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Dr. Teresa Bartlett
Senior Vice President of Medical Quality
Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.
As senior vice president of medical quality for Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., Dr. Teresa Bartlett oversees the third-party administrator’s medical strategy and has operational responsibility over areas such as case management and utilization review. Before joining Sedgwick, she worked for more than two decades at Chrysler Group L.L.C., where her duties included managing self-insured workers compensation programs, directing a team of occupational physicians in Chrysler’s manufacturing plants, and overseeing the development of health care benefits. Today, her top challenges include continuing to drive the application of medical care quality, wellness and disease management programs into the workers comp arena.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
Learn how to network and, most importantly, stay in touch with colleagues as you move through different jobs in your career, because you never know how you can help someone else or how they might be able to connect you with someone.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR LIFE?
Be cheerful and be honest, because everyone has problems and in the business world, or just in general, people want to feel happy. They don’t always want to hear about others’ problems. I live by that: Put it in a box, put a lid on it, and be cheerful and honest.
WHAT’S THE BEST-KEPT SECRET ABOUT WORKING IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY?
The best-kept secret about the insurance industry is that it’s a great industry, and from my perspective there is never, ever a dull moment. I believe that most people happen upon this industry quite accidentally, and they quickly learn how interesting and multifaceted it is.
WHAT’S THE NEXT MAJOR CHALLENGE IN YOUR BUSINESS SECTOR?
The next major challenge in my aspect of the business is an ongoing drive toward quality care, disease management and wellness until they become quite natural in workers comp. It is something that I am really driving: How do we embed quality health care and wellness aspects and weave them throughout workers comp offerings?
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELIEVE STRESS?
I love to work out, lifting weights and Pilates. I also love to boat in the summer and spend time with my friends and family.
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET VICE?
Five-hour energy drinks, although I am a health fanatic.
WHAT SKILL HAS BEEN AN UNEXPECTED AID TO YOUR CAREER?
Negotiation. I learned negotiating when it was taught in classes when I worked previously with unions. It’s been extremely valuable, because the first part about negotiating I learned is to be able to hear the story about what are the other party’s goals, what are they trying to accomplish and why. Then building a win-win scenario that others can believe in. It’s negotiation, but it’s really the communication skills and the way you treat others. If you are honest and you build that story, you can deliver compelling stories for change.
WHAT’S AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I was really fortunate to cross off number one on the list recently, which was a trip to Ireland with my family to where my dad was born. But the next item would be a trip to Venice, where my husband will sing the Italian arias while we are paddling on a gondola on the Grand Canal. It’s been a long-time dream.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature recognizes women doing outstanding work in insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.