Skip to content

Meet our Changemakers: Nick Accomando, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer


July 2024

Meet our Changemakers: Nick Accomando, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

At Flatiron Health, every employee has the power to make a difference. That’s why we are proud to shine a spotlight on our changemakers. These individuals are driving meaningful impact across our organization and beyond. From engineering to clinical operations to data science and beyond, our changemakers are innovating, collaborating, and pushing boundaries to improve and extend the lives of people with cancer. In this series, we will introduce you to some remarkable individuals who make Flatiron Health a great place to work and a force for good in healthcare.

Meet Nicholas Accomando, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer at Flatiron Health. In this article, Nick shares his experiences, motivations, and day-to-day work. He also discusses how his work in data and technology is making a significant impact on cancer care and research.

Q. Can you share with us the journey that led you to join Flatiron and your excitement about being part of the team that's now establishing our presence in the Research Triangle?

I have been working as a lawyer in the healthcare space for about 17 years now and have been focused on data and technology issues for the vast majority of it. Prior to my current role at Flatiron Health, I held global roles at GSK, IQVIA, and IBM Watson Health, where my work was focused on data, technology, AI, and privacy in the healthcare space. Flatiron represents the perfect opportunity to focus on the things I love at the intersection of healthcare, data, and technology—it really was a no-brainer when the opportunity presented itself a few years ago.

As for the Research Triangle, I wonder if anywhere in the US is better suited for the type of people we are looking to hire and the type of companies we are looking to work with. Over the last ten years, the Research Triangle has become the epicenter of healthcare research and innovative healthcare technology.

Q. What is your current location, and what has your experience been working with your teammates in a remote or hybrid work environment?

I have been living in Raleigh with my wife and two daughters for the last five-plus years. We moved down here from Boston and have just fallen in love with the area. I like to joke that I finally understand why there have been so many songs written about Carolina in the springtime —it really is the most beautiful place when everything starts to bloom.

I’ve been remote since starting at Flatiron in December of 2021 and I couldn’t have a more positive opinion of the remote experience that Flatiron offers. Still, I will admit, I miss having some days in the office to trade ideas with my colleagues about all the new and innovative things we are doing. I am very excited about our new footprint in the Research Triangle, and I can’t wait to be a part of the office growth.

Q. Provide an overview of the structure and dynamics of your team. How has this work contributed to our mission to learn from and extend the lives of every person with cancer?

I oversee the risk management team here at Flatiron, which comprises compliance, privacy, and quality functions. While all the teams are focused on risk management at their core, they all play a very different and crucial role in Flatiron’s success as we navigate such a highly regulated space.

As for contributing to the Flatiron mission, I think we play a critical role in ensuring the quality, integrity, and scalability of all the research and innovation that both Flatiron and its customers engage in. Did you know that the majority of the most impactful real-world cancer data sits within the unstructured data of patients’ medical records? The risk management team helps lay the framework that allows us to unlock that data in a manner that preserves patient privacy and meets regulatory requirements while ensuring it retains the critical elements needed to p solve complex problems to improve and extend lives for people with cancer.

I would need way more than a few paragraphs to describe my team’s diverse set of skills and talent–they definitely keep me on my toes!

Q. How do you envision the Life Sciences Hub contributing to Flatiron Health's mission?

Flatiron is a NYC-based company that has grown and evolved over the last ten years. When we started thinking about the company’s next decade and exploring the right market to expand our footprint, it didn’t take us long to land on the Research Triangle as the spot (I might have had something to do with that, as I was screaming from the mountain tops to anyone who would listen that this is where we need to be).

There are so many things to like about this area: the talent pool drawn from all the world-class universities and research hospitals, the concentration of healthcare tech and innovation, and honestly, the caliber of human beings you find in this area—just really grounded and compassionate folks. All of these things can contribute so much to helping us learn from and extend the lives of every person with cancer.

Q. What makes Flatiron stand out from other healthcare and tech companies?

If there is anything I’ve learned in the many years I’ve spent in the healthcare space, it is that the intersection of healthcare and technology is challenging to navigate. In the last ten years, we have seen many big and competent tech companies stumble as they try to move into the healthcare space. On the flip side, we have seen many large life sciences companies have difficulty pivoting to a more tech-focused approach.

Flatiron has found the delicate balance needed to drive healthcare innovation while navigating the complex regulatory environment. I think our success is rooted in our holistic view of the cancer patient’s treatment journey. Unlike most real-world evidence (RWE) companies, we have visibility into the point of care through OncoEMR®. We can then track the progression through treatment into real-world results. Our mission isn’t lip service–to drive critical research needed to improve care for patients, we have to learn from all people with cancer and use that knowledge to continuously evolve real-world evidence.

Q. Reflecting on your time at Flatiron, what's one specific aspect of our culture that you've found particularly valuable, and how do you envision fostering this in our new location?

I’m a doer at my core. I’m not the type of person who is satisfied sitting on the sidelines, so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to support our mission. Flatiron’s value, be willing to sit on the floor, is one I really take to heart. I remember when I first started at Flatiron and wondering what is really meant by that value, but then I saw it in action time and again and it quickly became a defining piece of Flatiron for me. When you are facing cancer on a daily basis—something that has impacted all of us in some way—no task is too big or too small if it is driving our mission forward.

What I want to see at this new location are people that are up for the task and willing to roll up their sleeves and do what it takes to make progress towards our vision. . This starts with everyone understanding how their job, no matter what it is, impacts our greater mission in a very real way. More than that, we should be proud of what we do.

Q. How significant is cross-functional collaboration in your daily work?

Cross-functional collaboration is foundational to everything the risk management team does. We are a support function that works with every single business unit within Flatiron, so we have to live and breathe collaboration daily. In addition to supporting the business units, we also work closely with other support functions like legal, tech, and information security. It’s a huge reason I love my job—we get to be part of all the innovative and impactful work across Flatiron. There is never a dull moment.

Q. If you were to offer one piece of advice to a candidate interested in interviewing for your team, what would it be?

Be curious and be here for the challenge. Because we are trying to solve such complex problems, we have to be open to challenging our way of thinking. For instance, I have strong opinions about many things (just ask my opinion on the best era of the Grateful Dead or why I think the pitch clock has saved modern-day baseball), but I also know there is always more to learn and understand. Circling back to our mission, we need to learn from every person with cancer, and we can’t do that unless we are relentlessly curious. Cancer continues to evolve, and if we aren’t willing to grow and challenge our thinking, we will always be one step behind.

Make your next career move

Are you ready to become a changemaker in cancer care?