My DaVita Story: DaVita Group Vice President Anne Bailey
What’s your DaVita story? That’s the question we’ll be asking each teammate featured in this DaVita Stories blog series. Because we all have a different story. We all have a different perspective. And we all have so much to learn from each other.
1. How did your DaVita story begin?
I worked at the consulting firm Baine & Company for seven years after graduating business school. I was the only woman with kids on the west coast team for much of that time, and I had finally started to figure out how to manage my life of being a mom and being in professional services.
I thought I was going to do consulting forever, but then, DaVita became one of my clients. It was the first time a had a client that had both a really strong bias for action and speed but also had a culmination of fulfillment and heart. I was immediately attracted to that mix. Soon after, a manager of mine at Baine starting working here, so I asked if there was a position open available to work under them, and luckily, there was.
2. During your time at DaVita, what have you done that’s made you proud?
I’ve hired some really wonderful people whom I love working with and I think make the Village a much better place. When I think about my legacy here, that’s one of the biggest things. Also, I’ve either started or grown some teams, with a lot of help from other teammates of course. One of those teams is Healthy Transitions, which is the team that works with educating pre-dialysis patients about their insurance options.
They’re essentially also social workers, reaching out to patients and letting them know everything will be okay—they let them know how much better they’ll feel once they start dialysis, they connect them with patient buddies and they help them with things like food stamps and transportation options. I think that kind of love and care is wonderful, so I’m really proud of that team.
And then I’ve also had the chance to lead DaVita guest services, which has changed the way we admit patients and how they travel, so I’m proud of that. Again, this is all with the help of the folks who’ve come in after me. I’m just really proud of these teams.
3. What are some challenges you have faced while at DaVita?
I think the thing I most underestimated is how challenging it is to live in a world where your intentions can be so misperceived. One of the biggest challenges, for example, has been around charitable premium assistance and the attacks that we’ve had by payers and the questions we’ve had from the government, when in fact our poorest patients use charitable premium assistance to continue their coverage.
And so 80 percent of the time they’re using it for continuity of care. So of course I’m frustrated by people challenging our good intentions. I’ve spent almost the last two years defending us against allegations that are really frustrating. Because we of course care for our patients so much.
4. Thinking about your life before joining DaVita, what experiences have made you the teammate you are today?
Was there life before DaVita? (laughs). The biggest factor I think was having kids right out of business school – I had my first son about a year out and my second son a couple years later. And when you have something outside of your professional life that is so incredibly important, you learn how to prioritize work in a really different way, in a laser-focused way.
And I’m relentless about only saying yes to specific things and articulating my priorities. I think this is all because I had kids so early and it was so important to me to be home and to be a good mom.
5. What piece of advice has helped you most professionally? Personally?
Once I was talking to a former colleague at Bain – John Donahoe, who eventually went on to become a CEO of eBay – about some negative feedback I’d gotten, and he told me a trick to put any feedback you receive into one of three categories:
- “I knew that I needed to work on that. Time to work harder.” This is the type of feedback that really resonates with you that you know is right.
- “Whoa, I hadn’t thought of that, but I think it feels right.” This type of feedback might have caught you off guard but feels like it is coming from a good place and you should take action.
- “Nope.” This is the type of feedback that is either something that doesn’t matter or is something about you personally that you can’t change or simply doesn’t feel right.
As far as personally, this is something I think about a lot:
On any given day, you’re never going to perfectly balance the energy you dedicate to work, family and friends, and self-care. So instead of criticizing how you balanced everything at the end of each day, you should instead try to look back and assess how you’ve done every other few weeks or month. I think three weeks is the perfect time-frame for me to say “What have I been off-balance in?”
And I’ll tell you, it’s rare that I look back and think, “Wow, I really should have spent more time working!” It’s usually a reminder to call that old friend, or a push to start being more intentional with the time I spend with my family. It really comes down to reminding yourself of the things that you find truly important in life.