Kelsey Gilchrist

Director of Engagement

Her Why

When I was eight years old, my brother and I had a lemonade stand. We lived on a busy corner, and we were thrilled when we made a whole thirty dollars in one afternoon from our little enterprise.

Then our mother stepped in. She made us calculate our expenses and subtract them from our profits. And she insisted that we donate half of what remained to our local food bank. We reluctantly counted out the coins and she drove us downtown to deliver the cash in person.

At the time, I remember resenting my mother for making us part with our hard-earned money. But now I get it. It was important to her that we learned to help others and be generous with what we had.

When I was 13, my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. Over the next few years, she went through chemo, radiation, and surgeries, all interspersed with brief healthy periods that felt almost normal. Then, when I was 15, her condition worsened. She died just after I turned 16. 

Looking back, I think that losing my mom perhaps made me determined to live in the way she would have wanted me to.

My first job was with a global charity, where I worked behind the scenes in marketing and communications and had the chance to witness the impacts of our work firsthand—both at home in Canada and overseas in rural Kenya. I had just been promoted to a new role when the pandemic hit the charitable sector hard. I was laid off, along with hundreds of my colleagues.

When a friend connected me with a small company trying to make a difference in the world of healthcare, I was intrigued. At first, it was temporary job during COVID, but it quickly grew into something more meaningful. 

At Excellerate, I support the healthcare sector by empowering pharma professionals with tools, ideas, resources, and inspiration to help them make a greater impact on patients. The result? They love their work a little more—and HCPs and patients are better served.

In my role as Director of Engagement, I’m grateful to support a team dedicated to serving people in healthcare.

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