2 posts tagged “company mission”

“It just makes sense to give back”: How PatientsLikeMe employees volunteered their time this year

Posted December 28th, 2017 by

Volunteering is a big part of the culture at PatientsLikeMe. Inspired by PatientsLikeMe members, who have made our online community a place to find support and answers about health, we do our best to give something back to our local community, too. This year, many of our staff members pitched in and gave their time to organizations all over the greater Boston area. Here’s what we’ve been up to this year…

  • 50 PLMers (that’s what we like to call ourselves) volunteered during PatientsLikeMe’s service month in November
  • Those individuals volunteered a total of 260 hours
  • …and supported 18 different organizations in the greater Boston area

Check out some of the places we volunteered our time this year, and see these PLMers in action…

PatientsLikeMe staff members volunteer at Rosie’s Rosie’s Place

Rosie’s Place is a women’s shelter in Boston that was created to service poor and homeless women. They not only provide shelter, but also support 12,000 women a year with a wide range of services including housing and education.

Tori, Katie, Kim and Rebecca volunteer at Community Servings

Community Servings is a not-for-profit food and nutrition program whose mission is to provide services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. They provide home-delivered meals and nutrition services that are medically-tailored to the individuals receiving them, based on their condition. Right now, they deliver to 20 cities and towns across Massachusetts, and are beginning a pilot program in Rhode Island.

Jeremy, George, Jenni and Amber volunteer at Healthcare for the Homeless

Boston Healthcare for the Homeless program supports more than 12,000 homeless men, women and children, and provides access to comprehensive healthcare, from preventive dental care to cancer treatment.

Extending our mission from online to offline

Maria Lowe, Co-chair of the PatientsLikeMe Social and Volunteer Committee, helped organize and coordinate these volunteer efforts in 2017. “I think it’s so important to take time to think about how others around us might not have some of the things we take for granted,” she said. “To me, it just makes sense to give back in whatever ways that I can.” In fostering a culture of volunteerism at PatientsLikeMe, Maria says it fits with our core message. “We’re all about putting patients first and we have our “give something, get something” philosophy, so I think giving back to our local community however we can is just a natural extension of that.”

Here’s to another year of building stronger communities, together.

Interested in becoming a part of the PatientsLikeMe community? Join here.

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A Day in the Life of PatientsLikeMe User Experience Engineer Cris Necochea

Posted January 19th, 2012 by

What’s it like to work at PatientsLikeMe?  We are continuing to reveal just that with our monthly blog series “A Day in the Life,” which features various employees from different departments.  Last month, we featured an interview with Research Scientist Mike Massagli, PhD, and today, we share our interview with User Experience Engineer Cris Necochea, who holds the distinction of being the very first PatientsLikeMe employee.  Find out what convinced him to join PatientsLikeMe as a fledgling start-up…and why he’s stayed for the long haul.

PatientsLikeMe User Experience Engineer Cris Necochea

1. You’re a User Experience Engineer at PatientsLikeMe. Tell us what that involves.

At PatientsLikeMe, we use a methodology called Agile Scrum, where our focus is on the quick turnaround of short, attainable goals, usually in a two-week period. It’s fast-paced and never boring. Our engineering team is made up of around 10 Engineers, a Product Manager, a Designer and two User Experience Engineers, all under the direction of our Director of Engineering, Steve Hammond.

My focus is on translating the visual designs into a usable and accessible user interface. However, at PatientsLikeMe, we all have a lot of shared responsibility for driving the direction we take with the user experience. Given our short cycles of releasing website updates every two weeks, it’s invaluable to have every member of our team focused on what is most important for the patient. We don’t always get it right the first time, but we take the feedback we get from our members to constantly improve the user experience.

2. What kind of projects are you working on right now?

Currently, we’re wrapping up a long project that will allow our members to describe more about their health experience in the context of the information they already share. We have been testing this for a while with patient volunteers, and the feedback we have received is very positive. We believe it will encourage even more sharing, which, in turn, will build the body of medical knowledge. That’s our ultimate goal.

Aside from that, I’m working on some features to improve the accessibility of the website. Based on feedback of a patient who uses assistive technology (AT), we’re trying to cut down the number of steps to access the essential features on our pages.

3. What do you like best about being a part of the PatientsLikeMe team?

Our team environment, like our entire company culture, is highly collaborative and based around lots of direct communication. Our weekly Journal Club presentations with outside speakers are a highlight, but we also have regular company presentations on what we’re working on, as well as informal “brown-bag” presentations on technical subjects and the like. Sharing is a focus even for the employees at PatientsLikeMe. It helps that the people we have are the smartest I have ever worked with, and they are passionate about the company’s mission.

On a more personal note, our team keeps it witty and light-hearted. It’s always fun to be in the office, but even on days when we work remotely, the laughs keep rolling over our team collaboration tools.   As an aside, I’d like to point out that PatientsLikeMe is hiring. If you enjoy working with hilarious and talented folks that are trying to help people, maybe you’d like to look at our Careers page.

4. As someone who’s been with the company since the early days, what’s the PatientsLikeMe milestone that you’re most proud of?

That’s a very interesting question. I think being the very first employee at PatientsLikeMe is what I’m most proud of. When I received the call from Co-Founders Jeff Cole and Ben and Jamie Heywood about what they were putting together, I had little hesitation about joining an effort that was aimed at helping improve the lives of patients.

Through that time, we have contributed legitimate scientific discoveries and built a team of people who excel in their fields in the service of a mission that is bigger than any one of us. I couldn’t have predicted that we would succeed when I started here in 2005, but I believed enough in the goals of PatientsLikeMe to make the leap. Seeing what we have accomplished in that time is the most gratifying thing of all.


Interested in joining our engineering team and making a difference in patients’ lives?  Check out our Careers page to see our current job openings.  Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, PatientsLikeMe is looking for a Senior User Experience Designer and Experienced Ruby on Rails Developers at the moment.