At Neighborhood, we are fortunate to have some of the most talented, hard-working employees of any organization around. What you may not know are the intricacies of your fellow employees’ jobs or the wide array of talents, hobbies and interests outside of their day jobs that make each employee truly unique. That’s why the Human Resources department in collaboration with the Corporate Communications team has launched this special series. We want you to get to know the amazing people you work with! To achieve this, we’ll use a Q&A format paired with photos to spotlight employees.

Our March Spotlight features Natalya Alexandersenior facility contract administrator for the Provider Contracting department. Enjoy “meeting” Natalya!

Female staff member head shot
Natalya Alexander

How long have you worked at Neighborhood, what do you do here and what part of your job do you most enjoy?  
I have worked at Neighborhood for a year and a half. I currently work in Provider Contracting as the Senior Facility Contract Administrator. I love many things about my job including interacting with the providers and collaborating with different departments. The most amazing part of it all is my team. They are like no other!  It’s such a blessing to have such great leadership and to be a part of a team that continuously motivates and supports each other. They are truly my work family. 

Six Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island staff members at a volunteer event
Natalya (far left) spent part of her first week on the job volunteering at the 2019 Back to School Celebration where kids and families received school supplies and community resource information.
Group of employees dressed up as characters from Annie
As part of the 2019 Employee Appreciation Week Costume Contest, Natalya (front row in tan vest) and the then named Provider Relations and Credentialing team give it their best Orphan Annie. This photo always puts a smile on Natalya’s face!

What did you do before joining Neighborhood?
I have always had a passion for health care. I initially started my undergraduate degree as a nursing student at the University of Rhode Island (URI), but was instantly intimidated by my first Anatomy class. Once I realized I couldn’t deal with the clinical aspect of nursing, I decided to pursue a degree in Business. Upon graduating from URI in 2009, I worked for CVS Caremark as a Sales Auditor. After three years with CVS, I decided I needed a change in scenery and moved to Maryland. While in Maryland, I worked as a Contract Specialist for the Association of Public Health Laboratories. After becoming homesick after only nine months, I returned home and worked in a few different roles prior to obtaining a position at Lifespan as a Contract Administrator. Lifespan is where I gained a lot of experience of the provider world. It’s also where I had the pleasure of working alongside Elizabeth deLacy-Almedia (Liz) for the first time – prior to her transitioning to Neighborhood. Funny enough I was very familiar with Neighborhood as I managed the organization’s partnership with Lifespan. Luckily for me, an opportunity opened up at Neighborhood and Liz was willing to give me a chance. Working for Neighborhood has really been one of the best experiences of my career. Thanks, Liz!

Of all the projects you have worked on at Neighborhood, which one stands out as being especially meaningful to you?
Most definitely, it was streamlining the process for providers to join Neighborhood’s network. At a high level, my primary role is to negotiate agreements with providers so that they are able to provide services to our members. My team manages the request to join the network so, in many instances, we are the provider’s first interaction with Neighborhood. Previously, in order to join our network, the provider would visit Neighborhood’s website and follow instructions to fax over specific information to be considered for in-network participation. Over the last year, our team worked closely with the Information System team to identify ways to streamline this process to make it more efficient with hopes that it would help enhance the provider’s experience. Together, we developed a process that allows providers to submit their requests through an electronic form on our website. In addition, we converted all of the contracting and credentialing documents to electronic forms to minimize administrative burdens for the providers. By doing so, providers no longer had to print out the forms. They could simply complete them all online.

This project was a real game changer and, I believe, will assist Neighborhood’s efforts to provide a positive experience for the provider. Professionally, this was the first time I actually took the lead on a project. I was really proud of my ability to execute the tasks while managing other competing priorities. Receiving positive feedback from management really assured me that I am in the right place in my career and will only continue to grow.

Tell us a little bit about the years you spent growing up – sharing what helped shaped your future.  
I grew up on the South Side of Providence where I lived with my mother and grandmother who both immigrated to the United States from Honduras. Since my parents separated when I was young, I was lucky to be blessed with two households both filled with lots of love and support. My mother is a very loving, opinionated and powerful woman. My father is compassionate, charismatic and a great protector. I like to think I am a perfect combination of the both of them. My favorite pastime has always been spending time with my friends and family. I especially enjoy going to family parties because I love to dance. My family is both Honduran and Cape Verdean and anyone familiar with these cultures knows that means I have a HUGE family so the gatherings are always memorable!

Many people inspired me as I was growing up, but most importantly my siblings and my Uncle Craig. I have three siblings – one sister and two brothers. As the oldest, every decision I made was done with them in mind. I always wanted to ensure they were proud to call me their sister. My Uncle Craig is a man who faced many challenges, but was able to overcome every barrier and make the best of every opportunity he was given.  I knew I had to do the same.

Young girl smiling with male relative
A 9-year-old Natalya poses with her Uncle Craig – an inspiring force in her life.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Why?
Appreciate how far you have come and then keep going. I always find it helpful to reflect on life and take time to realize how much you have grown as an individual. There are things we experience in life that in the moment, we couldn’t even imagine overcoming, but when you do, you realize you can conquer anything. That is your motivation to keep going.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. I am blessed to have an amazing husband and two beautiful little girls who are literally the light of my life. It could be as simple as sitting down and eating dinner together or watching a movie. They bring me the most joy! Aside from that, I enjoy spending time with my friends and working out.

family photo with dad, mom and two little girls
Natalya with her husband Mark and their daughters Londyn and Mia.

Share a “Fun Fact” with us. Something about you that others might find surprising or intriguing?
Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE to clean! Yes, I know it’s something most people dread. After much prayer and support from loved ones, I took a leap of faith in September 2020 and started my own residential/commercial cleaning business, Lovely Cleaners. I devote time to it on weekday evenings and on weekends. This by far is one of my greatest accomplishments because for once I did not let fear prevent me from pursing a goal. I am able to do something I love, while helping others, which is really fulfilling. I pray the business continues to grow so that I can provide job opportunities to others and build an empire that eventually my girls can take over.

Young woman posing with vacuum cleaner
A self-proclaimed “Queen of Clean” – Natalya launched her business, Lovely Cleaners, in September 2020.

What advice or recommendations would you give to someone interested in the type of career you are in?  
Say yes to things that scare you. You have to be willing to venture outside of your comfort zone in order to challenge yourself and learn new things. While doing so, do not be afraid to speak up and ask questions. You will never grow by being too comfortable. Learning new things will prepare you for other opportunities. Always remember the reason you started so it inspires you to never give up.