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“Everyone likes to say ‘Hey, give grandma an App!’ but even though the technology is there to leverage help, it won’t get a person to change,” said Rasulnia, a 2006 graduate of the UAB School of Health Professions’ PhD Administration-Health Services program. “The one thing we know that works is person-to-person interaction – empathy.”

rPACKHEALTH LOGO Stacked CMYK 01That is why the core of Pack Health is a team of health advisors (think financial advisors for your health) that provide personal, one-on-one service to members.

And yes, they view their clients as members because technically they are. New members pay a fee ($100) to sign up and a monthly fee ($30) that they may cancel at any time. They are members and not patients because Pack Health is not into managing diseases – they are into managing people and their expectations.

“Someone with diabetes will tell us they want to lose 50 pounds and our team works with them to map out a long term plan and begin with a short-term goal of five pounds,” said Rasulnia. “Lose five pounds and you gain more than a ‘win’ – you gain a behavioral change. Add five more pounds to that loss and you gain a change in habits. Considering 50 percent of chronic conditions are a result of lifestyle choices, building better habits is the biggest win of all.”

Without a doubt the most maligned generation in the workforce are millennials. The stereotypes of the group generally born between 1980 and 1997 are lazy, entitled, job hoppers.

Rasulnia, who is technically a millennial himself, refuses to go with the crowd on this one. He does not fit nor buy the stereotypes. In fact, the core group of Pack Health advisors consists of approximately 90 percent millennials. And the majority of their millennials are fellow UAB alumni.

“There is not a shortage of really talented people here in Birmingham, especially coming out of UAB,“ said Rasulnia, who is a three-time UAB alumnus and a member of the 2015 UAB Excellence in Business Top 25.

He says they always look to UAB grads first – no matter their age – because alumni with a master’s in the healthcare realm enter the workforce well trained and with the disposition to succeed.

Pack Health 01“Part of it is the personality we are finding at UAB,” said Rasulnia. “UAB alumni are people persons who connect quickly, which is the centerpiece to all of Pack Health. If you can genuinely connect with people then you can understand their true needs and once you know their needs, you can help them reach their health goals.“

So, what defines UAB alumni for Pack Health?

·         Attitude – positive attitude without blame

·         Communication – able to engage through technology

·         Hope – belief they can have an influence in outcomes

·         Empathy – placing selves in others’ shoes and feeling for them.

“When most health providers are having to decrease their time with patients due to volume and expectations, we are building a special bond with our members and that is what’s missing in health care,” said Rasulnia. “It is not a stretch to say this part of our team has the most meaningful job in our company because they are not only helping our members, but they are witnessing the positive results as they happen.”