‘Be the Light’ – Why I Work at UnitedHealthcare

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Careers | Culture

‘Be the Light’ – Why I Work at UnitedHealthcare

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

We are delighted to bring you this interview featuring Rebecca L., Vice President of E&I Quality and Population Performance with UnitedHealthcare, part of UnitedHealth Group. Hear more from Rebecca on how UnitedHealth Group has not only supported her in her career development, but her personal development as well. Rebecca is someone who inspires us to go after our passions in the workplace. Below is the full interview from UnitedHealthcare , read more to learn more about the resources and inspirations that have supported Rebecca.


Rebecca’s Career Background

Rebecca currently leads end-to-end quality for the 22 health plans falling under the Southeast Region. She came to UnitedHealthcare in 2005 as the Kentucky Market Quality Director with a drive for improving health care quality and a passion for lifelong learning. Rebecca has been a registered nurse for more than 21 years.

During her early years with UnitedHealthcare she realized that, in addition to nursing, she also loved business. With UnitedHealthcare's support, Rebecca decided to build on that discovery by furthering her education while continuing her full-time position with UnitedHealthcare.

Over the next five years, she earned two business degrees: a bachelor of arts in organizational management and a master of arts in business administration. In addition, she has completed her Six Sigma Green Belt training and became one of 12,000 worldwide Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® designees. In 2017, she completed all required exams for the NCQA Surveyor program and will complete her last onsite training survey in the fall of 2019.

Wow! Are you still following? Talk about career development. Next up is even more inspiring.


A Very Personal Drive for Quality

Rebecca's love for nursing and desire to improve health care quality go deeper than her day job. In 2006, when Rebecca had been at UnitedHealthcare for just a year, her husband, Michael, was diagnosed with localized testicular cancer. He was only 32 years old. Within a day of his diagnosis, he underwent a radical orchiectomy at a local hospital. The surgery was then followed by 39 radiation treatments.

A year later, Michael and Rebecca received the news that his cancer had metastasized to a distant part of his body. It was not until the medical records were requested and reviewed that they would learn this was due to an oversight. In May of 2007, Michael underwent an additional surgery, followed by a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs for the next three months.

In addition to heightening my dedication to health care quality, this experience has inspired me to help others advocate for their own health—truly helping people live healthier lives.

Throughout this experience, UnitedHealthcare showed tremendous compassion to Rebecca, supporting her both as an employee and a caretaker. Rebecca was allowed to work remotely and eventually moved to telecommuting full-time. This gave her the flexibility to pursue her career while taking care of Michael, helping him to appointments, infusions and scans; providing care for him; and managing their home and bills.

Be-the-Light_q219-Jun_375x275Rebecca and Michael sailing in the British Virgin Islands; they'll return in June 2019

Living Our Values

Rebecca serves as a Relationship Builder, Innovation Advocate and one of more than 22,000 UnitedHealthcare Culture Ambassadors. The values she promotes in those capacities, specifically the value of Compassion, recently came into focus outside of work for Rebecca in the newest chapter in her life.

Earlier this year, a long-time family friend approached Rebecca and Michael about fostering a child. A four-year-old little boy who attended their church was in need of a home, a safe place that would provide him with consistency, routine, direction, love and a room to call his own.

In the spring of 2019, Rebecca and her husband accepted that request and completed the rigorous Kentucky Department of Community Based Service program to become foster parents. After 20 years of marriage and the very serious battle with his health, they never dreamed they would have the opportunity to become parents. They will serve as his foster parents with the option to adopt should parental rights be terminated. Rebecca knows that UnitedHealthcare will be there to assist in all of this through the Parental Leave and Adoption Assistance programs.

Rebecca shares, "At work, I'm a Culture Ambassador, but isn't it really about whether we are truly Culture Ambassadors outside of work, too?"

Run for the Roses, 2018 Kentucky Derby
Run for the Roses, 2018 Kentucky Derby


Building the Pipeline of Future Health Care Quality Leaders

"It's important to me to always continue to learn, develop and give back. Now, shaped by my own experiences, I am able to support my team in achieving their educational, developmental and service goals as well," explains Rebecca.

She goes on to share, "As a leader in this organization, it's my duty to be a beacon of light for others, supporting and demonstrating continuous learning and education, and showing compassion by volunteering and giving back—within my team and the larger team. It's not just the right thing to do; it means we will create a strong health care quality leadership pipeline to take us well into the future."

Discover UnitedHealth Group Employee Resources

UnitedHealth Group empowers employees to do their life's best work by offering a robust portfolio of programs and resources to support their health and wellbeing. Learn more about the programs mentioned in Rebecca's story.

Adoption Assistance Program
Parental Leave Program
Continued Education and Development
Giving and Volunteer Programs
Our United Culture

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