Health Catalyst Engineer Suma Kumar Receives 2023 Women of Color STEM Outstanding Achievement Award

Suma Kumar, a 2023 Women of Color STEM Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, is a Senior Integration Engineer at Health Catalyst. Each year, the Women of Color STEM Awards honors individuals from a talented pool of professionals based on peer reviews and employer recommendations. A panel of judges selected Kumar for her work in customizing software solutions and ensuring their successful implementation. She also values building client relationships and collaborating with internal teams to develop new features that address healthcare industry challenges.

With a civil engineering degree, Kumar initially aspired to be an architect specializing in building and bridge design. However, she now utilizes design principles—safety, efficiency, and resiliency—to build technological applications that are user-friendly, reliable, and scalable solutions for health systems.

Kumar also possesses the time and people management skills required for large-scale, multidisciplinary initiatives, enabling her to plan and organize project tasks within the scope without compromising quality or exceeding budgets. Kumar’s team members admire her embodiment of Health Catalyst’s values as she strives to be a role model for professionalism, creativity, collaboration, and leadership.

In addition to her professional achievements, Kumar is deeply committed to giving back to her community and supporting various causes through volunteerism. At Health Catalyst, she chairs the InspirASIAN Affinity Group’s Steering Committee, which promotes a shared understanding of Asian cultures and supports team members of Asian heritage. “I love Health Catalyst’s culture, vision, and mission,” Kumar said. “There is work-life balance, support for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, and encouragement for each team member. Leadership at Health Catalyst is very honest and transparent, too.”

As Kumar reflects on personal achievements this year, welcoming her first grandchild tops the list. When asked to compare her personality to a fruit, Kumar chose the mango because it grows in warm and sunny climates and is versatile as a food or ingredient. Similarly, Kumar said bright and cheerful environments energize her. She also appreciates the variety and richness life offers and aims to be adaptable and flexible.

“Suma serves as a role model and mentor to other leaders; she embodies our values and cultural attributes and aligns with our operating principles, especially The Golden Rule,” said Trudy Sullivan, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Health Catalyst. “We are so grateful to Suma for making Health Catalyst an increasingly inclusive organization.”

Kumar offers the following advice for other women pursuing STEM careers: 

  • Have a role model who can help increase interest and confidence in STEM subjects.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up, ask questions, and share your ideas. Women in STEM sometimes face discrimination and bias from their peers, which can be isolating and discouraging.
  • Remember that your voice matters, and your contributions are valuable. Express yourself and learn from others.
  • Challenge the status quo. Speaking up creates an inclusive and respectful environment for yourself and others.
  • Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. The STEM field constantly evolves, and there are always new opportunities and problems to solve.
  • Be curious and willing to experiment. Accepting new challenges could lead to the discovery of new interests and talents.
  • Seek out communities and networks for support and advice. In a historically male-dominated field, pursuing a STEM field can feel lonely. Lean on other women who can share their experiences. Connect with potential mentors, peers, and allies through social media groups, professional associations, or local events.  
Women of Color STEM Awards Recognizes Health Catalyst’s Nadine Louis for Outstanding Achievement

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