, we hear from Alissa Meade, President and CEO of Curavi Health

Meade was one of four UPMC leaders who participated in the “Women in Healthcare Leadership” panel discussion that was organized by FLIGHT – Female Leadership, Innovation, and Growth in Healthcare & Technology – a UPMC Enterprises group established to create mentorship and networking opportunities for women.  

Can you provide an example of a time you took action to grab an opportunity that others may have overlooked you for, and how you made it happen?

I believe strongly that you must ask for opportunities. Data show that women (traditionally) are less likely to advocate for themselves or to ask for advancement. Just ask—what is the worst thing that could happen? While I could provide examples of where I “advocated” for my advancement, this approach has multiple faces. When I was pregnant with my first child I went to the global head of my practice and asked if there was any way I could materially limit my travel after the baby came. I was at a firm where travel was a fundamental expectation of the job. I fully expected him to demur and for me to leave. But he created a new role for me which allowed me to flex my schedule enough to continue my career. I stayed at that firm for an additional six years (and two additional babies). I remember being very hesitant to ask for that “exception” — but I wonder where I’d be if I hadn’t.

How do you handle the day-to-day responsibilities of being a leader to your team AND getting your work done?

Long hours. I wish I had something more inspirational to say but it is the reality. I try my best to balance long hours one night and then get home for dinner the next to ensure there is still balance in my life.

About Alissa Meade

Alissa Meade is the current President and CEO of Curavi Health. Prior to Curavi, Alissa held positions with UPMC Enterprises, UPMC Health Plan, management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and investment banking firm Citi. She received a J.D. and LL.M. from Duke University, where she was on Duke Law Review, and a B.A. in International Relations and French, with honors, from Miami University.