Finding My Place in the Village
Coming from a small town in Alabama, I joined the Army at 25 years old and my journey of figuring out who I really was began. I worked as a Blackhawk Mechanic and was out of my comfort zone, all I knew was that I was embarking on an adventure where I would be on my own. I was active duty from 2004-2010, during which time I completed a 15-month tour in Iraq.
I left the Army after 2010 and transitioned back into civilian life, working in the aviation industry as a mechanic. I later began working in human resources as a Technical Recruiter.
One of my friends who already worked for DaVita tried to get me to apply for a job within the Village for about two years. Circumstances changed in my life in 2019 and I finally had the opportunity to do a little research on DaVita to see what the big deal was! I was invited to a DaVita event and thought that would be a great time to meet peers and maybe even some leadership so they could pair a face with a resume.
I was amazed by the energy and the willingness to support exuding from the employees as I was introduced to many teammates while I walked around the festivities. When you are told that the DaVita culture is different – believe me, it is! And, what a welcomed change that was for me, since I had been working in the civilian world for almost a decade at this point in my life.
I took the opportunity to apply and landed a job on Team Infinity. I figured, I came from a background of various skill sets, so what was adding one more? I had to learn the collections side of the benefits process and was again out of my comfort zone.
My work experience ranged from working in an eye clinic, to working on helicopters, to working in HR as a recruiter so I felt sure that I was capable of learning something new. Also, I was the subject matter expert for benefits during new hire orientation for a previous company so I already had a good working knowledge of how insurance companies processed claims. Once I was hired on at DaVita, I jumped in head first to learn what my team did on a day-to-day basis.
Adaptability is one of the major things that I think the military helped me learn and given my varied background, you can see that I use it a lot! There would be times that we were on a mission to do one thing but a change would come down and we had to swiftly adapt to execute the new orders. For the most part, I think we can agree that most jobs are fairly consistent, but in the military, you might find yourself going from working in the kitchen then driving in a convoy for a training exercise, all in one day.
In addition to my adaptability and willingness to learn a new role, DaVita’s Veterans to Village (V2V) program supported my transition to new teammate seamlessly. I feel like I’ve known my team for years instead of only a month and a half!
The V2V program is amazing and all veteran teammates should experience it. I am thankful that I was able to participate in the program within such a short time of becoming a part of the Village.
DaVita’s mission and core values are similar to those I learned in the military: Service excellence, Integrity, Team, Continuous Improvement, Accountability, Fulfillment and Fun. Though we didn’t talk much about fun in the military, we still made the best of ‘whatever the situation was’ with our squad members. You did it because you knew it had to be done and we had to work together to be successful in our mission. The V2V program will bring up some old memories and emotions but will also help you to correlate them with your daily duties as a teammate.
We are here to help our patients, whether we are hands-on in the dialysis center or behind the scenes, like my role. In regard to my role, we help make sure our patients can continue to receive adequate care without stressing about medical bills. I feel that I am making a difference in people’s lives and DaVita definitely helps to foster that in various ways. I am so proud to be a part of the Village!