Skip to contentSkip to search
TELUS Health Logo
TELUS Health Logo

Celebrating the women from our Health Benefits Management team

Personal · Mar 10, 2021

On this International Women’s Day, find out more about the roles these talented women on the Health Benefits Management team play within TELUS Health, and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Aleksandra Pejovic, Senior Business Analyst, Health Benefits Management team

What is your role and what does it entail?

In my role as a Senior Business Analyst, supporting the Health Benefits Management Business Intelligence team, I am responsible for helping to define and execute our product roadmap. I facilitate the process of requirements gathering and documentation, and then help to oversee these requirements through the delivery phases.

With an education in computer science and life sciences, I enjoy applying both my technical and healthcare background in my day-to-day role, and helping to drive meaningful insights on health data through the development of our BI analytics toolset.     

What do you love about your role?

Collaboration with various internal stakeholders and external clients is at the heart of what I do.  I especially love working with the development team to build and iterate on a solution, and watch new products come to life from the early phases of inception. I also love showcasing the power of our tools through client demos, and using their feedback to drive future product releases. Being a member of the analytics team, one of the most enjoyable parts of the role is taking a deep dive into the data to identify key performance metrics pertaining to the delivery of health benefits – the end result being better health outcomes for Canadians.  

What does IWD mean to you?

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the diverse group of women around the globe, and each one of their contributions and achievements. It is also a day to raise awareness of the work left to be done to eliminate discrimination against women, with the goal of achieving global gender parity in all aspects of life. 

Who is a female role model you look up to?

One of my female role models is Gelarah Zadeh, who was recently appointed the first female Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and is UHN’s Head of Surgical Oncology.  She is one of the roughly 10% of practicing female neurosurgeons in Canada, and is an advocate in pushing for more women in STEM. She has also participated as a panelist at previous IWD events, speaking about the struggles women face in coordinating their careers with motherhood (performing full day operations while 8 months pregnant). Her story of immigration from war torn Iran, also resembles that of my biggest female role model (my mom - Tatjana Pejovic). She immigrated to Canada from Yugoslavia at the end of the war, and the hyperinflation around that time meant an entire month’s salary could buy you one cup of coffee. She juggled learning a new language, pursuing a new career, coursework in the evenings, and taking care of me during the day. She is my daily inspiration and gives me gratitude for the opportunities that are at my disposal today. 

Ara Karmali, Business Analyst, Health Benefits Management team

What is your role and what does it entail?

I am a Business Analyst in the Pharmacy Consulting team. My role involves close collaboration with members of my own team and teams across the Health Benefits Banagement (HBM) business unit to help our insurer clients best manage their pharmaceutical benefits. Although that sounds fairly straightforward, the world of pharmacy benefits and plan management is complex and constantly evolving, which means that our programs, products and strategies inevitably must keep up with the ever-changing landscape. My day-to-day is never the same, and I’m usually balancing routine activities with larger scale implementation projects that support our internal stakeholders or external clients. 

What do you love about your role?

I love the fact that my role gives me the autonomy to own important projects, but also the opportunity to work in a team-based environment. Teamwork is so critical to the way HBM operates and thrives because the projects we work on touch many aspects of the business. This means collaboration is a constant - at some point or another during the day, you are able to problem-solve with your colleagues. I also love that my days don't have a set schedule. The fast-paced environment is challenging, but it means I never feel stagnant in my role. An awesome perk is that learning never stops and I’m super grateful for that. The best part of my role is being involved in a project from start to finish, and delivering a final result or product to our clients that improves the way they deliver their pharmacy benefits. 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day is a day where we can consciously acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of women in cultural, social, political and economic spheres - but it is also a day to encourage dialogue around the gender inequality that still exists all across the globe. IWD engages us all in necessary conversations that need to be had to make gender parity possible to all - and to understand truly how much work is still required to get there. 

Who is a female role model you look up to?

I can't name just one female role model that I look up to, and that's a product of having a lot of really incredible women in my life. I consider myself lucky to know ambitious, strong, and fearless women leaders who are my family members, close friends and colleagues. 

The women I have really looked up to recently have been individuals that have taken the global pandemic as an opportunity to start their own business. Although these women already have full-time jobs, families, and a commitment to wearing so many different hats in their personal and professional lives, they did not shy away from taking a huge leap in a really uncertain time. The most gratifying part of knowing these individuals is seeing them succeed and inspire, every day, in a business that is truly theirs, and in something they built from the ground up. To me, that signifies courage, innovation, leadership, and a determination that inspires me in my everyday life. 

Caroline Le Pottier, Consultant Pharmacist, Health Benefits Management team

What is your role and what does it entail?

