When I started working for Blue Shield of California nearly 14 years ago, I knew it would be career-changing – but I had no idea it would be life- and soul-changing. In a quest for work-life balance, I started working at Blue Shield one day after my children started kindergarten and second grade. With home and school so close to the El Dorado Hills office, working at Blue Shield gave me the flexibility to volunteer in the classroom at lunch, chaperone field trips, or be just a phone call away if someone was not feeling well. In that quest for balance, I didn’t realize that my experiences at Blue Shield would evolve me into the community servant I am today.
Blue Shield’s corporate culture of community service is hard not to adopt. Starting with Team in Training, I raised $8K to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and managed to do eight triathlons along the way. I have emceed multiple community events raising thousands of dollars for the benefactors. I have served as team mom, as coach and varying board positions for student-athletes, all thanks to Blue Shield’s culture and work-life balance.
More recently, as the Co-Chair of Dream, our disability employee resource group, I can advocate for those with apparent and non-apparent disabilities. This position also gives me a platform to be a fierce advocate and evangelist for my passion, adverse childhood experiences (ACE). As a result of my own story and experiences with ACE, my mission is to help create awareness of ACE, the potential longer-term health outcomes while emphasizing the importance of resilience and healing.
Blue Shield's diverse and inclusive values allow me the space to be human, honest, and courageous in advocating for myself and those who can relate to my story. Recently, Dream sponsored a panel discussion about ACEs where I, along with my co-chair Staci Harris, and our keynote speaker Khalilah Johnson shared our stories of trauma, our outcomes, and, most importantly, our resilience timeline and continued journey of healing. We were thankful to have had David W. Bond, LCSW and Dr. Kimberly Bower join the panel to offer their clinical perspectives, along with Amanda Lasik highlighting the Blue-Sky Program and Blue Shield’s position on ACEs. With over 100 employees in attendance, we received meaningful reviews and created awareness of this critical topic. Next up for us, thanks to our colleague Kelly Seymour, Staci and I will be taking our ACE Awareness mission to Child Advocates of El Dorado County to continue to spread awareness in the space.
ACE Awareness is critical given the relationship with social determinants of health, and I am grateful to work for a company that stands for what’s right and encourages employees to find their passions and do their best work at work and across our communities.
With the most profound certainty, I can say I would not be where I am today if it was not for Blue Shield and our corporate culture of community service and work/life balance. Now, with both adult children in college, I am finding more time on my hands while being fortunate enough to be standing at the intersection of passion and profession. I am excited to explore where my servants' heart and passion for ACEs take me personally and professionally. And I am equally happy knowing I am surrounded by people and a company who share this passion with me.