Q&A with Particle’s MVPP (Mina the VP of People)

We’re excited to discuss mission and vision with Mina Patel, our new VP of People!

Mina Patel’s journey to become Particle’s VP of People has involved supporting great teams all the way. In this interview, Mina shares how Particle will preserve our values-based culture as we grow.

Welcome Mina! We’re excited you’re here. What brought you to Particle Health?

In the past two years, my life changed in a way that made me reconsider my previous role. I became a mother, and during my pregnancy, I experienced firsthand how siloed health data impacts patient outcomes and the level of care individuals receive. I saw what Particle was doing and it instantly connected me to that experience.

The opportunity to build a world-class team dedicated to greatly improving interoperability that exists with health data is where I want to be.

I’ve worked in health tech prior, education, design strategy, big tech, and deeply enjoy working for companies that focus on addressing systemic issues and gaps impacting  underrepresented groups and individuals like children, seniors, people of color and all humans really.  I want to be a part of the change that makes things better. Attracting and retaining team members who perform at a world-class level and supporting their path at Particle bolsters our mission and vision.

What mission and vision do you hope to accomplish here?

The purpose of my role is to maximize human potential through data-driven strategies that attract and develop a world-class team, support the next generation of PH leaders and enable sustainable growth for Particle Health and the customers we serve. We know that exceptional people build enduring companies and embrace a people-first and high-performance culture. That’s who we are and what we will continue to strive for going forward.

In our first year, the people org will be building our recruitment engine and career advancement programs for scale in addition to starting our DEI journey and expanding upon our engagement programs.

More to come on this...

What’s your background? How did you become a People Leader? 

My background is an interesting story! From a very young age, I had a diverse friend group where I had the opportunity to immerse myself in cultural and community activities regularly. As a pretty curious bird, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about how people live, what they value the most, what motivates them, and how communication, connectivity and sheer support drive greater outcomes and shared success for individuals and groups.

At OSU, I studied international studies with a focus in race relations, minored in micro-economics and had every intention of going to law school, but decided to take a year off to work in India and support communities that were impacted by the devastating tsunami in 2004. There were so many individuals displaced and left without resources and tools to help them build a life after the tragedy. I knew then that my purpose and calling in life would be focused on helping individuals find their path, developing their abilities, and supporting their success. 

I started my career in recruiting at Thoughtworks, hiring technologists all over the world. I was a key member of the recruitment team in growing the company from 300 to 3000+ roles over two years in which we opened 10 new global offices.  It was such an incredible experience where I was empowered, had a voice, and drove big initiatives, and as a result, I made a HUGE impact. I’m proud to say many of the folx I hired back then are still TWers today, which completely blows my mind and gives me a strong sense of accomplishment.

At IA, I was Director of HR at IA Collaborative, a design consultancy that essentially invented and commercialized products and services in the marketplace that were more greenfield in nature - looking at things like designing the future mammography experience. I then went to Caremerge, a global SaaS company, moved to retail tech, and then came here. I love the opportunities that exist within each stage of a company’s development; the sheer strategy work and problem solving opportunities are endless!

As a talent executive, I’m less transactional and more strategic, doing my best work at the intersection of business and people. In past roles, I’ve been called a “trailblazer” building new-age people strategies and programs that resulted in raising the levels of performance and talent organizationally, developing leaders, and putting the right practices and programs in place that achieve business objectives and ensure our staff thrive. I enjoy this work tremendously and find a lot of value in seeing others succeed while also ensuring the company succeeds. That’s not always easy!

What’s your favorite part about working in a People role? 

Well, the truth is, much of what I enjoy the most is the variety.

Innovation is what gets me up in the morning: invention, design, operationalizing things, measuring success of a program, driving meaningful impact as it relates to eNPS, hiring objectives, succession, DEI, and L&D. These solutions lead to mutual value creation between staff and Particle Health, and that’s what I love about the job.

If I had to choose a favorite, I’d say recruitment. It's my first love and where I started my career. I find the work of matchmaking to be quite rewarding, putting effort into courting and identifying mutual fit for people, then seeing them grow and thrive in the organization (while expanding their contribution level to the business) long term. That involves creating a community and environment where people feel they belong, understand and want to achieve key measurements of success, and can see a clear path forward in their growth and development - even have FOMO over not being there.

What contributes to building a great company culture?

  1. The first part of a great company culture is being clear about how individuals can be successful in their roles and how their work impacts the mission and company objectives. 
  2. The second piece is making sure it is super clear how we make decisions, what we value, and why – and cultivating a culture of leadership that entails achievement, curiosity, integrity, humility and well-being.
  3. The third piece is investing in the leaders within the organization, by really teaching them how to lead by example, drive for results in their team, and support the development of their people. 
  4. Lastly, creating systems of communication that provide opportunities for staff to share their voice and perspectives and places, and where the org can provide company updates and decisions, ensuring transparency is really happening. 

Culture, and People, are constantly evolving. What do you do to stay informed and keep up with the trends?

I’m an active member of Chief, a network for female executives. I’m in a separate People and HR cohort group, and I work with a number of People executive advisors who are really at the forefront of future people strategy design. Surrounding yourself with individuals who will challenge your thinking, provide exposure to new avenues and have lived experiences is a great way to learn. I attribute a lot of my growth and success in the field of talent to the leaders and peers who have supported me along the way.

What else are you passionate about, outside of work? What is your proudest accomplishment? 

I worked with the SG Foundation to build a shelter for displaced people in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, providing a home for single moms.

My son, Liam, has been my biggest accomplishment - not just birthing him, but giving him the life I wish I had as a child. That’s something I continue to focus on.

Other passions outside of work include international travel, art (I’m a painter and mixed media artist) and honestly in the last year, I’ve really made shifts in life so I am now able to connect and spend time with my extended family. Life is too short and I want to make the most of it.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in exploring a role at Particle? 

Don’t be shy!

Reach out to us, send us a note. It’s never easy to change jobs and learn what to do next. Talking to people is a great way to change businesses and learn what’s possible in terms of your career.We’re happy when individuals on LinkedIn introduce themselves. We work in a distributed team, so we can hear from people across the country.I really mean it, don’t be shy. Visit our Careers page while you’re here.