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Spotlight: Darla Wagner, vice president of care management operations 

In this month’s employee spotlight, we’re thrilled to introduce an executive responsible for supporting all of Sharecare’s population health operations and leading our colleagues who power our disease management, coaching, and advocacy services. Meet Darla Wagner, vice president of care management operations. In addition to interviewing Darla for this month’s feature, we also caught up with senior leaders who shared why she is such a valued team member at Sharecare.

In the words of our chief operating officer, Shannon Bagley, “Darla has been instrumental in helping our population health teams execute new and impactful clinical programs and processes, designed to deliver even stronger clinical impact for the members we serve by reducing re-admission rates, avoiding unnecessary ER visits, and reducing medical spend.” She added, “Working closely with Product and Technology, Darla also plays an important role in helping Sharecare continue to modernize our coaching and disease management programs to drive meaningful behavior change and clinical value for our customers and their members.”

Our president and chief marketing officer, Dawn Whaley, perhaps best summed up our collective enthusiasm to work alongside Darla, and our confidence in Sharecare’s potential with her at the helm of our population health operations: “When Darla ‘boomeranged’ back to Sharecare in 2019, we were lucky to have her (re)join the team. Over the last 5 years, she has been instrumental in running our clinical operations and effectively and patiently managing the CareFirst PCMH relationship through the years. And I am very hopeful that with her guidance, 2025 is going to be the best year yet.”

We echo Shannon’s and Dawn’s sentiments, and hope you’ll join us in celebrating one of Sharecare’s most outstanding individuals by reading more about her in this month’s spotlight feature!

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Tell us about your role, Darla.

As vice president of care management operations, basically, I support and manage the teams that take care of a lot of our clinical telephonic programs, which include folks like our wellness coaches, the disease management and case management nurses, and our clinical advocacy nurse teams. I’m also accountable for the team that trains those folks, our engagement specialists, customer service representatives, and family health advocates. A lot of my role requires constantly seeking out ways to improve quality and efficiency, as well as to look out for the satisfaction of my staff. Every day is different. I could come in with a plan and then completely switch up my scheduled calendar if something arises that needs to be handled quickly. My day-to-day role is always changing and that’s what I like about it!

What’s your favorite career highlight?

Probably when I earned my Six Sigma Black Belt from the American Society for Quality in 2010. At the time, I worked for Healthways, prior to its 2016 acquisition by Sharecare, and helped the company save around $1.5 million annually on an efficiency project for their call centers; I was able to use that project and then take a test to earn my black belt. I have maintained my Six Sigma certification today through the American Society for Quality and it’s something I’m very proud of. 

For those of us who may not be familiar, what’s Six Sigma certification?

I enjoy logistics, process, and process improvement, so I try to use that knowledge on an ongoing basis in my work. Six Sigma is a discipline where you learn to error-proof things and introduce more efficiencies by looking for gaps where processes aren’t meeting expectations, which is usually where something may take a lot of manual processes to complete or require a lot of handoffs. So, you try to reduce the places where errors can occur and reduce the amount of time and resources that must be involved in a particular task, all while maintaining the same level of quality.

Can you tell us about your journey leading up to joining Sharecare?

I started out going to nursing school and became a registered nurse and later went back to school for business. My primary area of nursing was mainly around neurological health problems including those requiring surgery and extensive physical rehabilitation, such as spinal cord injuries, head traumas, brain tumors, et cetera. It was pretty intense – like the majority of the field of nursing.

I also did some home care nursing for a while before I shifted into telephonic disease management work at Healthways in 2009, where I worked as a clinician and made my way into management and became a director. We had a call center in Pittsburgh at the time, where I worked for about seven years before I moved to Nashville to the Healthways corporate office. 

Just a few months before Sharecare acquired Healthways, I left the company for a role at Highmark Health for a few years so that I could return home to Pittsburgh, which is where I live now. I came “back” to Sharecare in 2019, originally joining the account management team, and moved into my current role in January 2022.

What’s something you feel proud of?

I work with our disease management, coaching, and advocacy teams, and I’m proud of everyone I work with. Our teams are where the rubber meets the road, and they maintain Sharecare’s face-to-face relationship with our membership. The newest team I work with is our clinical advocacy team, and having stood up for that program while developing the platform at the same time was a big challenge. That still presents a lot of opportunities today where we’re growing as our product continues to evolve and optimize, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I really enjoy golfing, so whenever I have the chance, I like to go on the weekends. I also really enjoy cooking, although I wouldn’t consider myself a chef or anything. But I’m good at following recipes and I’m adventurous about trying different cuisines. I also do some volunteer work with my local “rails to trails” group to help maintain a section of the Montour Trail near where I live, and where I walk daily with my dog.

How do you keep your RealAge down and stay healthy?

I have two pet cats and a black lab who’s going to be 9 years old – although he still acts like a puppy. I go on a walk with my dog usually for about 3 miles every day as a way to get up and start my day. Pets lower your blood pressure, and mine are good companions. I also enjoy yoga, and I go to classes in person as well as practice online. It helps me to be mindful and focus a little bit better too.

What’s your favorite part about working at Sharecare?

My favorite thing at Sharecare would have to be the people I work with. I’ve just never worked with a group of people that on the whole are just so passionate about their job, and trying to do the right thing for the client, their members, and each other. It’s really a great place to work.