Mesa Community College alumna Jacy Smith, class of 2008, works hard to help people “bridge the gap” when it comes to technology. Her business, ReFresh IT, assists business owners in understanding what they need and helps implement a specific plan to accomplish their goals.
Jacy began her career in IT at MCC in 2006 when she took web design and art classes at the Southern and Dobson campus. She said she had always been interested in design and MCC offered what she wanted.
During her last semester, MCC instructor Brenda Newhouse invited the director of design at the Arizona Republic to speak in Jacy’s art marketing class.
“I ended up as an intern at the Republic for two years,” Jacy said. “I wouldn’t have had that chance without the connection I made at MCC.”
She continued her education at Arizona State University and was one of the first students to earn a bachelor’s degree from ASU’s new program, Science, Technology and Society. The program prepares professionals focused on the interaction of science and technology with human systems.
After graduation, Jacy worked in IT for a couple of different companies, including a hospice agency. There, she discovered that she wanted to stay in the medical field and assist businesses to improve the level of patient care as well as meet their IT needs.
Jacy started her business in 2013 with a focus on Hospice IT Consulting. She and her business partner, Burt Cigler, whom she met when she attended MCC, assist hospices as they make the difficult switch from paper records to electronic medical records. This is especially important as Medicare will start penalizing practices without electronic medical records software in 2016. Their assistance allows care providers to continue focusing on patient care during the transition. Additionally, ReFresh IT helps hospices and other small business with any decisions relating to technology.
Jacy finds the work of setting up systems and training employees very satisfying.
“The biggest thing for me is that I’m still interested in medicine from an outside perspective,” Jacy said. “I’m good at being right at the intersection of medicine and technology. Nurses sometimes find computers frustrating, but I tell them it is a useful tool, much like a stethoscope or other medical equipment.”
She said the business is doing better than they expected and they often travel around the country on consulting jobs for a variety of businesses.
“We’d like to grow and add more consultants to our staff,” Jacy said. “I think it’s an important service we offer. Business owners often don’t understand what they need and we can bring bring clarity and simplicity to the decision-making process.”