Access to Health Care—an Urgent Diversity Issue

My belief in the importance of diversity began in childhood. I was raised by two professors with an unwavering commitment to social justice and advocating for the rights and equality of all people. Throughout my life, I have worked to give a voice to the undeserved, to be sensitive to gender, racial, and any form of bias, and to try to ensure that all people are listened to, valued and shown compassion.

My passion for diversity and making a difference has been in the health care field. More than 25 years ago, I wrote about my desire to change the health care system one person at a time and to help improve people’s health care experiences. I have been working on that goal ever since. While progress has been made, we have more work to do to enable access to high-quality, cost-effective care for everyone.

That the world is a diverse place can be measured in a variety of ways, including where people are in their health care journeys. As someone who was diagnosed with cancer at age 39, I know the devastating feeling of having a serious health event and am passionate about helping people who are in similar situations. I listen to people every day who are working to take care of themselves and their families, to stay healthy, to obtain access to care, to manage acute or chronic disease, and to navigate the health care system. Health does not discriminate. We have an obligation to help everyone with their health, offering compassion and respect for the uniqueness of each of us.

I am grateful to UnitedHealthcare for giving me an opportunity and sharing my commitment to listen to all people, to make sure they are heard, and to advocate for them. Through my work, I am developing ways to enhance people’s health care experiences and enabling them to more effectively navigate the health system. I am fortunate to have a family that taught me the importance of inclusion, and I will carry that message forward. By working together and recognizing the importance of diversity, we can make a difference in the lives— and health—of more people.