packhealth uma and maziMazi Rasulnia with Uma Srivastava
in the Pack Health offices
Mazi Rasulnia refuses to do things the same way everyone else does just because everyone else is doing it.

Perfect example – who he employs.

Rasulnia’s company, Pack Health, is a team of health advisors (think financial advisors for your health) that provide personal, one-on-one service to members.

So what does that have to do with the UAB Biotechnology program? Everything.

The knowledge to take scientific ideas to the people. The skills to manage others in health care. And the understanding of the processes that make medicines work and how they react.

And that is why, in only two years, one UAB Biotech grad has risen to Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Pack Health.

Rasulnia co-founded Pack Health with Will Wright in 2013, to care for people with chronic conditions (long-term) like asthma, COPD, heart disease and diabetes.

In 2014, he hired Uma Srivastava (UAB Biotech, 2013) away from the National Institutes of Health to be Pack’s Product Development Manager. Her understanding of chronic conditions plus the medicines and regimens that go with them led her to much success. Less than two years’ later, she was promoted to Community Development Manager. That is when the need for the skills she learned in managing people in a health care setting came into play.

“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.”

The success of their members translated to success for Srivastava. Shortly after this promotion she was promoted again, this time becoming Pack Health’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships.

Srivastava’s path is quick, but not unusual for a Biotech alumni. The variety of skills developed matched with the broad range of knowledge makes for a multi-talented and diverse skill set.

“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.

So, what defines a UAB alumni and potential candidate 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.

“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.“