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Jennifer Sertl started as an executive coach to founder David Craig 5 years ago. She became so enchanted with the Gryt Health mission that her role became much more integral to her consulting practice. She is now our Strategic Alignment Advisor.
Jennifer lives in Rochester, New York. She went to school in Boulder, Colorado, and really enjoyed the outdoors while she was there. Most of her life-changing decisions have been out in nature.
With a BA from the University of Colorado – Boulder, Jennifer holds degrees in English and philosophy and is now completing her Master’s at Rochester Institute of Technology. From being on the call center management team at Frontier Corporation to being Staff Development Coordinator at Blue Cross, Blue Shield she brings a great deal of human capital knowledge to her strategy works.
As our Strategic Alignment Advisor, Jennifer supports the leadership of the company and is a strong advocate within the company for mental health and supporting caregivers. The journey with the Gryt Health team is professionally rewarding and personally transformative.
Jennifer grew up in a rural town in Montana and most of the time felt very alone. Being part of a community as rich and dynamic as Gryt Health is a new adventure for her. She has a Siberian Husky, Brienne, and 3 children, Sienna, 24; Hannah, 20 and Griffin, 14. As a single parent of 3 children, Jennifer doesn’t get a lot of leisure time. Fortunately, she really enjoys the work she does. She has been having a 12-year love affair with Twitter (by the way @jennifersertl). It has been a portal to the world for her as well as a source of inspiration. Jennifer also enjoys reading and films.
Jennifer does not have a direct cancer connection, but came to Gryt Health by an accidental meeting of David Craig at a conference in 2016 when she asked if she could use an electrical outlet in his booth! They immediately had a deep conversation about purpose and connected on the mental health aspects that we are so passionate about. Her mother has schizophrenia and a lot of Jennifer’s compassion and understanding just how fragile life is from her complex childhood. Jennifer believes that if more people were taking care of their mental health, their capacity for fighting diseases (all diseases, not just cancer) would be higher.
Jennifer was drawn to the oncology sphere by Dave’s story. It was so personal. Jennifer says that when anyone meets Dave, the energy exchanged is just contagious. Jennifer has come to really care for Dave, his wife, Ellis, as well as many others on the Gryt Health team. The lives we live can be extremely polarizing, especially when it comes to mental health and cancer so Jennifer just really wanted to support the team and Gryt Health community in making sure that we get the mental health support we need and that we don’t lose sight of all the things we’ve always loved while dealing with our diagnoses.
Jennifer decided to join the Gryt Health Advisory Board because she felt that her skill sets offered a unique perspective that could add value as the company grew. From the moment she met Dave, she has always thought that Gryt Health was not only about oncology. It was about how people could manage their own well-being. In working with Gryt Health, Jennifer is excited to frame and celebrate the work we do and that of the entire team. She loves assisting to amplify our voices collectively and individually. Jennifer is inspired to do work with Gryt Health by the impact we have on the community. She loves being part of a group of people whose ambition is that by taking better care of ourselves, we help others take better care of themselves. By doing this, everything gets better for everyone. The combination of helping people learn how to set boundaries, ask for what they need, learn to advocate for themselves, and amplifying all the voices is so important. Jennifer also has shared that working with Gryt Health she has gained a place to belong as well as an appreciation for listening to and honoring individual experiences. Working with Gryt Health has been a, in Jennifer’s words, “great classroom on compassion.”
Jennifer has been able to draw some parallels between her life and the lives of people in the Gryt Health community in dealing with loneliness and illness that affects the entire family unit. She shared a recent experience of her daughter’s. Her daughter is in her early 20s and living across the country from her. The doctors at the facility she was seen at had no idea why the health issue was happening. In addition to needing additional testing and treatment. There had also been discrepancies in documentation, which was causing insurance to deny claims. The medical bills started rolling in. Jennifer ended up hiring a billing specialist to fight some of the bills. Her daughter was also anxious about the plan and they had been advised to seek a second opinion. Jennifer’s involvement with Gryt Health enabled her to help her and her daughter advocate for better care but it didn’t take away the stress of the situation on the entire family. She could also see how various demographics, like socioeconomic status and education level, could quickly contribute to isolation, despair, and even bankruptcy.
The hope and expectation for Jennifer is that with her guidance and contributory work, the indicators and Annual Impact Report that Gryt Health is currently working on will be able to honor each of the Gryt Health sub-teams in a meaningful, static way. She feels like identifying 9 core elements of impact will enable the organization to have our own True North Star for building the company forward to further success and sustainability.
The driving force behind Jennifer using her voice is to be a female voice that helps support more young women to own their ability to lead and to govern. She enjoys enabling young women to become educated, strong, powerful voices supporting further diversity in every area of their lives.