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MEET PRATIK SHEKADE
“Always healthcare,” Pratik Shekade says, citing his interest in the industry dating back to his childhood. “From very early on, I thought I would be a doctor.”
Who is Pratik? He’s an Optimum CareerPath graduate currently serving PeaceHealth as a project manager. While the path to MD wasn’t the right one for him, he has found a rewarding career in healthcare.
In the months he’s worked at PeaceHealth, Pratik has become adept at leading across multidisciplinary teams comprised of clinicians, analysts, and IT. “I mostly cover new department build projects,” he continues. “They are usually 7-8 weeks long, and it’s a nice way to learn how to be an effective project manager”. Pratik explains that a new department build essentially has two functions. First, the application itself, and second, the infrastructure build, which includes hardware for computers, monitors, nurse call equipment, etc., involving several people across IT at PeaceHealth.
Effective communication and relationship building are essential skills in Pratik’s daily work, which he has honed since early childhood. Originally born in India, Pratik spent his early elementary years in the United States, returned to India for five years, and finally circled back to Texas in the 10th grade, which he now calls home. Moving globally, Pratik learned to adapt to different cultures, including learning how to speak three languages natively – English, Hindi, and Marathi. Regarding project management, he says "it’s how you interact with people, talk with people, and talk with people from diverse backgrounds.”
About his interest in healthcare:
“Always healthcare ... From very early on, I thought I would be a doctor.”
About Project Management:
It’s how you interact with people, talk with people, and talk with people from diverse backgrounds.
Project Manager at Peace Health | Optimum CareerPath Graduate
His path to college was focused on his interest in healthcare. At the University of Texas at Dallas, he studied healthcare management. The program was a precise fit for Pratik, who was soon fast-tracked into a healthcare management master’s program. But he says his real growth from an introvert into a leader was as a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, where he served in executive positions that helped him gain direct experience to act as a PM.
At the end of his graduate program, Pratik worked as a contract tracer for the Texas Department of Health during the height of the COVID pandemic. As he searched for a longer-term position, he soon found the Optimum CareerPath Program. He initially sought an Epic analyst role, but between his CareerPath personality test and program work, his program mentors suggested he would excel as a project manager. “The people who get chosen for CareerPath,” Pratik says, “are really a good group of talented individuals. And they want to become members of a client team.”
As Pratik is reaching his two-year mark as an Optimum CareerPath graduate, he says he now feels more like a PeaceHealth employee. “I like the people,” he says. “I am very early in my career, but I already feel valued. I feel like part of the PeaceHealth family.”
Always healthcare. In ten years, Pratik still wants to be in healthcare, and his goal is to reach the CIO level. “I’ve always wanted to be a leader,” he says. “There’s much innovation in the healthcare world, especially IT, and CIOs are at the center of it all.”
In the meantime, when Pratik is not working toward his career goals, he plays soccer or connects with friends back in India over online gaming. He may still call himself an introvert, but if there’s something new to experience or an opportunity to learn, he has the skills, fortitude, and gusto to try it.
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The Optimum CareerPath Spotlight series showcases the talents and backgrounds of CareerPath graduates. Optimum CareerPath is a targeted recruiting, training, and placement program that identifies and trains high-aptitude, early-career employees. After a 12-week, paid training program, CareerPath graduates are placed at client partner sites for rewarding careers in healthcare IT. Learn who the people are behind this innovative talent program.