Jennifer D.

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Jennifer D. | Food Allergies Educator and Advocate & Clinical Pharmacist

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As a pharmacist, Jennifer particularly enjoys the process of cooking and all of its chemistry. But for her, cooking is more than just taking a variety of ingredients and combining them into a meal. She's also cooking with purpose and creativity in response to her daughter's food allergies, and that personal insight has created a passion for educating others. She brings the same sense of purpose to her work, when she's helping members navigate the health system. Helping others enjoy the best health possible is important to Jennifer, whether she's taking care of her daughter or helping members at work. So we're not surprised to learn that one of her favorite values in the UnitedHealth Group culture is the one that resonates across the full spectrum of her life: compassion.

"Working with people who have food allergies helps me be more compassionate about the situations they face. I bring this same compassion to the members I'm working with, by trying to put myself into their situation and see the world as they do."

 

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

How do you describe your job to family and friends?

I tell my family and friends that I provide drug information and resources to nurses and medical directors. I also work directly with our members, speaking with them on the phone and conducting medication reviews to help them live healthier lives.

What are some of the greatest challenges you need to take on in order to be successful in your role?

One of the challenges I face is taking the complex terms I use as a clinical pharmacist and converting them into words that make sense to our members.

When you’re facing those challenges, what are some of your personal strengths and abilities that come into play?

Working well with other people is one of the personal strengths I bring to my job. I'm also very task driven when I have to collaborate with a lot of different people like doctors, nurses, clinical managers and project managers. These things help me be successful each day when I come to the workplace.

What are the elements of your job you love?

I love working with so many different people. Each person has his or her own story or experience and it's fascinating to get to know every one.

Why is your passion important to you?

My husband and I cook a lot together and when my daughter was diagnosed with food allergies, it was an easy transition to learn how to cook for her. I love teaching my kids how to cook and teaching my daughter that even though she has a food allergy, it's not a limitation. She can experience all the same foods as her friends, made in a different way that's safe for her.

How do those same elements show up in the passions and interests you pursue outside of work?

Living with food allergies is very different from just knowing about them, so when I'm talking with and educating people about the realities of food allergies, I draw on my ability to simplify complex ideas. I've learned that a collaborative approach is really important in helping people understand and empathize with your situation.

How does the work environment at UnitedHealth Group make the most of your talents and skills?

Working at UnitedHealth Group makes the most of my talents and skills by giving me many opportunities to work with lots of different people on various projects.

How have you grown at UnitedHealth Group?

In pharmacy school you learn about medications and how they work but you don't really delve into collaboration, project development and coaching—these are things I've learned at UnitedHealth Group, and this has helped me grow as a pharmacist.

What’s the most important thing someone should know before joining our company?

You should expect to work hard every day. We're a successful company because we all work very hard, every day.

If you weren’t working at UnitedHealth Group or doing what you do today, what would you be doing?

I would be living in a remote home in northwestern United States, spending the days with my family and cooking lots of meals.