“I learned that health care is too complicated for a single solution. You need to look at a problem from different sides and try new solutions.” – Christina Stasiuk (D.O. ’85)
One question guides Christina Stasiuk (D.O. ’85) in her role as senior medical director at CIGNA: What can I do today to make sure I’m healthy tomorrow?
“Health is something people don’t think about until they don’t have it any more,” says Stasiuk, who no longer works with patients one-on-one as she did as a primary care internist. Today, she is responsible for thousands of individuals, including those covered by Taft- Hartley Trust Funds, which oversee the health care benefits provided to those with multiple employers, such as union construction workers and companies that have branches located throughout the United States.
Stasiuk joined CIGNA, a global health services company headquartered in Philadelphia, in 2003 after closing her private practice and moving to a medical management company that was later purchased by CIGNA. Her work, she says, is closely aligned with and focused on preventive health and health literacy.
“I still have a doctor’s hat on,” says Stasiuk, who uses her medical knowledge to diagnose patients and translate complicated medical issues into action plans. Case in point: pregnancy. She works to ensure that clients institute maternity programs so women are healthy when they become pregnant, understand pregnancy risks, and engage with their physician early on. She also helps identify women who may be at risk for pre-term deliveries.
By looking at composite data from a group of insured individuals, she can identify health issues an employer may have the opportunity to address—such as the physical effects of smoking. “I can look at the data, go to the employer, and explain what’s happening nationally and with its population of employees, and develop services to help them understand how lifestyle choices are impacting health,” she says. From there, she creates educationalinterventions to address each issue.
Her goal is to reduce health care costs as well as make individuals more productive— more alert, healthier, and with a greater quality of life. “It’s nice to see people change their lives and become healthier,” she says. “Health is not just about physical health, it’s about being engaged in life. It’s a general sense of well-being and where we fit into society, and we need to use all resources available to improve health.”
Stasiuk credits NYCOM for giving her a solid foundation of ways to improve health on which she has built a passion for the sciences and helping others. She also learned to analyze data, become flexible in order to maximize health care opportunities, and listen to what’s important to patients.
“I learned that health care is too complicated for a single solution,” says Stasiuk. “You need to look at a problem from different sides and try new solutions.”