If you called Phaly Pichota a humanist, it would be an understatement. Throughout her career, Pichota has held a number of very different roles  — a military officer, corporate executive, entrepreneur, wife and mother of four, but the through line is obvious. She loves to help people and she’s good at it.

Phaly (Bottom Left) pictured with her family at a Cambodian Refugee Camp.

Pichota came to America as a Cambodian refugee when she was only seven years old. Her family had escaped near death under the Khmer Rouge regime after being sent to work in the notoriously brutal, government-mandated work camps.  She credits the US soldiers fighting in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War for both her and her family’s lives, an influence that would help shape the rest of her life. 

To protect the very freedoms she has gained, Pichota joined the Army as a medic upon graduating from high school and started her journey in the Armed Forces as a healthcare specialist – a commitment she continues to this day with 25 years of service, currently as a Major in the Air Force Reserves. Pichota never wavered in her commitment to serve her country and in 2003 was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom working the aeromedical evacuation mission at the 86th CASF. Pichota is currently the Director of Operations with 452nd ASTS at March AFB, CA. 

Upon earning a BS from University of Massachusetts, Boston, in MSIS and accounting, Pichota joined Ernst & Young LLP, within the assurance and advisory practice group, where she led audit teams and perfected the talent of client relationship building. From there, Pichota took on a role as audit manager at First Marblehead Corporation while also earning her MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She then joined Homesite Group, as Head of Audit, where she established and built the internal audit function and subsequently took on the roles of Vice President of Operations and Customer Experience. It was at Homesite that she developed a deep passion in creating meaningful and impactful human centric experiences, constantly seeking ways to positively influence the lives of those around her.  

Her interest in health and human behaviors also drove her to earn a Masters of Public Health from University of California, Berkley. Seeing an unmet medical need in the patient care market, Pichota developed and launched Cibus Health, a technology platform focused on utilizing food as medicine within healthcare delivery, specifically designed to support the nutritional needs of patients leaving clinical setting care.   

Although Pichota sees nutrition as essential in recovery, she believes there is an even more important factor in healing.

The real medicine is simply caring – the human connection that we have with each other and that can be instantly built by just a look or a touch. This idea of caring as a medicine has stayed with me… and I’m completely fascinated with creating and replicating “human caring” in a virtual environment for healthcare delivery.

Phaly Pichota currently volunteers as a city leader at our Bunker Labs Boston chapter.