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A Day in the Life: Product Owner Noel

Leah Sarfati

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Noel, a Product Owner on the Technology team. As  a person living with advanced cancer, Noel exemplifies strength and has a personal understanding of the impact that her work at Foundation Medicine has on patients. 
 
Noel’s day-to-day job consists of connecting engineers with key internal stakeholders, such as Client Services. Although Noel does not interact with patients directly, the work she does has a significant impact on patient care. Patients are at the forefront of her work and Noel regularly receives feedback from the teams who work directly with our products and patients. She then takes that information and relays it back to the Engineering team so they can consider, and potentially implement, that feedback when updating our comprehensive genomic profiling tests. Noel is aware that the cancer landscape is constantly evolving and improving, and she recognizes the importance of staying up to date on the most recent advancements in the field.  
 
Noel describes the Technology team as extremely dedicated. They are continually working towards the common mission of providing high quality products and prioritizing the needs of patients. Currently, Noel is working on updating Microsoft Dynamics, our Customer Relationship Management Tool. With this newest update, Product Managers like Noel can leverage the Power Platform from Microsoft, which allows them to present system functionality to the users in a more focused, concise, and relevant manner in the form of new “Power Apps” (mini applications).   
 
She explains that although her position requires coding and mapping, which are not directly related to cancer, these are things that make Foundation Medicine capable of delivering tests for physicians to use when determining the best treatment approach for their patients.   
 
Noel connects with the company’s mission to transform cancer care because of her personal experience as a late stage cancer patient. Although Noel was touched by cancer before precision medicine was as well-known option for patients like it is today, she is thankful to have the ability to help patients who are experiencing the same struggles that she did. Although Noel feels tied to our mission because of her history with cancer, she also recognizes that every Foundation Medicine employee has their own connection with our mission and with the work that we do. Noel’s selflessness shines through when she discusses her appreciation and admiration for the work and dedication of her colleagues. She notes, “while I connect to the mission so easily, what is most inspiring to me is to see my colleagues care so passionately about the mission, regardless of how personal their connection to cancer is.”    

 

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