I am a Consultant Pharmacist at TELUS Health. One aspect of the role is working on drug reviews to evaluate new drugs approved by Health Canada (clinical and pharmaco-economical analysis). I participate in various discussions where a pharmacist’s expertise is required, for example, legislative committee meetings with insurers, and in the building of programs that are compatible with pharmacy practices in Québec. I am also still working as a Registered Pharmacist on weekends so that I have a good grasp on what happens on the field.

What do you love about your role?

I love that my role is very diverse, not one day is the same! I meet with a lot of people from different internal teams but also with clients and regulatory representatives. I appreciate that I learn new things every day.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is not only celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women; it is also a moment to reflect on the work left to be done to achieve parity in all sectors of society, in all parts of the world.

Who is a female role model you look up to?

No celebrity female role model for me: I look up to my 19-year-old daughter!  She is my best cheerleader and she knows a thing or two about women empowerment. She has that spark in her soul to go fearlessly after what she feels is right: always fighting the good fight with a grateful heart. Leading by example, she inspires me to be better every day.

Isabelle Degagné, Senior Client Service Manager, Health Benefits Management team

What is your role and what does it entail? 

I am a Senior Client Service manager, and I serve as a single point of contact for large HBM clients. I handle day-to-day support and escalations, including report requests, claims and service queries and escalations to other TELUS departments for resolution of problems. I am also involved during transitions and implementation projects.

What do you love about your role?

I love working with the clients. I love that I am in a position where clients and internal team members can reach out to me so that I can provide assistance and guidance. I also love that I have a direct impact on the satisfaction of our clients. 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

International Women’s Day is very important to me because it reminds me of my mother. She taught me to be the best I could be and to take the place I wanted in the world, even if sometimes I felt that my gender could make it a challenge. She celebrated international women’s day by organizing a Sunday brunch every year, including all the women in her life that were close to her.

Who is a female role model you look up to? 

I would say my previous two direct managers. From them I have learned key elements that were very useful to move forward in my career path. I was encouraged to always speak up for our clients, no matter what the situation, so that our clients can receive the best service possible from TELUS. I also learned that a positive attitude and outlook is very contagious and can be leveraged to assist with the management of difficult situations with clients.

Isabelle Vézina, Senior Client Service Manager, Health Benefits Management team

What is your role and what does it entail?

I joined TELUS on August 18th 2020 in the role of Senior Client Service manager for Flexit360. My role consists of delivering on our overall agreements with our clients including supporting the various day to day product support activities.  My main goal is to drive efficiencies in our business processes to support our continued focus on the customer experience and making sure clients expectations are being met, even exceeded.

What do you love about your role?

I love that I can make a difference in the lives of our customers and of my team members, making their journeys with TELUS a successful experience. I love that my manager is always open to listening to my ideas and supports me when needed, giving me the strength and motivation to accomplish anything. I love that my team is open to change, welcoming new ideas and bringing their own ideas to the table. We all have the same goal and working together as a team is the only way we can make it happen.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day to me means recognizing and being grateful for the women throughout history who fought for women’s rights across decades. They have paved the way, so that women of today are standing with a stronger voice and can live the lives they choose - having opportunities that previous generations did not have.

Who is a female role model you look up to?

I do not have a specific female role model. I tend to look up to anyone who I can learn from either on a personal level, or on a career level. Some women I look up to for their courage, others for their determination, humanity, or resilience. Depending on where I am in my life and what I am going through or aiming for, there is a woman out there who will inspire me.

Vanessa Hirschl, Senior Product Manager eClaims, Health Benefits Management team

What is your role and what does it entail?

I am a Senior Product Manager at TELUS Health, managing the eClaims product. Every day I work on ensuring that my product meets market needs and on growing the business.  Related responsibilities include: 

• Manage the market and financial performance of my product

• Understand client workflows and needs and the competitive landscape

• Analyze and anticipate market, client, regulatory and technology trends

What do you love about your role?

I love that I get to work with cross functional teams and that I am the glue that brings them all together to meet our business objectives. For any given initiative I need to analyze the market and understand the client workflows, then speak to our user design team to come up with front end user experience in our portal, verify with our privacy and legal team that there are no concerns, then work with the development team to make the changes in the product, coordinate with the customer experience team to make sure the front line team is ready to answer calls, and work with the marketing team to make sure we have the right communication and go to market plan. I thrive in working with a wide variety of people and learning from each one of them! 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me it is a celebration of how far we have come in terms of reaching equality and an occasion to acknowledge how much we still need to work on. 

Being a mother, it is also an acknowledgement of the challenges we have to meet both our objectives of being great mothers and also achieving all of our career objectives.   

Who is a female role model you look up to?

There are so many amazing women it is hard to say just one! 

The first that comes to mind is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was very courageous and stood up to what she believed in. Her efforts have chipped away at bringing equality to women as well as other marginalized groups in the United States, which sets a global precedence.  

Also, my own mother. Who is an ambitious career woman and a dedicated mother - she was a great example to have early in life!