In her role as marketing strategist at Altru Health System, Annie Berge uses her creativity and problem-solving skills to be a voice of innovation and uncover new ways to improve people’s lives.
We’re proud to share that Annie was recently named to Prairie Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list for 2018, featuring 40 of the top business professionals under the age of 40 in the northern Plains. We recently sat down with Annie to better understand why she’s passionate about the work she does at Altru.
Why did you choose to work in healthcare?
Honestly, when I first took my job as a public relations associate, I was simply thankful that Altru took a chance on me. I had worked in banking in my early professional years and was eager to get into the work that I’d studied in school. Over the past six years, I’ve developed a very real passion for healthcare – its complexities, challenges, changes and most of all – our patients. It may sound cliché, but I truly believe everyone at Altru, including myself, has our patients and potential patients at the core of what we do. That makes me very proud to work here.
What is your educational background and career history?
I earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with an emphasis in advertising from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. During college, I job shadowed at advertising agencies and fell in love with the thoughtful process of creating messages that had the power to speak for a brand in short, concise snip-its.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Collaborating with people from across the system. I get to work with people from so many areas: providers and care teams, information services, analysts, planners, leaders, the contact center… the lists goes on. I find it so interesting to have the opportunity to learn about the different specialties, processes and technologies that come together to deliver care to our patients.
What is your dream job?
One day I’d like to operate a senior dog sanctuary for pups whose owners have passed, or who are otherwise unwanted in their older years. In the meantime, healthcare marketing is what I really love to do!
How do you measure success?
When a patient’s experience has been improved, or they’ve found a service they needed due to something I had a hand in, that’s when I know it was successful.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I am a self-proclaimed crazy dog mom. I have two pups – Derby, the sassy beagle, and Tucker, the sweet-but-crazy lab. They are hands down the most fun ‘people’ to come home to after a long day! Beyond dog-duty, I love food and cooking – experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do.
How does working at Altru support your lifestyle?
The trust and flexibility I have experienced at Altru has been amazing. When life took me to Lincoln, Nebraska for three years, my leaders allowed me to work mostly from home so I could keep the job I loved while being with my family. I will always be grateful to Altru for that opportunity!
Who is your career mentor?
I look up to several women here at Altru. We have such strong female leaders, which is very encouraging and inspiring. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jill Wilson often throughout my career at Altru and she’s someone I look up to. She has the uncanny ability to maintain a calm, confident demeanor in high-stress situations and is very approachable in her leadership style.
If you had an extra hour every day, what would you spend it doing?
I would go on a nice long walk with my dogs along the Greenway.
What was your New Year’s Resolution?
My New Year’s resolution was to say ‘yes’ to things that took me out of my comfort zone (shout out to Shonda Rhimes for the inspiration). One of the main things that I said ‘yes’ to was running the Wild Hog ½ Marathon. I am not a runner, so it was a real challenge, both mental and physical. But, I finished!
What excites you most about Altru’s New Era?
I am one of those odd ducks who thrives on change, so everything about Altru’s bold new era is exciting to me. I’ve enjoyed being part of the design workshops and being able to give input on the hospital. It has also been so fun to see the excitement in the community about our plans. So many people are grateful for what Altru is building for our area. When you are reminded of the impact healthcare can have on someone’s life, it’s exciting to be part of making that experience the best it can be.