- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
June 10, 2020
This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
Their career paths took them into nursing but led them to new opportunities at a growing Sioux Falls health care tech company.
Meghan Bowar, Shana Hennies and Tiffany Solum have found new ways to use their nursing backgrounds, learn new skills and still help with patient care through their roles at Experity, a tech company that began as DocuTap in Sioux Falls that provides technology solutions for on-demand health care practices and primary care clinics.
“When you’re a nurse, everyone focuses on how you’re able to help people. And when you leave bedside nursing, there’s part of you that still wants to hold onto that piece of nursing, and we’re able to do that in a different way,” said Hennies, director of implementation.
“We provide technology, but that technology really allows front-line providers and nurses to do their jobs way better. We’re finding solutions for them.”
Here’s a look at their career paths and experiences in their own words.
For Meghan Bowar, every day at Experity presents a new challenge to solve.
The Sioux Falls native stayed closed to home for school, completing the nursing program through USD in Sioux Falls, doing nursing internships in town and beginning as a pediatric nurse at Sanford Health in 2006.
After the birth of her second daughter, she was looking for a career change that would offer a little more flexibility.
“I was looking for something else, and I really saw the technology aspect of health care as an opportunity to grow,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in technology.”
She now manages a team of three product owners who work on Experity’s newest electronic medical records platform while maintaining its legacy system.
“I love Sioux Falls,” she added. “I garden with my neighbors, go on walks, my kids and I go fishing at the park. We have great schools, and it’s amazing to see the quality of education we have in Sioux Falls as well as the opportunities for our kids to do sports.”
Shana Hennies’ first foray into health care came at age 5, when her grandfather had a stroke. Her mother was a nurse in her hometown of Philip in west-central South Dakota, so Hennies saw the need for care firsthand.
“After school, I would spend my afternoons at the nursing home with residents, but I never thought I wanted a career in health care,” she said.
She graduated from Augustana University with a degree in business communications and worked in marketing before being drawn to health care. An accelerated nursing program at SDSU led to a job as a critical care nurse at Sanford Health, where she worked in a variety of roles, earned a master’s degree and planned to purse an administrative role.
“I was approached about this startup company … and I was intrigued,” she said. “It was a tech company … and I was able to utilize my skills as a nurse.”
She began on the sales team in 2014, became a project manager in implementation and now leads a team of nine located across the country that helps clients implement Experity’s software.
“You’d be surprised how you can be surrounded in a startup company like this in Sioux Falls with some of the smartest, most talented people you’d be honored to work next to,” she said. “It is like a family. We started small and continue to grow.”
With four kids age 6 to 12, she’s happy to give them “big city” experiences with a hometown feel. Her days are filled with softball, baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball and football.
“There’s no end to what they’re doing, but I think that’s the beauty of it is we’re able to do that here,” she said. “They have chances to see people play sports and great coaches, and the facilities are amazing, and the programs are outstanding.”
Tiffany Solum made a big move at age 20 – from Pennsylvania after graduating from nursing school at Penn State University and working as an emergency room trauma nurse at an urban hospital.
“That was way too much for me, and I was ready to slow down a bit,” she said.
She moved to South Dakota, where she had family, and worked for both major Sioux Falls-based health systems in a variety of nursing roles before becoming a clinic administrator and then a home health director.
The agency where she was working left the market, which led her to DocuTap, now Experity, nine years ago. She started in billing, moved into an implementation role, a clinical informatics one and then sales. She’s now director of solution consultants, overseeing a team that supports field sales reps.
“People tend to think of nurses as true inpatient clinical bedside nurses and forget there can be a separate realm to the nursing world out there,” she said. “We might not be providing direct patient care anymore, but in another aspect we really are.”
While she came from a bigger city, “you will never, ever get me to go back to a big city. I absolutely love it here,” she said.
She and her fiance have seven kids between them and love to be outside as a family.
“Whether that’s running around the trails in town or the bike rides or giving the kids the opportunity to run and explore, we like to travel around the Sioux Falls area and enjoy the camping and lake life, taking the boat on the water.”
Her Experity career also has allowed her to give back locally and internationally. She participated in a company-sponsored mission trip to Haiti a couple of years ago to support local orphanages and bring other programs to the area.
“As a company and team, everyone is always looking out for the community of Sioux Falls,” she added. “You will often hear our team say they’ve heard an organization can use some help. So as a company we really try to support each other and the pieces of community help we can provide by jumping in.”
Showing students career pathways in health care, technology and related fields has been a key focus for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
Click here to see how the Development Foundation has evolved its talent programming to offer virtual engagement opportunities in recent months.
“We’re thrilled to be able to highlight companies like Experity and the variety of career paths they offer,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent development and workforce development.
“Our students are learning that their education and experience in health care can take them in a variety of directions without them ever having to leave the Sioux Falls area.”
To get connected to workforce development opportunities in the Sioux Falls area, visit win.siouxfallsdevelopment.com.
These three women are proof a nursing career can take you many places.