Executive Spotlight: Cheryl Polmatier — “You Have to Believe You Can, and You Will”
Cheryl Polmatier, assistant vice president of strategic network solutions, has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry. Prior to working at DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., where she has been for the past 17 years, she worked in health care IT and at a government health plan. Cheryl currently oversees DentaQuest’s national dental network recruitment efforts, dental home and value-based care programs, and credentialing operations. She also volunteers at TeamSmile and Missions of Mercy events with other DentaQuest employees.
Cheryl is enthusiastic about mentoring and supporting women in the industry. When asked about the career advice she most often shares, she mentions the value of building relationships. “Schedule time with executives to provide them with insight into the value you bring to the table. Put yourself out there and market yourself.” She emphasizes that the conversation should not be just a talk, but women must enter these discussions prepared and confident. “You have to have an elevator speech to be able to market yourself. You have to believe you can and you will.”
Another valuable piece of advice centers around making mistakes in the workplace. “Don’t apologize when you make a mistake, but own it,” she says. She goes on to add that the key is to admit when something didn’t work, identify why and learn from it. “It's ownership. It's accountability. And when you change that dialogue, it can make a huge difference.”
In terms of the best advice she has ever received, she admits that it is centered around the all-too-common theme of work-life balance. “You truly have to have work-life balance. It’s a sign of good leadership.” She believes that this is especially true for women looking to grow as executive, and that scheduling time to be strategic during business hours and sticking to them are crucial to having a personal life. She explains, “If you are a wife, mother or have family or personal commitments, you want to have time for that. You have to have that balance, and everybody can achieve it.”
Cheryl recently joined the Women in DSO® advisory board. The appointment is yet another example of her personal and professional commitment to advancing female leadership in the dental industry. Women in DSO is committed to increasing and promoting women within the dental service organization (DSO) space - women who are currently leading, managing, directing, supporting, and developing the industry's most progressive and high-performing dental practice groups. Rooted in outcomes-based solutions designed to increase access to care for a variety of populations, DentaQuest is a supporting sponsor of Women in DSO.
Cheryl will join other industry experts to discuss compliance and quality this month at the Women in DSO Empower and Grow 2023 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.