When it comes to inspirational leaders, Sasha tops our list. Read on to learn about this fascinating CEO.
Alexandra “Sasha” Goodwin, CEO and Co-Founder of Janus Choice, was born and grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia. She originally came to the United States for graduate studies and settled here permanently. Alexandra carries multiple graduate degrees in theoretical astrophysics from the US and Russia. She worked on and did research in ultra-high energy cosmic rays and holds a patent in this field. She also has extensive expertise in corporate finance for telecommunications. The experience her family went through, when her father had a series of strokes and heart attacks, lead to a search for a solution and resulted in the creation of Janus Choice. Since then, Alexandra has been working in the healthcare space. She worked on consulting projects for the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine and on e-Health projects for Walgreens. While working on Janus Choice, she also received an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Now that you’ve spent considerable time living in the United States, what would surprise most Americans to learn about life in Russia?
It does not matter what country you live in, the healthcare challenges we face here and in Russia are identical. Each country has unique solutions for these problems, and it would be great to have more best practices exchanged and shared to help each other.
What drove your decision to move away from Theoretical Astrophysics toward healthcare and the pursuit of an MBA?
Life. You will be surprised, but the President of the telecommunications company I worked for was an astrophysicist by training also. I love numbers. Doing something where you could see the almost immediate result and effect vs. hypothesizing and possibly never getting the experiential evidence during your lifetime at some point became very important to me. Call me impatient, but I want to make a change and not just wait for it. Getting an MBA was a bonus. I love school, and there was a reason to do it all over again.
As the CEO of Janus Choice, what were some of the challenges of building a startup that you did not expect?
Being a patient advocate, the challenge was understanding the financial complexity that the hospitals have to survive in. Most people do not realize that hospitals assume 100% risk for the patients, not just for what happens within its walls, but also for what happens to the patient after leaving the hospital. U.S. hospitals have razor-thin margins, and many of them are in the red with a danger of closing. We built a solution that not only helps patients and their families but also improves financial outcomes for the hospital. We want them to stay in business and continue providing the care!
Why did you decide to open an office in Maine?
I grew up on the banks of the Baltic Sea. When I come to Portland its culture, people, even weather, reminds me of home. When we were thinking of opening an office on the East Coast, it was an easy decision. Portland had all that we needed, including an airport and the support of the local community.
As a highly-accomplished woman in science, technology, and business, what should we do to encourage more women to choose these fields?
To meet the challenges in today’s world and to find innovative solutions we need to engage and promote women to ensure all voices are heard. You never know how your life can impact someone else. For someone, you can become a mentor, for another a role model. Set an example worthy of following. Expand horizons, create visions, motivate to change. Be proud to be a woman!